The Strange Case of Dr. H.H. Holmes

Score title

The Strange Case of Dr. H.H. Holmes
The Peculiar Case of Dr. H.H. Holmes


Libby Larsen

More about the composer


Program note

Herman Webster Mudgett (1861–1896), better known as Dr. H. H. Holmes, was among the first documented American serial killers. During the 1893 Chicago World Exposition, Holmes, already numbering several murder victims, opened a hotel which he had designed and built for himself specifically with murder in mind, and which was the location of many of his murders. While he confessed to 27 murders, of which nine were confirmed, it is estimated that he could have committed 250 such crimes. The case was notorious in its time and received wide publicity through a series of articles in William Randolph Hearst's newspapers. I’ve adapted this song cycle from Holmes’ own confessions combined with Detective Robert Corbitt’s accounts of his investigations into murder and insurance fraud suspicions against Holmes. These investigations led to Holmes’ arrest and prosecution.

— Libby Larsen