H. H. Holmes: The True History of the White City Devil

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  • Additional Information
    • Publication Information:
      American Library Association
    • Publication Date:
      2017
    • Abstract:
      H. H. Holmes: The True History of the White City Devil. By Adam Selzer. Apr. 2017.460p. Skyhorse, $26.99 (9781510713437). 364.15. Selzer has made a career of fact-checking the most sordid [...]
    • ISSN:
      0006-7385
    • Rights:
      Copyright 2017 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.
      COPYRIGHT 2017 American Library Association
    • Accession Number:
      edsgcl.490998340
  • Citations
    • ABNT:
      SPRATFORD, B. H. H. Holmes: The True History of the White City Devil. Booklist, [s. l.], n. 14, p. 5, 2017. Disponível em: . Acesso em: 27 maio. 2019.
    • AMA:
      Spratford B. H. H. Holmes: The True History of the White City Devil. Booklist. 2017;(14):5. http://widgets.ebscohost.com/prod/customlink/proxify/proxify.php?count=1&encode=0&proxy=&find_1=&replace_1=&target=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsgao&AN=edsgcl.490998340&authtype=sso&custid=s1007886. Accessed May 27, 2019.
    • APA:
      Spratford, B. (2017). H. H. Holmes: The True History of the White City Devil. Booklist, (14), 5. Retrieved from http://widgets.ebscohost.com/prod/customlink/proxify/proxify.php?count=1&encode=0&proxy=&find_1=&replace_1=&target=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsgao&AN=edsgcl.490998340&authtype=sso&custid=s1007886
    • Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date:
      Spratford, Becky. 2017. “H. H. Holmes: The True History of the White City Devil.” Booklist. http://widgets.ebscohost.com/prod/customlink/proxify/proxify.php?count=1&encode=0&proxy=&find_1=&replace_1=&target=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsgao&AN=edsgcl.490998340&authtype=sso&custid=s1007886.
    • Harvard:
      Spratford, B. (2017) ‘H. H. Holmes: The True History of the White City Devil’, Booklist, p. 5. Available at: http://widgets.ebscohost.com/prod/customlink/proxify/proxify.php?count=1&encode=0&proxy=&find_1=&replace_1=&target=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsgao&AN=edsgcl.490998340&authtype=sso&custid=s1007886 (Accessed: 27 May 2019).
    • Harvard: Australian:
      Spratford, B 2017, ‘H. H. Holmes: The True History of the White City Devil’, Booklist, no. 14, p. 5, viewed 27 May 2019, .
    • MLA:
      Spratford, Becky. “H. H. Holmes: The True History of the White City Devil.” Booklist, no. 14, 2017, p. 5. EBSCOhost, widgets.ebscohost.com/prod/customlink/proxify/proxify.php?count=1&encode=0&proxy=&find_1=&replace_1=&target=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsgao&AN=edsgcl.490998340&authtype=sso&custid=s1007886.
    • Chicago/Turabian: Humanities:
      Spratford, Becky. “H. H. Holmes: The True History of the White City Devil.” Booklist, 2017. http://widgets.ebscohost.com/prod/customlink/proxify/proxify.php?count=1&encode=0&proxy=&find_1=&replace_1=&target=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsgao&AN=edsgcl.490998340&authtype=sso&custid=s1007886.
    • Vancouver/ICMJE:
      Spratford B. H. H. Holmes: The True History of the White City Devil. Booklist [Internet]. 2017 [cited 2019 May 27];(14):5. Available from: http://widgets.ebscohost.com/prod/customlink/proxify/proxify.php?count=1&encode=0&proxy=&find_1=&replace_1=&target=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsgao&AN=edsgcl.490998340&authtype=sso&custid=s1007886

Reviews

Booklist Reviews 2017 March #2

*Starred Review* Selzer has made a career of fact-checking the most sordid details of Chicago history, disseminating the weird and gritty true history of the city and its most unsavory people through popular mystery tours, a podcast, and books. When the unprecedented success of Erik Larson's Devil in The White City (2003) stirred up renewed interest in serial killer H. H. Holmes, Selzer made it his mission to painstakingly research Holmes' life, family, and crimes with intense determination and doggedness. The result is this comprehensive, compelling, and surprising biography of Holmes, written in a conversational style, as if we are passengers on one of Selzer's tours. The book follows every move Holmes ever made, dragging readers all over the country, breathlessly following his trail of deceit and lies. Using thousands of primary sources to draw the most accurate picture yet of this American villain, Selzer keeps the delicate balance of salacious (and mundane) details maintained with solid facts. What emerges is a picture of a terrible but intriguing man, one who continues to capture our imagination over a century later, and one whose story leaps off the page in Selzer's uniquely suited hands. A must-read for fans of The Devil in The White City, of course, but this biography will also hold its own independently in true-crime collections. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.

LJ Reviews 2017 March #2

H.H. Holmes is widely considered to be America's first real serial killer, thanks to books such as Erik Larson's Devil in the White City painting him as such. Selzer (host, Mysterious Chicago podcast), however, seeks to debunk much of the fictionalized and sensational aspects of Holmes's alleged killing spree during the 1893 Chicago World's Fair in this comprehensive and intriguing account. Many accepted estimates put his kill count at somewhere between 30 and 200; Selzer, thanks to exhaustive research of previously undiscovered and ignored primary sources, narrows that down to four confirmed murders: Holmes's business partner, Benjamin Pitezel, and three of Pitezel's children. Selzer sets the record straight with regard to Holmes lore—he didn't lure young, single women into his "murder castle" in Englewood during the World's Fair, and his "castle" never functioned as a hotel. In fact, Holmes was much more notorious for his insurance fraud schemes. According to Selzer, much of Holmes lore came from unfettered sensationalized journalism, rampant gossip, unreliable witnesses, and Holmes himself—he was a compulsive liar and probably enjoyed the notoriety before he was sentenced to death. VERDICT A thoroughly enthralling piece of history that will partner well with Martin Scorsese's film adaptation of Devil in the White City, which releases later this year.—Tyler Hixson, School Library Journal

Copyright 2017 Library Journal.

PW Reviews 2017 January #4

Was late 19th-century mass murderer H.H. Holmes motivated more by psychological compulsions than practical concerns? Selzer (Ghost of Chicago) suggests the latter, diverging from the perspective put forth in Erik Larson's The Devil in the White City. He works hard to assemble historical evidence that strays from accounts by Larson, and others, but he never loses sight of the fact that Holmes "almost certainly killed at least nine people, ruined the lives of numerous others, and seemed to feel very little guilt about it." This highly readable account of the case walks readers through Holmes's nonviolent crimes before getting to his first murder. Selzer believes that Holmes's 1891 killing of Julia Conner, a woman he had sued for nonpayment of a loan, was, like his others, committed, not out of bloodlust, but as a "necessary part of furthering his swindling operations and protecting his lifestyle." He makes a convincing argument that current perceptions of Holmes are not always solidly grounded, even as he concedes that there's "a lot of mystery left to be solved" about the case, a concession that will lead many aficionados of quality true-crime narrative to monitor his Mysterious Chicago blog for updates. (Apr.)

Copyright 2017 Publisher Weekly.