« Stuff You Missed in History Class

H.H. Holmes and the Mysteries of Murder Castle, Part 1

2012-01-23 | 🔗

As a student, Herman W. Mudgett used corpses to commit insurance fraud. In 1886, he moved to Chicago under the alias H.H. Holmes. In 1888, Holmes started constructing a building with secret passageways and an airtight vault. So, what was it for?

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
We are going to ITALY after the success of last year's trips of Paris. We are planning another similar trip still with defined destinations this time to Rome and Florence. Yet we are going to spend a week exploring some amazing things were going to have city tours of both roman Florence, we're going to see the Roman Colosseum, the Vatican Museum in the Sistine Chapel Saint Petersburg, silica Vatican City. This is just a tiny fraction of all the stuff we're gonna get to do, get its May fourteen to twenty first, twenty twenty and to get more information, go to define, destinations, dot, com and skill.
Now to the roman foreign strip with stuffy Missin history glass. I just realized that the first letter of every line of this region spells help me. It seems, like everyone's acrylic, these days blessing the world with our slightest opinions on our own many platforms, I'm scotch benefits, and I break this February. Tenth guns, citizen critic, a new podcast, where we predict the critics and review the reviews of your favorite movies, music television, toasters, toiletries in paint, colors, listen to citizens, critic on the eye, heart, radio, an apple pie, guests or wherever you get. Your bike casts welcome to stuff. You missed in history class from housetop dot com,
eleven lock into the pot cast I'm going to talk about it and I'm fair daddy, and this episode is about a character who almost needs really. No introduction is one of our most requested topics and probably The most gruesome stories that ever gets requested. It gets requesting around hallowing a lot a lot. Well, yes, especially this hollowing, because we did well done us which are sort of a similar tar life story. You so I'm talking about each homes whose crimes and murderous exploits were featured and Eric Larsson, the best selling book double in the white City, which is kind of a chronicle of what was not in Chicago at the end of the nineteenth century, particularly as it pertain to the eighteen the three worlds colombian exposition, also known as the Chicago worlds. Fair. The time of the it's fair is often thought over. The kind is kind of the height of homes, criminal activity, which is why he fits into that story and he's also often called him
his first serial killer. Although we now know from previous pied CAS that others, like Thou gunners, may have been close on his heels, but I think what s really interesting about the whole story, isn't that the bone, filling gruesome nature of his crime. That's how he, how he really pull them off. I mean that's what interests Youtube to be an absolutely. I mean when you learn his story, find yourself asking over and over again, how did he not caught? Why did people fall for his schemes and fall into? the traps that he sat and why didn't more people report all of this suspicions? They were feeling exactly kind of similar to the belgian, a story in that way, because they think you sort of ask yourself this kind of questions whenever you, how did it get so far? ass, an there's some ideas about why he was able to get so far literally get away with murder for so long and will take a look at those, as we tell the story of his crime spree and the sword
house of horrors that he built in Chicago in late eighteen hundred, which came to be known as murder castle, but first we're gonna, take a look at his early days and take a look a little bit about what the childhood of a serial killers like their homes, was born Herman W much it may sixtieth. Eighteen sixty wine in Gilman Ten, which was a small farming village in New Hampshire. He had a brother and sister and his father Levi with a farmer and opposed master. His mother was a very religious woman and both parents were devout Methodists, but the father was
especially strict, and he doled out harsh punishment for even minor with Miss behaviour and his children. Consequently, little Herman much, it was beaten, quite ally as a child, and according to a history magazine article by Phil Jones much it's father would even use kerosene vapor on the children, sometimes to make them be quiet when they were being too noisy. as a child legit spent a lot of time on his own inventing things like a win. Howard device to scare birds off his family farm alike, sources also suggest that another early pass some of his was experimenting on animals, both dead and alive, which of course, basically amounted to torture. Though larceny book suggests that this might have just been speculation on the part of researchers. His only childhood friend with Name Tom, who died in a fall when they were playing in an abandoned house obvious,
