MOUNT VERNON — In Chicago at the end of the 19th century amid the smoke of industry and the clatter of trains and the greatest World’s Fair in history, referred to as The White City, there lived a man, who went by the name H.H. Holmes, a physician, con man and hotel owner who is considered to be the country’s first urban serial killer.
The World’s Fair in Chicago allowed Holmes to operate his chilling trade without much notice. During the fair, Holmes ran a hotel called “The Castle” nearby to appeal to visitors and young women coming to Chicago for work. In reality, The Castle was a chamber of horrors that was designed for Holmes’ grisly plans.
And scores of people were lost inside The Castle’s walls. It was not until long after the fair closed its gates that Holmes’ crimes were discovered. It is believed that Holmes killed between 27 and 200 people. A book by Erik Larsen called “The Devil and The White City” describes the events of the fair and Holmes, has been optioned by Leonardo DiCaprio and DiCaprio as Holmes is currently being filmed.
On Thursday, just in time for Halloween, the Chautauqua Series, presented by Elixir and sponsored in part by the Ohio Humanities Council, Ariel Foundation and Rolls-Royce Charities/Civic Fund, bring H.H. Holmes, America’s first known serial killer to the Chautauqua stage. Jesse Miller, making his debut, will portray this real man, who baffled the police and captured the front pages of newspapers around the world when his crimes were discovered. Who was this man and why did he do what he did? Come and find out. Opening the program will be the return of French Canadian folk singer Sebastian Royale.
This event is presented on a donation basis and will be held at ThePlace@TheWoodward (111 S. Main St.) in downtown Mount Vernon. Doors open at 6 p.m. and the program will begin at 7 p.m. For more information visit www.elixirpresents.com, www.VisitKnoxOhio.org or call 740-392-6102 or 740-392-3018.
Published on October 22, 2012