This is the chilling true account of America's first documented serial killer, H.H. Holmes. Set in the Gilded Age in what was described by detectives as a "Castle of Horrors," Holmes lured his victims to his labyrinth of trapdoors, soundproof chambers and chutes and crematorium under the guise of running a boarding house in proximity to the Chicago World's Fair of 1893. Holmes evaded suspicions by maintaining his status as doctor, druggist, inventor and entrepreneur. The story of how Holmes was found out is one of true detection before the development of modern technologies. The trial that ended in Holmes' confession was covered nationwide as "The Trial of the Century."
Harold Schechter is a professor of American literature at Queens College, the City University of New York. His essays have appeared in various newspapers and magazines, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, and the International Herald Tribune. Among his more than thirty published books are a series of historical true-crime narratives about America's most infamous serial killers, a quartet of mystery novels featuring Edgar Allan Poe, and an anthology of American true crime writing published by the Library of America. He is also the editor of the Kent State University Press True Crime History Series. His most recent book is The Mad Sculptor: The Maniac, The Model, and the Murder that Shook the Nation (forthcoming from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/New Harvest).