My favourite character in The Devil In The White City is H.H. Holmes, the serial killer fantasized about a hotel that would be built specifically as a site for his murders. His dream came true, complete with a walk-in vault and a greased wooden chute that was a one-way trip to a person-sized kiln in the basement. As for where this would lead, “only Poe could have dreamed the rest.” (Larson, 34) This quotation shows that only Edgar Allen Poe could have come up with a character as grisly as Holmes.
Many other aspects of Holmes’ personality made him unique WAS HE UNIQUE? I DON’T THINK SO. His ability to manipulate others effortlessly, despite a complete lack of regard for either the law or their well-being, led to what he considered his great success. He harbored an overwhelming fascination with killing, driving him to manipulate one woman after another into a relationship that ended in murder. Holmes understood clearly his own nature; he writes, “I was born with the devil in me. I could not help the fact that I was a murderer, no more than the poet can help the inspiration to sing.” (Larson, 109)
The fact that any human being can put these words onto a piece of paper is terrifying. Not only does Holmes believe he has the devil inside of him, he believes he was born to kill and cause pain. But the more gruesome Holmes gets, the more fascinating I find him. I watch the different ways he plans each murders with cold precision absolutely exhilarating. Although his role in the book is that of serial killer, I see him as a businessman. Holmes was never in need of money because he had ingenious ways of generating income. He convinced many people to take out life-insurance policies that named him as beneficiary. When the time was right, Holmes would track down these people, kill them and profit from their deaths.
In an era when grave robbing was very common, Holmes gave it his own little twist -- after ripping a corpse to shreds, Holmes would create a skeleton out of...