There are some who claim Herman Mudgett (a.k.a. H. H. Holmes) was Jack the Ripper. While some of the facts support the theory, many do not. No one can know the extent of Holmes crimes, but his own words and those of contemporary reporters provide a unique view into the mind of the man who is probably the most prolific serial killer of all time. While Holmes admitted to 27 murders, the number is likely far higher.
During the World's Columbian Exposition in 1893 (frequently referred to as the Chicago World's Fair), a Holmes ran a hotel filled with secret rooms and traps made to murder his guests. Soundproof rooms allowed him to torture and kill both his guests and his lovers.
After his arrest, H.H. Holmes wrote two confessions. In the first confession, he admits that he is a swindler but insists he is not a murderer. In the second, after his conviction, he admits to murdering 27 people. For the first time in the 21st century, both confessions are now available to readers everywhere.
The confessions have been painstakingly transcribed for all to see the devious nature of this monster. It is unknown how many people Holmes killed in his murder hotel in Chicago. The detectives who searched the horror chambers were unable to get a true body count because Holmes had installed lime pits to dissolve the bodies. Some place the number of murders attributed to Holmes as high as 200.
The book now includes another book written shortly after the trial and execution of Holmes: Holmes, the Arch Fiend Or: A Carnival of Crime; The Life, Trial, Confession and Execution of H. H. Holmes. This book provides a narrative that is not covered in the other texts, including possible conversations between Holmes and his victims.
A fourth book has been added to this series: The Holmes Castle. This contemporary account, written in 1895 prior to Holmes execution, describes more of the atrocities of Holmes and provides new names of people who simply disappeared after contacting Holmes.