Monday, January 10, 2022
Number 2591: H. H. Holmes...the gallows got him
H. H. Holmes was born Herman Webster Mudgett, in 1861. He is the murderer known for the torture castle in Chicago. It is hard to tell what is true and what is exuberance from yellow journalists sensationalizing Holmes’s murderous lair. Holmes padded his own image as a killer. He lied about his body count, claiming to have killed people who were actually still living.
Besides the gruesome violence mentioned, something in the last panel gives me pause. When Holmes is hanged he is wearing the same clothes as he was wearing in court when he was sentenced. Maybe, with his status as a murderer to live up to, he did not want to be hung in some ugly old prison clothes. Holmes was only 34 years old when the gallows got him, and perhaps he wanted to look stylish.
From Crime Does Not Pay #53 (1947):