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 Henry Howard “H.H.” Holmes

Henry Howard “H.H.” Holmes

Original Name Herman Webster Mudgett
Gilmanton, Belknap County, New Hampshire, USA
Death 7 May 1896 (aged 34)
Philadelphia, Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, USA
Burial Yeadon, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, USA
Plot Sec. 15, Range 10, Lot 41, graves 3 & 4
Memorial ID 2415 · View Source
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Serial Murderer. Born in Gilmantown, New Hampshire he studied medicine and worked as a druggist in Chicago. A good looking, natural born con man he had a special flair or attracting the ladies of that time. During the Chicago World Fair of 1893 he was the owner/proprietor of the infamous “Murder Castle”. It had hidden rooms, concealed stairways, trap doors, false walls, chutes, an elevator with no shaft and an elevator shaft with no elevator. He ran ads for a secretary in Chicago papers. Once employed he wooed them with promises of marriage. He convinced them to sign over their insurance and savings to him as a part of the “deal”. After spending the night in his bed, he chloroformed them as they slept, dragged them to the open elevator shaft and threw them in. Waiting for them to regain consciousness, he gassed them and watched them die. Afterwards he looped a rope around their neck, pulled them up the shaft, dumped their bodies down a chute leading to the basement and dismembered them. These were the “lucky” ones. Some were simply butchered alive and screaming inside his soundproofed rooms. The estimate is that over 200 women died there. Mudgett moved first to Texas and then to Philadelphia where he devised an insurance scam using a family named Pitezel as accomplices. He killed Mr. Pitezel with poison and he along with Mrs. Pitezel claimed the insurance monies. He killed the Pitezel children by gassing the two girls in a trunk and somehow killing the small boy whose skull was found in a stove. After getting a tip from a prison acquaintance of Mudgett advising them of the scam, the insurance company hired a Philadelphia “super detective”, Frank P. Geyer, to find him. Geyer tracked Mudgett down and brought him to trial for the murder of Mr. Pitezel. He was hanged on the Moyamensing Prison gallows May 7, 1896, the most prolific mass murderer in United States history.

Bio by: Richard Blunk

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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 1 Jan 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 2415
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Henry Howard “H.H.” Holmes (16 May 1861–7 May 1896), Find A Grave Memorial no. 2415, citing Holy Cross Cemetery, Yeadon, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .