Serial Killer Stalks Victims During 1893 Chicago World's Fair January 08 2014

Burnham and Root, the great Chicago architects, brought together architects from all over the US to design the buildings of the 1893 Chicago World's Fair, also known as the Columbian Exposition.  Little did they know that on the perimeter of their enterprise, Dr. Henry  Howard Holmes, the first documented American serial killer, built a hotel to lure in young women so he could torture and brutally murder them.

Some of the architects who designed buildings for the Exposition were Peabody and Stearns, McKim, Mead and White, A. Page Brown and Adler and Sullivan.  You will find many plans and photos by these architects on this website.

Dr. Holmes opened his hotel, called the "Castle" in 1893.  The ground floor of the Castle contained Holmes's own  drugstore and various shops, while the upper two floors contained his personal office and a maze of over 100 windowless rooms with doorways opening to brick walls, oddly-angled hallways, stairways to nowhere, doors openable only from the outside, and a host of other strange and labyrinthine constructions. Holmes repeatedly changed builders during the construction of the Castle, so only he fully understood the design of the house.

One can only imagine the dapper and successful Dr. Holmes strolling through the Fair, carefully selecting his victims and coercing them into his chamber of horrors.  While he confessed to 27 murders, of which nine were confirmed, his actual count could be as high as 200.  He took an unknown number of his victims from the 1893 Chicago World's Fair to his "World's Fair" hotel.


Stanford White Killed by Jealous Husband January 07 2014

Stanford White, of the famous architectural firm McKim, Mead and White, (we have many of their plans on our website) was brutally murdered 0n June 25, 1906 by Harry Thaw at the Madison Square Garden (see photo), a building White designed.  Thaw, a wealthy man who inherited his money from his father, was obsessed with the suave and accomplished White. 

Stanford White was at the center of the New York scene and was a magnet for young debutantes, including the woman who Thaw eventually married, Evelyn Nesbitt.  A low born woman of loose morals, White deflowered the young Nesbitt and callously cast her off.  Oddly, it was said that it was for this reason that Harry Thaw married her--he wanted the bask in the reflected glow of the great Stanford White. 

But Evelyn Nesbitt made Harry's life a living hell by constantly comparing him to White, even going so far as to tell her close associates that Harry had, comparatively, a very small member.  The constant humiliation was too much for Harry and on the night of June 26 he cornered Stanford White and shot him three times in the chest.