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October 02, 2005

Similarity between the White City and Holmes

At least one similarity which I see between the White City and Holmes is the contrast between what each seems and what the reality is. The buildings of the White City appear to be marble, but are only staph; Holmes appears to be a doctor and respectable business man, but is a con man and killer.

Posted by d-casey at October 2, 2005 12:07 PM

Comments

That is an interesting parallel between the White City and Holmes.

I'm also interested in the specific ways Holmes was able to operate with impunity for as long as he did.
What are some of the ways Holmes could get away with his crimes in dirty, violent turn-of-the-century Chicago that would be impossible in today's "information age" context?

Posted by: TRohman [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 3, 2005 10:45 AM

Holmes doesn't even live with his given name, which was Mudgett. I might have changed it, too, though.

Nothing in this story is what it appears to be.

Chicago was a city on the make, willing to overlook a good deal of its own (and others') faults in order to achieve power, importance, prominence. Chicago plays a fascinating and critical role in this story.

Posted by: NickB [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 7, 2005 11:40 AM

I'm not sure that I think that we have solved many or any of the ways in which those of less social intent can manipulate the system. I find it interesting that police science has moved on from merely arresting those that do crimes to more of the preventive types of actions with stepped up presence that the Columbian Guard provded--but sociopaths and psychopaths continue to run rampant in our society, in fact may be enabled by the technology in this information age. Identity theft? The need for an Amber alert system? Missing people, unsolved murders?(50% or higher?) Holmes may have been the first serial killer(?) but he has a long line of followers.

Posted by: John S. [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 21, 2005 03:52 PM

I was fascinated to learn more about how the "draw" of the Exposition and the City of Chicago may have helped to pull some parts of the country out of the financial crisis that was largely due to a loss of confidence. The confidence that we all share in our system helps to keep it flowing and yet is so very fragile that nothing really need happen but a slight loss of that full confidence to send it crashing down.

Where's my mason jar and shovel?...I need to go protect my future .

Posted by: John S. [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 21, 2005 03:57 PM

I was fascinated by how long Holmes killed and deceived without being suspected and how naive the women and society were. I also agree that technology doesn't really stop killers, but often helps them (the internet). It seems it's our distrust of our neighbors and knowing that people often kill for no other reason than pleasure, that helps to catch "serial" killers. In Holmes' time people didn't understand this. They chose to believe the best about men like "Dr. Holmes" and he used this to his advantage. He knew most people thought the world was a safe, beautiful, make believe place just like the White City. It was fitting that these naive beliefs and the White City crumbled at the same time.

Posted by: yevetteb [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 24, 2005 01:05 PM

I was fascinated by how long Holmes killed and deceived without being suspected and how naive the women and society were. I also agree that technology doesn't really stop killers, but often helps them (the internet). It seems it's our distrust of our neighbors and knowing that people often kill for no other reason than pleasure, that helps to catch "serial" killers. In Holmes' time people didn't understand this. They chose to believe the best about men like "Dr. Holmes" and he used this to his advantage. He knew most people thought the world was a safe, beautiful, make believe place just like the White City. It was fitting that these naive beliefs and the White City crumbled at the same time.

Posted by: yevetteb [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 24, 2005 01:07 PM

The author successfully conveys to readers that unheard of technological advancements of the day could provide endless opportunities and hope for all Chicagoans. A city desperately looking to define itself as refined and cultural. Unfortunately, every intentional good has the possibility for producing an unintentional bad or undesirable effect. "Dr. Holmes/Mudgett" defines the undesirable effect produced when one pursues opportunity with unconscionable greed and lust.

Posted by: szmann [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 1, 2005 06:26 AM

The author successfully conveys to readers that unheard of technological advancements of the day could provide endless opportunities and hope for all Chicagoans. A city desperately looking to define itself as refined and cultural. Unfortunately, every intentional good has the possibility for producing an unintentional bad or undesirable effect. "Dr. Holmes/Mudgett" defines the undesirable effect produced when anyone pursues opportunity with unconscionable greed and lust.

Posted by: szmann [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 1, 2005 06:28 AM

The author successfully conveys to readers that unheard of technological advancements of the day could provide endless opportunities and hope for all Chicagoans. A city desperately looking to define itself as refined and cultural. Unfortunately, every intentional good has the possibility for producing an unintentional bad or undesirable effect. "Dr. Holmes/Mudgett" defines the undesirable effect produced when anyone pursues opportunity with unconscionable greed and lust.

Posted by: szmann [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 1, 2005 06:29 AM

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