On a mind-boggling episode of After Hours AM/The Criminal Code — Wednesdays 9-11pE with Joel Sturgis, Eric Olsen, and forensic psychologist Dr. Clarissa Cole — we talk with author Jeff Mudgett, direct descendant of notorious serial killer H.H. Holmes, about his book BLOODSTAINS, which puts forth the proposition that Holmes was also Jack the Ripper. Jeff will join us in the 10pE hour; at 9pE, Joel, Eric, and Clarissa will sink their teeth into the week’s True Crime news and ponder the ramifications.
BLOODSTAINS is the shocking tale of one man’s spiritual journey to find his heritage, only to discover his origins are rooted in a nightmare. After inheriting the personal diaries of his great-great-grandfather, Jeff Mudgett discovers that direct ancestor was America’s first and most notorious serial killer, Herman Webster Mudgett, better known as “H.H. Holmes.” Holmes was the mass murderer who struck terror into the nation as proprietor of the infamous Murder Castle, stalking the streets of Chicago during the 1893 World’s Fair. During his incarceration awaiting execution, well over a century ago, Holmes admitted killing 27 innocent victims, but evidence the author unearths indicates dozens, even hundreds more victims are likely. From his investigation, Jeff Mudgett learns that Holmes’ reign of terror was worldwide and not limited to Chicago. Based upon never-before revealed historical data, Jeff pieces together a dynamic and extraordinary puzzle, including the strong possibility that Holmes was also Jack the Ripper.
BLOODSTAINS is precariously balanced on the very edge between non-fiction and the paranormal, as the author’s research of his evil ancestor quickly takes on a personal aspect. Jeff soon fears his efforts may have awakened the legendary ‘Holmes Curse’ of the 1890s. In fact, the deeper he digs into Holmes’ devilish past, the stronger the monster’s hold on him seems to become, testing the limits of his own sanity and humanity. Wracked by a mysterious and never before experienced epilepsy, Jeff suffers crippling grand mal seizures whenever he disobeys the haunting voices in his head. Finally, he is forced to make the decisions of his genetic lifetime in a life-or-death struggle in order to win the greatest prize of all: his survival.
Step into the author’s shoes as his research into the evil past turns into an eerie fascination, then obsession and finally a struggle for his very survival as his inner demons are turned loose while he dances with the devil. Readers will find themselves asking what would you have done in his place? “While most of BLOODSTAINS is absolutely true, portions are a figment of my very fertile imagination, so jump on, buckle your seat belt tight and prepare to experience the wildest literary ride you’ve been on in quite a while.”
Jeff Mudgett was living a normal life as a practicing attorney when at age 40 he was thrust into the most harrowing chapter of his life. Learning the facts about his ancestry plunged Mudgett into a full investigation about the forefather from which he unexpectedly learned he was descended, the infamous serial killer, H. H. Holmes.