Friday, October 19, 2018

H.H. Holmes a hotel theme; will Speck, Gacy someday get similar treatment?

Reading a Chicago Tribune report of the Acme Hotel Company’s plans to convert rooms in their River North facility into something paying homage to one of Chicago’s early serial killers is putting creepy thoughts into my mind.
HOLMES: Eventually executed for his crimes

Such as will the day come when enough time has passed that someone will think they can make money off of housing paying memory to Richard Speck? Or John Gacy?

BOTH OF THOSE men committed excessively violent crimes, and I’m sure there will be people out there who will try to claim I am sick and twisted for even suggesting such a thought?

The Richard Speck apartment complex? The John Gacy suite at a luxury hotel?

Personally, the very thought turns me ill. I don’t think I’d want to stay in such a facility – even if it is something someday being done up in a gaudy manner as the Acme Hotel’s rooms that will contain items remembering people of the crimes Holmes committed back during the Columbian Exposition of 1893 – the World’s Fair held in Chicago to pay tribute to the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus.

Back from the days when Columbus was the “man who sailed the ocean blue and discovered America,” rather than the modern image some try to present of him as a slave trader who was the worst possible thing that ever could happen to the native peoples of this continent.

HOLMES WAS A man who confessed to killing some 27 people, even though only nine of those slayings were confirmed – and some of the people to whom Holmes said he killed actually turned up alive.
Book could become a Leo DiCaprio film

What the crime spree had as a theme was that it occurred during the World’s Fair, with many of the slayings taking place in what was described in the news coverage of the day as the “Murder Castle” at 63rd and Wallace streets that Holmes (also known as Herman Webster Mudgett) built for himself.

It was a rooming house where fairgoers stayed, and some of them never checked out – so to speak.

Reports of the era say the facility had trap doors, hidden passageways, padding to muffle sounds and even a crematorium on the premises. So as to get rid of the evidence.

NOW, THE ACME Hotel is offering up suites next week through Halloween. For $229 a night, one can stay in a place with Holmes memorabilia and news clippings on hand, and even pictures of Holmes himself appearing to peer in at you from an outside window.
Murder Castle was long ago demolished

Kind of creepy, ain’t it?

But it really seems like so much time has passed (125 years since the Columbian Exposition) that the name H.H. Holmes doesn’t readily ring a mental bell for many people.

Unless, that is, if they have read the book “Devil in the White City,” which is a novel published 15 years ago that was set in Chicago during the World’s Fair and is a fictionalized account of the things that Holmes is said to have done.
Will these long-deceased criminals … 

DOES THIS MEAN that some time around the year 2100, someone will want to think it would somehow be “cool” to have something paying homage to Speck and his bloody night of killing eight student nurses (he got caught because a ninth nurse hid under the bed, and he lost count), or to the nearly three dozen young men whom Gacy was executed for by lethal injection back in 1994?

I’m sure that if someone had tried to say a “Murder Castle” theme, even if just for Halloween, would be a novel idea back around 1910, I’m sure the bulk of Chicagoans would be repulsed.
… someday become entertainmen themes?

But I can’t think of anybody who was alive in Chicago back in the 1890s would still be with us in this realm of existence. So the hotel can get away with passing off this Halloween holiday suite as a homage to a novel

All I can say is if that is what happens to the memory of Speck or Gacy or anybody else who has committed a string of crimes, I’d find it horrid. It is my “scary” thought for Halloween this year.


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