Further to my previous post about H.H.Holmes, I watched a DVD entitled ‘H.H.Holmes – America’s First Serial Killer’. It was a very interesting watch, I really recommend it and it provoked some very interesting thoughts for me.
Firstly, as an avid Jack the Ripper fan, I noticed that 1888 was a prominent year for Holmes. 1888 was the year of the Whitechapel murders in London, during which the killer murdered 5 women, all of whom were prostitutes. The killings mysteriously stopped shortly after the murder of Mary Kelly, who was so brutally disfigured that she was recognisable only by her clothing. All murders were thought to have been committed by a person who had medical knowledge, due to the removal of the uterus and kidneys of the victims. Holmes had trained in medical school and graduated in 1884.
He had married his second wife in 1887, a year before the Whitechapel killings and it is unclear what he doing at the time other than “in Chicago on business”. It could be possible that he had travelled over to London, killed the Whitechapel women in 1888 and then returned to the States shortly after. This would explain the sudden cease to the murders, and the beginning of his building of the “murder castle” followed by more murders.
It has long since been speculated that the only reason the Ripper murders stopped was either because he was caught or he left the country for America. This does seem to fit Holmes’ profile and the murders across the two countries do bear striking similarities, although Holmes’ victims were primarily blonde and the Ripper’s dark haired.
Of all aspects of both cases, the most obviously similar is the handwriting from the Ripper letters, and the handwriting of the notes Holmes wrote whilst in prison. When analysed by a handwriting expert, it was found that both pieces of writing were undoubtedly written by the same person.
Could Holmes have gotten a taste of killing in England and then returned home to continue his murder spree there?
For more info, check out this article.