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Publisher's Summary

This is the first truly comprehensive book examining the life and career of the murderer who has become one of America's great supervillains. It reveals not only the true story but how the legend evolved, taking advantage of hundreds of primary sources that have never been examined before, including legal documents, letters, articles, and records that have been buried in archives for more than a century. Although Holmes is just as famous now as he was in 1895, this deep analysis of contemporary materials makes clear how much of the previously known story came from reporters who were nowhere near the action, a dangerously unqualified new police chief, and lies invented by Holmes himself.
©2017 Adam Selzer (P)2017 Dreamscape Media, LLC
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Shaun Wheeler on 09-08-17

The truth

I've read several of the books on Holmes and watched American Ripper. It's just my personality to test everything and I kept thinking, "Where's the evidence?" Although I do enjoy the sensationalized story for fictional and entertainment purposes, I appreciate Mr Selzer's mind frame (like mine) to test the story against the evidence to make a clear line between fact and fiction.

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9 of 11 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Jeroid on 04-25-18

Comprehensive and captivating

The book overall was so incredibly well written and researched. Adam did not sensationalize or exaggerate Holmes or his crimes, nor feel inclined to add to allure but based the writing on what could be backed up by evidence. I did not feel as if the book where truly leaning or inclined one way or the other throughout, but was a thorough summation of what could be backed up. Narration was also superb. Loved this book!

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Christopher Macaulay on 08-25-17

Great book loved it

Good in depth book made me feel like i was there covered all the angles

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Squeaky Joe on 05-13-18

Fascinating account of the infamous killer

Comprehensive examination of the life and career of America's first serial killer, using contemporary letters, documents, court records and newspaper articles. The book traces the infamous Holmes through several marriages, medical experiments and early attempts at insurance fraud, to the many individuals he may and may not have murdered.

Adam Selzer leaves no corpse unturned in this fascinating account of evil doctor HH Holmes. The details are at times gory, and include particulars of the deaths of several children, which some listeners may find upsetting. The author also has a tendency to repeat himself a little, though as the text runs to a smidgen under five hundred pages, it was useful to be reminded of earlier events and misdemeanours as the story came to its conclusion.

Selzer paints a thought-provoking portrait of Holmes, showing the many and varied versions of himself played out by the killer over the span of a relatively short life. While he was plainly a crafty individual, Holmes does not fit the usual criteria of serial killer and may have simply knocked off people who got in the way of his plans, rather than killing from a psychological or sadistic motivation. Nevertheless, some of his victims – such as the slaughter of several members of the Pitezel family – demonstrate a distinct lack of feeling for his fellow human beings.

A fascinating and well-researched book that will no-doubt sell in shed-loads when the forthcoming Martin Scorsese/Leo DiCaprio movie (The Devil in the White City) is released.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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