Dr. Henry Howard Holmes: The Origin Of The Serial Killer

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A child might assume the words “serial killer” refer to devouring a box of cereal. However, as seen throughout many murders, this innocence and gullibility is to be envied. For in this world, there are greater crimes than “killing” a cereal box-one of which being the “killing” of a human being. Today’s America has seen some of the worst serial killers- Jeffery Dahmer, John Wayne Gacy, Ted Bundy. However, the phrase “serial killer” had to be originated somewhere, as did these serial killers, starting with Herman Webster Mudgett, better known as Dr. Henry Howard Holmes, America’s first serial killer. From elaborate architecture to entrap and kill its victims to simply tapping someone over a cliff to their deaths, Dr. Henry Howard Holmes could…show more content…
For example, a common trend between serial killers of all kinds, is that most, on average, were born in the month of November.2 Blame it on astrology or the alignment of the stars, but November is a common month for the birth of these monsters we associate the title of “serial killers” with. Carl Eugene Watts, for instance, was a serial killer who murdered a suspected 80 people, mainly women. He was born on the seventh of November.3 Further in interest, however, H. H. Holmes was born in May, one of the least common months for the birth of serial killers-and he was one of the worst. Not only did he murder his victims, but tortured them for the sake of quenching his curiosity of human anatomy and dissection. Following in the footsteps of Holmes were the first serial killers to arise in American history on record. Serial Killers differ from typical murderers because they leave a string of deaths in their wake, rather than just one. Many of these monsters had similar childhoods, and a reputation for strangeness. Their peers and family often later refer to them as outcasts growing up. This, however, is another thing that makes Holmes so remarkably…show more content…
Holmes went on to buy a property in Chicago, IL named Chicago World’s Fair Hotel, but later be known to Americans as the infamous Murder Castle. He built the hotel for tourists coming in for the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893, which was across the street from the pharmacy in which he was suspected of murdering the owners after conning them of their money.12 This famous World’s Fair was in honor of the four hundredth year of which Christopher Columbus discovered America. Chicago was a booming city, and a hot spot for tourist as it is. The hotel, however, would encourage them to stay and relax. This tactic is what the used to lure in his victims. The hotel consisted of elaborate architecture of traps and misleading doorways which lead to ultimate death. Air tight rooms, gas chambers, cremation ovens, and other torture chambers were secretly hidden in this monstrous hotel. Even the engineers and architects that constructed the building of the hotel were oblivious to Holmes master plan. He would often fire his employed architects if he thought they were “seeing too much”.13 One of the architects was Daniel Hudson Burnham, who was the lead architect. He also had experience designing New York’s Flatiron Building and Union Station.14 The hotel included fifty-one doorways, one hundred windowless rooms, dead ended stairs and chutes that led to an incinderator.15 Arguably the sickest part was that Holmes was obsessed with gaining money at

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