Join us for a terrifying, stunning episode of After Hours AM/The Criminal Code — True Crime every Wednesday with hosts Joel Sturgis, Eric Olen, and secret weapon, forensic psychologist Dr. Clarissa Cole — as we reveal exclusive details about HISTORY’s new American Ripper with series star and H.H. Holmes descendant Jeff Mudgett. Jeff will join us at 10pE; at 9pE Clarissa will unearth the week’s most compelling and odd True Crime headlines.
In HISTORY’s new eight-part series American Ripper, which premiered last night and runs Tuesdays at 10pE/P, the great-great-grandson of Chicago serial killer H.H. Holmes, Jeff Mudgett, is determined to prove a mind-boggling theory: that H.H. Holmes and Britain’s notorious serial killer, Jack the Ripper, were the same man. In addition, Mudgett leads an investigation that secured permission to exhume the presumed body of H.H. Holmes for DNA testing to determine whether he pulled off the ultimate con, escaping the gallows to lead a second secret life.
Herman Mudgett, alias H.H. Holmes, was one of America’s first serial killers, rumored to have claimed as many as 200 lives in the late 19th century. A con man, opportunist and evil genius, the crowning achievement of his dark deeds was the construction of a building later dubbed the Murder Castle: a hotel on Chicago’s south side that he engineered to be a factory of death, complete with a gas chamber, dissection room, trap doors and a basement furnace to destroy any trace of his sinister work.
Nearly simultaneously, a still-unidentified murderer known as Jack the Ripper was terrorizing prostitutes on the grim streets of London’s Whitechapel district. From the moment 20 years ago when Mudgett’s world was shaken at the revelation that he was the descendant of H.H. Holmes, he became obsessed with acquiring information about his ancestor. Through extensive research, he began to believe the bold theory that Holmes was also Ripper. Now, the retired attorney has partnered with former CIA criminologist, Amaryllis Fox, who has spent her career identifying terrorists across the globe, to launch a deeper investigation.
American Ripper hunts down evidence to prove a link between these two monstrous men including: Holmes’s personal copy of his published memoir, housed at the Library of Congress; clues about his earliest victims in Holmes’ hometown and childhood home of Gilmanton, N.H.; crime scene evidence from the Jack the Ripper murders including photos, eyewitness accounts and coroners’ reports; new interviews with numerous historians and detectives; and new leads in the search for long-lost remains of Holmes’ many victims.
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.
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.