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Links:
Demon Doctors:Physicians as Serial Killers
Demon Doctors:Physicians as Serial Killers

The Torture Doctor-
Herman Webster Mudgett, M.D., alias Dr. H. H. Holmes

From: Chapter 3: "Nightmare on 63rd Street"
in Demon Doctors: Physicians as Serial Killers
By Kenneth V. Iserson, M.D.
Galen Press, Ltd., Tucson, AZ,


The following excerpt introducing the chapter describes the known facts about "the torture doctor," Herman Webster Mudgett, M.D. It is a fictionalized description of the work of the most prolific serial killer in U.S. history, who killed more than 150 men, women, and children-many of them in his infamous "murder castle" on Chicago's South Side as the grand 1893 Columbian Exposition enlivened the city.

        The gorgeous young woman was becoming tiresome. No longer an exciting lover, she had also begun to interfere with his other dalliances-she even suggested that she knew what he was doing to women in the basement. It was time to end this relationship-permanently. She wouldn't willingly accompany Holmes to his dungeon, but that was no problem. Waiting until she was asleep, he draped a chloroform-soaked rag over her face. When she was unconscious, he dragged her body to the greased chute and pushed her. She slid to the castle's bottom floor, the next subject of his torturous experiments to produce a race of giants.
        Awakening groggily, she found her arms immobilized and stretched over her head. Her feet were locked down to the table. And there was Holmes standing above her, his eyes brighter than she had ever seen them. He moved to adjust some machinery, and she felt her arms slowly being pulled tight as her body was stretched by Holmes's self-made rack.
        "Not too fast," he mumbled, "not too fast." He stripped off her nightclothes, and ran his hands over her live, intact body for the last time. Then, picking up a scalpel, he carefully began to cut the ligaments holding her joints tight, just as he had learned to do in anatomy and surgery training. His mustache twitched as he smiled when she begged him to stop and then screamed as the blade sliced neatly through her alabaster skin.
        Holmes enjoyed watching them suffer and scream. In his suave manner, he asked her if she would like him to prolong her agony. She stared at the man she thought she knew and loved, and screamed again. He paused only long enough to feel his sexual excitement build, before continuing the live dissection. Gradually, ever so gradually, her body lengthened as the gears tightened and she lapsed into unconsciousness. It was time to gratify his urges on his mistress, who was his unwilling specimen pinned to the table.
        At last, he was satisfied and now had a little pity. "Chew this," he said, as he stuffed a cyanide tablet in her mouth. Her eyes widened with horror as the death spasms commenced. Her body, wracked with pain, suffered in terminal agony. Now dead, she was just a piece of meat to cook in the crematory. There were more where she came from.

©Galen Press, Ltd., 2001

Copyright 2001-2013 Galen Press, Ltd.