Infamous con artist and serial killer H.H. Holmes was born Herman Webster Mudgett on May 16, 1861, in Gilmanton, New Hampshire. Sometimes referred as the “Beast of Chicago,” H.H. Holmes killed many of the city’s inhabitants in his specially constructed home, which was later nicknamed the “Murder Castle.” He has also been linked to deaths in other parts of the United States and Canada.
Born to an affluent family, Holmes had a privileged childhood. It has been said that he appeared to be unusually intelligent at an early age. Still there were haunting signs of what was to come. He expressed an interest in medicine, which reportedly led him to practice surgery on animals. Some accounts indicate that he may have been responsible for the death of a friend.
Holmes’s life of crime began with various frauds and scams. As a medical student at the University of Michigan, he stole corpses, which he used to make false insurance claims. Holmes may have used the bodies for experiments, as well.
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