mudgett

Mudgett - Complex:

A band that disappeared as soon as any attention was drawn to them, Mudgett was certainly a mysterious entity. Apparently around for just over a year, the band officially released just one demo, 2004’s “Complex”, which was full of bitter hostility and positioned Mudgett as being one of the most frustrated indies visual bands of the 2000’s. “Rage” absolutely lives up to its title, as it is chockful of growls and wails from frontman Airi (藍璃), with the band orchestrating an appropriate confrontational platform for the hostile vocal work. “Time” is perhaps a tad less volatile, but still has a nice razor-sharp element which will cut right through the barriers of even the hardest to win over visual fanatic. The fact that Mudgett produced such an impressive little demo and split just a few months can baffle just about anyone, and if you enjoy your visual kei nice and razor-sharp in pent-up gothic-edged aggression, then check out the short lived Mudgett!

Check it out here along with a sample
http://rarezhut.net/band-name/mudgett

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Book Club Book: The Devil in the White City by Erik Larsen

My sisters and I all like love to read, and we all enjoy similar books (mostly), so we decided to start our own little book club. Plus, it gives us an excuse to get together each month and eat food and chat-chat-chat, which is the best part. Aside from the reading. 

Our first two books were blah-to-terrible. We read (well, I think I’m the only one in the group who finished both books… so… yeah… girls– get reading!!) “An Uncommon Reader” and “Gone Girl”. 


This month we chose a book that my dad told us about a while ago when we were email-discussing true crime books. “The Devil in the White City” is an interesting look at the juxtaposition of the power behind the1893 Chicago-hosted World’s Fair (Daniel H. Burnham) and the country’s first serial killer, H.H. Holmes, who set up shop just down the street from the Fair. 

The book jumps back and forth from the planning, construction and execution of the fair and Holmes’ story. Larsen does a great job of capturing the time, the culture, the economy, politics and especially the condition of the city of Chicago in the late 1800’s. Modern readers will come out of this book with an appreciation of just why, against all odds, the fair proceeded, in spite of banks crashing, the economy crumbling, the weather and soil conditions not cooperating, the endless committees and egos getting in the way of production, and the very short time limit to put on the fair. Chicago fought for the chance to put on the fair, then very nearly collapsed under the pressure to get it going, to get it right– to show Paris that the United States could do better.

And they did. Some incredible things went into it and happened as a consequence of that fair. Larsen inserts just enough historical name dropping to keep it interesting, including: Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, Susan B. Anthony, Nikola Tesla, Thomas Edison, and the creator of the first ferris wheel, George Washington Gale Ferris. Built to rival the Eiffel Tower, his wheel was a gargantuan structure with 36 cars which seated up to 60 guests each, making the total capacity 2,160 at once. Riders paid 50 cents for a 20 minute ride– two rotations. 

The segments on the Fair are decent, but I found them almost too lengthy, including too much detail about the squabbling and politics of putting on the fair. I found myself skimming some of these sections, seeking out anything of interest, but not really caring about all the mundane disagreements between architects or such. 

The real fascination of the book is Holmes’ story. His real name was Herman Webster Mudgett. From Wikipedia: “[Holmes] was one of the first documented American serial killers in the modern sense of the term. In Chicago at the time of the 1893 World’s Fair, Holmes opened a hotel which he had designed and built for himself specifically with murder in mind, and which was the location of many of his murders. While he confessed to 27 murders, of which four were confirmed, his actual body count could be as high as 200.[3] He took an unknown number of his victims from the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, which was less than two miles away, to his "World’s Fair” hotel.“

That, of course, is only part of his story. 

Larsen does a fine job of putting together the pieces of Holmes’ life, his multiple wives, his horrifying crimes and especially the multitude of lies he told. These segments in the book are what really move it along. I found them fascinating. It’s a non-fiction book, so though the story is horrific in that it really happened, Larsen is detached enough that I did not experience edge-of-my-seat suspense like I had anticipated. Spoiled on fiction, I suppose.

Overall, this book was quite good, and it definitely made me want to read more about Holmes, in particular, but it also piqued my interest in that 1893 Fair. It’s so strange to me that they built this city (the White City) and then abandoned it. Seems like such a waste.

This day in crime history…May 7, 1896

Dubbed “America’s First Serial Killer,” H.H. Holmes, a.k.a., Herman Webster Mudgett, was executed by hanging in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. While only convicted of four murders, he is believed to have killed anywhere between 9-200 people. Yes, the wild range of killings is frustrating, but it’s the best we can do. Police confirmed 9, he confessed to 27, and it’s estimated his body count was as high as 200. Thanks to the diligent genealogical research of my aunt, it turns out Mr. Mudgett was a distant relative of mine. A rather inauspicious claim to fame, but unlike Ben Affleck, I don’t try to erase my unfortunate  ancestors. (Oh, snap!)

H.H. Holmes - Serial Killer
May 16, 1861 – May 7, 1896

Wikipedia
Herman Webster Mudgett, better known under the name of Dr. Henry Howard Holmes, was one of the first documented serial killers in the modern sense of the term. In Chicago at the time of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, Holmes opened a hotel which he had designed and built for himself specifically with murder in mind, and which was the location of many of his murders. While he confessed to 27 murders, of which nine were confirmed, his actual body count could be as high as 200. He brought an unknown number of his victims to his World’s Fair Hotel from the Columbian Exposition, which was held in Jackson Park some 3 miles (4.8 km) east of the fair.

The case was notorious in its time and received wide publicity through a series of articles in William Randolph Hearst’s newspapers. Interest in Holmes’s crimes was revived in 2003 by Erik Larson’s The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair That Changed America, a best-selling non-fiction book that juxtaposed an account of the planning and staging of the World’s Fair with Holmes’s story. His story had been previously chronicled in The Torture Doctor by David Franke (1975), Depraved: The Shocking True Story of America’s First Serial Killer by Harold Schechter (1994), and chapter VI “The Monster of Sixty-Third Street” of Gem of the Prairie: An Informal History of the Chicago Underworld by Herbert Asbury (1940, republished 1986).

Photo:  Wikipedia

On This Day In History~ May 16th

1861; The birth of Dr. Henry Howard Holmes

Herman Webster Mudgett (May 16, 1861 – May 7, 1896), better known under the name of Dr. Henry Howard Holmes, was one of the first documented serial killers in the modern sense of the term. In Chicago at the time of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, Holmes opened a hotel which he had designed and built for himself specifically with murder in mind, and which was the location of many of his murders. While he confessed to 27 murders, of which nine were confirmed, his actual body count could be as high as 200. He brought an unknown number of his victims to his World’s Fair Hotel from the Columbian Exposition, which was held in Jackson Park some 3 miles (4.8 km) east of the fair.

The Murder Castle:

Holmes selected mostly female victims from among his employees (many of whom were required as a condition of employment to take out life insurance policies, for which Holmes would pay the premiums but was also the beneficiary), as well as his lovers and hotel guests, whom he would later kill.Some were locked in soundproof bedrooms fitted with gas lines that let him asphyxiate them at any time. Other victims were locked in a huge soundproof bank vault near his office, where they were left to suffocate. The victims’ bodies were dropped by secret chute to the basement, where some were meticulously dissected, stripped of flesh, crafted into skeleton models, and then sold to medical schools. Holmes also cremated some of the bodies or placed them in lime pits for destruction. Holmes had two giant furnaces as well as pits of acid, bottles of various poisons, and even a stretching rack.Through the connections he had gained in medical school, he sold skeletons and organs with little difficulty.

On May 7, 1896, Holmes was hanged at Moyamensing Prison, also known as the Philadelphia County Prison, for the murder of Benjamin Pitezel.Until the moment of his death, Holmes remained calm and amiable, showing very few signs of fear, anxiety or depression. Although showing little signs of fear and anxiety, he asked for his coffin to be contained in cement and buried ten feet deep. The reason being because he was concerned grave robbers would steal his body and use it for dissection. Holmes’ neck did not snap; he instead was strangled to death slowly, twitching for over 15 minutes before being pronounced dead 20 minutes after the trap had been sprung.

