H. H. Holmes: The True History of the White City Devil

H. H. Holmes: The True History of the White City Devil

by Adam Selzer


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  • Shares with readers America’s first and most infamous serial killer and his diabolical killing spree during the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago
  • The first comprehensive book following the life and career of H. H. Holmes
  • A fascinating true story about a dark moment in Chicago’s history

H. H. Holmes: The True History of the White City Devil uncovers not only the true story of Holmes but also how the legend evolved. It uses hundreds of primary sources that have never been studied before. This includes letters, articles, legal documents, and records that have been tucked away in archives for more than 100 years. 

While H. H. Holmes is now as famous as he was in 1895, a thorough analysis of modern materials clarifies how much of the story as we know it came from reports who were far from the action, an incredibly unqualified new police chief, and lies from Holmes himself. 

This book is a tale of an outlaw. It covers Holmes’s own story with new insights. The author, Adam Selzer, has uncovered stunning new data about Holmes. He combines turn-of-the-century America, the crazy group of characters who were in and around the famous “castle” building, and the killer’s own background. This book is the first fully accurate account of what truly happened in Holmes’s horror castle. 

H. H. Holmes, with its exhaustive research and careful detail, is an irreplaceable partner to the upcoming Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese movie about Holmes’s murder spree based on Erik Larson’s The Devil in the White City.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781510713437
Publisher: Skyhorse
Publication date: 04/04/2017
Pages: 472
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 8.70(h) x 1.60(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Adam Selzer is the host of the Mysterious Chicago blog, podcasts, and tours, and has spent many years researching the more gruesome side of Chicago history—criminals, ghost stories, gangsters, mysteries, and folklore. He regularly writes Chicago history stories for websites such as TimeOut.com and Atlas Obscura, and speaks about it on WGN radio. He lives in Chicago, Illinois.

Table of Contents

Introduction vii

Chapter 1 Mudgett 1

Chapter 2 Swindler 27

Chapter 3 Victims 41

Chapter 4 A World's Fair Hotel 62

Chapter 5 Holmes Goes West 85

Chapter 6 Philadelphia 103

Chapter 7 On the Run 115

Chapter 8 Mudgett Again 131

Chapter 9 Caught 139

Chapter 10 The Cairn Before the Storm 160

Chapter 11 Exposed 177

Chapter 12 Holmes Mania 214

Chapter 13 Dog Days of August 243

Chapter 14 The Trial 275

Chapter 15 After the Judgment 302

Chapter 16 The Confession 316

Chapter 17 The Hanging 331

Chapter 18 Aftermath 348

Chapter 19 Evolution of a Legend 361

Afterword 375

Appendix A Victims 385

Appendix B Aliases Used by Herman Webster Mudgett 395

Acknowledgments 397

End Notes 399

Index 433

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