DEAD: H. H. Holmes

DEAD: ON THIS DATE

H. H. Holmes (aged 34)
American serial killer

Herman Webster Mudgett (May 16, 1861 – May 7, 1896), better known as Dr. Henry Howard Holmes, or more commonly, as H. H. Holmes, was an American serial killer. While he confessed to 27 murders,only nine could be plausibly confirmed and several of the people he claimed to have murdered were still alive. He is said to have killed as many as 200, though this figure is only traceable to 1940s pulp magazines. Many victims were said to have been killed in a mixed-use building which he owned, located about 3 miles (5 km) west of the 1893 World’s Fair: Columbian Exposition, supposedly called the World’s Fair Hotel (informally called “The Murder Hotel”), though evidence suggests the hotel portion was never truly open for business.

DEATH: On May 7, 1896, Holmes was hanged at Moyamensing Prison, also known as the Philadelphia County Prison, for the murder of Pitezel. Until the moment of his death, Holmes remained calm and amiable, showing very few signs of fear, anxiety or depression. Despite this, he asked for his coffin to be contained in cement and buried 10 feet deep, because he was concerned grave robbers would steal his body and use it for dissection. Holmes’ neck did not snap; he instead was strangled to death slowly, twitching for over 15 minutes before being pronounced dead 20 minutes after the trap had been sprung.

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