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H.H. Holmes - Case Study Example

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Name: Instructor: Course: Date: Henry Howard Holmes Dr. Henry Howard Holmes was the alias that Herman Webster Mudgett was known of. He was one of the earliest serial killers in America whose tale is documented. At the time of the World’s Fair event held in 1893 in Chicago, Holmes had designed and built a hotel for himself with murder being the main motive of the venture…
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Download file to see previous pages The second floor of the castle consisted of sinister guest rooms equipped with trap doors, peepholes, chutes leading to the basement, and moving walls. The chutes led to either a vat of quicklime or acid, or to the incinerator. The rooms were fire resistant padded with asbestos lining (Larson 4). Holmes is known to have committed most of the murders he allegedly was responsible for in the hotel. It was confirmed that Holmes actually committed four murders while he made confession of having committed twenty-seven. It is speculated that he may have committed as many as two hundred murders. Some of his victims were taken from the World’s Fair, which took place about two miles away from his hotel. Holmes is reported to have killed his victims either by pumping poisonous gas into the rooms as guests slept or by poisoning them with chloroform after sneaking into their rooms through the trap doors as they slept. He disposed the bodies by carrying them to the chutes. Apart from the guest rooms, the Castle had a torture room equipped with an elasticity determinator, which he used to stretch his victims to death (Schechter 13). In a jewelry store on the first floor of the castle, Holmes employed a man as the manager. According to Ramsland, the man had a wife, about six feet tall. She ended up having an affair with Holmes that led to divorce from her husband. She later got pregnant and was convinced by Holmes to have an abortion. Holmes offered to perform the abortion. Later on, Holmes sold a six-foot tall skeleton of a woman for $200 to Hahnemann Medical College. In another incident, a woman named Emmaline Cigrand fell in love with Holmes. They arranged for a marriage; however, Holmes suffocated her to death in a vault, in the Castle, on the day the marriage ceremony was expected to take place (Schechter 37). After a case of murder that had occurred in Philadelphia in 1894 was discovered, the case of Holmes started developing. The police were informed of a scam that had recently occurred by Marion Hedgepeth, who had once shared a cell with a man named H. M. Howard, and had given Howard the name of an attorney to assist in committing an insurance fraud. The scam involved another man called Benjamin Pitezel, who was assisted by Holmes to get a $10000 life insurance cover from Fidelity Mutual Association in Chicago; and would later fake his own death in an explosion in the laboratory in order to claim insurance compensation. Holmes had informed Pitezel that they would use a cadaver to fake the death. Holmes tricked his accomplice into heavy drinking before soaking him in benzene and burning him to death. He then extinguished the fire and poured chloroform into the stomach of Pitezel’s body. Holmes then altered the scene to create an impression that the death had been caused by an accidental explosion (Geyer 63). In order to collect the money from insurance compensation, there was required a family member to identify the body. Since Pitezel’s wife was sick, Holmes took his daughter for the task. Pitezel’s wife was unaware of her husband’s death. The money was to be shared among several participants in the scam, including Hedgepeth, but Howard schemed and made off with the money. A detailed letter written by Hedgepeth about the scam was passed on to the insurance company, where it was realized that the Howard in question was actually Holmes. Hedgepeth offered the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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