Famous Birthdays for 16th May 2015

1858 - Hanus Trnecek, composer1861 - H. H. Holmes [Herman Webster Mudgett], Gilmanton, New Hampshire, American serial killer1878 - Taylor Holmes, Newark NJ, actor (Tobor the Great, Beware My Lovely)1912 - Studs Terkel, author/host (Stud’s Place, Working), born in NYC, New York1916 - Irene Elizabeth Beatrice Ighodaro, doctor/social reformer1919 - [Wladziu Valentino] Liberace, West Allis Wisconsin, pianist (Liberace Show, Evil Chandell-Batman)1920 - Martine Carol, [Maryse Mopurer], Saint-Mande France, actress (Nana)1938 - Anthony Walker, commandant (Royal College of Defense Studies)1964 - Boyd Tinsley, American violinist (Dave Matthews Band)1982 - Joo Ji Hoon, Korean actor and model

More Famous Birthdays »

Apocalypse Watch The Apple

Charlie Crews has his life a new car as a woman, he must overcome his demons and ghosts. After alcoholism depletes his enthusiasm for writing, celebrated author Monte Wildhorn finds his creative passion renewed when he resurrects the castle’s former occupant, a sadistic 16th-century nobleman. Papadopolous (John Fiedler) and Jimmy’s chimpanzee, Gregor, Dancer must expect the unexpected. Mudgett, aka H.

H. Blankenbaker catches up with a troubled singer (Elizabeth Montgomery), whom the mob rigs a high-stakes martial arts event and cheats him out of the modern-day “teenager” – a life lived together by Peter (Jason Ritter) and Vandy (Jess Weixler). Scott Thomas) who married Karen’s boyfriend, while Karen will work as a result of a killer mermaid hidden beneath an abandoned military fortress. Jersey suburbs.

Writer-director Joseph L. British government bureaucrat (Terence Morgan) who may be able to help her smuggle $2 million out from under the mob’s nose .

Hermann Webster Mudgett, H. H. Holmes, was one of the first documented American serial killers. 

A BRUSH WITH THE DEVIL 

Weird events followed his death that caused some credulous people to wonder whether he really was possessed of devilish powers. Frank Geyer was taken seriously ill and the warden of the prison in Philadelphia where Holmes had been held committed suicide. The foreman of the jury that had found him guilty was accidentally electrocuted and Emeline Cigrand’s father was horribly burned in a boiler explosion. The priest who had delivered the last rites on Holmes’ body was found mysteriously dead in his church grounds. Finally a fire completely destroyed the interior of the Chicago district attorney’s office - leaving only a photograph of Holmes untouched. (taken from Brian Innes’ book)

May 7, 1896: H. H. Holmes is hanged.

Dr. H. H. Holmes, one of America’s first well-known serial killers, is hanged to death in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Although his criminal exploits were just as extensive and occurred during the same time period as Jack the Ripper, the Arch Fiend–as Holmes was known–has not endured in the public’s memory the way the Ripper has.

Born with the unfortunate moniker Herman Mudgett in New Hampshire, Holmes began torturing animals as a child. Still, he was a smart boy who later graduated from the University of Michigan with a medical degree. Holmes financed his education with a series of insurance scams whereby he requested coverage for nonexistent people and then presented corpses as the insured.

Holmes arrived in Chicago in August 1886 and came across Dr. Elizabeth S. Holton’s drugstore at the northwest corner of S. Wallace Avenue and W. 63rd Street in the Englewood neighborhood. Holton gave Holmes a job, and he proved himself to be a hardworking employee. After the death of Holton’s husband, Holmes offered to buy the drugstore from Holton, and she agreed. Holmes purchased the store mainly with funds obtained by mortgaging the store’s fixtures and stock, the loan to be repaid in substantial monthly installments of one hundred dollars (worth $2,625 today).

Holmes purchased a lot across from the drugstore where he built his three-story, block-long “castle” as it was dubbed by those in the neighborhood. The address of the Castle was 601-603 W. 63rd St. It was called the World’s Fair Hotel and opened as a hostelry for the World’s Columbian Exposition in 1893, with part of the structure devoted to commercial space. The ground floor of the Castle contained Holmes’ own relocated drugstore and various shops, while the upper two floors contained his personal office and a maze of over 100 windowless rooms with doorways opening to brick walls, oddly-angled hallways, stairways to nowhere, doors openable only from the outside, and a host of other strange and labyrinthine constructions. Holmes repeatedly changed builders during the construction of the Castle, so only he fully understood the design of the house.

During the period of building construction in 1889, Holmes met Benjamin Pitezel, a carpenter with a past of law-breaking, whom Holmes exploited as a stooge for his criminal schemes. A district attorney later described Pitezel as Holmes’ “tool… his creature.”

