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American Ripper

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No one has commented on this yet?  I watched the first episode, and I have to say so far we have, basically nothing.  Nothing to indicate Holmes is the Ripper, except that a series of land deals his family was involved in ended before the murders in the UK began.  I'm sure I'll be back next week though.

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So I read Adam Selzer's book, and it is exhaustively researched and often, actually, quite boring. I had to stop for a while and move on to something that held my attention better. Not his fault, but there is only so much you can keep straight with so many aliases, insurance scams, shell companies, patent fraud, interstate travel, and fraudulent real estate transactions. The castle was not a murder maze. Holmes' primary interest was obtaining large quantities of money by whatever means necessary, and he didn't appear to have any appetite for violence, just that sometimes, that was the necessary means.

Mr. Mudgett appears to have the same problem that Steve Hodel has - he's really really invested in his ancestor being this monster. At least in Hodel's case, it was his father, and there is a fairly decent case for George Hodel actually being the Black Dahlia killer. But that's not enough for Steve - George also has to be the Torso Killer, and the Lipstick Killer, and for all I know, maybe he's working on making him the Zodiac Killer too. I think they both need some therapy.

That said, there may still be artifacts from the castle under the post office lawn, but I don't think they'll prove anything. Since he had so very many aliases, and he was beyond industrious in juggling multiple scams at once under multiple names, if they haven't found documentation of him being in the US during the time of the Ripper murders, it's because they're just not trying hard enough, IMO.

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22 minutes ago, Ananayel said:

That said, there may still be artifacts from the castle under the post office lawn, but I don't think they'll prove anything. Since he had so very many aliases, and he was beyond industrious in juggling multiple scams at once under multiple names, if they haven't found documentation of him being in the US during the time of the Ripper murders, it's because they're just not trying hard enough, IMO.

Yeah, I'm afraid this is going to be one of those shows like "D.B. Cooper:  Case Closed?" and "Was O.J. Innocent?".  Well, maybe not as bad as the last one, but I have a feeling they're not going to be able to present a solid case.

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This is so far reminding me of "Hunting Hitler" and that very recent show about Amelia Earhardt.  Lots of smoke but no fire.  Also, so far there is no reason to believe based on "modus operandi" that Mudgett was the Ripper and the criminal profiler even said that.  They're going to have to pull a rabbit out of a hat to keep me interested.  The fact that the show's premiere date was postponed for a couple of months makes me wonder if they did find some conclusive evidence.

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Didn't know the show was finally on, thought it was still being delayed.  Will have to look out for it.

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13 hours ago, Ananayel said:

Mr. Mudgett appears to have the same problem that Steve Hodel has - he's really really invested in his ancestor being this monster. At least in Hodel's case, it was his father, and there is a fairly decent case for George Hodel actually being the Black Dahlia killer. But that's not enough for Steve - George also has to be the Torso Killer, and the Lipstick Killer, and for all I know, maybe he's working on making him the Zodiac Killer too. I think they both need some therapy.

 

He gives off a very Hodel vibe.  I would not be surprised to hear that he's found evidence of Holmes having tea with Man Ray at the Ten Bells.

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I remember watching a truncated version of this on the very first episode of "Mysteries at the Monument"  (Fast Forward to 22 minutes, people).  They mentioned that the World's Fair was happening which made it even easier for Holmes to find transients to murder.  They don't make any connection that he might be Jack The Ripper (probably because Mysteries at the Museum already claimed some murderer in New York might have been him).  It's interesting to hear some more about this.  I think I'll keep watching, even if the pacing is slow.

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17 hours ago, Zero7 said:

This is so far reminding me of "Hunting Hitler" and that very recent show about Amelia Earhardt.  Lots of smoke but no fire.  Also, so far there is no reason to believe based on "modus operandi" that Mudgett was the Ripper and the criminal profiler even said that.  They're going to have to pull a rabbit out of a hat to keep me interested.  The fact that the show's premiere date was postponed for a couple of months makes me wonder if they did find some conclusive evidence.

