William (aka Bill the Godfather)

William (aka Bill the Godfather)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A Victorian tale of crime and murder

VSO has posted an excerpt (with link) of the fascinating, and rather gruesome, story of Mr. H. H. Holmes who may be the earliest documented American serial killer. The man was a diabolically brilliant Gilded Age criminal, and I (not usually a fan of the true crime genre) confess to finding his story riveting.

Contrary to the popular image of the late Victorians as stuffy and insufferably prudish, they loved their crime stories as much as our own modern society. And the press, on both sides of the Atlantic, was often filled with lurid tales of dreadful deeds calculated to make well bread ladies gasp (as much as was possible in a corset) with horror.

Wikipedia also has a write up on Mr. Holmes.

1 comment:

M. Jordan Lichens said...

This is one subject of particular interest to me and I recommend a look at a little novel call The Alienist for a look of crime and murder in late 19th Century New York.