This was considered an accident at the time, but after learning, what you're about to nurture the spied cast, it might seem more alike much livers victims with Fisher, yellow, much graduated from squad aged. Sixteen and initially went to work at the teacher in New Hampshire and while he was teaching, he met a woman named Clara. A lover who he just totally won over with his charm and not something important to consider for these podcast here. The sort of power he had over women is really a recurring theme. Throughout this story. They found him very good. Looking. Of course, he had dark brown, hair and blue eyes, and a thick must Ash popular at the time, but his manner to was charming. He with affectionate he had a way of making them feel like they were really the only women in the world and so he'd get close to them and not
storm, not just in the late charming that kind of way, you'd actually touch them in that wasn't exactly appropriate at the time, but instead of being offended by this, Savior a lot of women who he met seemed excited by it. Here I mean it We ve all met someone like that that person who to sort of really on every word, you say, may be touches your arm when you're having a bad day, you're telling about it and just kind of makes. You feel like you're the only person, the world or potentially creep the our dependency easily creeps you I, how far they take the area and guests. Depending on how observed to you are I mean I can see. I can see him crossing that line with with some people you didn't crystalline too much a lot of women were taken with Herman Budget and clearer married on July. Fourth, eighteen. Seventy eight when budget was about eating years old and they one child together, a son, but it didn't take long
for the romance here to die out. Legit started going away for long periods of time and then finally just laughed even though the two were still legally married, then budget decided wanted to study medicine, and so we went to college at age nineteen. He started at the University of Vermont and Burlington, where, according to Jones article, he paid tuition with Claire's inheritance. So we see maybe a motive for marrying her in the first place here, but after about a year, he transferred to the University of Michigan Medical School and Ann Arbor, which was according to license book known for its emphasis on dissection, whom picking a program that fit wrong fit so much. It wasn't remembered as an especially stellar student thou, might have been because his mind was occupied by a lot of other things, one of which was making money so according you an article in biography by David Goldman. It was while he was at the University of Michigan that much it took his first stab at insurance fraud, though he
steel cadavers from the anatomy lab at school and then disfigure them so that they can be recognised. Then he would take out insurance policies on the cadavers setting them up as some kind of fictional family member, then of course, naming himself as the beneficiary and then he'd stage these accidents in various locations to make it look like the cause of the accident caused the cadavers death and then he'd collect on the insurance policy and get the cash after leaving college, and there is actually some question I think about whether he actually graduated or not, some sort they ask, others say that he was expelled when his cadaver stealing was discovered, but after he left much, it travelled to various studies for the next six years, basically scamming people wherever he went, trying to make a buck. However, he could even if it
down the skipping out on lodging bills. Without paying I mean he was really trying to get out of paying every last dollar if he could in Philadelphia when he was working. Marriage child died after taking medicine from drug store that he worked out, so he fled the city soon after the by Eighteen, eighty six much it had landed in Chicago and went through with very started looking for a job in a suburb of growing supper of Inglewood which, with south of Chicago and since he had had that whole issue with the child dying from the medicine, he changed his name. He fair going by the alias each each homes and went into a drugstore that and by an elderly woman named Houghton, asking if she needed anybody to help. In her sorrow. Basically, he told her his credentials, which seem pretty impressive, and he used that same magnetic charm we talked about earlier, that he
he's on young women when he was flirting with them and Missus Horton ended up opening ought to have been a telling him that her husband, who lived with her in the apartment upstairs was very ill. He was dying. She really needed. Somebody like I'm, still come in and help her out at the store, hey listeners. I wanted to tell you about a new podcast from my heart radio called the women whose by rose red, it is fascinating and deep dive interview show, where rose talks, to change makers in disruptors, and she finds out what really drives them, so she will, speech of that. What was your first stand and how do you navigate success and failure and really the cost of fighting for others. These interviews are really personal and their candid answer those there a little bit crass, but they are always really enlightening. You can lose these firebrands, and take away lessons that will help you navigate your own life and for your own path. The Davy season includes women like Valerie, Plain, the former CIA agents, who is now running for Congress and