Hunting Hitler is interesting if you want to know how Nazis escaped Europe after the war.  If you want to see something about Hitler, not so much.  I thought the Amelia Earhart special was very good, even if the photo was discredited.  There are a lot of eyewitnesses placing her in the Marshall Islands and Saipan.  One of three things happened to her:  She either died after crashing in the water, she died as a castaway, or she died as a prisoner of the Japanese.  I don't think you can rule any of those possibilities out.  If she did land in the Marshall Islands, I don't think it's a stretch at all to think that she would be detained by the Japanese.

As for Holmes, it looks like they're trying to plant the suggestion that his body wasn't in his grave.  If that's true though, I can't believe it wouldn't have made the news, so I think it's a red herring.

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Okay, I was kidding about Steve Hodel claiming his father was Zodiac, but he's totally doing just that! Also, that George was the Jigsaw Killer, in Manila. Next, I expect to hear the George was also the real Boston Strangler, and in fact was somehow Jack the Ripper his very own self, or at least that George Hodel's father or grandfather was Jack the Ripper. Maybe he and Mudgett can have some sort of throwdown about whose relative was worse. Therapy. It's what's for dinner.

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I did find the info about his mother interesting, wouldn't put it past him to have killed her. The other deaths in that town were supposition, kids died all the time back then from stuff they didn't know about.

I think he killed more people than a few but less than hundreds. He was much to busy in court defending himself with all his scams he was running.

I really hope they can prove he was in the US when the Ripper was working, that would be one down at least.

I'm in for the season, I just love to watch them dig up a grave as gruesome as that sounds. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

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I was excited for this show, just because I love true crime. I'm not pinning a lot of hope on the idea of Holmes being Ripper. Just because they didn't find any court filings or documents for him during a few a months in America, that doesn't mean he just hopped and ship and went to kill some broads in White Chapel for awhile! But I've read  Devil in the White City, and I just like hearing more about Holmes, period. I think the multiple child drownings in his family is very suspicious.

I do find it a bit silly that they're getting all excited about excavating the post office parking lot, hoping to find some bodies. Dude didn't built a freaking crematorium in his hotel just to go an bury bodies in the ground!

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Oy. The Shawl. The shawl with unclear provenance, that has surely been handled by dozens, if not hundreds of people over the years. The shawl that allegedly yielded results confirming Kosminski, that were then debunked. I just... can't.

It seemed like the scientist was just humoring him. I know I would.

The only reason I watched this was to see London.

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They had Donald Rumbelow on! He is an expert on the Ripper, has written a book, and does a Ripper tour on Sundays that I am going on during mytrip to London in two month!  He was the retired police detective. I am so excited, maybe I can get some info on what he really thought of this theory,they didn't really ask him.

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 The fact that the show's premiere date was postponed for a couple of months makes me wonder if they did find some conclusive evidence.

Or they initially thought they had some sort of smoking gun only to have it debunked before the show was scheduled to air. Could go either way.

I think HH Holmes' story is interesting enough on its own to keep me watching but the connection to Jack the Ripper seems like a huge stretch.

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25 minutes ago, Arynm said:

They had Donald Rumbelow on! He is an expert on the Ripper, has written a book, and does a Ripper tour on Sundays that I am going on during mytrip to London in two month!  He was the retired police detective. I am so excited, maybe I can get some info on what he really thought of this theory,they didn't really ask him.

I did that tour mumble mumble years ago - it's definitely worth it! His eyebrows are quite impressive these days. I have his book too - though I goofed and didn't buy it directly from him before the tour, since I was sure I already had it. Whoops.

I'm sure that, even if they ask (or the interview subject says) what they think of whatever theory, if it's negative they never show it. He may have politely read them up one side and down the other for all we will ever know.

