Talk:H. H. Holmes

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Colonel Jeptha Howe[edit]

Any source that he was actually a Colonel or called that instead of just Jeptha Howe? Jarwulf (talk) 18:00, 8 October 2011 (UTC)

Plagaiarism[edit]

I just finished reading the book "The Devil in the White City". The last paragraph of the "Later Life and Arrest" section is directly plagairized from this book, so someone should quote it or reference it or something.

I watched the movie by John Borowski referenced at the beginning of the page, and most of the entire article is phrased close to, if not exactly the same as his movie. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Debollweevil (talkcontribs) 01:31, 26 July 2009 (UTC)

Facts[edit]

I'm not sure, but I think some of your facts may be wrong. Word had it that they had already pinned a number of murders on Mudgett before the place had burned down (he was in police custody at the time). They had discovered the bones of a former business partner, his business partner's three children and a number of other victims before the house burned to the ground. There is an interesting link here: http://www.prairieghosts.com/holmes_a.html Apparently he used acids to rid himself of his victims as well. Theres a rare photo of the murder castle on this site as well. Additionally, there was some rumour that he not only swindled but murdered the pharmacist. This was mostly because he just took over the pharmacy saying the owner has 'moved out west'. Apparently, police didnt investigate at the time because he was an upstanding citizen. The last thing is the victims. Many were employees also. He would hire women as secretaries (making sure to have them not tell anyone where they are going) and kill them. I found that too when i read the end of the book about 5 minutes ago.. I'd have thought the people who operate this website, being so obsessed with copyright laws (there's about 8 copyright warnings on the page i'm writing on right now!) would at least check their sources. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 90.208.7.225 (talk) 21:29, 8 January 2008 (UTC)

Read Harold Schechter's "Depraved" for a indepth bio on Holmes. He tried to burn down the Castle to collect the insurance (he succeed only in burning down the top floor; the Castle was burned to ground by persons unknown after Holmes had been arrested for murder in Philadelphia) and fled Chicago to avoid creditors. It's astonishing to realize how many people he swindled or tried to swindle. The Civilized Worm (talk) 16:40, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

No one noticed[edit]

Ehm, how come someone can kill up to 100 people at his hotel, with no one ever noticing what is going on or missing anyone from the persons killed? And then even selling dead bodies to medical schools with not a single person asking where all those corpses come from? I find this story too obscure right now to believe it. --Abdull 23:12, 22 August 2005 (UTC)


        • FOR MORE COMPREHENSIVE ACCOUNTING/DISCUSSION OF HOLMES' METHODS, VICTIMS, ETC ...PLEASE SEE BELOW. A MULTITUDE OF BODIES WERE FOUND DURING INVESTIGATION OF THE HOTEL GROUNDS IN ADDITION TO THE SKELETONS KNOWN TO HAVE BEEN SOLD TO MEDICAL SCHOOLS BY THE "DOCTOR".

It all has to do with the time frame, really. The bodies at least are easy enough to understand, as there were likely no laws requiring documentation of where cadavers had come from. The numbers in the hundreds may just be fabrications or "healthy" estimates. As investigators documented, the remains were in variou states of decomposition, and what might have been one body's remains was actually several, or vice versa. Cybertooth85 01:56, 17 January 2007 (UTC)


Do you suppose he's still checking this article after posting that item 17 months ago? In any case, he's assuming modern-day scrutiny. It was much easier to get away with things in those days, as there was much less national communication. He needs to read Devil in the White City for a better understanding of what Chicago was like in 1893. Wahkeenah 02:44, 17 January 2007 (UTC)

!!PLEASE ALSO SEE http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/serial_killers/history/holmes/index_1.html (all 20+ chapters) EXCELLENT LONG ARTICLE BY KATHERINE RAMSLAND... PROVIDES EXCELLENT LIST OF ADDITIONAL PERIOD ACCOUNTS AND SOURCES.

