Solved HH Holmes and his killing hotel

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A problem I have with the JTR case is that it's almost too mysterious. The accepted suspects seem to all have no more than a casual link with the case, some combination of: they lived in the Whitechapel area; or they died/were committed to a psychiatric facility shortly after the killings finished; or they were mysogynists; or they had been convicted of relatively minor crimes (most of these weren't even violent crimes). The suspects that were later convicted of seperate murders, such as George Chapman, had a completely different method of killing their known victims.

It just seems to me that there's no way the case will ever be solved, though the H.H. Holmes theory is interesting. Agree with grizzlym, that his crimes sound more like something out of a bad horror movie than things that really happened.
I did some research on HH Holmes last night - I had read about him years ago - and it checks out. Just horrible.
 

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MC Extra Dollop

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#2
I did some research on HH Holmes last night - I had read about him years ago - and it checks out. Just horrible.
It would be amazing to actually see this 'three story, block length' hotel. It's said that he employed multiple builders throughout the process, so no-one fully understood the construction of the elaborate upstairs maze but him. He truly sounds like some sort of comic book evil genius.
 
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It would be amazing to actually see this 'three story, block length' hotel. It's said that he employed multiple builders throughout the process, so no-one fully understood the construction of the elaborate upstairs maze but him. He truly sounds like some sort of comic book evil genius.
Yeah, it would. How about when he moved to a different city and planned to build one there?
 

BACCS

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#4
I did some research on HH Holmes last night - I had read about him years ago - and it checks out. Just horrible.
I just had a brief read of his wiki... extremely hard to believe that something like that could be committed for real, and not just in a novel.
 

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I did some research on HH Holmes last night - I had read about him years ago - and it checks out. Just horrible.
I ordered a book about Holmes a few days ago, The devil in the white city. Looking forward to reading it.
 

lewigie

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Any of you familiar with HH Holmes? He was an American doctor who some think killed over 200 people. He built this hotel with all sorts of bizarre features, including secret passages and murder chutes. Almost too much like fiction to believe, but he actually existed. Anyway, just remembered that there was a story not so long ago where people were claiming he was actually the ripper. He was a doctor and a seriously depraved individual.

Here's a link I found to the news story.

"Jeff Mudgett, the great-great-great-grandson of the killer, has submitted handwriting samples from both Holmes and Jack the Ripper for review and handwriting experts have confirmed the likelihood they could stem from the same hand."

It's an interesting theory. Regardless, HH Holmes is worthy of further reading. A very dangerous and weird cat.

Here's the ubiquitous wiki link.
So he had a maze on the top floor full of 100 windowless rooms.. I can't imagine the terror of being stuck in that.

How did Holmes manage to find the victims once they were in there!?
 

beta_condition

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It would seem to be a huge stretch, killing on two continents, in very different ways. Still, the dude reckons the handwriting analysis shows that it was more than a casual possibility. But I tend to agree with you.
Homes killed more so for money then out right violence and the jump between style even if they happened in the same area I'd suspect a different individual. I kinda like the theory of Joseph Barnett. However back to Holmes I find it interesting the amount of money he was paid to confess to murders/ attempted murders, given some of the names given were still alive further clouds the actual number of detahs in mystery and highlights even more that pretty much every single action in his life was money related. Also add in large sections of his life while moving across country have no records, can't help but wonder how far his trail actual extends, you simply don't one day think "hey I'm gonna build me self a kill house"
 

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#12
Highly recommend this if you want info on this Holmes fella

[/media]

Also re the JTR link, apparently Holmes travelled to London the year of the ripper murders, and the handwriting analysis came back with a 97% match probability.

Would be astonishing if he was indeed the ripper
 

CAS79

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#13
Highly recommend this if you want info on this Holmes fella

[/media]

Also re the JTR link, apparently Holmes travelled to London the year of the ripper murders, and the handwriting analysis came back with a 97% match probability.

Would be astonishing if he was indeed the ripper
I've heard this about travelling to London but no one ever substiuntate it.
 

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#14
I've heard this about travelling to London but no one ever substiuntate it.
I don't think you can ever completely substantiate it due to the lapsed time and things like alias names and the like.

