Dr. H. H. Holmes: America's First Serial Killer

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Erick Larson wrote in Devil in the White City, “I was born with the devil in me. I could not help the fact that I was a murderer, no more than the poet can help the inspiration to sing – I was born with the Evil One standing as my sponsor beside the bed where I was ushered in the world, and he has been with me since” (Troy, Taylor). This statement was a quoted confession from Dr. H. H. Holmes himself in 1896. Holmes was the first major serial killer in America, even though he came after many others in his time. Thomas Neil Cream, the Austin Axe Murderer, the Bloody Benders, and Jack the Ripper came before him. His name was originally Herman Webster Mudgett. He was born on May 16th, 1860 in Gilman, New Hampshire. He was raised by his mother and father, who was a wealthy and respected citizen for 25 years. As a boy, Mudgett was always in trouble and was well known in his community for his rather sociopathic behavior. He would show cruelty to both animals and other children. The only thing keeping hope to society was the fact that he was an excellent student. He later changed his last name to Holmes in order to pursue both his medical and criminal careers. He had many other aliases in which he would hide under and try to derail the cops from finding him (Juan, Blanco). Holmes was medically trained to be a doctor and received his degree from the University of Michigan. He was not just into insurance fraud scams. His evil doings included forgery, claiming to find the cure for alcoholism, real estate scams, and pretending to have a machine that turned natural gas into water. He was quite the ladies man, had many wives, whom often had become his victims. Many of his medical partners became subject to him, also. He once even had three wiv... ... middle of paper ... ...oday.com." ExecutedToday.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Mar. 2014. McCormack, Simon. "H.H. Holmes Was Jack The Ripper? Great-Great-Great-Grandson Of Chicago Serial Killer Floats Theory." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 03 Dec. 2012. Web. 03 Mar. 2014. Pickover, Cliff. "The Scales of Good and Evil." The Scales of Good and Evil. N.p., 2002. Web. 03 Mar. 2014. Larson, Erick. The Devil in the White City. New York, NY: Crown, 2003. Print. Russell, Z. "H.H. Holmes: America's First Serial Killer." H.H. Holmes: America's First Serial Killer. WordPress, 29 Nov. 2011. Web. 03 Mar. 2014. Taylor, Troy. “MURDER CASTLE OF H.H. HOLMES! EXCERPT FROM “HAUNTED CHICAGO” “MURDER CASTLE OF H.H. HOLMES! EXCERPT FROM "HAUNTED CHICAGO” N.p., 2003. Web. 03 Mar. 2014. Woody, Kaitlin. "H.H. Holmes (Herman Mudgett) Trial.” H.H. Holmes (Herman Mudgett) Trial. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Mar. 2014.

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