The First Serial Killer

Who Was the First Serial Killer?

If you’re a true crime fan, you’d already know some of the most popular serial killers such as Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, and John Wayne Gacy. All of these serial killers committed horrific crimes and used to kill people by strangling or by using other methods that give you chills.

However, do you know who was the very first serial killer in history? If not and you want to know, then you have come to the right place. Let’s discuss this subject in detail.

On a side note, did you know that from 1900-2010 there were 40.3 percent African American serial killers and 52.1 percent while serial killers?

The First Serial Killer

The First Serial Killer


The crime was prevalent even before accurate information and data were recorded against everyday happenings. You’ll be surprised to know that the earliest examples of serial murders date back to 331 BC.

This case of serial killing involved about 170 women who used to poison Roman men. These women were notorious and this entire group of female serial killers was convicted of the crimes they committed. So, who actually was the very first serial killer and criminal mastermind?

Locusta of Galt and Aspernas

Locusta of Galt and Aspernas

Locusta of Galt was actually a prisoner and she used to work for the mother of the Roman Emperor known as Nero. She was ordered to kill the Imperial family members by poisoning them. She’s known to be the first serial murderer in history.


The Roman government convicted another serial killer, Aspernas, after Locusta of Galt. Aspernas murdered about 130 people of the local community but it’s still unknown why he did that. It’s believed that he also used certain types of poisons to kill all those people.

There is very little information about the time span in which Aspernas committed these murders. Both of these people are known to be the earliest serial killer in history.

America’s First Serial Killer

Americas First Serial Killer

When it comes to American history, HH Holmes is considered the very first serial killer. He’s also known as the “Torture Doctor” and he wreaked havoc on Chicago city. There are many books, television series, and films that explain the story of HH Holmes.

He went to a medical school as a student and he used that knowledge to torture and kill his victims. He also used to collect on the life insurance policies of his victims and sell their body parts to medical schools. HH Holmes was certainly a murderous monster and a criminal mastermind who claimed to have killed 27 people after being caught.

Who was HH Holmes?

The real name of HH Holmes was Herman Webster Mudgett. He was a bigamist and a con artist and known as America’s first serial killer. He has many names and some people call him the Beast of Chicago.

It’s believed that he killed about 200 people. He had a specially constructed home where he used to kill his victims and that home is now known as the Murder Castle. He was arrested in 1894 and hanged for the crimes he committed.

Early Life

Herman Webster Mudgett, HH Holmes was born in Gilmanton, New Hampshire back on 16th May 1861. He belonged to a noble family and had a privileged childhood.

It’s said that he was extraordinarily intelligent at an early age when he was just a little boy. He committed several scams and frauds and that’s how his life of crime started.

Personal Life

Holmes married thrice in his entire life. He was first married to Clara Lovering and they had a son. Then he married Myrta Belknap and the couple had a daughter. Homes even had a marriage for the third time with Georgina Yoke and at that time he was still married to his first two wives.

The Devil in the White City, the Torture Doctor, and the American Gothic are some of the most popular books that explain the true story of HH Holmes in detail. The name of this serial killer has also been featured in many news media outlets, songs, television series, documentaries, and movies.

The Murder Castle

The Murder Castle

The Murder Castle was first known as World’s Fair Hotel and it was built on 601-603 West 63rd Street in Chicago. Because of the history of this building, it’s now known as the Murder Castle. Holmes added a third floor to this building and told people that the building is for a hotel.

However, that hotel was never made. This so-called three-story Murder Castle is usually characterized as a hotel, the first floor and the second floor of the building had long-term rentals and shops.

Holmes used the third story of the hotel to torture and kill his victims. Probably the first murder that he committed was the wife and daughter of a man who used to work for him in his drugstore. Most of Holmes’ victims were women who he used to seduce and then kill.

His methods for killing his victims were grotesque and horrifying, which ranges from suffocating the victims to hanging them. He also killed many of his victims by leaving them in a closed vault so that they would die of thirst and hunger.

After killing, he used to bury the victims or dissect their bodies to sell their body parts to medical schools. As mentioned, he also used to collect on the life insurance policies of his victims. But the suspicion grew around him and then his crimes were discovered.

Frank Geyer, a Philadelphia police detective, worked with devotion and proved his link to the murder of Pitezel and his children including girls. Holmes said that Pitezel was still alive after he administered chloroform on him. However, forensic evidence showed that Holmes used chloroform after the victim’s death.

Arrest and Execution

Arrest and Execution

Holmes was apprehended on 17th November 1894. It was confirmed that Holmes murdered Pitezel along with his family members. He then confessed that he had killed 27 people but all of his stories were inconsistent.

While awaiting execution, he tried to write an autobiography that was far from any truth and had lies including exaggerations and declarations of innocence.

The police could confirm 9 of his murders based on the evidence collected and the HH Holmes was finally found guilty. He was sentenced to death and hanged on 7th May 1896. It was reported that HH Holmes was worried about grave robbers so he was buried in a cement-filled pine coffin 10 feet below ground.

Final Words

HH Holmes is one of the most horrific serial killers of all time and the murders he committed can’t be forgotten. If you like to read books or watch movies on true crime, get your hand on anything written or made on this serial killer.