H. H. Holmes
On May 16, 1861 Herman Webster Mudgett was born. His home town was Gilmanton, New Hampshire and he soon would become the notorious Dr. H.H. Holmes, Americas’ first Serial Killer. He was a small white male born into a devout Methodist family. Holmes’ mother Theodate Page Price forced strict religious studies while his father, Levi Horton Mudgett handed out the harsh, strong discipline. Holmes had one brother and sister.
B. Intelligence, Social achievement, social adjustment in school:
Holmes was thought to be unusually intelligent at an early age. With his great ambition and drive he excelled in school. He attended Gilmanton Acade3my High School, University of Vermont for one year, and in 1882 attending University of Michigan Medical School and graduates from medical school in 1884. It is his time spent at University of Michigan that he develops his lust for blood and becoming immune from death and dismemberment. This is also where he develops and masters the art of scamming and because of this he changes his name to Dr. H. H. Holmes in 1886 to elude former acquaintances from coming forth with accusations of fraud or death.
C. Family structure and environment:
Holmes was the son of Levi Horton Mudgett and Theodate Page Price and had a very privileged childhood. The environment of the household was that of any family of this era, the 1800’s. They raised their children to be good people, never lie, work hard, pray for everything good and bad, and always show respect. Holmes had a brother and sister but there is no information on them which makes it difficult to explain birth order.
D. Emotional adjustment in the family:
Herman Webster Mudgett (Dr. H. H. Holmes) was raised in a very privileged home but under strict and very structured circumstances. His relationship with his family was typical of any young boy. He had respect for his family and says that he “was well trained by loving and religious parents”.
E. Social/emotional adjustment outside the family:
H. H. Holmes did have friends and acquaintances but was very specific about who he would allow to be close. His deceptions started at the age of eight but all were just childish lies that seemed like the simple acts of a young boy. He was disciplined for them but they seemed to be harmless in nature and out of boredom. He befriended his first true friend in college. This friend was a classmate form Canada who he describes as “one of the very few intimate friends I have ever allowed myself.” Holmes did marry in 1878 to Clara Lovering, then in 1887 married Myrta Belking who he had a daughter with and his last wife Georgina Yoke in 1894. He managed to be married to all three without any of them knowing and handled a few mistresses in between.
F. Employment history, adjustment, work habits:
During a school vacation Holmes takes a job as a book agent which turns out to be a fraud and was paid no money at all. He them after graduation he takes numerous jobs in numerous states serving as drug store clerk, asylum attendant, teacher, and doctor to name a few. He opened a practice in Mooers Forks, NY and stayed for one year doing “good and conscientious work” with lots of gratitude but little money as a physician. He seemed to get either bored with a job or just did not make the amount of money he required so he kept his options open moving from state to state to make money however he could.
G. Personality style/characteristics:
Throughout Holmes’ life he seemed to be more and more unsettled. He could not stay in one place for long and his relationships were short but there was always someone there whether it be one of his wives, an employee, or a mistress. He was extroverted in the sense that he could hold regular relationships with women and made friends but did not keep them around for long and did not allow too many people to get close at one time.
H. Demeanor, appearance...
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