History of Infamous Cases of Mass Murder Part 1

About infamous cases of mass murder, history and facts of killers like William Burke and Henry Holmes.


1. GILLES DE LAVAL, seigneur of RETZ

The wealthy and cultivated Baron de Retz, marshal of France, had been Joan of Arc's chief supporter. Disillusioned after her execution in 1431, he murdered well over 100 boys, mostly refugees and orphans. He would mutilate and sexually abuse them as he observed their death throes. The baron was burned at the stake in 1440, after a sensational confession and repentance.


Burke, hanged in 1829, was from Ireland. Hare's origins are unknown. At the time, human dissection was illegal but condoned for medical research; the cadavers for it were dug up fresh by so-called resurrection men. Burke and Hare found murder quicker and more profitable. Their method was to accost some derelict or transient, then suffocate him after plying him with whiskey. The full number of their victims is not known. Fourteen were proven, but it could have been twice that number.


A graduate of the medical school at Ann Arbor, Mich., Mudgett was hanged in Illinois in 1896 after murdering-by his own account-27 people. His career as a mass murderer began in 1890 on the South Side of Chicago, where he built a three-story murder mansion known locally as "Holmes's Castle." He lured his victims, mostly young women, to this house, which contained trapdoors, torture chambers, poison gas piping, and an asbestos-lined cell for burning people alive. Some of his victims' bones were assembled and sold as medical specimens. All together, around 50 people were traced to his "castle"-but no further. Mudgett took 15 minutes to die on the gallows.


In 1909, when she was 40 years old, this nurse-midwife arrived in the small Hungarian village of Nagzrev and began a campaign of poisoning. She claimed at least 100 victims. She built a reputation for predicting the deaths of unwanted people. These included newborn or handicapped children, invalids, elderly persons, and husbands whose return from W.W. I was unwelcome. All were poisoned with arsenic at the request of their kinsfolk, as were those who openly doubted Olah's supernatural powers. When she was denounced anonymously in 1929, she committed suicide. Three of her many women accomplices were convicted and hanged.


The murders of 23 women and 1 man were eventually traced to Kiss, a shy and well-liked Hungarian tinsmith who disappeared in W.W.I. Although his disappearance proved to be faked, he was never caught. His first two victims were his wife, some 15 years his junior, and her lover. After that, using a false name, he advertised for a new wife and strangled one applicant after another in his Budapest apartment. He removed the bodies by car to the village of Czinkota, where he lived under his own name. He kept them in his house, preserved naked in metal drums of alcohol, until they could be safely buried.

You Are Here: Trivia-Library Home » 13 Infamous Cases of Mass Murder » History of Infamous Cases of Mass Murder Part 1
History of Infamous Cases of Mass Murder Part 2 »
DISCLAIMER: PLEASE READ - By printing, downloading, or using you agree to our full terms. Review the full terms at the following URL: /disclaimer.htm