Holmes isn't considered a credible suspect by anyone who really studies the case. My main problem (well, one of them, anyway) is that the Mary Kelly murder was so savage, the very definition of overkill, that I don't see how anyone could just return to their previous life of real estate and insurance fraud after that. And the "for profit" motive doesn't make a damn bit of sense.

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1 hour ago, Ananayel said:

I did that tour mumble mumble years ago - it's definitely worth it! His eyebrows are quite impressive these days. I have his book too - though I goofed and didn't buy it directly from him before the tour, since I was sure I already had it.

I have heard it is a great tour, and I am going to wait and buy his book on the tour, it looks great. I am pretty sure that Holmes was not the Ripper, MO is just too different. I like this kind of show, even when it's totally out there. I saw somewhere that ID channel is doing a special called Murder Castle, so I will be turning in for that as well. No idea when it will be on though.

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4 hours ago, Arynm said:

I like this kind of show, even when it's totally out there. I saw somewhere that ID channel is doing a special called Murder Castle, so I will be turning in for that as well. No idea when it will be on though.

There was an episode of "Timeless" last year that focused on The Chicago World's Fair (The bad guy on the show wanted to kill Edison, who was there) and sure enough, the heroes of the show also run into H.H. Holmes.

Meanwhile, Scorsese is working on a film (it's really just barely starting production) and Leo is apparently going to portray Holmes.

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At least now they have started to lay down some foundation for their hypothesis.  It bugs me that the guy says "I KNOW my great great grandfather was the ripper".  Seems to me the best he can have is a strong suspicion, but whatever.

I don't know much about Jack the Ripper, so I've never heard of this shawl before.  It seems odd to me though that this piece didn't have a single drop of blood on it.   Certainly when they showed the dramatic recreation of the policeman taking it, it was soaked through.

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The shawl that was tested for this show were just portions of a shawl (maybe Catherine Eddowes', maybe not.)  So the portions themselves may not have had blood, or much blood on them.  And the murders were committed nearly 130 years ago so I would assume at least some blood would denigrate. 

I am watching the show although I don't believe Holmes was the Ripper.  I don't believe we will ever know with certainty who the Ripper was, not at this late date, but I'd wager more on him being some random person versus someone famous/infamous. 

@Arynm, I am headed to London in October so seeing your post about Donald Rumbelow (!!!!) guiding the Ripper Walking Tour is making me squeee.  Will definitely make sure to attend on his night.  And @Ananayel - thanks for your input about the tour and being able to purchase Don's book there.  I will certainly do that.  Wonder if he will pose for pics and sign books? 

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On 7/19/2017 at 1:34 PM, iMonrey said:

I think HH Holmes' story is interesting enough on its own to keep me watching but the connection to Jack the Ripper seems like a huge stretch.

Same. I just want to hear more about Holmes. 

 

On 7/19/2017 at 1:26 PM, Arynm said:

They had Donald Rumbelow on! He is an expert on the Ripper, has written a book, and does a Ripper tour on Sundays that I am going on during mytrip to London in two month!  He was the retired police detective. I am so excited, maybe I can get some info on what he really thought of this theory,they didn't really ask him.

Has anyone on here watched Whitechapel? It was a British TV show that I found on Amazon. Four short seasons, but I thought it was amazing and was sorry that it appeared to have been canceled? I was also disappointed that there was no forum on here for it. I thought it was one of the better crime/mystery shows I'd ever seen, yet the interwebs did not seem to have any chatter about it. 

At any rate, the reason I ask is because a Ripperologist was very strongly featured on the show and I wondered if this guy that you mention above was the basis for the character. 

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There was an article I googled recently about the larger portion of the shawl selling at auction for a huge amount of money. The pictures did show that pieces had been cut off, but I'm sure whoever paid out the rear end for the rest of it wouldn't give it up for testing. There may have been blood on the larger portion. They did find semen, but - if it was her shawl - she was a prostitute, so I don't think that's in any way unusual, and certainly doesn't prove anything. The shawl and its alleged DNA information is the subject of the book Naming the Ripper.

