That Herman Webster Mudgett, better known as H. H. Holmes, was a criminal par excellence is beyond doubt, but how far and in what respects he was a degenerate, in the accepted sense of the term, is worthy of serious consideration.
Few criminals have received more public attention, but despite this, many essential details of his history are wanting. Very little has been stated as to his heredity. He claims to have come from a respectable New England stock and to have been religiously and carefully brought up. As a boy he does not appear to have been a scapegrace, and no criminal charge is there on record against him. He married at 18 or 20 and commenced the study of medicine at Burlington, Vt. From there he went to the University of Michigan, where he claims to have graduated in medicine in 1884.
According to his own account, after
TALBOT ES. H. H. HOLMES. JAMA. 1896;XXVII(5):253–257. doi:10.1001/jama.1896.02430830023001i
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