America’s First Serial Killer Was Born in New Hampshire
There's a first for everything. First man on the moon, the first person to milk a cow, the first person to fly a plane, the first person to win Survivor.
And, of course, the first dude to murder a bunch of people. That dude happened to be New Hampshire-born, Herman Webster Mudgett who later changed his name to H. H. Holmes.
New Hampshire Life
Holmes was born in Gilmanton in 1861 and started out a mostly normal New Hampshire life. Well, besides the eerie foreshadowing of future endeavors when, as a child, Holmes harmed animals and chalked it up to his interest in pursuing medicine and practicing on the creatures according to Biography.com
Birth Movies Death points to possible traumatic childhood experiences such as strict religion, abuse, and bullying.
He graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy as reported by The Socians. He then started teaching in his hometown of Gilmanton married and later had a son.
He eventually became a medical student following his claimed childhood desires at the University of Michigan. Biography.com states that, during his time in medical school Holmes would steal corpses for experiments and to make false insurance claims. False insurance claims being something he would do later in life as well. He graduated in 1884 and eventually landed in Chicago according to The Socians.
The Murder Castle
It was in Chicago that the true horrors started. In 1887 he purchased a property across from his drugstore business. This property would be a house of horrors for many. Holmes renovated the property with business space on the first floor and various living spaces on the second floor which is ironic considering they truly became death spaces.
Walls were soundproofed and the rooms were set up in such a way that the building felt like a maze. Complete with trapdoors and chutes to the basement making it easier to get rid of his victim's bodies.
Birth Movies Death states that the basement housed things like quicklime pits, vats of acid, a crematorium, and a body stretching device.
Holmes killed men, women, and children in what has been dubbed as "The Murder Castle"
Holmes was a schemer into his adulthood which ultimately got him the attention of local authorities Biography.com states that in 1894 he confessed to 27 killings but estimates say that number could be as many as 200. He was hanged in 1896.
Sure, not the most lighthearted story of a New Hampshire-born, but America's first serial killer has to come from somewhere.