- Also check our best rated Biography reviews
Depraved: The Shocking True Story of America's First Serial Killer Hardcover – 1 Sep 1994
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
This is "must" read for crime buffs!
"The Boston Book Review"
An astonishing piece of popular history.
author of "The Alienist"
"The Boston Book Review" An astonishing piece of popular history.
Caleb Carr author of "The Alienist" Riveting....Brilliantly detailed....Amazing.
Ann Rule This is "must" read for crime buffs! --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
About the Author
Harold Schechter is Professor at Queen's College, The City University of New York. Renowned for his true-crime writing, he is the author of five non-fiction books: BESTIAL, DEVIANT, DERANGED, DEPRAVED and THE A TO Z ENCYCLOPEDIA OF SERIAL KILLERS. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
Top Customer Reviews
Born Herman Webster Mudgett, the alias H.H. Holmes would become famous worldwide for being not only the architect of the infamous "Castle of Horror", but also as an evil genius, who posed amongst others as a doctor and an inventor. His macabre story is covered in mesmerising detail, and together with Schechter's writing style, will definetly keep you avidly turning the pages. Holmes, eventually, was brought to ground by an insurance scam that went awry, and the true horror of his dwelling abode and murderous career was revealed.
Praise must once again be bestowed on Harold Schechter, for his name not only represents pure quality, but guarantees it. Any true crime buff should have a copy of this book and also "Deranged" (Albert Fish) and Deviant (Ed Gein) amongst their collection.
And could the Victorians have imagined our salacious, dishonest media concentrating sex and horror in an ever-quickening race to stimulate the public's jaded appetite? Yes, because they had that kind of media too, all the way from sensationalist newspapers to quickie paperbacks brought out to cash in on a currently notorious trial.
Like the trial described in this book, that of Herman Webster Mudgett, alias Henry Howard Holmes, a Chicago doctor, chemist, and fraudster whom this book describes as America's first serial killer. First *known* serial killer, maybe, but disputes over his claim to priority aside, Holmes is certainly one of the most interesting entries in an ever-growing list, and this book, rarely in the true-crime genre, doesn't let an interesting subject go to waste. Brought down by a life-insurance scam that went wrong, Holmes became the center of world-wide attention when the true nature of his giant, jerry-built boarding-house in Chicago was uncovered by police searches. It had been a kind of killing factory, with concealed gas-pipes, peep-holes, trap-doors, and chutes guaranteeing Holmes a steady supply of victims for a sinister cellar complete with dissecting-table, surgical instruments, and furnace.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
I read a lot of true crime books, as well as books of all sorts--history, fiction, classic fiction, mysteries, sci fi, fantasy, nonfiction, etc. I'm an English teacher and book devourer, and do not often write reviews.
Harold Schechter is my favorite author these days and this book is why.
He talks about the serial killer H. H. Holmes and details what this monster did. Even though I knew who the killer was - I'd watched a documentary with Harold Schechter explaining what Holmes had manufactured, so I knew, I thought, everything about him - I was STILL constantly surprised by the revelations of this book! That is all because of the details that Schechter tediously supplied. Yet the read was not filled with meaningless clutter; every detailed added something to the overall tale.
Holmes was, of course, a serial killer with an appetite for pretty women and money. He built a haphazard castle to carry out his deeds with as little outside knowledge as possible. The building served its horrific purpose. But the book covers more than just the gore. It covers Holmes's upbringing and defines what makes a psychopath.
I cannot clearly define how Schechter makes the reader understand the gravity of serial murder, but he always does. You are magnetically pulled back to bygone eras as you delve into the lives and minds of the long deceased and often forgotten VICTIMS of serial murderers. Though you know who the killer is and what he will do, Schechter walks you through the moments of sobriety on the evening of the murder where, more often than you'd think, the killer and his victim share their last dinner together. You understand the loss of the parents that search for their lost child - no matter their child's age. And then you see the callousness of the killer who may greet the loved ones of those he just murdered.
It is a study of humanity, the study of serial murder. It is a look into the unthinkable. And if you can stare the unthinkable in the face like the many police profilers of our day, then you may be able to prevent its proliferation in the future.
A must read for any true crime enthusiast!!!
Over all, it's a good overview of H.H. Holmes, his crimes, and his victims. It's a lot of great info, but just a little rough getting to it.
If you like true crime....BUY THIS BOOK. It will fascinate you!