      • W ARTICLE FAILS TO MENTION MINNIE WILLIAMS AND NETTIE WILLIAMS**** AND NUMEROUS OTHER VICTIMS OF NOTE, DETAILS IN W ARTICLE DISAGREE WITH NUMEROUS OTHER SOURCES. FAILURE TO MENTION "PEARL"...etc.

!!PLEASE ALSO SEE "H.H.HOLMES: AMERICA'S FIRST SERIAL KILLER" DOCUMENTARY (2003). Directed by John Borowski. [64 MINS] DETAILS FROM MULTIPLE SOURCES INCLUDING AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL ACCOUNTS FROM HOLMES, INTERVIEWS WITH MATERIAL WITNESSES, LETTERS/ARTICLES

        • DISCREPANCIES IN W ARTICLE VS. OTHER SOURCES REGARDING HOW VARIOUS KILLINGS WERE EXECUTED INCLUDING PIETZEL BOY. DOCUMENTARY QUOTES HOLMES OWN ACCOUNT OF PUTTING THE CHILD INTO THE OVEN INTACT, ALSO NOT POST-MORTEM.

SEE ALSO:

   http://www.prairieghosts.com/holmes.html   
   http://www.supernatural.tv/reviews/legends/s2/noexit.htm
   http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/1245953/Herman-Webster-Mudgett  <--- "FROM A WEALTHY FAMILY", ETC.
   http://www.worldlingo.com/ma/enwiki/en/H._H._Holmes

SOMEONE WITH TIME TO SORT OUT THE ACCOUNTS AND RESEARCH ORIGINAL SOURCE DOCUMENTS SHOULD TRY TO RECTIFY THE ACCOUNTS AND DISTILL A MORE DIFINITIVE AND COMPREHENSIVE VERSION ...KATHERINE RAMSLAND AND JOHN BOROWSKI PIECES SHOULD PROVE VERY USEFUL. WEALTH OF ADDITIONAL SURVIVING DOCUMENTED ACCOUNTS AND VISUAL RECORDS, PHOTOS, BLUEPRINTS, ETC. ALSO POSSIBLE EXISTENCE OF COURT PROCEEDINGS IN FILM OR PHOTO RECORD. CURRENT WIKIPEDIA ARTICLE NEEDS CLARIFICATION OF FACTS, EXTERNAL LINKS TO COMPREHENSIVE ANALYSES AND RECORDS. PARALLELS TO TED BUNDY ABOUND.

Reply to Above: Many people have tried to rectify the account but the original author keeps deleting their corrections and restoring his sensationalistic nonsense. There is little reason to believe that Holmes really murdered any more than the few people for which he was actually convicted, or that his "murder hotel" was anything more than an ordinary hotel. As Larson explains in the afterward to The Devil in the White City, all the books, articles, documentaries, and websites created about Holmes eventually trace back to Holmes' own confessions, which he made for money, couldn't be corroborated, and which he later retracted. The story of America's first "verified" serial killer was merely a newspaper hoax that caught the public imagination, and some people just can't let go of it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 209.137.134.50 (talk) 20:34, 21 April 2014 (UTC)

reply to above[edit]

Holmes erected the hotel for the purpose of housing tourists during the 1893 world's fair. I recall reading that in addition to killing his own staff and other 'local Chicagoans', that he'd take the lives of guests who were staying in his hotel. If there are people who aren't from Chicago that go missing during a World's Fair over a hundred years ago, are the authorities really going to know who is missing? This is obviously an era before mass communication so I don't understand why you find it so far-fetched. If you want to look more into the subject there is plenty of reading material out there (and posted on the 'Holmes' page here) -Two star hotel

Execution[edit]

From the current Wikipedia article: "... Holmes' neck did not snap immediately; he instead died slowly and painfully of strangulation over the course of about 15 minutes." From the Philadelphia Weekly article: " 'Death was indeed merciful to the man who in his life had shown so little mercy,' read the Inquirer's account published on the same day. 'For a few minutes there was a faint beating of the pulse, but the dying man felt no pain. With the springing of the trap, his neck had been broken." 201.1.187.114 05:25, 1 February 2006 (UTC)