Whitechapel was a great show, but I didn't think the Ripperologist was based on Rumbelow. The guy seemed way more obsessive. It was probably a mashup of the more well-known experts.

@psychoticstate I was the first one there for the tour. I had spent the day touring the London Dungeon and the Tower, and the tour left from Tower Hill, so I was just hanging out, killing time waiting for the tour to start. There were no smart phones mumble mumble years ago, but if you are early, you may get a chance for a selfie and some conversation. The crowd on my tour was fairly large, even for the supposed "off season" (March) when I was there. The residents of the apartments along the tour route knew the drill, and would pull down their shades and mime stabbings in the window.

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4 hours ago, psychoticstate said:

@Arynm, I am headed to London in October so seeing your post about Donald Rumbelow (!!!!) guiding the Ripper Walking Tour is making me squeee.  Will definitely make sure to attend on his night.  And @Ananayel - thanks for your input about the tour and being able to purchase Don's book there.  I will certainly do that.  Wonder if he will pose for pics and sign books? 

I will give everyone 411 when I get back. I know he only does Sundays through London Walks. I certainly hope I can get there early and ask him about the show.

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Devil in the White City by Eric (last name I forgot) was very good.  It takes a while to get into it, but  keep going.  You end up learning as much about the Worlds Fair as you do Holmes.   You will get some earlier history about Holmes, but mostly his part is contained to the Murder Castle and people he had personal relationships with that most likely died there and afterwards.  I was amazed to learn he was never convicted of the Murder Castle murders.  Yes, you read that right.  I'm going to read the other book mentioned here sometime.

In  terms of this show, the premise is interesting but the execution makes me roll my eyes.  I feel like I am watching a cheaply produced, over dramatic fluff  that belongs on oxygen or lifetime.  I was hoping for a serious investigation at least at the Dateline or 48 hours level.  This is Gordon Rivera's Al Capone vault level of sappy nonsense meets Area 51 aliens.

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29 minutes ago, mythoughtis said:

Devil in the White City by Eric (last name I forgot) was very good.  It takes a while to get into it, but  keep going.  You end up learning as much about the Worlds Fair as you do Holmes.   You will get some earlier history about Holmes, but mostly his part is contained to the Murder Castle and people he had personal relationships with that most likely died there and afterwards.  I was amazed to learn he was never convicted of the Murder Castle murders.  Yes, you read that right.  I'm going to read the other book mentioned here sometime.

In  terms of this show, the premise is interesting but the execution makes me roll my eyes.  I feel like I am watching a cheaply produced, over dramatic fluff  that belongs on oxygen or lifetime.  I was hoping for a serious investigation at least at the Dateline or 48 hours level.  This is Gordon Rivera's Al Capone vault level of sappy nonsense meets Area 51 aliens.

Erik Larsen and the book is fantastic!  

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I still think the connection between Holmes and the Ripper is awfully thin, but at least they made a more intriguing case in the second episode WRT the timeline. The problem is that there is such a glut of information out there about the Ripper, and because there's so much of it, a lot of it is contradictory. Even some of the most basic facts are disputed, such as whether or not the Ripper had such "surgical precision" he must have been a doctor. So you don't know what to believe anymore; any time someone states something about the Ripper as fact, you know someone else has disputed it.

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On 7/22/2017 at 0:36 PM, iMonrey said:

I still think the connection between Holmes and the Ripper is awfully thin, but at least they made a more intriguing case in the second episode WRT the timeline. The problem is that there is such a glut of information out there about the Ripper, and because there's so much of it, a lot of it is contradictory. Even some of the most basic facts are disputed, such as whether or not the Ripper had such "surgical precision" he must have been a doctor. So you don't know what to believe anymore; any time someone states something about the Ripper as fact, you know someone else has disputed it.

