Case study on Dr. H. H. Holmes

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Kristin Parramore-Eaker Clinical Psychology Case study of Dr. H.H. Holmes Case Overview Dr. H.H. Holmes is considered America 's first serial killer. The number of victims is estimated to be 27, and later discoveries of corpses revealed as many as 200. Holmes initially committed crimes such as fraud and forgery. In 1893 he built a three story building and named it the "castle" as a hotel, drug store, and commercial store fronts for the Chicago World 's Fair. Holmes used the windowless hotel to lure his victims in to torture and kill. He was arrested by Pinkertons for horse thieving in 1895. While the investigations for fraud and theft were ongoing police discovered his connection to his assistant Benjamin Pitezel, and three of his…show more content…
During the construction of the “Castle” Holmes hired a carpenter named Benjamin Pitezal as his assistant because Holmes deemed him to be unintelligent and easily manipulated due to alcoholism. The victims Holmes prayed on were generally young single woman with no social ties. Holmes used a variety of methods to kill the victims. After killing the individuals; Holmes stripped the corpses of flesh and paid an individual to assemble the bones into skeleton models to sell to medical colleges for money (Wilson & Seaman, 2011). When Holmes failed to pay his debtors he and his assistant went on the run. Holmes was arrested for fraud and bonded out, however while in his jail cell he bragged to another inmate about the insurance fraud who would later reveal the crime and link to the serial killers crimes. The pair moved state to state committing frauds and petty crimes. Holmes convinced Pitezal to fake his own death so the two could collect on a $10,000.00 in another fraudulent life insurance scheme (Schmid, 2006). Holmes turned on his assistant killing not only him, but three of his young children as well. Pitezals wife alerted authorities to her missing children and husband, she was informed the remains of her husband were discovered and the realization of what had occurred with her family was uncovered. Later the
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