    • This seems to be justification for deleting the part about his neck not breaking. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 66.19.202.3 (talk) 19:44, 7 June 2014 (UTC)

More sources.[edit]

Found an entry on Crimelibrary.com regarding Holmes: [[1]]

Enjoy :)

Fred26 17:55, 4 February 2006 (UTC)

Rename?[edit]

His alias was Harry Howard Holmes, according to [2] - so unless there are sources to say the H. H. was more common, perhaps we should rename the article (it took me ages to find it searching for the full name version)?Malick78 14:46, 18 June 2007 (UTC)


=actually, holmes used the shorter version himself as a convienence for paperwork. it was catchty to him= djlee

Copyright violation / plagiarism[edit]

The section about strange things happening after his death (and him being the devil) is taken straight from The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson, page 387. I removed it. The rest of the page ought to be checked. —MICLER (Talk) 00:49, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

Philadelphia?[edit]

Why was he executed in Philadelphia? The article goes into a good amount of detail up until his death until suddenly he's getting hung in Philadelphia. Was it simply where he was caught and tried? Who knows!? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 75.65.19.54 (talk) 10:14, 16 November 2007 (UTC)

Holmes was tried and executed for the murder of his partner in some insurance scams. The murder happened in Philadelphia, hence the reason why the trial and execution happened there. He was not charged with any of the other murders he was believed to have committed. The Civilized Worm (talk) 16:24, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

Grew up in a poor family?[edit]

Unless I misunderstood the program on NPR this morning, they said he grew up in a wealthy family. Also, other sources on the web say he grew up in a prominent family. I think this Wikipedia article needs some edits. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 199.177.34.3 (talk) 16:58, 27 December 2007 (UTC)

=during his time, it would have been called "well-off" or by today's standards, poor= djlee

The PO[edit]

Is the Post Office 611 W 63rd St, Chicago, IL 60621-2011? -- Toytoy (talk) 16:15, 24 January 2008 (UTC)


No - Holmes' hotel was closer to Jackson Park. Actually walking distance to the Worlds Fair grounds. 63rd St. train stop, according to the book "Devil in the White City" —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.166.26.23 (talk) 03:01, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

possible vandalism[edit]

"and even a stretching rack to create a race of "giants"."

Is this for real? If so, does it warrant at least a sentence to itself. Nothing else in the article explains a predilection for creating giants. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 24.126.48.126 (talk) 05:19, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

I'm just guessing, but I would imagine this notion derives from the yellow journalism of the day.24.148.1.17 (talk) 21:53, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

This story comes from either one articles written on the case at the time it happened or from Holmes' own confession, I forget which. Holmes was a notorious liar and his own confession was sensational (he claimed to be possessed by the devil and confessed to murders of people who weren't even dead). The story about trying to create giants does pop up in a lot of literature on Holmes, so its not a case of vandalism here. The Civilized Worm (talk) 16:31, 29 April 2008 (UTC)

buried in cement[edit]

This part is not cited and sounds like an urban legend. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 68.9.129.11 (talk) 01:00, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

The burial in cement is documented in Larson's book, which I don't have at hand right this minute. It was Holmes' reaction to a number of proposals made to him that he donate his brain for scientific study - which he was unwilling to do.Irish Melkite (talk) 09:38, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

Known/suspect victims[edit]