I know, I've watched so many Ripper documentaries that all contradict each other that I watch every new one with a healthy dose of skepticism.  A couple of years ago I remember one such show on (I believe) Nat. Geo. or Smithsonian that went through a couple "American" theories and HH Holmes was one of the suspects, but it concluded that the motive and MO didn't appear to match up enough.  It did end off by saying that more research was necessary before ruling him out, though.  I've watched others that have claimed the Ripper didn't have to be a doctor but could have been a morgue assistant.  An almost-believable case was made on one such assistant that was actually mentioned in the investigation documents.  Some of the mentioned suspects had circumstantial coincidences that lined up as well or better than any on Holmes presented so far.  So I am just along with this for the ride, but I'm not expecting to be convinced one way or the other.  I too am not buying the organs for $$ motive with that kind of wild savagery going on at the same time.  But again, pass the popcorn!

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Watched the most recent episode.  Maybe I'm overly cynical, but I am really suspicious of that photographic composite made up by the forensic artist from the eyewitness descriptions of the Ripper.  They couldn't have gotten a more dead on match for Holmes if they had been trying to.  It was just too close, something seems fishy there.

The other thing I've noticed about this show is that guy, Jeff, who thinks his great great grandfather is the Ripper?  His over the top reactions and mannerisms are starting to get on my nerves, it's making it hard to watch.  Every time someone says something like "They believe the Ripper may have been an American", they cut to him whipping around to look at Amaryllis, or make some sort of startled expression.  I suspect the producers are encouraging him to react, and he's not a trained television personality, but it's starting to grate.

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Yea, that composite was a little too on the nose. Given that all the Ripper's crimes happened at night, I'm not so sure you can put much stock in eye witness accounts. I'd give it more credence if they had several different sketch artists come up with an image and they were all similar. But I think given the various descriptions, you could get various depictions. 

I did find the linguistic analysis interesting, but I always do with that aspect of an investigation. It's just fascinating to me. I liked seeing how British English and American English differed at that time.  It seems very likely Ripper was an American, but that still doesn't mean Holmes. 

Overall, I'm still finding the new tidbits I didn't know about EITHER men interesting, despite the fact that I'm very skeptical about their link. 

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I'm really enjoying this show for all the background and research they're giving us.  Do I think HH Holmes was Jack the Ripper?  No.  Does that make this show less entertaining?  No.

 

Interesting that the Saucy Jack postcard was stolen.  I had never heard that.  Also, I thought didn't Jack send a package with a piece of one of the victims, or am I mixing it up with some other case?

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1 hour ago, hilaryvm said:

I'm really enjoying this show for all the background and research they're giving us.  Do I think HH Holmes was Jack the Ripper?  No.  Does that make this show less entertaining?  No.

 

Interesting that the Saucy Jack postcard was stolen.  I had never heard that.  Also, I thought didn't Jack send a package with a piece of one of the victims, or am I mixing it up with some other case?

I agree with you first paragraph very much.

IIRC, "Jack" sent a piece of kidney to the police.

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So every instance where an alias of Holmes appears on the ships list couldn't possibly be someone else using one of the same names? 

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18 hours ago, mythoughtis said:

So every instance where an alias of Holmes appears on the ships list couldn't possibly be someone else using one of the same names? 

Of course they could, but they're building a circumstantial case.  If they can line enough "circumstances" up in a row for you, they hope you will come to the conclusion that they want you to.

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This is a fun show, but I'm totally not buying this guy's theory.

1) Jeff is committing a cardinal sin of historical research- you do NOT come up with a theory first and then try to find evidence to prove yourself right. Instead, you form a basic question and let the evidence lead you to an informed and logical conclusion. His whole approach is making my head hurt.

2) I think they really dropped the ball on their analysis of the "Dear Boss" letters. IMHO, these letters show that Holmes and Jack the Ripper had completely different MOs. Holmes's frequent use of (very generic) aliases and his ability to run a full-fledged murder hotel for years shows that he was able to lay low and not draw attention to himself, whereas the Dear Boss letters show Jack goading the police into a public cat and mouse game only a few weeks into his crime spree. Very different criminal mindsets. I know they tried to connect this to Holmes's indignant retort about his teaching credentials years earlier, but that was a pretty flimsy argument to me.