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according to both Jones and Goldman articles, vow homes eventually stopped making these payments and Missus Horton filed a lawsuit against him before it could go very far, though she just disappeared, loyal castrating. This lady has been an institute in this neighborhood for awhile, loyal customers started asking: where is Mister Thornton and homes, just told them that she'd gun California visiting a relative and then well? Lo and behold, she decided to stay in California to move there, but he couldn't give them any kind of forwarding address Meanwhile, though, homes was proving a bit of an institution himself. He built up a following people, especially female customers, really liked this charge young single doctor who had taken over the drugstore and with running a pretty successful business so not long after buying the store home started a courtship with murder Belkin up who he'd met before when he was living in Minneapolis for a little while he drew
her in without charm that we keep mentioning and with the lure of the big city of Chicago, I mean to a girl. I guess the mania. This wasn't as hot AIR ticket Chicago was at the time, so she was really attracted to the idea of living here and the big still any new intriguing handsome man. They got married on January, twenty, eighth, eighteen, eighty, cabin and, of course, tell her that he was already married to somebody else under a different name, but apparently he did try at this time to petition for divorce. He filed a petition with the soup, court of Cook County Illinois, claiming that is, first wife had been unfaithful, so he was gonna only destroy her reputation in the process, but he never followed up on that petitions. That was eventually dismissed meanwhile, murder did come to Chicago and lived and worked in the store with home than at first everything with ok themed, but she started to get jealous of the way the female customers flirted with homes. They would, for instance, often asked
for him. Specifically and eventually, murder became more possessive and also pregnant, and so homes asked her to manage the sword spots got her out of the store and upstairs into the office all day in an interesting. I seen the way this described it. It's not the is, though he was angry with her for being possessive. He just Her is kind of an obstacle Hannah. What you are trying to do exactly so. She was unhappy being stuck up in his office and ended up going to live with her parents and Wilmot Illinois, where her daughter, which she had her daughter with homes, Lucy and homes, with something visit them and bring money for them and gifts to his daughter, and he even play with his daughter, Lucy and seem to do
on her. While he was there when he was there, he seems like the perfect husband, that's how he acted, but his visit started to become few and far between. So by this point, home a budget had abandoned to families and he was running this booming business, and that was clearly the foremost thing. On his mind, though, in the summer of eighteen, eighty eight thinking about expanding business even more, he bought a whole block of land across the street. At the intersection of sixty three and Wallace in Angola, which was undeveloped, display, and he started sketch out some ideas for a new building that he wanted to put everything to be a mixed views, development, especially what people call it now, but he had some.
Range ideas about how you gonna build it fatally. He did, and we should mention why he was designing this place himself, why he was doing the sketching. He didn't want to work with an architect, because then he would have to reveal all of the secrets of the structure and its intended purpose is very mixed. Youth, if you think about indeed end he needed to avoid this situation at all costs to redesign the whole thing himself and the plans for the first floor to have retail and the second and third floor to have apartments, and that would include homes own flat and his office, which would be in a corner of the second floor and the apartments he was planning want, exactly normal apartments either. No, they weren't normal. In fact, they were really creepy and weird. He planned, for example, to have a secret, wouldn't shoot that would stretch from the second floor to the basement, but then usually not like a laundry shoot or trash you
just how do you plan to oil the shoe to that's weird? He also wanted another room fitted with a large walk in air tight mauled that had asbestos iron wall. Some of the rooms were also designed to be window last and had, and have gas jet installed, the controls to which were to be in homes office. There were also plans for a stair case or several hidden staircases and passageways, and the law The purpose is very mixed. Youth, if you think of indeed end he needed to avoid this situation at all. Costs will be designed the whole thing himself and the plan was for the first floor to have retail shops and the second and third floor to have apartments, and that would include homes own flat and his office, which would be in a corner of the second floor and the apartments,
The kick staircases shoots airtight involves all of that, putting it together, gas jazz make them assumption. So he wanted to keep all of these suspicious details as secret as possible, though he addressed this problem, just as he had acted like his own architect. He acted as his own contractor and hired lots of different carpenters and other workmen to come in and build little parts of the structure just by putting ads in the paper for four guys come help him out, but when the workers would come to collect their pay after thing. Whatever small project they were involved in he'd act like he was displeased than tell them. They had done a bad job, even if their work was fine and fire them on the spot. Ironically, fulfilled another demand of homes, which was penny pinching. It did
