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Once there, he changed his name to Holmes, reportedly as an homage to the fictional English detective Sherlock Holmes, the literary creation of author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

More Deadly Than the Male

Soon after his arrival in the Chicago area, Holmes took up work at a pharmacy located near Jackson Park. The event attracted more than 27 million visitors to Chicago, an incredible number considering the limited transportation options of the time. Holmes took advantage of some of the many visitors to the city, including young women who came to Chicago for jobs at the fairgrounds. Historians believe Holmes, a masterful and charismatic con artist, had swindled money from his drugstore employers. He purchased an empty lot in the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago, and built a labyrinthine structure with shops on the first floor and small apartments above.

The space featured soundproof rooms, secret passages and a disorienting maze of hallways and staircases. The basement was a macabre facility of acid vats, pits of quicklime often used on decaying corpses and a crematorium, which the killer used to finish off his victims.

Murder Castle

Holmes lured many visitors to the Columbian Exposition to his sinister lair, with the promise of cheap lodgings. The exact number of his victims is still debated by historians. Following his arrest, Holmes claimed to have killed more than people in his Murder Castle. However, he ultimately confessed to 27 murders, including that of Pitezel and two of his daughters. Experts now believe he may have, in fact, killed as few as nine—still a significant number, but not the scores the killer claimed.

The deadly race to the South Pole

The most famous literary work on Holmes, however, is the best-selling non-fiction novel The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson, which was published in After a brief incarceration, Holmes was hanged for his crimes in Philadelphia in His body is buried in Holy Cross Cemetery outside the Pennsylvania city.

The theories suggest that Holmes was allowed to escape and that officials hanged another man.

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Despite the American setting of many of his novels, Chase like Peter Cheyney, another hugely successful British noir writer never lived there, writing with the aid of maps and a slang dictionary. He had phenomenal success with the novel, which continued unabated throughout his entire career, spanning 45 years and nearly 90 novels. His work was published in dozens of languages and over thirty titles were adapted for film. The Homicide Monitor plans to include essays from leading criminologists and other experts on the methods that have been most effective in reducing killings.


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Problems remain, however. Police killings are still alarmingly high and there is pressure from influential commercial districts and wealthy neighbourhoods to have more police protection.

White Females Are Rarely Murder Victims or Perpetrators | Psychology Today

Contrarily, in poorer regions of Brazil, particularly the north-east, resources are low and homicide rates continue to be alarmingly high. The national government has been slow to act. Although murder is the leading cause of death for Brazilians between the ages of 15 and 29, national funding for reducing homicide and violent crime has plummeted since and there is no federal programme to support the most-affected states. While the trend in wealthy countries and cities is for a steady fall in murder rates, the map illustrates the considerable challenges that remain in many parts of the world.

The Homicide Monitor database will be expanded to include more detailed figures from Africa. The authors also plan to launch public media campaigns in countries such as Honduras with high levels of homicide.