H.H. Holmes: America's First Serial Killer

65 minutes

Readers of Erik Larson's The Devil in the White City already know about Holmes, the "Monster of 63rd Street" whose Englewood mansion concealed numerous torture chambers and who murdered countless people before he was discovered and hanged in 1896. This ghoulish 2003 video by writer-director John Borowski recounts Holmes's early years as a medical student, the construction of his house of evil, the insurance scam that resulted in his arrest, and the circus surrounding his trial and execution. Serial-killer fans should eat it up, though the few available photos are reused to the point of tedium and Tony Jay's sonorous, British-accented narration ("It is here that Holmes will make his horrific dreams come true") kept making me laugh when I was supposed to shudder.

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