help them save money and he was able to continuously cycle through different workers so that no one person knew the way out of the entire things that one person would maybe install part of a gas jet something and then be fired, and a person would maybe start the wooden shoot, and yet a third person would finish it or something I mean, and I think this is the first part where the prize with me that word didn't get out, not so much that this is really strange construction project that's going on, but that don't go work for a doctor homes because he never pays of worker, yeah. It is surprising that word never got out. I guess was the advantage of hiring individual rights workers rather than going with a company or a group. I suppose, though, but also he's supposedly, would test certain workers and asked them to do these really deplorable things for extra. Yes in his book Larsson mentions a particular bricklayer named George Bowman, for example. Homes apparently
pointed out a man to bomb once and asked him to draw up a stone on the man's head for fifty dollars. Said the man was his brother in law and that they didn't get along, and that was sort of his reasoning for asking Bowman to do this island. We have some exciting news yeah? I am wildly excited and people will have another opportunity to watch. We cry at art, yeah you set out its so called at its though not a calm situation at all. Our trip to Paris last year was really successful, so we're doing another similar trip this year, but this time to Roman Florence, its May fourteen through twenty first twenty twenty and like last time, it is with a company
defined destinations. Who is planning out this ultra for us yeah and during the week long trip. We are gonna, see some of the great art that we have talked about on the show many times, including Michelangelo's David. We are going to go to Tuscany, we're gonna visit, say Peters Basilica. We are going to the Sistine Chapel, so it's going to be a fantastic trip, even get the whole list of places that we are going and information about, looking at defined, destinations, dot, com, scroll down to the roman foreign strip of stuffy, Miss than history glass or come over to our social media. We have posts about or to tie and Bobby Brown welcomes my podcast rearmament eating a new cell from I hurt radio probably know me as the founder of the cosmetics company, but I walked away in two thousand and sixteen and boy have I learned a lot. I've learned how to build a business huddled
business how to take chances at a dive in and just try things, and I'm constantly trying to figure out how to keep myself healthier and should live a better life. But you know what I still have a lot of questions so we re sitting down with different people each week that I think we can all learn from creators of some of the most successful businesses and brands today biggest names and beauty, doctors and health. birds I admire my own family, listen to beyond the beauty and the I hurt radio apple podcast or ever you get your vodkas, so also possible. Of course I mean we're not sure it might have been that homes, insurance policy on the brother in law. The supposed you know quote and quote brother in law, but it might have just been a test as we mentioned, but Bowman. Ultimately, he didn't do. It
and he left the job soon after, but he was really crept out by the situation, but again didn't go. Tell anyone about it. There were a few guys, though, who passed these weird task that homes with that up and over time they became his accomplices, one with a meaning, Patrick Quinlan, who ultimately became the caretaker of the murderer house. Another was Benjamin. thought who was a carpenter who homes once posted bail far and he becomes pretty important later in the star in the second and third One disadvantage to working this way to working rotating through work. as I gasped and never working with the same crew for the of extended period of time was that it just really slow. The whole building process was really slow, so homes building two years to complete it was fun. they done and about may have. Eighteen. Ninety and homes sold his drugs for across the street and he apparent
hold the new owner the person you bought it that he wouldn t worry much about competition in the area and pray you seem to me. Don't worry. I won't reopened my drugstore yesterday. Of course, then he went across the street, use new building and immediately opened another drug store. So I guess the joke was on the new guy so open. Several other businesses on the buildings first floor, including a restaurant in a barber shop, but we're gonna Ferguson on all of those apartment for the second and the third floors of homes. This building how about seventy rooms initially. But then, as talk of the eighteen, eighty three worlds, Fair started to heat up homes decided that he wanted it in his building into a kind of a hotel for the fair, and the fair at that point was set to be located conveniently down the street, from homes with building so perfect location, making a strange, though, from apartments to a world.