3) The composite sketch wasn't too enlightening. Without his mustache Holmes looks like a generic white dude, so I don't think the sketch offered any particular insight. Actually, I thought the sketch looked more like the pictures of young Stalin than Holmes.

4) The "selling organs for cash" theory is ridiculous, given the brutality of the attacks. Also, I can't remember the details, but I vaguely recall hearing that not all of the removed organs were actually missing from the crime scenes; I think some of them were found next to or on top of the victims, arranged to shock whoever found the bodies. But I could be misremembering.

5) Out of curiosity, how did they know all of Holmes's aliases? That seems like an awfully difficult thing to track down, so where did that list of names come from? Did Holmes himself supply them after he was arrested? 

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Yea, that composite was a little too on the nose.

Well, Jeff and Amaryllis were both describing HH Holmes, deliberately or not.  Yeah they had things like "dark hair" and "mustache" but they were directing the sketch artist in the nuances to make it look more like Holmes. I mean, the witness descriptions were far too vague and generic, it could have been any guy with dark hair and a mustache. That's about 75% of the male population in England at the time.

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Jeff is committing a cardinal sin of historical research- you do NOT come up with a theory first and then try to find evidence to prove yourself right.

Agreed. They are both cherry-picking bits and pieces of evidence to fit their theory. The composite sketch was an egregious example of that. And that guy they interviewed at the end, who had information on Leather Apron and the American suspect - you could tell he was totally not buying the HH Holmes theory. They were trying to hard to get him to say "Yeah, it could have been HH Holmes" but the best they could manage to get out of him was a half-hearted" Well I guess you can't rule anyone out."

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This is getting a little off topic, but every time they talk about "Saucy Jack", I think about that scene in the movie Spinal Tap.  Where they talk about writing a rock opera based on Jack the Ripper, and they start singing a song called "Saucy Jack".

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Alright already with the constant images of the gruesome Ripper bodies, especially Mary Kelly.  I might have to stop watching this on that alone.  I think a drinking contest can be fashioned around the insane amount of times that image was shown in this latest episode.  We get it, so please, STOP already.

Also, Jeff Mudgett himself is a bit of a disappointment.  Maybe I'm just shallow, but the way he moves his mouth and enunciates when he talks does him no favors.  He is probably a lot smarter than he comes off, or maybe I'm just being generous.

And Amaryllis could benefit from a little camera-ready makeup.  She doesn't have to go for a fashionista look, but something to at least to cover up whatever's going on on her upper lip.

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These people crack me up. "Is there any evidence whatsoever that Holmes killed and dismembered bodies here?" "No, but that just means he was really good at it!" It's clear they haven't read Adam Selzer's book, or there wouldn't even be a show.

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3 hours ago, Snarklepuss said:

Also, Jeff Mudgett himself is a bit of a disappointment.  Maybe I'm just shallow, but the way he moves his mouth and enunciates when he talks does him no favors. 

Mudgett is not coming off well on TV, I agree.

3 hours ago, Ananayel said:

 It's clear they haven't read Adam Selzer's book, or there wouldn't even be a show.

I believe Selzer wrote a book on Holmes, but that aside I'm not sure I catch your meaning.  Care to elaborate?  Does Selzer talk about the Ripper theory, or does he say something about Holmes' methods that contradicts this show?  I'm not much of a crime buff, so I'm not familiar with a lot of the facts in these cases.

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Selzer pretty much demolishes the case for the building being any type of "murder castle" constructed for diabolical purposes. Holmes was fond of construction scams, and would place orders for large amounts of goods, supplies, furniture, etc, and "hide" them in "secret" rooms, not pay, and when it came time for repossession, they couldn't be found. He was no kind of architect either, so everything was slipshod and haphazard. There's not even much, if any, evidence that it was ever even used as a hotel.

