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

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

Ratings: 6.16/10 from 92 users.

H.H. Holmes - America's First Serial KillerDepicts the entire life of Herman Mudgett, AKA Holmes, and his castle of horrors.

Also known as the torture doctor, Holmes designed his own building, complete with torture chambers, where he rented rooms to unsuspecting victims visiting the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago.

Focuses on Dr. Holmes' entire life of crime and villainy (1861-1896).

Threaded with on-location footage from Holmes' past haunts, such as his childhood home in New Hampshire and the Philadelphia courtroom where his trial was held.

It's a visual tour-de-force of reenactments, expert interviews, and period photography.

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23 Comments / User Reviews

  1. HopefulConsumer

    This video came out in 2004, a year after the same material was covered ASTONISHINGLY in the assiduously well-researched book THE DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY, and obviously capitalizing on the success of that amazing book. It adds nothing new, in fact barely covers the essentials. How to make a diabolical serial killer's story dull? Tedious narration, sketchy "expert" interviews, the same old photos over and over, laughable "re-enactment" (gleaming white plastic skeletons -- one can just hear somebody in the background: "Don't get those dirty, we need to return them for the refund!"). Amateur is cool, if by amateur is meant a demonstrated love and enthusiasm for the material -- all sorely lacking here. I'm not saying any kid could do better given a Mac and a couple weeks, but maybe . . .

  2. Pegleg

    The murder house was to serial killers what Neverland was to pedophiles

  3. Richie Colon

    Worst narration I've ever heard. I felt like it was a babysitting uncle reading a storybook to his 10 year old niece and nephew.

  4. joe west-brown

    So many profiles on Black on Black crime...and rightly so, but a;; over this earth we are plagued with ritualistic and Satanic killings, involving dismemberment and consumption, that goes unrevealed until some White guy figures how to cash in on the story When will Whites turn the spotlight on themselves and cease stereotyping and degrading others while they run wild in sins against the Most High

  5. John

    This film is Murder Hotel NOT HH Holmes America's First Serial Killer.

    1. Darren

      programs are often renamed when broadcast in another country.

  6. Vanessa Young

    Those bitches are dumb why do they care if there great grandfather or whatever he is got murdered im sorry but he wasnt a good person live by the sword die by the sword..
    and HH Holmes is more interesting than the Bender,Dahmer,Gacy,Bundy he is pretty much the most interesting!

  7. Richard Terrell

    A thinly veiled imitation of the Benders was used in an episode on "The Big Valley".(ME TV) Nick neatly got the "hammer from behind the curtain", and fell in love with "the girl". Portrayed as from Missourri instead of Kansas. Also used a river as a burial ground instead of the back yard.

  8. Crybaby

    this is not the documentary from the picture. This is a documentary called "murder hotel." The one in the picture isn't online free anymore, you can pay for it on youtube.

  9. alexjonesisanidiot

    Anyone else laugh when they saw the re-enactments with LEGOs?

  10. Jean Layton Wilkinson


  11. Vanderbil Covington III

    I would like to see a full length movie about H.H. Holmes on the same cinamatic level as the Hanable Lector series. There is amirable effort out on audio tape/dvd by Erik Larson, entitled; "The Devil in the White City", read by Tony Goldwyn. With a good producer, the movie version would be a hit. As indicated in the Larson version, after Holmes was catured, he stated his physical features were becoming distinctly demonic. Upon his execution, many of his trial witnesses fell victim to very mysterious and gruesome deaths. The most terrifying aspect about the Holmes saga, as opposed to the Lector fantasy,-- it is all true

    1. Anthony Young

      Wes Cravens "The people under the stairs" borrows from H.H. Holmes with the mansion of horror.

    2. John L. Moseman

      Leonardo DiCapro is slated for HH HOLMES in a movie upcoming
      in fact he bough the book

    3. Michael Draven

      Leonardo DiCaprio is going to star in the movie with the same title, The Devil in the White City...

  12. Efran

    @ChieftestofSinners It seems to me like this docu was made more for the story of HH Holmes the man, focusing less on his torture...I guess this was more biographical and I suggest you are looking at the wrong type of program. Maybe consider one more specifically about torture or something.

    @Me yess finally a comment about this. I never bothered but Ive seen him in a few programs, it always bothers me alot lol.

  13. Yunya

    They should have hired Sherlock Holmes.

  14. Me

    That guy? with the glasses? everything he says? has got, like, a question mark at the end? every statement is a question?

  15. apophis2036

    HH Holmes isn't the first serial killer in America...(maybe lone killer)....that title belongs to the Bender family of Kansas....which is a much better story than Holmes, and yet hardly ANYONE has heard of them, and the terrible murders they committed. A whole "family" of murderers who used to own an inn on the plains of Cherryvale, Kansas. That true story reads like a Hollywood movie, and I can't believe nobody has actually done one single movie or doc about it. That story has it all, and no one is really sure what happened to them. Research it....it is a great story if you are into this type of subject.

    1. Vanderbil Covington III

      Whether the Cherryvale murders were exploited in the "Texas Chainsaw Murders" or "Last House on the Left" movies, there have been many cinamatic efforts to portray maniacal families.

  16. SirCapt

    I thought it was pretty good, not boring at all. The facts alone kept me interested. Keep up the good work on the best documentary site ever. The only one with regular updates, that I can find anyway.

  17. James Chanen

    Although the facts in this case were indeed presented correctly, I feel that the movie had to have been made some time ago as it most resembles documentaries dated in the 1970's. Not the best production value. Obviously an older picture.

  18. ChieftestofSinners

    This was a real snoozefest. Instead of reenactments, it's mostly cheesy voice-overs and repetitive stock footage of cobblestone streets, courtrooms, etc. Frankly, I needed a lot more descriptions of torture.