“I was born with the devil in me,’ [Holmes] wrote. ‘I could not help the fact that I was a murderer, no more than the poet can help the inspiration to sing.” – Erik Larson, The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America
Originally born Herman Webster Mudgett, H. H. Holmes was born in New Hampshire, but made a name for himself in Chicago during the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair. Holmes was a con-artist and a serial killer. He is best known for his “Murder Castle,” a hotel constructed in Chicago which was full of booby traps, acid pits, and even a crematorium.
(18:43) “You know, when you just get really bored with doing insurance so you’re just like ‘I just, wanna kill somebody’ and you do.”
At the end of Holmes’ criminal career, he killed his accomplice Ben Pitezel and his children in order to pull off a major life insurance fraud. His greed with this last activity is what led to his capture. In this episode, Skye discusses Holmes’ life, his hotel, and everything that led to his capture and death by hanging.