But him being on holiday would solve one of the big questions people have regarding the ripper, maybe he had to get back on the boat and was just indulging himself in some casual murder while he saw the sights? Which is why the killings just stopped all of a sudden
 

vast

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#15
Crap never heard of this guy that is insane. How the hell did kill so many people without anyone knowing, in particular his own employees.
 

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Crap never heard of this guy that is insane. How the hell did kill so many people without anyone knowing, in particular his own employees.
Weren't most of his victims young women from out of town with no relatives in the city ?
 

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Weren't most of his victims young women from out of town with no relatives in the city ?
Im sure there is a reasonable explanation given how many facts we wouldn't know given how long ago it happened. But I think its fair to say that if more than one person goes missing from the same workplace (if I read it correctly) surely this guy would have been a suspect and for him to kill 27 people the way he did, tells me something went seriously wrong with the investigation. Given he was suspected of killing many many more its just makes me wonder that's all.
 

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#18
There was a World Fair or something on, and he provided the hotel for accommodation for the people who went to that, didn't he?
 

beta_condition

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There was a World Fair or something on, and he provided the hotel for accommodation for the people who went to that, didn't he?
Correct, he also planned to build a new house when he moved city's.

Im sure there is a reasonable explanation given how many facts we wouldn't know given how long ago it happened. But I think its fair to say that if more than one person goes missing from the same workplace (if I read it correctly) surely this guy would have been a suspect and for him to kill 27 people the way he did, tells me something went seriously wrong with the investigation. Given he was suspected of killing many many more its just makes me wonder that's all.
It was far more then 27 one would think, though its not too surprising it went noticed travel records during that time weren't exactly 100% accurate and it was quite common for people too totally disappear, specially during the worlds fair. To put it simply, he was an attractive man with an appealing personality, doctor and a rich business man that never had any police conviction or anything that would suggest he was capable of violence, no bodies ever to be found, it was the perfect setup.
 
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I don't think you can ever completely substantiate it due to the lapsed time and things like alias names and the like.

But him being on holiday would solve one of the big questions people have regarding the ripper, maybe he had to get back on the boat and was just indulging himself in some casual murder while he saw the sights? Which is why the killings just stopped all of a sudden
It would also explain the difference in killing too. However, isn't one of the central assumptions about the Ripper is he knew the area well? Not withstanding other problems.
 
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I may be the odd one out, but I'd love for a lego set dedicated to H H Holme's house.
I was looking at a display home book the other day - was in the waiting room of somewhere or other so just idly flicking - and I noticed all the inane names they give to their homes. 'The Symphony' etc Couldn't help but think that a range of homes named after serial killers would kind of be apt for these grotesque Mac-mansions.
 

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#24
I just read The Devil in the White City. The 200 figure is questionable. Holmes confessed to 27 murders. This was shortly before his execution and was his third confession. A few of the people that he confessed to killing ended up still being alive. Only 9, according to the book are absolute, although nobody doubts there were more than that.

He wrote in his confession, "I am convinced since my imprisonment I have changed woefully and gruesomely from what I was formerly in feature and figure... My head and face are gradually assuming an elongated shape. I believe fully that I am growing to resemble the devil - that similitude is almost completed.

His description of killing 2 girls that were in his care is awful. He left them in a large trunk with an opening in the top. "Here I left them until I could return and at my leisure kill them. At 5 PM, borrowed a spade of a neighbor and at the same time called Mrs Pietzel at her hotel. I then returned to my hotel and ate my dinner, and at 7 PM. I again returned to the house where the children were imprisoned, and ended their lives by connecting the gas with the trunk, then came the opening of the trunk and the viewing of their little blackened and distorted faces then the digging of the shallow graves in the basement of the house".

Mrs Pietzel was the mother of the 2 girls.

It is a terrific book, that tells the story of Chicago in the lead up to and at the time of the 1893 World Fair. It tells a parallel story of Daniel H Burnham whose vision brought the World Fair to fruition and Holmes, the murderer who used the fair as a front for building his hotel and drawing vulnerable women. As an aside, the very first Ferris Wheel was unveiled at the fair. It was enormous in size and was in direct competition to the Eiffel Tower that had been unveiled at the previous World Fair in Paris. The scale of the fair was incredible.

I read yesterday that the film rights for the book were bought by Leonardo DiCaprio and will be made by Martin Scorcese.
 
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