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On 7/30/2017 at 9:26 PM, Cherpumple said:

This is a fun show, but I'm totally not buying this guy's theory.

1) Jeff is committing a cardinal sin of historical research- you do NOT come up with a theory first and then try to find evidence to prove yourself right. Instead, you form a basic question and let the evidence lead you to an informed and logical conclusion. His whole approach is making my head hurt.

2) I think they really dropped the ball on their analysis of the "Dear Boss" letters. IMHO, these letters show that Holmes and Jack the Ripper had completely different MOs. Holmes's frequent use of (very generic) aliases and his ability to run a full-fledged murder hotel for years shows that he was able to lay low and not draw attention to himself, whereas the Dear Boss letters show Jack goading the police into a public cat and mouse game only a few weeks into his crime spree. Very different criminal mindsets. I know they tried to connect this to Holmes's indignant retort about his teaching credentials years earlier, but that was a pretty flimsy argument to me.

3) The composite sketch wasn't too enlightening. Without his mustache Holmes looks like a generic white dude, so I don't think the sketch offered any particular insight. Actually, I thought the sketch looked more like the pictures of young Stalin than Holmes.

4) The "selling organs for cash" theory is ridiculous, given the brutality of the attacks. Also, I can't remember the details, but I vaguely recall hearing that not all of the removed organs were actually missing from the crime scenes; I think some of them were found next to or on top of the victims, arranged to shock whoever found the bodies. But I could be misremembering.

5) Out of curiosity, how did they know all of Holmes's aliases? That seems like an awfully difficult thing to track down, so where did that list of names come from? Did Holmes himself supply them after he was arrested? 

I'm with you in that I'm enjoying the show but I went into it not believing that Holmes was the Ripper and I'm still there.  

While the "organs for cash" is a decent enough theory, it doesn't work with the Ripper case for exactly the reason you mentioned.  Most of the women were disemboweled without care taken to remove organs.  And you are right in that at least one, as I recall, was found with the organ(s) lying on or next to the body. I believe the killings were sexual in nature, which the Victorians at the time didn't fully grasp.  The killer hated women; the prostitutes were chosen either because he had an issue with them or because they were easy pickings.

I agree with many of the Ripperologists who say the progression of the murders show the mental deterioration of the killer, ending in the horrific murder of Mary Kelley.  Someone who committed such an act had likely gone off the deep end after that crime; Holmes supposedly committed the Ripper murders and then returned to America, constructed his "murder hotel," committed more murders and schemes and did this for a number of years before being caught?  I don't buy it. The person who destroyed Mary Kelley was an extremely sick individual who I don't think could have gone on in society and about their daily life. 

I haven't watched last night episode's yet but has the show mentioned the theory that the Ripper letters were fakes and possibly authored by reporters to sell papers? 

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31 minutes ago, psychoticstate said:

I haven't watched last night episode's yet but has the show mentioned the theory that the Ripper letters were fakes and possibly authored by reporters to sell papers? 

Patricia Cornwell wrote about the letters and pretty much proved that Walter Sickert (the painter Cornwell thinks is the Ripper) wrote at least 3 of the letters. They came from a very small run of paper, about 24 sheets and a paper expert matched 3 of the Ripper letters to 2 that were written by Sickert. That doesn't make all of the letters real, anymore than it makes Sickert the Ripper, but I think that at least a few might not be hoaxes written by the media.

I really enjoyed the time they spent looking at holes on the bottom of the Chicago River. Positive proof that Holmes killed hundreds and encased them in cement and dumped them in the river from a shell company that he probably never set foot in.

I'm waiting for them to dig the guy up, I can't wait!

Edited by Arynm · Reason: not sure if everyone knows who Sickert is
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11 hours ago, Snarklepuss said:

And Amaryllis could benefit from a little camera-ready makeup.  She doesn't have to go for a fashionista look, but something to at least to cover up whatever's going on on her upper lip.

