Last Year's Lesson: H.H. Holmes Arrested - Nov. 17, 1894
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Welcome to this day in history class from how stuff works dot Com and from the desk of stuff you missed in history St Class. It's the show where we explore the past one day at a time with a quick look at what happened today in history. Hello and welcome to the PODCAST. I'm Tracy Wilson in its November seventeenth H H Holmes was arrested on to stay in eighteen. Ninety four you he probably have heard of H H Holmes. He was the one with the murder castle. Sometimes he's described as being the first serial killer in the United States but really the same could be said of other killers as well he was born Herman. W Budget in New Hampshire on May sixteenth eighteen sixty one. His parents parents were very strict and in many ways abusive and his only childhood friend. A boy named Tom died in a fall while they were playing in an abandoned house. At the time this was determined to be an accident but there are people who think this might have been his first victim he got married in eighteen eighteen. Seventy eight although he eventually left his wife but say to legally married and he started studying medicine at the University of Vermont when he was nineteen. He was not a great great students and medical school but he did start up some crime while he was there. He started using the school's cadavers to commit insurance fraud he would take out insurance policies on them as though they were his family members and then stage fake accidents with their bodies to collect on it. It's not totally clear whether he graduated from medical school or not but a child died after getting medicine from the drug store where he worked so he left and went to Chicago uh-huh and that is where he started going by the name H H Holmes. He took over a drugstore in Chicago. That was owned by Mrs Houghton. He bought it from her after her husband has been died except he got the money to buy the drugstore by mortgaging what was in the drugstore before he actually owned it. He also stopped making payments on his purchase of the store and Mrs Houghton sued him before mysteriously disappearing. He told other people that she moved but couldn't give a forwarding address. He got married again in eighteen. Eighty seven even though he was still married from before and his new wife eventually left him to give birth to their daughter staying with her parents. After the baby was born in eighteen eighty eight herman budget now known as h h Holmes bought some land and started a building his murder castle he was making it to be a very good place to murder people. There were secrets shoots that went into the basement. An airtight volts windowless rooms with gas jets in them with the controls to the gas jets being in his office. There were also hidden passages and to cover up what he was doing. Because this would probably seem really suspicious if you were the lead contractor on this project. He worked with a whole rotating series of carpenters and contractors and he fired them one after the other so that no one person had a total sense of what this whole structure was going to be like. He finished the murder castle in May of eighteen. Ninety and at that point people were starting to get excited for the eighteen ninety three Chicago world's fair so in anticipation of that he re outfitted his murder castle to be a hotel while continuing to also run the drugstore. The hotel opened long before the world's fair arrived and many of his employees a a lot of them. Young Women started mysteriously disappearing. There was also a series of women that he courted and in some cases became engaged to who also disappeared so did a woman named Julia Connor. He was estranged wife of a man that Holmes agreed to sell the drug store to and when she disappeared she she was pregnant then during the actual world's fair he started selectively allowing women to stay in the hotel when a man came to rent a room he I would say they were all booked up but when a woman came there was a room available for her by this point though he had started to get the attention of the authorities. Some of this was because creditors this had brought up the fact that he had not paid them their money back. Also the families of these missing women had said hey they were working for the sky named H H Holmes. He set fire to the building hoping to collect insurance but failed he fled Chicago. He spent some time in jail for fraud and while he was in jail he confessed some of his frauds who another prisoner after his release that prisoner alerted Fidelity Mutual Life Insurance Company about homes as Crimes Times because homes was supposed to pay him five hundred dollars and did not do it so when Holmes was finally arrested on Seventeenth of eighteen ninety four it was for insurance fraud not murder he was finally connected to some of these murders. Though after he was arrested he was put on trial he was hanged on May seventh of of eighteen. Ninety six there are though folks who insisted that he faked his own death and that someone else was buried in his grave DNA tests have since concluded included though that those remains really did belong to him we do not know his total death. Count in part because the murder castle was destroyed in a mysterious fire on August nineteenth. Eighteen eighty five. You can learn more about all this on the January twenty third and twenty fifth. Twenty twelve episodes stuffy missed in history class thanks to Casey Pilgrim Chandler as for their audio work on the show and you can subscribe to the stay in history class on apple podcast. Google podcast forever L.. To get your podcasts. And you can tune in tomorrow morrow for a landmark in the world of fell. That's all for now but remember if too much. True crime has used seeking a nice comforting nap shop at mattress firm where you can feel next level comfort from tempurpedic beds get three hundred dollars bonus ernest cash good towards sleep accessories today visit mattress firm dot com slash tempurpedic for details.