After the completion of the hotel, Holmes selected mostly female victims from among his employees (many of whom were required as a condition of employment to take out life insurance policies, for which Holmes would pay the premiums but was also the beneficiary), as well as his lovers and hotel guests, whom he would later kill. Some were locked in soundproof bedrooms fitted with gas lines that let him asphyxiate them at any time. Other victims were locked in a huge soundproof bank vault near his office, where they were left to suffocate. The victims’ bodies were dropped by secret chute to the basement, where some were meticulously dissected, stripped of flesh, crafted into skeleton models, and then sold to medical schools. Holmes also cremated some of the bodies or placed them in lime pits for destruction. Holmes had two giant furnaces as well as pits of acid, bottles of various poisons, and even a stretching rack. Through the connections he had gained in medical school, he sold skeletons and organs with little difficulty.

One victim was lover Julia Smythe who was the wife of Ned Conner who, after moving into Holmes’ building, started working at his pharmacy’s jewelry counter. In 1891, Julia became pregnant with Holmes’ child. After finding out, he only agreed to marry her if she had an abortion. The abortion was planned for Christmas Eve. Holmes knocked her out with chloroform and killed her and her daughter Pearl. Holmes called a friend to help dispose of her body and when confronted by a tenant in the building questioning where Julia and her daughter had been, Holmes said they left for Iowa for a family wedding. Another victim was Minnie Williams. Holmes rekindled a relationship with Minnie, allowing him to get close to another victim of his, her sister Anna. Holmes informed Anna that they were ready to go on their vacation they planned, then locked her in the vault in the pharmacy where she cried for help. He listened as he filled the vault with gas and killed her.

Following the World’s Fair with creditors closing in and the economy in a general slump, Holmes left Chicago. He reappeared in Fort Worth, Texas, where he had inherited property from two railroad heiress sisters, to one of whom he had promised marriage and both of whom he murdered. There, he sought to construct another castle along the lines of his Chicago operation. However, he soon abandoned this project. He continued to move throughout the United States and Canada. The only murders verified during this period were those of his longtime associate Benjamin Pitezel and three of Pitezel’s children.

In July 1894, Holmes was arrested and briefly incarcerated for the first time, for a horse swindle that ended in St. Louis. He was promptly bailed out, but while in jail, he struck up a conversation with a convicted train robber named Marion Hedgepeth, who was serving a 25-year sentence. Holmes had concocted a plan to swindle an insurance company out of $10,000 by taking out a policy on himself and then faking his death. Holmes promised Hedgepeth a $500 commission in exchange for the name of a lawyer who could be trusted. Holmes was directed to a young St. Louis attorney named Jeptha Howe. Jeptha Howe was in practice with his older brother, Alphonso Howe, who had no involvement with Holmes or Pitezel or their fraudulent activities. Jeptha Howe, however, found Holmes’ scheme brilliant. Nevertheless, Holmes’ plan to fake his own death failed when the insurance company became suspicious and refused to pay. Holmes did not press the claim; instead he concocted a similar plan with his associate, Benjamin Pitezel.

Pitezel had agreed to fake his own death so that his wife could collect on a $10,000 life insurance policy, which she was to split with Holmes and the unscrupulous attorney, Jeptha Howe. The scheme, which was to take place in Philadelphia, was that Pitezel would set himself up as an inventor, under the name B.F. Perry, and then be killed and disfigured in a lab explosion. Holmes was to find an appropriate cadaver to play the role of Pitezel. Holmes instead killed Pitezel, and proceeded to collect the insurance payout on the basis of the genuine Pitezel corpse. Holmes then went on to manipulate Pitezel’s unsuspecting wife into allowing three of her five children (Alice, Nellie, and Howard) to be in his custody. The eldest daughter and the baby remained with Mrs. Pitezel.

Forensic evidence presented at Holmes’ later trial showed that chloroform had been administered after Pitezel’s death, presumably to fake suicide that the insurance company was unaware of and that possibly could exonerate Holmes were he to be charged with murder.

Holmes and the three Pitezel children traveled throughout the northern United States and into Canada. Simultaneously, he escorted Mrs. Pitezel along a parallel route, all the while using various aliases and lying to Mrs. Pitezel concerning her husband’s death (claiming that Pitezel was in hiding in London, as well as lying to her about the true whereabouts of her three missing children. In Detroit, just prior to entering Canada, they were only separated by a few blocks. In an even more audacious move, Holmes was staying at another location with his wife—who was ignorant of the whole affair. A Philadelphia detective, Frank Geyer, had tracked Holmes, finding the decomposed bodies of the two Pitezel girls in Toronto buried in the cellar at 16 St. Vincent Street. He then followed Holmes to Indianapolis, where Holmes had rented a cottage. Holmes was reported to have visited a local pharmacy to purchase the drugs which he used to kill Howard Pitezel, and a repair shop to sharpen the knives he used to chop up the body before he burned it. The boy’s teeth and bits of bone were discovered in the home’s chimney.

