200 Lives Were Taken by America’s First Serial Killer From New Hampshire
Editor's note: This article was written by a Townsquare Media Northern New England contributor and may contain the individual's views, opinions, or personal experiences.
Many people know the names Ed Gein, Charles Manson, Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy, and Jack the Ripper. But, will all these horrors, it all had to start from somewhere, there had to be a first. America's first known serial killer is actually from New Hampshire.
Over the years, there have been many serial killers and some closer to home in New England than others. I'm sure you remember learning about the Boston Strangler, that is just one of the known serial killers from New England.
It all had to start somewhere, and New Hampshire seems to be the place where the first serial killer started. I am talking about H.H Holmes (otherwise known as Herman Webster Mudgett), but of course, he would later have many aliases.
H.H Holmes is mainly known for his creation of the "Murder Castle" in Chicago, but so much more had happened before Holmes took many lives in his hotel creation. From New Hampshire to Chicago, Holmes took multiple lives, but it is believed that he should also be getting credit for one of the most known unsolved cases, Jack the Ripper.
You read that right, one of the most famous unsolved mysteries, Jack the Ripper, may actually have been raised in Gilmanton, New Hampshire.
Not going to lie, I knew about Holmes' "Murder Castle" where he designed rooms in his hotel to have a much darker meaning to "checking out." Of course, the victims had no idea what was going to happen to them, but strange things seemed to occur. People would fall into trap doors, and be gassed in their rooms, not to mention Homles had a crematorium in the basement.
H.H. Holmes, America's first serial killer, is said to have taken 200 lives in his diabolical hotel. Holmes only confessed to 27 murders, however, some of the individuals he listed were still alive at the time.
Okay, let's get to it though, why do some people believe that America's first serial killer could also be Jack the Ripper?
Firstly, Holmes had medical training and Jack the Ripper showed knowledge of anatomy, Secondly, Holmes had been away in London while the Ripper was active. Holmes also claimed to know the identity of Jack the Ripper.
Both Holmes and Jack the Ripper had gruesome and disturbing acts of violence. Yes, Jack the Ripper had different types of victims, but that does not mean that they could not be the same person.
There are many people out there who do believe that H.H. Holmes and Jack the Ripper are the same person. HISTORY even made an eight-part series called American Ripper that goes into more detail on how the two individuals may actually be one of the same.
Holmes was also involved in a variety of fraud schemes, which led to the police arresting him in Boston in 1894 and that is when H.H. Holmes started being suspected of murder.
On May 7, 1896, at the age of 34, Holmes was executed.