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1930s & Earlier / The Beast of Chicago - 19th Century Serial Killer
Outwardly mild H.H. Holmes was actually a brutal and ruthless nineteenth-century serial killer who rightfully earned the moniker 'The Beast of Chicago.' From 1888 to 1894 Holmes killed a minimum of 27 victims and perhaps more than 200. In 1886 Holmes began working at a drugstore at the corner of South Wallace and West 63rd Street in Chicago. He eventually became the proprietor after the former owner mysteriously disappeared. The drugstore did quite well, and Holmes — who became known as Dr. Holmes — used the profits to build himself a three-story tall, city-block long, home across the street. It was Holmes' 'murder castle.'--equipped with acid vats, trap doors, secret entrances, and gas chambers. Holmes lured people to the castle, killed them, and sold their skeletons to medical professionals. He was eventually hanged, but not before being convicted of 27 murders, and suspected of at least 173 more. Erik Larson’s award-winning 2003 book, The Devil in the White City, told Holmes’ twisted tale so well that Leonardo DiCaprio purchased the rights to the film; he’s expected to play Holmes.