H.H Holmes was born into a wealthy family in New Hampshire. His real name was Herman Webster Mudgett. He was very privileged growing up. His mother was a schoolteacher was a “very cold and distant individual who used religion as a daily guide for parenting” (Read, 2004). His parents would abuse him physically and mentally.
His father was alcoholic and he had disciplinary strategies for Holmes to listen like food deprivation, and using kerosene rags to quiet him when Holmes cried. He was incredibly bright and intelligent. He was a loner in school. He never developed real meaningful relationships and was bullied in school. He was the outsider of many things. He had a fascination with performing surgeries on animals.
He had a “fascination with skeletons and soon became obsessed with death.” He wanted to major in Medicine because he felt like him experimenting on animals made him want to explore things further. He enrolled in University of Michigan Medical School, and he would steal cadavers from the laboratory. He would burn them and “disfigure them, and then planted the bodies making it look as if they had been killed in an accident.” He “used them to make false insurance claims.” That’s what made him start scamming and start his schemes to get what he wants.
He was married to a woman named Clara Levering. She was extremely wealthy and he took that to his advantage to pay his tuition in University of Michigan Medical School. He was extremely flirtatious with women and he even had 3 wives in different cities. He would make women take out life insurance policies naming him “beneficiary” and use them.
Part II: Criminal ActivityHH Holmes built the Murder Castle, but he designed it like a maze to trap the guests that would sleep there. It had three floors and it the layout was so secretive that only he knew. While he was killing these people staying at the Castle he sold the bodies. ” The Castle became an elaborate scheme to fulfill Holmes’ dark desires, while also allowing him to make an income selling the skeletons of his victims to medical schools” When constructing the building it was “complex” and the architecture was different from other buildings and that attracted people to stay. Inside the castle, was an operating room, a torture chamber, a mortuary, and a room to conduct human experiments, because he had a fascination with opening people up. Maybe it had to do with him being bullied as a child. Many women lost their lives because he seduced them. Holmes rooms were built to have booby traps in them, “… in mazelike fashion, incorporating corridors leading nowhere, with concealed passages behind walls, sliding panels, secret staircases, peepholes into the rooms through the backs of pictures, and trapdoors concealing metal chutes that connected with the elaborately designed basement.
” But he was tried for the murder of Benjamin Pitezel. Once he left Chicago, he went back to scamming he and Benjamin Pietzal made a plan to “fake his death to collect $10,000 from a life insurance company”. But turns out he actually killed him and his three children. The only reason why the authorities found out was that while he was in prison for a life insurance fraud, he told about his killing to an inmate and his name was Marion Hedgepeth.
He helped investigators find out the truth. The time span of the crimes was from 1891 to 1894. He was put on trial in October 1895 and was found guilty. He confessed about other murders he committed as well. The evidence that was used in the trial was the murder castle, “Why is that because it had a lot of tools for torture, and kill his victims.
The tools were poisons, knives, acids, and etc. When the police looked in the basement they saw a lot of bodies. The other evidence was that they found bones and the teeth’s of Howard Pitezel inside Holmes’s chimney.” He was hanged on May 7 1896, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He killed around 20 to 200 people.Part III: Characterizing the Serial Killer Holmes was extremely smart, he didn’t get caught until he told his fellow inmate Hedgpeth.
The category he would fall into would be an organized offender because he was incredibly smart and got away with so many murders and none suspected a thing. In the hotel, he murdered so many people. The murders were extremely planned out and in full detail. He knew the victims very well.
He was intelligent because he was also charming and he convinced Pitezel to go with the devious plan. Another reason why he is an organized offender is that he was able to keep doing these hideous crimes for years. He had a wife and a normal life, he wasn’t a loner. HH Holmes killed to gain profit, he knew the victims very well. The type of serial killer he is would be a Hedonistic serial killer. He killed for his pleasure and his personal gain. He always outsmarted the law.
He killed people to feel a rush because he liked to play “doctor” and do experiments on the victims.