Herman Mudgett (H.H Holmes)

Mehak Mujahid

H.H Holmes

One of America's first serial killers, this ruthless man was soon known as "the Beast of Chicago" because of his thirst for money to such an extent that he started to kill innocent people and then collect their life insurance money and sell their corpses to local medical schools.


Early Life.

Mudgett was born into a home that was financially stable and he seemed to have a promising future because it was evident he was highly intelligent and seemed to be interested in medicine. He was born into a devout Methodist family, however this may be a reason as to why he commit such heinous crimes. His mother was overly religous, constantly pushing religion down his throat, and a study from the Behavioural Analysis Unit written by Robert S. Mueller states that Religion can have a negative affect on a child's psycopathy. Herman also had a traumatic childhood. After his classmates found out that he was afraid of skulls and bones they had bullied him into touching them and because his fear of skulls was so severe, it turned into an obsession after touching them, and then this obssesion claimed the lives of 27 people (Davies). It makes sense that he started to kill people given that because of his experiences he performed medical experiments on live and dead animals. (Davies).

Adult Life.

He planned to pursue his interest and went to the University of Michigan for medicine, however, he quickly got expelled because he stole corpses and performed medical procedures on them. When he was done with the corpses, he would claim false insurance claims on them. (H.H. Holmes)


Herman was seen as charming, charismatic and a womanizer. He had multiple wives and seduced many more. He married his first wife, Clara Lovering in 1887, he soon married his second wife Myrta Belknap and started a family with her. After marrying his second wife he pettioned for a divorce from his first wofe but it never actually went through. He then married his third wife Georgiana Yoke. Even though he had three wives, he still had an affair with one of his trusted associate's wife, Julia Smythe who then became one of his victims. (H.H. Holmes)


Holmes commited many frauds in his life time, he mainly killed people and then collected their life insurance money. In 1886, Holmes moved to Chicago to go work at a pharmacy and the height of his murder career came shortly after.

Signs of Aggressive Behaviour.

Traumatic events that occured during Holmes childhood: Holmes's normal childhood was interrupted by his classmates who bullied him into touching skulls and confronting one of his biggest fears. He was so trumatized by that experience that his fear quickly became an obssesion.


Extraordinary cruelty to animals: as a child, Holmes used to perform medical expiraments on living and dead animals.


Mask of sanity: Holmes was seen as a charisamatic and charming man because he could lure many women into his home and then later kill them. This shows that he had a way wih words which always made the other person seem as if he was harmless. He also disguised his sociopathic and psycopatic tendencies by going out into the public with a wife, which shows society that since he is married, he would never kill a woman for his own pleasure.

Murder Castle

Holmes made a three story hotel during the World Fair in 1893 which promoted him to lure women into his hotel and then kill them. He built a 60 room hotel which included doors that led to nothing, rooms without windows, trapdoors and hidden passageways. Some rooms were sealed shut and used as gas chambers, others were lined with iron plates and had blow torches built into the wall to burn his victims. The prison rooms had alarms in them and hey would ring if anyone was trying to escape. Investigators found a surgical table splattered with blood in his basement, the basement also had jars of poison and boxes of bones. Holmes had his own creamatorium, vats of acid and two lime pits, all of these dissolved a body in a matter of hours. Chutes from the prison room delievered the bones directly to the basement. (Holmes "Murder Castle, Charles W Bryant & Jessica Toothman),
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Specific Crimes

Benjamin F. Pietzal : This man was Holmes partner in crime-literally. Because Holmes was so money thirsty, he came up with a plan to gain $10,000 life insurance money and Pietzal went along with it. The plan was to fake Pietzal's own death and then his wife would have to claim his money and eventually split it with Holmes. Pietzal went under a fake name and then claimed to have died in a lab explosion, however Holmes actually killed him by showing them his real corpse and collecting the money all for himself. He had killed him by burning him alive. (Herman Webster Mudgett).


Minnie Williams: She had met Holmes in Boston. She was a wealthy woman which is why Holmes was so interested in her. This was one of his schemes to get money. He seduced her through his charming personality and they soon got married after she moved to Chicago with him. It was an intimate marriage, no relatives or people other than them and a preacher. ON June 5th 1893 Minnie's sister came to visit her and Holmes took her to his murder castle and made her sign over all their belongings and property to him. He then gassed her to death and killed Minnie by poisioning her and burying her body underneath the basement. (Minnie. R Holmes).

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Getting Caught

What initally set off the authorities was the Pietzal murder and eventually led to his execution. While he was in jail before he started murdering, he told one of the inmates about his insurance frauds. The inmate referred a lawyer so that when Holmes got out the inmate assumed he would get a cut. However, when Holmes did get out he did not give the inmate a cut which led to the inmate telling the authorities. So, Holmes was first charged with insurance fraud and then while investigating, the authorities found out that he was also a murder, with a body count between 27-200. On May 7th 1886, H.H. Holmes was executed.

Typology

I believe that the typology H.H. Holmes fit into is the Comfort-Oriented Hedonist. He takes pleasure in killing as it is evident in his muder castle because he built numerous different ways to torture and kill people. He also gains some profit out of it by taking their insurance money and using it for himself. The way Holmes tortured them was actually a way of experimenting with them. He is also a comfort oriented hedonist because after he is done killing, he usually sells the corspse to local medical schools. He benefits from the death of his victims by gaining money.

Works cited

Blanco, J. I. (no date) Herman Webster Mudgett | Murderpedia, the encyclopedia of murderers. Available at: http://murderpedia.org/male.H/h/holmes.htm (Accessed: 21 December 2015).


Bryant, C. W. and Toothman, J. (2008) Top 10 hotels that will scare the daylights out of you. Available at: http://science.howstuffworks.com/science-vs-myth/afterlife/top-5-haunted-hotels5.htm (Accessed: 21 December 2015).


healthpsychologyconsultancy (2013) Making of a monster: Dr Herman Howard Holmes. Available at: https://healthpsychologyconsultancy.wordpress.com/2013/03/04/making-of-a-monster-dr-herman-howard-holmes/ (Accessed: 21 December 2015).


Minnie R. Holmes (1868) Available at: http://www.geni.com/people/Minnie-Holmes/6000000024132307515 (Accessed: 21 December 2015).


Mueller, R. . S. (2010) Serial murder. Available at: https://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/serial-murder (Accessed: 21 December 2015).

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Blanco, J. I. (no date) Herman Webster Mudgett | Murderpedia, the encyclopedia of murderers. Available at: http://murderpedia.org/male.H/h/holmes.htm (Accessed: 21 December 2015).


Bryant, C. W. and Toothman, J. (2008) Top 10 hotels that will scare the daylights out of you. Available at: http://science.howstuffworks.com/science-vs-myth/afterlife/top-5-haunted-hotels5.htm (Accessed: 21 December 2015).


Early life (no date) Available at: http://hhholmes.weebly.com/early-life.html (Accessed: 21 December 2015).


healthpsychologyconsultancy (2013) Making of a monster: Dr Herman Howard Holmes. Available at: https://healthpsychologyconsultancy.wordpress.com/2013/03/04/making-of-a-monster-dr-herman-howard-holmes/ (Accessed: 21 December 2015).


H.H. Holmes Biography (no date) Available at: http://www.biography.com/people/hh-holmes-307622 (Accessed: 21 December 2015).


Minnie R. Holmes (1868) Available at: http://www.geni.com/people/Minnie-Holmes/6000000024132307515 (Accessed: 21 December 2015).


Mueller, R. . S. (2010) Serial murder. Available at: https://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/serial-murder (Accessed: 21 December 2015).