  • Dr. Robert Leacock {Chicago} 1886 —Preceding unsigned comment added by Spacesuit (talkcontribs) 15:43, 16 December 2009 (UTC)
  • Mrs. E. S. Holton {Chicago} 1887 {disappeared} {suspected}
  • Mrs. Conner and daugther Pearl Conner {Chicago} 1892
  • Alleged unborn child of Mrs. Conner and Holmes 1892 {alleged}
  • Miss Emily van Tassel {Chicago} 1892
  • Miss Emily Cigrand {Chicago} December 1892
  • Robert E. Phelps {Chicago} 1893 {alleged}
  • Nettie Williams {Chicago}
  • Minnie Williams {Chicago}
  • Lucy Burbank {Chicago} date unknown but bankbook found 1895 in Holmes "Castle"
  • Benjamin Petzel {Philadelphia}-September 1894
  • Alice & Nellie Petzel-Toronto Canada-October 1894
  • Howard Petzel-Irvington Indiana-October 1894 —Preceding unsigned comment added by 134.53.145.64 (talk) 16:05, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
    • Other possible victims
  • ? Alleged to have killed a Miss Kitty Kelly who worked for Holmes as a clerk in Englewood. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 74.83.126.88 (talk) 03:26, 8 November 2009 (UTC)
  • 1892?_alleged to have killed a man and later a young boy
  • July 1894-Milford Cole of Baltimore MD-allegedly disappeared after receiving a telegram from Holmes to come to Chicago —Preceding unsigned comment added by 74.83.126.88 (talk) 01:30, 8 November 2009 (UTC)
  • 1893 a 16 year old girl in Holmes company-vanished

Another Accomplice? July 1895-an insurance swindler George W. Harris was arrested as a suspect as a accomplice of Holmes {Harris alias were B.A. Ziegel/B.A Simpkins/Alfred Post} Possibly 1891 & 1893 Holmes have have been hired in Omaha as a special Officer —Preceding unsigned comment added by 74.83.126.88 (talk) 01:00, 15 February 2010 (UTC)

in popular culture[edit]

I have restored an appearance in a television show. It was removed with the edit content "nn", for non-notable, but content of a article just has to be relevant, not notable, and appearance in any show that has a wp article is relevant content. Please do not remove without further discussion. I have also reinserted a reference. It was removed on the basis of being a link to a commercial documentary, but that's not a reason to remove a reference link, as distinguished from an external link. We can refer to any published material, even commercial 19:46, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

Appearance in any show that has a WP article is only relevant to the article about that show, not the article about the thing in the show. Think about your argument for a second. So the article about Abraham Lincoln should list every TV show, movie, comic book, video game, etc. that features that character? That's not how Wikipedia works. To be listed in the article it has to be significant/notable/important to the topic of the article itself. An appearance on a modern TV show episode (as compared to main feature of a whole series, or movie based upon the topic) isn't interesting/notable/significant. Your argument would open Wikipedia to complete garbage on all articles as they'd devolve into nothing but long lists of trivial appearances in fiction. That's not how Wikipedia has been working and not how it should work. See WP:ENC and WP:NOT. DreamGuy (talk) 23:22, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
If Holmes had a long history of popping up in works, I'd probably agree with you. However, he isn't well known and this rare appearance in a modern series seems relevant to me. AniMatetalk 23:31, 1 January 2009 (UTC)

@Dreamguy: Not how Wikipedia has been working? Actually, in a lot of cases this is exactly how Wikipedia seems to work.

There is a further case upcoming: the final double episode of the BBC crime drama Waking the Dead - but in this case the Holmes reference is a central plank of the plot, not something tangential. --87.244.65.69 (talk) 17:33, 11 April 2011 (UTC)

The show in question to the initial comment is "Supernatural," I also found it odd that the reference seemed to be removed or not present in the first place. Then again, the above comment calling the reference tangential to the plot is also accurate. Holmes just happened to be the relevant character. Any serial killer with a similar MO could have served the show just as well. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 71.71.207.48 (talk) 03:14, 27 September 2013 (UTC)

Electrocution[edit]

