H. H. Holmes

766 Words4 Pages
H.H. Holmes, born Herman Webster Mudgett on May 16, 1861 in Gilmanton, New Hampshire, is widely regarded as one of America’s first serial killers. Among a multitude of insurance scams and frauds, Holmes constructed a three story “hotel” that essentially served as an intricate death maze with over 60 rooms and 51 doors placed in walls, ceilings, and even floors. This torturous creation came to be known infamously as the “Murder Castle.” It is estimated the number of murders committed by Holmes falls somewhere between 27 and upwards of 200. Herman Mudgett was born into a very affluent family and lived a comfortable life as a child. He showed high, almost unusual, levels of intelligence from a very young age. Bullied as a child, Holmes recalled the turning point of his life to be when a group of bullies corralled him into a local doctor’s office and forced him to touch a human skeleton. “It was a wicked and dangerous thing to do to a child of tender years and health,” Holmes stated of the incident. He did, however, admit that the incident cured him of his fears and was the founding place of his desire to go into medicine. He began to capture small animals and perform surgeries on them—dead or alive. It is speculated that Holmes was responsible for the death of a childhood friend. Reaching adulthood, Holmes attended the University of Michigan Medical School. Here he stole corpses for experimental purposes as well as for monetary gains. Using the corpses, Holmes would make false insurance claims and collect the money. Moving to Chicago in 1886, Holmes found work in a pharmacy where he instated his now infamous pseudonym, Dr. Henry H. Holmes. Eventually taking over the place of business for unclear reasons, Holmes built the three s... ... middle of paper ... ...han a quick snap of the neck. Regarded as the first serial killer in American history, Henry H. Holmes may very well be the most prolific in American history, as well. Holmes, however, has been nearly completely forgotten about and unknown to present-day society. Although many researchers would relish the opportunity to study his brain, Holmes insured that opportunity would never be possible. Before death, he demanded his coffin be filled with concrete, his grave covered in concrete, and his grave unmarked. This anonymity has left him overlooked in forensic history and contemplation. Works Cited H.H. Holmes. (2014). The Biography Channel website. Retrieved 05:10, Jan 26, 2014, from http://www.biography.com/people/hh-holmes-307622. Herman Mudgett. (2014). In Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved from http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/1245953/Herman-Mudgett
Open Document