Adam Selzer is the head of Chicago Unbelievable, and has written about Chicago history and ghostlore for a number of publishers. His nonfiction work includes THE SMART ALECK'S GUIDE TO AMERICAN HISTORY (Random House 2009) and YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD GIVES ME THE CREEPS (LLewellyn 2009)
The Confession of H.H. Holmesby Adam Selzer
So, how much of the confession was real? Did it contain
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In 1896, H.H. Holmes, "arch fiend of the century," was paid to write a "confession" by newspapers. Published a month before his execution, he confessed to twenty-seven murders. Today he's suspected of far more, but many of those he confessed to were lies. Some of the "victims" were even still alive.
So, how much of the confession was real? Did it contain dark hints that he was leaving a lot out? But clues found in his famous "murder castle" backed many of his stories up. Holmes, the star of DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY, is now often said to be the most prolific serial killer in American history.
In fact, two confessions were written at the same time - one for one paper, and one for another. THE CONFESSION OF HH HOLMES contains the complete 10,000 confession as published in the PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, as well as detailed notes as to differences between that version and the slightly different one that appeared the same day in THE NEW YORK JOURNAL. In addition, there are over 20,000 words of new explanation and analysis, based on new findings and evidence from 1895, telling what we know of the true stories of each crime he wrote about. Also included is the bizarre, completely different "confession" published a day earlier in another paper, which included Holmes' most famous line: "I was born with the devil in me...."
CHICAGO UNBELIEVABLE asserts that the truth about Holmes will never really be known - most of the evidence has long since vanished. But the information here is essential for anyone interested in trying to get to the bottom of the tantalizing mystery. Includes an active table of contents and active internal links for easy navigation, and more than a dozen illustrations.
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Holmes is a riddle wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a mystery. This exhaustive analysis of his "confession" shows just how much he made the mystery deeper - while hinting that there was a lot more to the story than he was letting on. The Johann Hoch connection is fascinating. Functions as a good "cheat sheet" for people trying to keep Holmes' victims straight.
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