In the section regarding the ills that befell other people involved in this, there is something about how an individual was electrocuted, as was his son, who survived. According to wikipedia, you cannot survive electrocution. By definition, it involves death, and to use it to refer to someone who receives an electric shock and lives is an error. 152.133.6.2 (talk) 04:20, 30 March 2009 (UTC)

compare death sentences to today to back then. electrocution needed much perfection during that time. electricity was just introduced to the public during the worlds fair, the months that hh holmes was committing his murders= djlee
Nonsense. To be "electrocuted" is to be subjected to an electric shock, which may or may not be fatal. Nick Cooper (talk) 15:02, 12 April 2011 (UTC)
http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/electrocute "Electrocute" is an invented word, "electro" (electricity) + "cute" (execute), so it literally means to kill by electricity. -Jacknstock (talk) 14:41, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

Copyright concerns[edit]

The Wikimedia Foundation has received a letter from an individual concerned that this article constitutes a copyright infringement of the film H. H. Holmes: America's First Serial Killer. The article has been blanked as this allegation is investigated. Contributors to the article who may have seen the film are requested to, please, help clarify this matter. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 17:47, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

There are several versions of this movie floating around. A quick search turns up at least two versions, one from years ago, and one more recently. The content differs largely between the two.Debollweevil (talk) 14:02, 29 July 2009 (UTC)
Hopefully this will soon be resolved. OTRS has responded to the letter-writer with a request for clarification. Without response to that request, the tag may have to be removed, as there was insufficient detail in the original note to determine precisely what material is in question. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 11:29, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

Copyright concerns unverifiable[edit]

At this point, we are unable to verify copyright concerns in this article. The letter-writer pointed out one sentence from the article that was problematic (not currently being able to put his hands on the suspected source): "He next appeared in Fort Worth, Texas, where he had inherited property from two railroad heiress sisters, one of whom he had promised marriage and both of whom he murdered." Evidence suggests that this sentence evolved naturally within Wikipedia. The phrase "one of whom he had promised marriage, and both of" entered the article in March 2008, building off of a pre-existing sentence which was established over several incremental edits in December 2007, see [3], [4]. Generally, when we see copyright infringement, it is added by the same person in one edit. At the moment, lacking strong indication of infringement, I am restoring the text. However, I have requested a copy of this film so that I can compare the two myself, and if other contributors find further evidence, it would be very helpful to bring the matter up for investigation again through the procedures at Wikipedia:Copyright problems. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 11:52, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

Well done. Sound reasoning. I will be looking forward to seeing your dispossition of the copyright claim. Hamster Sandwich (talk) 16:29, 31 July 2009 (UTC)


Considering comments on my talk page recently about the documentary maker allegedly having sentences in new works eerily similar to text in Wikipedia articles, it's more likely that the film in question is infringing upon the copyright of the this article and not the other way around. DreamGuy (talk) 18:52, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

Agree with Moonriddengirl's assessment. Additionally, I have been unable to find any reference to versions of the H.H. Holmes America's First Serial Killer other than the 2004 release. That film can be viewed here. A review finds there are no duplications between the film and the WP article. CactusWriter | needles 10:05, 5 August 2009 (UTC)

Trivial/nonnotable references[edit]

We keep running into this problem over and over. Some people really don't get that this is an encyclopedia and not a list of trivia.

A local band with the name The Castle is a Tomb is clearly not notable enough for mention in an article about a serial killer if the group itself isn't notable enough for its own article. This isn't an article about local bands, or how bands think up names, and so forth. It's about H.H. Holmes. Somebody making a name that may or may not be inspired in some obscure way by this topic is about as obvious an example of nonnotable trivia as you can get.

