A Predatory Mind

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Dr. HH HolmesDr. Henry H. Holmes (1861-1896)

The Arch Criminal of Our Age

Holmes career of hideous crimes does not find a parallel in the history of the country. He was not only a multimurderer, but a bigamist, seducer, resurrectionist, forger, thief and general rascal, villain and fiend. (from: Holmes Hangs. Rock Island Argus, May 7, 1896)

Why the Legend of Holmes Endures

    In reality, few serial killers fit the popular conception provided by fiction: that of the intelligent hunter. Most are misfits who prey on the vulnerable.

    Holmes wore the mask of success: an entrepreneur, a small town kid made good. He was a medical doctor, a stylish dresser, well-spoken and literate, a charmer, a veritable ladykiller.

    He was fiendish, devising his tortures with the methodical precision and unchained imagination. He fancied himself as an inventor, promoting perpetual motion machines and a cure for alcoholism. When a stretching rack was found in his basement he claimed he wanted to experiment on creating a race of giants.

    He built a Torture Castle as demented and diabolical as his own mind. Odd angles, dead ends, killing chambers, disposal rooms.

    Although his murders displayed a wit in their sadism, his cruelty was so depraved and bestial it can not be romanticized, even by a nation who makes anti-heroes out of vicious killers such as Bonnie and Clyde. He strung along his victims, torturing them with the hope of freedom. The detectives assigned to his case regularly underestimated his viciousness. The greater the innocence, the crueler his crimes, with children counted among his victims. He often killed for no apparent reason.

    Holmes was the genuine nightmare.

Holmes, profile, mug shot
More to the story

Holmes and The Resurrectionists

The Twenty Seven Murders of Henry H. Holmes

The Twenty Seven Murders of Henry H. Holmes has been compiled for a free download and available from Smashwords. Some images have been redacted due to the file size limit of Smashwords.

Purchase A Predatory Mind

Adam Selzer of the blog Chicago Unbelievable has put together a series of researched monographs detailing more aspects of the life of Dr. Holmes. These include information about the Murder Castle, his confessions and the story of the Holmes Curse. These are available for purchase at a low price for the Amazon Kindle through the links on the covers presented below.

Murder Castle, Selzer Curse of HH Holmes, Selzer Confessions of HH Holmes

copyright 2013, Martin Hill Ortiz