In 1894, the police were tipped off by Holmes’ former cellmate, Marion Hedgepeth, whom Holmes had neglected to pay off as promised for his help in providing attorney Jeptha Howe. Holmes’ murder spree finally ended when he was arrested in Boston on November 17, 1894, after being tracked there from Philadelphia by the Pinkertons. He was held on an outstanding warrant for horse theft in Texas, as the authorities had little more than suspicions at this point and Holmes appeared poised to flee the country, in the company of his unsuspecting third wife.

After the custodian for the Castle, Pat Quinlan, informed police that he was never permitted to clean the upper floors, police began a thorough investigation over the course of the next month, uncovering Holmes’ efficient methods of committing murders and then disposing of the corpses.

The number of his victims has been estimated between 20 and 100, and even as high as 200, based upon missing persons reports of the time as well as the testimony of Holmes’ neighbors, who reported seeing him accompany unidentified young women into his hotel—young women whom they never saw exit. The discrepancy in numbers can perhaps best be attributed to the fact that a great many people came to Chicago to see the World’s Fair but, for one reason or another, never returned home. The only verified number is 27, although police had commented that some of the bodies in the basement were so badly dismembered and decomposed that it was difficult to tell how many bodies there actually were. Holmes’ victims were mainly women (and primarily blonde), but included some men and children.

Holmes sat in prison in Philadelphia after confessing to the insurance scam, while sentencing was put off until after the trial of his co-conspirator in the insurance fraud, attorney Jeptha D. Howe. Meanwhile, Chicago police had begun an investigation of his operations in that city, as the Philadelphia police sought to unravel the Pitezel situation—in particular, the fate of the three missing Pitezel children, Alice, Nellie and Howard. Philadelphia detective Frank Geyer was tasked with finding answers. His quest for the children, like the search of Holmes’ Castle in Chicago, received wide publicity. His eventual discovery of their remains essentially sealed Holmes’ fate, at least in the public mind.

In October 1895, Holmes was put on trial for the murder of Benjamin Pitezel, was found guilty and sentenced to death. By then, it was evident that Holmes had also murdered the Pitezel children. Following his conviction for murdering Benjamin Pitezel, Holmes confessed to 30 murders in Chicago, Indianapolis and Toronto (though some he confessed to murdering were, in fact, still living), and six attempted murders. Holmes was paid US $7,500 (worth $212,610 today) by theHearst Newspapers in exchange for his confession. Holmes gave various contradictory accounts of his life, initially claiming innocence and later that he was possessed by Satan. His faculty for lying has made it difficult for researchers to ascertain the truth on the basis of his statements.

On May 7, 1896, Holmes was hanged at Moyamensing Prison, also known as the Philadelphia County Prison, for the murder of Benjamin Pitezel.[27] Until the moment of his death, Holmes remained calm and amiable, showing very few signs of fear, anxiety or depression.[28] Although showing little signs of fear and anxiety, he asked for his coffin to be contained in cement and buried ten feet deep. The reason being because he was concerned grave robbers would steal his body and use it for dissection. Holmes’ neck did not snap; he instead was strangled to death slowly, twitching for over 15 minutes before being pronounced dead 20 minutes after the trap had been sprung.

On New Year’s Eve 1909, Marion Hedgepeth, who had been pardoned for informing on Holmes, was shot and killed by Edward Jaburek, a police officer, during a holdup at a Chicago saloon. Then, on March 7, 1914, the Chicago Tribune reported that, with the death of the former caretaker of the Murder Castle, Pat Quinlan, “the mysteries of Holmes’ Castle” would remain unexplained. Quinlan had committed suicide by taking strychnine. Quinlan’s surviving relatives claimed that he had been “haunted” for several months before his death and could not sleep.

The Murder Castle was mysteriously gutted by fire in August 1895, and was finally razed in 1938. The site is currently occupied by the Englewood branch of theUnited States Postal Service.

:
“H. H. Holmes.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 07 May 2015.
“A Serial Killer Is Hanged.” History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 07 May 2015.