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America's first and most notorious serial killer and his diabolical killing spree during the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago.
H. H. Holmes: The True History of the White City Devil is the first truly comprehensive book examining the life and career of a murderer who has become one of America’s great supervillains. It reveals not only the true story but how the legend evolved, taking advantage of hundreds of primary sources that have never been examined before, including legal documents, letters, articles, and records that have been buried in archives for more than a century.
Though Holmes has become just as famous now as he was in 1895, a deep analysis of contemporary materials makes very clear how much of the story as we know came from reporters who were nowhere near the action, a dangerously unqualified new police chief, and, not least, lies invented by Holmes himself.
Selzer has unearthed tons of stunning new data about Holmes, weaving together turn-of-the-century America, the killer’s background, and the wild cast of characters who circulated in and about the famous “castle” building. This book will be the first truly accurate account of what really happened in Holmes’s castle of horror.
Exhaustively researched and painstakingly brought to life, H. H. Holmes will be an invaluable companion to the upcoming Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio movie about Holmes’s murder spree based on Erik Larson’s The Devil in the White City.
|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 historycriminals, 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
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 Calm 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
Appendix A Victims 375
Appendix B Aliases Used Herman Webster Mudgett 385
End Notes 389
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Very informative and helpful with the right amount of healthy skepticism.
This does seem to be the best researched book of all the H. H. Holmes novels I’ve read. The author made a point to go back to original documents and sources where available to research for his own work. It starts by revealing a little about his childhood as recorded by family and neighbors- then as he ages up, marries, and attends medical school- then continues through his ‘career’. Going in to reading this book, I had already known much of what the author had to say about the dramatization behind the murders and the news reports making into a bigger hype than it really was, but there were still details that he was able to dig up that I hadn’t read about yet. I also can’t remember reading that much about his college years, either. Why such a low star rating if the book is so good? It is in dire need of an editor! The book is very detailed, something I usually cherish in a book, but the details became so muddled at some point reading became very dry and heavy. Instead of reading a novel on a subject the author is passionate about, it was a research project he was ready to be done with.