Depraved by Harold Schechter
The Shocking True Story of America's First Serial Killer

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The heinous bloodlust of Dr. H.H. Holmes is notorious -- but only Harold Schechter's Depraved tells the complete story of the killer whose evil acts of torture and murder flourished within miles of the Chicago World's Fair. "Destined to be a true crime classic" (Flint Journal, MI), this authoritative account chronicles the methods and madness of a monster who slipped easily into a bright, affluent Midwestern suburb, where no one suspected the dapper, charming Holmes -- who alternately posed as doctor, druggist, and inventor to snare his prey -- was the architect of a labyrinthine "Castle of Horrors." Holmes admitted to twenty-seven murders by the time his madhouse of trapdoors, asphyxiation devices, body chutes, and acid vats was exposed. The seminal profile of a homegrown madman in the era of Jack the Ripper, Depraved is also a mesmerizing tale of true detection long before the age of technological wizardry.

About Harold Schechter

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A professor of American literature and culture at Queens College, Harold Schechter is the dean of American true crime. The author of more than thirty books, he is best known for his historical true-crime writing. His essays have appeared in various newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the International Herald Tribune. He lives in Brooklyn and Mattituck, New York, with his wife, the poet Kimiko Hahn.
Published June 30, 2008 by Pocket Books. 364 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Literature & Fiction, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Depraved

Kirkus Reviews

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After his conviction for Pitezel's murder, Holmes confessed to 26 other killings--some for insurance money, some out of sexual jealousy, others for fear the victims would give him away.

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Publishers Weekly

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He had talked his aide, Ben Pitezel, into getting an insurance policy on his own life, assuring Pitezel that they could render a cadaver unidentifiable, pass it off as Pitezel and collect $10,000.

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True Crime Book Reviews

An poverty-stricken alcoholic with a family to support, Pitezel was up for a game of insurance fraud featuring a $10,000 life insurance policy, a badly disfigured corpse, and a foolproof plan by Holmes.

Jun 27 2011 | Read Full Review of Depraved: The Shocking True S...

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