Sunday, January 8, 2012

Serial Killer Sunday

I admit to having a certain fascination with serial killers, both actual and fictional, and so I've decided to indulge that interest in these pages on certain Sundays, and share it with you all. I just learned today that plans are under way to film The Devil in the White City, and to place Leonardo di Caprio in the leading role of H.H. Holmes. Rather karmic for me, having utilized Mr. Di Caprio's name in one of my stories - Leonardo di Caprio is a Vampire. My interest was doubly piqued as I was already familiar with the story of H.H. Holmes, so I'lll start with him as the first serial killer that I intend to look at.

H.H. Holmes was born Herman Webster Mudgett in 1861, moving from his native New Hampshire to Chicago, Illinois, to the suburb of Englewood. He became involved in a drug store there, and when the owner died, he ingratiated himself to his widow. She disappeared. He bought the lot across the street and built a boarding house. He was in the right place at the right time for the 1893 Exposition. Many people needed a place to stay, much as the visitors to the St. Louis World's Fair would in 1904, and it was not uncommon for people to rent out rooms in their houses.

The difference here was that H.H. Holmes had a very unusual house. And the people who stayed there were never seen alive again. He counted on their transience, and the fact that no one knew where they were to cover up his deeds. The house itself, known as the Murder House, was very unusual, his own design. Hallways that went nowhere, and secret entrances and compartments.

Besides being America's first serial killer, Holmes was also a bigamist, marrying women without benefit of divorcing the ones before.  I saw a fascinating film about him on Netflix,  This is filmmaker's John Borowski's site, containing a lot of information on Holmes as well as his film. It is well worth watching.

There is also a book, Devil in the White City, by Erik Larson, the one they're making into the film with  Leonardo di Caprio. I have yet to read it, but it's on my request list at the library, and is available at Amazon

I will keep you apprised regarding the film as I learn more about it, and will review the book after I read it.

Until next time, take care!

♥ Julie

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