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Newly discovered recorded confession by H H Holmes - TV program

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  • Newly discovered recorded confession by H H Holmes - TV program

    Just seen an intriguing trailer for a TV program to be shown in the UK this Wednesday (17 July) on Channel 5 at 9pm
    It claims that a newly discovered recorded confession by H H Holmes has been discovered
    IN the trailer it showed at that point a cylinder recording so I presume this is the physical form this takes
    The program is called Slaughtered at the Murder Hotel
    Intriguing stuff...

  • #2
    Here is the programme Chris

    http://vimeo.com/26014164

    I haven't watched it all yet and I forgot to see if there was a match between the recording to the written confessions as it seems to me to be an actor reading them, and unlikely that a recording would have been made of HH Holmes himself - but you never know

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Nemo View Post
      Here is the programme Chris

      http://vimeo.com/26014164

      I haven't watched it all yet and I forgot to see if there was a match between the recording to the written confessions as it seems to me to be an actor reading them, and unlikely that a recording would have been made of HH Holmes himself - but you never know
      Thanks Neems:-)
      Just shows how careful you have to be - the trailer definitely said "newly discovered" but in the link you gave it says the recording came to light in 1995!
      As to whether the recording was Holmes himself, the link you gave does say:
      "THE CONFESSION WERE (sic) MADE BY A DOCTOR, HH HOLMES, DAYS BEFORE HE WAS HANGED."

      Comment


      • #4
        Hi Chris

        I also don't see any claim to new information, and the initial written confession was, I'm sure, the only one he made - which is the one referred to being made a few days before he was hanged

        I don't recall any mention of recording him on wax cylinders which would have been done in his cell

        That's why I think someone must have capitalised on recording his confession after he was hanged utilising an actor's voice

        The programme is actually quite informative - there is an animation of how the murder castle worked which was interesting

        I also didn't know Holmes wasn't a star pupil at medical school

        This goes against the claims of his ancestor that Holmes was a medical genius studying DNA in the 1890's and collecting ovaries as JtR (yes, ovaries - the other injuries were supposedly to hide this intent)

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        • #5
          Here's the blurb from a publication of his confessions

          The line about the Devil is included in the programme, but the programme doesn't make it clear exactly what appears on the wax cylinder

          "In 1896, H.H. Holmes, "arch fiend of the century," was paid to write a "confession" by newspapers. Published a month before his execution, he confessed to twenty-seven murders. Today he's suspected of far more, but many of those he confessed to were lies. Some of the "victims" were even still alive. But clues found in his famous "murder castle" backed many of his stories up.

          So, how much of the confession was real? Did it contain dark hints that he was leaving a lot out? Holmes, the star of DEVIL IN THE WHITE CITY, is now often said to be the most prolific serial killer in American history.

          In fact, two confessions were written at the same time - one for one paper, and one for another. THE CONFESSION OF HH HOLMES contains the complete 10,000 confession as published in the PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, as well as detailed notes as to differences between that version and the slightly different one that appeared the same day in THE NEW YORK JOURNAL. In addition, there are over 20,000 words of new explanation and analysis, based on new findings and evidence from 1895, telling what we know of the true stories of each crime he wrote about. Also included is the bizarre, completely different "confession" published a day earlier in another paper, which included Holmes' most famous line: "I was born with the devil in me...."

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          • #6
            Did we discuss this a few months ago? About the possibility of an actor reading the published confession, that is.
            "The Men who were not the Man who was not Jack the Ripper!"

            Comment


            • #7
              Hi Magpie

              We did, yes

              During the programme it isn't made clear whether the confession from the cylinder is being spoken by an actor, or whether the voice heard is from the cylinder

              Either way, I think there's only an outside chance that it is actually spoken by Holmes

              I don't recognise anything that didn't appear in the press

              Comment


              • #8
                Hi Neems
                Just to clarify - the program you gave the link for is not the same as the one on Channel 5 on Wednesday
                They have very similar titles and are obviously on the same subject but the Channel 5 one is a new documentary that has not been seen before.