It's a mole, aka a beauty mark. I like that she doesn't use makeup to either hide it or make it stand out ostentatiously, like some do.

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I don't believe in hate watching, but I am definitely snark watching this show at this point.  Their disappointment at not being allowed by the post office to dig up their lawn and parking lot was understandable, but did they really expect it?  And Amaryllis' reaction "For any investigator to be told that you're investigating multiple homicides but your not allowed access to the scene of the crime is a really tough blow.  If this were a case that was open and active right now we'd be getting a different answer."  And Mudgett's nod...I mean, seriously?  1.  You two are not the police, FBI, CIA, or any other type of investigators.  You are a former CIA operative and current writer and peace activist (from what google tells me) and the crackpot great grandson of H. H. Holmes who are making a tv show and 2. This is not an open and active case.  And yet you expect the post office to just let you dig up their lawn and parking lot? The most shocking revelation for me in this entire show would have been if they had said yes.

My biggest question is who is paying for all this?  Trips to New York and London, remote controlled submarines and access (apparently) to excavating equipment to dig up parking lots...is Jeff Mudgett paying for all this or the History channel?  Anyone know?  Does anyone know what he does for a living?

No, wait...turns out that was my second biggest question.  My biggest question is how on earth do you reverse the flow of a river?  I had no idea such a thing was possible.  Wow!

Edited by Nessie
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1 hour ago, Nessie said:

No, wait...turns out that was my second biggest question.  My biggest question is how on earth do you reverse the flow of a river?  I had no idea such a thing was possible.  Wow!

That surprised me too.  I would think that if you reversed the flow, you'd end up draining the new source (which was a lake from the way it sounded).  Apparently not.

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This show is really running out of gas. How much longer can they drag this out? There's really not more than one or two hour's worth of material here at most and they're really stretching it. Every scene is extremely repetitive, with Amaryllis talking to either Jeff or some "expert" and they'll say something, then she'll say it back to them using different words, then they'll say it again, and she'll say it again in a slightly different way. We've gleaned as much information as we're going to get out of these soundbites the first time we hear them and they drag them out into five minute segments. It's just silly.

At this point there's nothing left to find. Why do they keep saying if they can dig up the post office lawn they might find "proof" that HH Holmes was Jack the Ripper? Even if they fine human cremains that doesn't prove he's Jack the Ripper. What "evidence" do they think will prove this theory anywhere in the U.S. at this point? We already know Holmes murdered several people here in this country, so at this point the best they can hope for is evidence that supports what we already know as fact. Unless they can unearth a letter in Holmes' own handwriting that says "I am Jack the Ripper" their case is dead.

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On 8/2/2017 at 9:09 PM, Nessie said:

No, wait...turns out that was my second biggest question.  My biggest question is how on earth do you reverse the flow of a river?  I had no idea such a thing was possible.  Wow!

Oh, man, this brought back a few days of grade school Chicago Civics lessons! Every CPS kid learns about this at some point, and usually it gets repeated in high school as well. I can't tell you the scientific details, but it has to do with a series of locks being built, and the Sanitary & Ship Canal being built alongside the River to divert water.  If you've ever read Sara Paretsky, a lot of her books mention the Sanitary & Ship Canal on the South Side. Here's a "lite" version of the explanation.

I am watching because I attended a reading Jeff Mudgett did a few years ago about discovering his ancestor was HH Holmes. Deep family secret. He does seem to have made his heritage his life's focus.

I don't for a minute believe Holmes was Jack, but it's a fun summer show (gory photos notwithstanding). Chicago is fairly fascinated with its own mythology, so I would have loved to have them excavate the Post Office parking lot.

My money is on Walter Sickert being the Ripper. Patricia Cornwell came up with some very convincing arguments. But as someone said above, I'm watching this for entertainment, not research.

Edited by ChicagoCita
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