Fair had would not only allow him to get a better fire insurance policy, no homes, always after the best insurance deal, but it would also attract more clients. Tuesday, So in eighteen anyone acting again as his own architect, he planned the necessary adjustments and with his usual method of rotating through workers. So no one person would really catch on to the overall plan what he was doing, but even though he was still managing to keep his labour costs low by constantly firing workers, he still did some more cash. You get his project completed, so he took advantage of visiting his second wife who still living in war, met with her parents when her rich uncle Jonathan Bulk Nap comes to visit, wow nap. Is their homes comes and he brings gifts for everyone, and he makes this big show of being a great husband. Even though, of course, we know the teeth and absentee husband, volcanic was initially suspicion
of homes because he knew he and murder had had a rocky relationship, but over the course of a few days, homes, we managed to win him over. A bat so in homes, later ass. Ten, to endorse a note for two thousand, two hundred dollars which he claimed he used toward a new house for him and murder. Darkness complied, I mean he looks at it. He thinks hey. Maybe them living together in their own house will be a good thing for their marriage. Will help only got its act together, ass obsolescent planning on building a house, though in case you didn't get that he went back to Angola and forged falconer signature on a second note to put to you construction of this new hotel, and not long after that. He asked Uncle belt nap himself to come. Visit angle, widened thieves building and both that couldn't quite put his finger on. Why? But he was really wary about
Holmes his offer. For some reason he didn't want to offend him or offend his niece, though so he agreed to to go ahead and and visit the new place once he arrived. He got this full tour from homes of all the shots on the first floor, and then the rooms upstairs Vulcan up didn't We have a great impression of the whole thing. He thought it was gloomy and weird, which is a sense that will also get from others who visit this place later. Finally, though, homes invited bulk nap to go on the roof of the building and felt that just at this point did not Oh God, about this offer at all. Here I mean part of it, as he just doesn't really like home still, even though he wants to try for the sake of his knees, but he also thinks the situation is restrain. She are getting stranger by the minute. So he makes an excuse saying that he's too old to take on that a number of steps in homes just
trying low and trying to convince some bragging about the view up there and so forth and time, and you can check out the construction better from their about Belkin up, wouldn't budge then homes invited Vulcan out to spend the night. He didn't want to do that either he finally agreed with them, though, just because he figured I'm refusing so much. I'm really gonna offend him at this point. So to keep things This sort of you know go Bailey exactly. He decides. Ok, I'll stay the night so that night after shows him to his room on the second floor, they'll clout locked the door. He still has that sort of uneasy feeling after what happens later on. We find out that he'll be really glad that he did that tonnes So that's it for part one of this podcast, but next time, of course, we're gonna see what happens with Belkin Upstate, but of course, wanna check out some more details, also on homes reign of terror. During the world's fair, his eventual flight from cargo and we're going
just how he alternately gets caught because an interesting story in itself and the fate of the murder capital to offer oh yeah, I mean the murder castle is like a character in itself whole story, so we warn absolutely find out what happens with them and told them, though, you'll have to enjoy some listener. Mail so even often postcard here frame, listener, Lorna and she says they're into Billina. I adore your podcast and it came in handy on my recent trip to Prague, where I came upon the Grave Chico bra, hey thanks to you, reaches those able to provide my friends with tales of his drunk moose as well as its metal knows privacy. She says: has relief, has a line at the news to mark the prosthetic. He got the great work, all the best for her postcard at thy Father. his monument and I think the Billina and I looked pretty closely I see the line but something you have to be there.
here have been staring at her while and now I feel like. I can see it, but I am I really just making it up in my head yeah. Maybe maybe we should look around the office for a magnifying glass If we can tell check it out, I trust Laana fell. Thank you wanna, and that's it. That's another good fact: France, now about ticker, that the nose is even on his tomb, indeed, and if you want to share any details of your own time with other Sanderson ideas for future pod calf. right asked where History Podcasting House, two weeks dot com, where you can also find us on Facebook or on Twitter. It must in history If you want to learn more about other, can creepy houses potentially put houses, they don't have to be murder. Council, we you have an article on eccentric homes with hidden passageways vote, be sure to check that out by searching for censure cones with hidden passageways Honour Homepage, W W W Thou hast upwards.
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