                The one you linked to is called Murder Hotel - The Story of America's First Serial Killer and was produced, written and directed by David Monaghan.
                The one on Channel 5 this week is called Slaughtered at the Murder Hotel and was produced and directed by Marc Levin.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Ahh OK Chris - sorry about that

                  I'll have to watch the new one

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Mr Pompous here for a moment. Having heard these 'recordings' and being someone who works professionally DJ-ing with shellac and having spent time around playings of wax cylinders, whatever it is we hear on the documentary is NOT a period piece. It is very clearly a professional modern studio item with scratch added to it and the bass removed. I think all this recording nonsense is no more than that April Fool joke run by a revered classical music magazine a few years ago. They gave away a unique recording of Chopin himself playing 'The Minute Waltz'. About two seconds of hearing it compared to genuine recordings is all you need to know it's a fake. The real thing is extremely scratchy, with only medium mid and high-range frequencies and usually very distorted at the louder parts. It also sounds like it's coming through a telephone.

                    PHILIP
                    Tour guides do it loudly in front of a crowd

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Thanks Phil

                      I'd agree there is little of the original recording to be heard there

                      However, I've just come across references to a portable phonograph being used to record interrogations of actual murderers

                      Also, this site refers to the HH Holmes recording being the reading of his confessions by an actor

                      http://press.uchicago.edu/Misc/Chicago/738671.html

                      In "Psycho USA:Famous American killers you never heard of" by Harold Schecter, he mentions a Harry Hayward having his confession recorded circa 1895

                      Interestingly, there is also a mention of a Lizzie Halliwell who was thought to have been Jack the Ripper - I haven't come across her case before

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by George Hutchinson View Post
                        Mr Pompous here for a moment. Having heard these 'recordings' and being someone who works professionally DJ-ing with shellac and having spent time around playings of wax cylinders, whatever it is we hear on the documentary is NOT a period piece. It is very clearly a professional modern studio item with scratch added to it and the bass removed. I think all this recording nonsense is no more than that April Fool joke run by a revered classical music magazine a few years ago. They gave away a unique recording of Chopin himself playing 'The Minute Waltz'. About two seconds of hearing it compared to genuine recordings is all you need to know it's a fake. The real thing is extremely scratchy, with only medium mid and high-range frequencies and usually very distorted at the louder parts. It also sounds like it's coming through a telephone.

                        PHILIP
                        Thanks Philip - interesting stuff and very good to hear a well informed opinion on a technical subject
                        Many thanks

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Nemo View Post
                          Interestingly, there is also a mention of a Lizzie Halliwell who was thought to have been Jack the Ripper - I haven't come across her case before

                          The reason I didn't find anything about her was because for some reason I misread her name, which is actually "Halliday"

                          There's some news reports about her case at CB

                          http://www.casebook.org/press_report...ar/931219.html

                          I seem to recall the quote about the elephant

                          It's interesting that her murderous mania appears only to have been present when she was pregnant

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by George Hutchinson View Post
                            I think all this recording nonsense is no more than that April Fool joke run by a revered classical music magazine a few years ago. They gave away a unique recording of Chopin himself playing 'The Minute Waltz'.
                            Yup, Phil, and muggins here fell for it! The magazine was Classic CD, and the article claimed that a certain "Hippolyte Sot" recorded Chopin playing his waltz in under a minute, with the voices of George Sand and Liszt (I think) joining in with applause and bravos at the end. The serial number of the made-up recording was XOHA-01-04... which, in hindsight, was a bit of a giveaway
                            Kind regards, Sam Flynn

                            "Suche Nullen"
                            (F. Nietzsche)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Chris Scott View Post
                              The one you linked to is called Murder Hotel - The Story of America's First Serial Killer and was produced, written and directed by David Monaghan.
                              The one on Channel 5 this week is called Slaughtered at the Murder Hotel and was produced and directed by Marc Levin.
                              That's a bit strange Chris as it is the same programme, my having just viewed it again

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