And much of the stuff already there probably shouldn't be there either under the "not a list of indiscrimate information" policy. DreamGuy (talk) 14:00, 3 September 2009 (UTC)

No, it is not "clearly not notable" -- it depends on what sources back up the claim. That's why it should be tagged and we should wait to see what sources appear (or do not). --Michael C. Price talk 14:03, 3 September 2009 (UTC)

I concur with DreamGuy; at the very least it should be incumbent upon the editor adding this entry to provide a reliable source that establishes this band's notability, particularly given that they do not appear to warrant their own article. Moreover, the lack of a reliable source means that we have no way of knowing whether this band really got the inspiration for their name from Holmes or from some other place entirely, such as (say) Elsinore Castle in Hamlet. Regardless, even if factual, the Holmes connection belongs in an article about the band, but not necessarily the other way around. Kevin Forsyth (talk) 16:20, 3 September 2009 (UTC)

Of course the lack of a reliable source is a problem. That's why we should tag it, not delete it.--Michael C. Price talk 17:19, 3 September 2009 (UTC)

THIS BLOWS —Preceding unsigned comment added by 204.185.144.211 (talk) 15:15, 3 December 2009 (UTC)

Fire of "mysterious" origin?[edit]

The article states that "A fire of mysterious origin consumed [the Castle] ..."

I find the word "mysterious" unencyclopedic: "unknown" would be better. "Mysterious" seems like a Penny dreadful word to me.

I don't know the circumstances, but unless a reliable source has stated some reason to believe that the fire was actually "mysterious", then the circumstances are merely "unknown".

Karl gregory jones (talk) 23:49, 17 December 2009 (UTC)


=makes sense, but can you blame the writer for getting carried away? writing on such dark topics brings out the "darker side" of yourself. using such vocabulary adds to the atmosphere.= dj lee

I found an article from the Milwaukee Journal of January 21, 1938 saying the castle was soon to be torn along with a current photograph of the building. I think the writer maybe got too carried away and neglected facts? The newspaper article is available on Google News Archive. PaulRaunette (talk) 23:10, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

In popular culture section[edit]

I am moving this section here..with the intent of me and others finding sources...it has been 2 years now that this tag has not been addresses..So instead of deleting it all ..We will have a copy here to work on pls help where possible. Moxy (talk) 03:57, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

In popular culture
  • "Murder Castle," the August 3, 1943 episode of the American radio horror show Lights Out, written by Arch Oboler, is directly inspired by the Holmes case.
  • The Robert Bloch novel American Gothic (1974) is a fictionalized account of the crimes perpetrated in Holmes' "Castle," but is grounded in the real facts of the case.
  • "The Scarlet Mansion", a 1985 novel by Allan W. Eckert, is based on the life of Mudgett.
  • The Beast of Chicago, a chapter in the 1987 graphic novel series A Treasury of Victorian Murder by Rick Geary, tells the Holmes story.
  • Caleb Carr's 1994 novel The Alienist has a protagonist whose grandmother has fixated on H.H. Holmes. She does not have a good night's sleep until he is hanged.
  • The Devil in the White City is a 2003 non-fiction book by Erik Larson that details the life of Holmes.
  • The White City (2004), a work of historical fiction by Alec Michod, depicts a serial killer fashioned after Holmes who preys upon children attending the 1893 World's Fair.
  • The second season episode "No Exit" (November 2, 2006) of the television series Supernatural features Holmes who, as a ghost haunting an apartment building on the lot where he was hanged, is responsible for the murders of several women who lived there. However, one of the photos of Holmes' victims featured in the episode is actually a photo of Elizabeth Stride, a victim of Jack the Ripper.[1]
  • The final double episode of Waking the Dead broadcast in April 2011 depicts a serial killer based in London who kidnaps homeless youths and tortures them to death in a remote hotel. The killer uses the name of H H Holmes and the connection with the original Holmes is explicitly referenced.

Spelling of Pietzel/Pitezel[edit]

Just finished The Devil in the White City, in which Erik Larson consistently gives "Pitezel" as the spelling of the surname of Holmes's accomplice; the Wikipedia article, as does the New York Times notice on Holmes's hanging (see reference at end of Wikipedia article), uses "Pietzel." It would be good to have an expert weigh in, but until then, I think someone should change the spelling to "Pitezel" to conform with Larson's authoritative account.

I have edited this many many times and never noticed that typo..you are 100 percent correct as per..




