One of the scariest people in American history was known as the first American serial killers. That’s right, HH Holmes.
If you don’t know who HH Holmes is, you probably don’t know history all that well. He is one of the most notorious serial killers in America.
HH Homes was born Herman Webster Mudgett in 1861 in New Hampshire. He was bored into a wealthy family and he was very intelligent at a young age. He showed some signs of being psychopathic and being into medicine. It was apparent that he was into surgery and would perform surgery on his pets. Some people say he might have been responsible for the death of a friend.
Holmes started his life of crime as a con man with various frauds and scams. As a medical student, he would steal cadavers and use them for false insurance claims. In 1885, he moved to Chicago and started working at a pharmacy under his famous alias, Henry H. Holmes. It was claimed that he took over the pharmacy after killing the original owner.
Holmes started to construct a three story, elaborate house of horrors near the pharmacy. The top story held his living area and rooms used to torture and kill his victims. The house had chutes and trapdoors that led to the basement so Holmes could throw the bodies down to be disposed of.
He later opened his house, also known as the “Murder Castle,” as a hotel in 1893. Not many guests survived, no one knows the exact number of victims. Many of his victims were women. He had a habit of getting engaged only for his fiancé to disappear. Other victims were brought in by the promise of employment.
Holmes left Chicago after the World’s Fair and created a scheme with an associate, Pitezel, where he would fake his death and claim $10,000. Holmes was jailed at one point for a different fraud under the name H.M. Howard. While in jail he shared the details of the scam with an inmate, Marion Hedgepeth, who helped police with the investigation.
After Holmes was released, he killed Pitezel. Afterwards, he told Pitezel’s wife that he was in hiding and somehow convinced her to let him travel with three of her five children, which later became his victims as well.
Holmes was later apprehended in 1894 after months of running from the authorities, and confessed to 27 murders. He was convicted in 1895 and died from hanging in 1896.
His murder count was never discovered but is said to be as much as 200 people.
He is said to possibly have the highest murder count in American history with many others to follow in their murderous footsteps.
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Info credit: https://www.biography.com/people/hh-holmes-307622