H. H. Holmes

Powerful Essays
The Real Monster of the Midway
Serial Killers are nothing new to today’s society. Jeffrey Dahmer, John Wayne Gacy and Ted Bundy shocked our nation with their violent, brutal, and at times unbelievable crimes, although none of them were as notorious as Herman Webster Mudgett better known as Dr. H.H. Holmes. A man that carried himself as a smart, intellectual member of society, but in reality he was a smooth talking conman and very disturbed individual. A man who designed and built a building with torture rooms that would serve as his play house. Being born and raised in Chicago, I enjoy learning about its rich history. I had heard about this serial killer before, but I was not aware of his complete story. I am taking this opportunity to not only learn more about Chicago’s history, but to learn more about this man who has been documented as the first serial killer in the United States at the turn of the century.
H.H. Holmes was born on May 16th 1861 to parents who descended from the first white settlers in the new township Gilmanton, New Hampshire. He grew up in a house with an abusive, alcoholic father and a strict religious mother. I believe this could have led to H.H. Holmes’ dark side to emerge. At a young age he was bullied by local boys who forced him to view and touch a skeleton when it was found out that he was afraid of the town doctor. Rumor has it though; that this encounter which was supposed to be so terrifying instead intrigued him and led to, I believe, his fascination with death and was a driving force for him becoming a doctor. Serial killers do not wake up one day and decide to kill, there has to be a certain trigger that sets them off, in this case, it was viewing the remains of a human life.
In September of 1882 H.H. Holmes enrolled into the University of Michigan Medical School. It is there that he learned what would be his deadly craft, excelling in areas such as chemistry and anatomy. While studying and practicing, H.H. Holmes would

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Good Essays

    H H Holmes

    • 591 Words
    • 2 Pages

    Herman Webster Mudgett was the first American serial killer the terrorized Chicago in the late 1800’s, yet he was a slave to his own mind and his own disorders. Herman, who is also famous as H. H. Holmes had two personality disorders that drove him to commit the actions that he committed. evidence shows that Holmes had personality disorders like narcissistic personality disorder and antisocial personality disorder.…

    • 591 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    Devil in the White City

    • 1642 Words
    • 7 Pages

    In the book Devil in the White City, Erik Larson introduces us to Dr. Henry Howard Holmes, who was born named Herman Webster Mudgett. At first glance, Holmes appears to be a typical fresh, crisp, well-dressed, blue eyed and dark haired young man. Holmes first appears on the morning of August 1886 in Chicago’s train station with a ticket to Englewood, a village located in the town of Lake. Because he presents himself as a wealthy, charming man, he does not fit the typical description of a serial killer, and we do not suspect what really goes on behind closed doors. By using his charming personality along with his manipulative and witty characteristic, Holmes is able to target weak people and exert his power over them to avoid detection of his successful killings, piled debt and fraudulent behavior.…

    • 1642 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    Herman Mudgett

    • 2376 Words
    • 10 Pages

    Mudgett expressed a huge interest in medicine and was enrolled in the University of Michigan in 1882. He excelled in Chemistry and Anatomy and they seemed to be a natural talent for him. He was extremely eager to work on the cadavers. (2) He graduated in 1884. “This was a unique feature for a serial killer because most serial killers do not finish school.” (2) It is not because they are not intelligent enough; it is because they lack the motivation. This is where Mudgett was different; he had the persistence and motivation to finish school. It was easier because it was something he did enjoy and it…

    • 2376 Words
    • 10 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Good Essays

    James Watson

    • 551 Words
    • 3 Pages

    James Dewey Watson is the man known for his great contribution to science. He and Francis Crick created the Double-Helix which later helped many other scientists.…

    • 551 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    During the summer of 1895, America was held captive by the search for a family of children believed to be kidnapped at best and murdered at worst by H. H. Holmes. At the time of the search, Holmes was sitting in jail in Philadelphia waiting for his trial for the murder of the children's father, Benjamin Pitezel. Hardworking and driven detective Fred Geyer was assigned to the case, and over the course of the season he followed nine hundred leads all across the Midwest. Finally, in September, “a Philadelphia grand jury voted to indict Holmes for the murder of Benjamin Pitezel... Indiana [for] Howard Pitezel.... Toronto [for] Alice and Nellie” (Larson 369). The locations of the murders of Benjamin, Howard, and Alice and Nellie (Philadelphia, Indiana, and Toronto, respectively) are all hundreds of miles apart, and following the trail of a genius criminal between them was no easy feat. Detective Geyer was able to pursue crimes across the continent, exhibiting widespread determination; not only did Geyer never give up, but the Philadelphia Police Department never withdrew him from the field. Everyone involved in Holmes’ case believed that he had to be incarcerated, and as a result no one let the case drop. The nineteenth century was a time when disappearances were of the least concern and cases often went cold if pursued if all. However, the entire nation was entranced by…

