Murder Castle Facts

Murder Castle Facts
The "Murder Castle" refers to the business owned and operated by American serial killer Henry Howard (H.H.) Holmes at the corner of South Wallace Avenue and 63rd Street in Chicago, Illinois. Holmes bought the vacant lot at the corner and began construction of the three level, 100 room building in 1887 and was completed in 1892 in time for the World's Columbian Exposition/Chicago World Fair in 1893. Holmes, whose real name was Herman Webster Mudgett, opened a drugstore and planned to rent to other businesses on the ground floor, but the top two levels was to be apartments and rooms, but it was really a house of horrors where he murdered people for money. The second floor had stairwells that went nowhere, airtight rooms that could be filled with deadly gas, and chute where bodies could be dropped to the basement. Once the bodies were sent to the basement, Holmes would dissect the bodies and sell the organs and skeletons on the black market; what he didn't use he disposed of in either vats of acid or cremated. Due to numerous cons Holmes had been running, not murders, the police came and investigated in 1894. Holmes then went on the run for several months, murdering several more people, before he was finally arrested in Boston on November 17, 1894. Holmes was tried, convicted, and executed by hanging in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on May 7, 1896.
Interesting Murder Castle Facts:
Holmes was confirmed to have killed nine people, but may have murdered up to 200.
Although Holmes was certainly a serial killer, and one of the earliest recorded, he was not driven by lust or sadism. Most of the murders he committed were either for financial gain or to silence a witness.
Holmes was born in Gilmanton, New Hampshire on May 16, 1861.
Holmes was married three times but never divorced. He would merely change his identity and start another family when he grew bored or was arrested for his latest con.
The Murder Castle had rooms with hinged walls and false partitions.
Some of the rooms of the Murder Castle were lined with iron to eliminate all sound.
Holmes actually lived in the Murder Castle. He had the building rigged with alarms to let him know if one of his victims was attempting to escape. There was also a trapdoor in his bathroom that led to a windowless room.
Many believe Holmes began killing before he arrived in Chicago. He was the last person seen with a little boy in New York in 1884.
The building was demolished in 1938. The post office for the Englewood neighborhood was built on the site of the former Murder Castle.

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