.............Moxy (talk) 21:15, 6 September 2010 (UTC)

up to 250 bodies[edit]

According to a book titled "The Serial Killer Files" by Harold Schechter on page 183 it specifically states "He confessed to twenty-seven murders, though authorities believed that the death count was closer to fifty."

Not 250. I would conclude that this statement is quite the exaggeration. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 76.178.88.153 (talk) 03:51, 28 July 2011 (UTC)

That doesn't look right....[edit]

At the bottom of the page, below the links in the "See Also" category, there is a sentence that looks extremely out of place. It reads:

"Rumor has it that Hollywood will be cashing in on the horrific Mr. Holmes , casting Leonardo DiCaprio in the role as the infamous serial killer ."

This seems irrelevant to the "See Also" section, and also is poorly written in my humble opinion. Could an editor look at this and correct it if necessary? 76.78.238.167 (talk) 19:01, 27 August 2011 (UTC)

Done. Thank you. --CutOffTies (talk) 19:11, 27 August 2011 (UTC)

Motivations[edit]

Hello,

Is there any information regarding its motivations for such killings ? Thank you, Killer Klown (talk) 21:18, 4 August 2012 (UTC)

Is the hotel verifible?[edit]

Is there any documentation on the hotel itself? Newspapers of the 1890 were notorious for sensationalism and outright fabrication. And none of the sources provide photographs, blueprints, or plans of the inside of the death castle -- nothing showing the alleged trapdoors, sliding walls, gas piping, furnaces, flues, or insulated walls, stuff that is not trivial to build even today and much more difficult back then. Only a photograph of the outside, which showed nothing odd. The hotel burned down in 1895 so, near as I can tell, there's no solid evidence any of that macabre stuff actually existed.

The article gives the Philadelphia Enquirer (sic) as a source but does not cite the issue. Another source cited is The Straight Dope. Much as I enjoy that column, it's hardly encyclopedic knowledge.

    Contemporary information I've been able to find regarding the 'Murder Castle' are jpg images, 
    located at http://www.fold3.com/image/#216160526, of the Chicago Tribune for August 18, 1895 entitled "Modern  
    Bluebeard." The Tribune states that the article is quoted from The New York World and is 'among the best of the reviews
    of the case.' (No date is provided for the NY World source.) "Modern Bluebeard" describes in detail the 
    interior of Holmes' building and what was found in it. A copy of the second-floor plan, and various sketches, e.g.   
    crematory can be found on other Holmes-related websites, but at least a few of these refer to the Chicago Tribune
    article. Lacking expertise regarding journalism of the 1890s, I am unable to state for certain whether or not this
    article was based on true facts and first-hand observation, or was an outright fabrication. It certainly seems like a
    factual account, however.  

JWMcCalvin (talk) 00:34, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

Conversion to Catholicism[edit]

In Eric Larsons book Holmes received last rites from a priest and was buried in a Catholic cemetery, This is the only source i have ever seen suggesting he converted to Catholicism. I believe that this area of his life should be written about in the article. Peppermintschnapps (talk) 05:16, 29 November 2012 (UTC)

Chicago and the "Murder Castle" chronology[edit]

How could Mrs Holmes be a grieving widow before her husband died? She was distressed because her husband was ill. This chronology needs to be cleaned up. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 75.210.176.129 (talk) 16:25, 1 February 2013 (UTC)

Documentary[edit]

The entry about Jeff Mudgett and his book should be deleted. It is neither a documentary, nor a biography. It's just a vanity-printed book with speculation and wild claims, with little or no value as a reliable source. It's good advertising for Jeff Mudgett atrociously bad writing and self-serving fantasy, but there is nothing in it that belongs in an encyclopedia. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 66.19.202.3 (talk) 19:52, 7 June 2014 (UTC)

  1. ^ "Supernatural" No Exit (2006). Internet Movie Database. Retrieved September 12, 2009.