    • 1399 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    When you think of serial killers, Charles Manson and Ted Bundy may come to mind. However in the fall of November 2001, the world was introduced to a man who made both Manson and Bundy look like boy scouts, Gary Leon Ridgway. Ridgway, also know as the Green River Killer, confessed to a total of forty-eight murders, securing him the title of the most heinous serial killer in U.S. history. For over two decades a special task force questioned witnesses, compiled evidence and developed a profile which would ultimately lead to the capture and conviction of Ridgway who some refer to as the Lucifer himself.…

    • 1134 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    Jeffrey Dahmer Essay

    • 826 Words
    • 4 Pages

    Jeffrey Dahmer was a well known serial killer, sex offender and cannibal from Milwaukee Wisconsin. Dahmer killed up to 17 males from 1978 to 1991. Dahmer was seen as a normal child until after his childhood surgery. In this research paper I will continue to inform you about Jeffrey Dahmer’s early life, legacy and his death.…

    • 826 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    A to Z Encyclopedia of Serial Killers by Harold Schechter and David Everitt, Pocket, 1997, softcover, 368 pages,…

    • 1433 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Powerful Essays
  • Better Essays

    Harold Schechter and David Everitt (1997). The A to Z Encyclopedia of Serial Killers (pp 69-70)…

    • 1038 Words
    • 5 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Good Essays

    Sherlock Holmes Hero

    • 498 Words
    • 2 Pages

    The kind of hero the classical detective is someone who was very intelligent and competent and would solve the crime at hand. This type of hero has changed overtime because heroes nowadays have more of a “superpower,” than just the fact the detective is crazy smart.…

    • 498 Words
    • 2 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    "'I was born with the devil in me,'" he wrote. "I could not help the fact that I was a murderer, no more than the poet can help the inspiration to sing." (pg. 109). People never question others’ motives as long as they personally have a positive outcome. Most people can’t emotionally connect with the thoughts of a cold blooded killer, and this quote takes us straight into the mind of H.H. Holmes. It allows you to wonder if people are born to be the things they become, or if it's all in the brain's ability to function. There’s always the possibility that Holmes was incorrect, that anyone can become what they wish, and some people truly desire to be evil. Anyone can do what they want, regardless of the circumstances, or what they were born with.…

    • 523 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Good Essays

    Serial Killer Research Paper

    • 4691 Words
    • 19 Pages

    Reported incidents of multiple murders committed by an individual, who are now known to us as ‘serial killers’, have increased in notoriety since the 1870s. Although almost unknown at that point in time, they did exist. Mary Ann Cotton was Britain’s first acknowledged serial killer. Mrs Cotton spent roughly eight years killing her victims, most of which were her family members. However, when the notorious ‘Jack the Ripper’ began his reign of the Whitechapel region of London in the 1880s, the public became aware that such disturbed and sadistic people were living in their midst. (Jones, 2008 p 12.)…

    • 4691 Words
    • 19 Pages
    Good Essays
  • Better Essays

    The Zodiac Killer

    • 2034 Words
    • 6 Pages

    In the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, citizens of the San Francisco Bay area and the rest of California were represented with terror, fear and death. The bizarre and theatrical and still unresolved serial murders by an unknown assailant who called himself “Zodiac”, who claims in letters that he is responsible for 37 murders (Voigt, 1998), but police have focused on five murders and two attempted murders between 1968 and 1969, during which time he sent letters and made taunting phone calls to the local newspaper and police departments. Many suspects have surfaced over the years, but the killer has yet to be apprehended.…

    • 2034 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Better Essays
  • Satisfactory Essays

    The author was showing how paranoid Holmes was when he thought about his dead body. Holmes knows that what he did do his victims was going to be done to him. The author specifically included this portion as a closure to his character, Holmes. He was showing Holmes worries as his end was approaching. Also, this portion tells us how hypocrite Holmes is by not wanting his remains to be examined by scientists but he did the same to his victims when he sold their remains to medical schools. This is significant because the author once again shows that all Holmes ever cared about is himself.…

    • 106 Words
    • 1 Page
    Satisfactory Essays
  • Powerful Essays

    H.H. Holmes

    • 3086 Words
    • 13 Pages

    Borowski, John, (November 2005). Estrada, Dimas. Ed. The Strange Case of Dr. H. H. Holmes: World 's First Serial Killer. West Hollywood, California: Waterfront Productions.…

    • 3086 Words
    • 13 Pages
    Powerful Essays

Related Topics