Eric Larson presented to the world one more of his works, which reveals the terrible truth about a serial killer - an example of an ideal sociopath. The story is a bit like a fairy tale, but the tale is the most terrible of all the existing horrors. Eric Larson called this story “The Devil in the White City,” and this title already suggests that the situation described in the book hardly fits into the head of a simple person.
A thriller based on real events, the main character of which is Dr. Holmes, captures from the very first lines. Holmes is the pseudonym taken by the killer, and his real name is Herman Webster Majett. The nickname he subsequently received is the Doctor of Torture. The book held a thread linking the cruel deeds of Holmes with his childhood years, full of horror and violence.
So, Chicago, the end of the XIX century. Preparations are underway for the World Exhibition dedicated to the 400th anniversary of the discovery of America, called the Columbus Exhibition in honor of the famous explorer-discoverer. Henry Howard Holmes tricked into buying real estate and building a hotel, later nicknamed by the people the "Castle of the Kills" for its gloomy appearance and the work going on there. Among the hotels built in honor of the exhibition, it was the Castle that took first place.
Beautifully decorated interiors of rooms on the floors, excellent cuisine and exquisite table setting won the hearts of beautiful ladies first of all. Everything seemed to be beckoning to spend several days in bliss and comfort. But behind the beautiful interiors and haute cuisine there was a terrible truth. To some guests, this truth revealed in all its nightmarish guise. But they will not be able to talk about it, because they will become victims of the friendly owner of the hotel. By the way, even the attendants were forbidden to climb the top floor.
The building was built under the vigilant guidance of Holmes, according to his drawings, and so that many secrets of the future hotel would remain secrets, the criminal often changed contractors and workers. What was then hidden in the cellars of the Castle, shocked even the experienced police officers and reporters who had come to see them all. From the very first minutes, the building itself is perplexing with its interiors. An incredible number of rooms where there are no windows, stairs leading to nowhere, pseudo-floors and much more.
Instruments of torture, a crematorium, the remains of missing people and a table for vivisections caused a real storm of emotions among citizens of the whole world when some details of the investigation were made public, while others became accidentally available to the masses. The photographs of the victims, which fell into the media, stirred up black waves of indignation among people.
Another 15 minutes of life as a punishment from above
Eric Larson describes in color the events of those years, which makes the book reminiscent of horror stories. The hero of history is mercantile, smart and cunning, his actions are honed like knife blades, and it would seem that he will never be overtaken by retribution. But the punishment overtakes the inhuman killer. His execution took place in May 1896. He was sentenced to death by hanging. But fate had prepared for him an unpleasant surprise. For more than 15 minutes, Holmes was dying in torment, hanging out in a noose. His vertebrae did not break immediately, and the criminal had to live a few more minutes in agony and torment.
How did a serial killer get caught, where did he make a mistake? Eric Larson answers this question in his book. “The Devil in the White City” is a world bestseller where the long-forgotten facts of those tragic events are revealed and raised. There is also a childhood story of the future killer. Childhood, where there was no place for simple human happiness. Bad heredity, a bleak childhood do not always lead to the child becoming a cruel killer. But in this case, everything came down to one thing: inhumanity, cruelty and a penchant for violence prevailed and burst out.
Book and film
Eric Larson, whose books are always read in one breath and leave a deep imprint in the soul, knows how, like no other, to revive the pictures of the past or to draw a world created by him. But this book still should not fall into the hands of people suffering from various mental disorders. Violent teenagers can take note of everything written and then use the information for their own purposes, which is absolutely unacceptable.
According to this book, a film of the same name was shot in 2017. Events in the film unfold at the hotel, which won first place at the World Exhibition. Eric Larson in the book perfectly described the atmosphere of the terrible "Castle of Murders", without missing a single, even shocking and terrifying detail. Based on the facts from the book, following the development of events, the film turned out to be a living embodiment of the printed word. The premiere is scheduled for 2019. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio.