"Devil in the White City" by Erik Larson is a non-fiction retelling of the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair and how Holmes used the fair to lure his victims into his house of horrors.
H.H. Holmes started his criminal career as a medical student by stealing corpses from the University of Michigan. He used them to collect insurance money from policies taken out under fictitious names. When he moved to Chicago he started a drugstore empire from which he made a fortune. He built a hundred-room mansion complete with gas chambers, trap doors, acid vats, lime pits, fake walls and secret entrances. During the 1893 World’s Fair he rented rooms to visitors. He killed most of his renters and continued his insurance fraud scheme. He also lured women to his “torture castle” with the promise of marriage. Instead, he would force them to sign over their savings. After he would throw them down an elevator shaft and gas them to death. In the basement of the castle he dismembered and skinned his prey and experimented with their corpses. When police grew suspicious about H.H’s activities, he torched the castle and fled. In the burnt hulk of the building, authorities found the remains of over two hundred people. H.H. was caught and hanged on May 7, 1896, leaving behind an impressive trail of blood unequaled for almost eighty years.
Could Plas Tirion’s cow shed be oldest house in Wales?
Experts say new evidence shows north west Wales was an innovative place architecturally with cutting edge houses built in the 16th Century.
They are awaiting results on an “unremarkable” building in Conwy, a cow shed, which may pre-date Wales’ oldest homes from 1402.
Specialists and volunteers are using tree ring dating or dendrochronology.
I love cathedrals, not for their religious significance so much, but for what they represent about the human experience through time.
Six cathedrals interiors.
The greatest explosion in modern times occurred when Krakatoa erupted, in Indonesia in 1883.
- the power of the explosion was thought to be 26 times the power of the greatest H bomb.
- the roar was heard over one-thirteenth of the surface of the earth.
- The eruption wiped out 163 villages, killing 36,380 people.
- Ash from the explosion rose 50 miles in altitude (higher than altitudes where airplanes fly) and it affected the weather for the next year.