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The Murder Castle

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Dr Henry Howard Holmes was a serial killer in Chicago, USA. He had built and designed a hotel around the sole purpose of killing people. To him, it was obviously a game. According to The World news paper.

When he was arrested, they could only pin one murder on him, even though he was suspected of nine others.

In his written testimony, he confessed to twenty seven murders. When the investigators followed up on his confession, they found some of his supposed victims still alive. 

In the years since the whole affair, it has been cleared up that the murder castle floor plans were fictional and all of his victims were people that got in his way.

He did own a glass bending factory with a large furnace. Investigators believe no glass was ever worked there and perhaps the furnace was used to destroy evidence...

What are your thoughts?

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Another fascinating Victorian serial killer!

I don't know enough about H.H. Holmes to comment as yet but you have sparked my interest to look further into the case.  I currently reside about 5 hours east of Chicago.


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@Hikari-- I realize there is no True Crime section yet -- but I think we'd better enforce the "pre-1930 crimes only" rule, to avoid comments about living persons -- be they victims, relatives, or suspects.  I suggest that you copy the preceding post into a Private Message with a "to" line which can include as many as four or five possibly interested parties, so you can discuss it to your heart's content.  Then please edit the post itself down to the first three sentences.

Thank you!


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@SLarratt--  Thanks for bringing up the matter of H. H. Holmes, which judging by the conflicting views currently expressed online, is still quite controversial!  I had heard of him only briefly before: when Series 4 of Sherlock aired, Van Buren Supernove pointed out that he had been mentioned in one scene of "The Lying Detective," which she quotes here along with a synopsis of his "career."

I just now looked him up on Wikipedia, and see that some even debate the term "serial killer."  Not that they think he was innocent, not by a long shot -- I don't think anyone claims that he was not a multiple murderer!  It's just that the term "serial killer" usually means someone who apparently kills for the sake of killing (and/or whose crimes form a pattern), whereas (as you pointed out) he seems to have killed only those persons whose continued existence would have inconvenienced him.  (There seem to have been quite of few of those, however.)

.The two items I find most intriguing in the Wikipedia article are that a} his real name was the far less euphonious Herman Webster Mudgett (which he changed when he moved to Chicago, in an attempt to throw the law off his tail), and b} he had left a wide swath of assorted crime, deceit, and chicanery behind him in a number of states, yet by the time he was finally convicted and executed, he was only 34 years old!


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