Holmes is dubbed America’s First Serial Killer. This bothers me somewhat because after watching true crime for twenty years and more, I know this not to be entirely true.
First of all, when defining a murderer as a serial killer the authorities and mental health professionals look for three things: victimology, modus operandi, signature. Yes, at the very basic level of the definition they have to kill three or more people but, it’s much more qualitative than quantitative. There’s almost nothing of Holmes murders that overlaps to qualify him under these three categories. His victims were not all the same kind of victim. He killed men, women and children. He did use the same mode of murder each time nor did he use the same ruse to disarm them. Some of his victims he gassed, some he suffocated, others he poisoned and some we have no idea how he came to take their lives. But, as far as I can tell, there was absolutely NO signature, his own personal mark or message, etc., to his murders whatsoever. So by very definition, we CANNOT call him a SERIAL KILLER. People make this same mistake with Charles Manson all the time. If anything Manson was a multiple-murderer. That is what Holmes should be categorized as, a multiple-murderer. One journalist got it right back in 1895, calling Holmes just that after the horrors of his murder castle were discovered and he had been arrested.
Second, there is actually record of an entire family that were true serial killers in 1872 that lived and operated Kansas, the Bender family. Since this is before anyone ever heard of H.H. Holmes (he would have been 11 and hadn’t changed his name to Holmes yet), he CAN’T be the first American serial killer. (This family would also be my argument that Eileen Wuornos is not the first FEMALE serial killer. She’s just the first to get that kind of attention. There were MANY before her. In fact, in the Bender family, the DAUGHTER called the shots and ran things and everyone else followed her orders.)
So, now that I have clearly made my case, moving on because Holmes is STILL one of the most successful and most amazingly competent psychos you will EVER read about.
Henry Howard Holmes was actually born Herman Webster Mudgett in 1861 in New Hampshire. He was a slight, shy child with a strict religious upbringing backed by his disciplinarian father and god-fearing mother. He was often bullied and teased by his older classmates. This bullying would come to a peak with a pivotal event, changing young Herman forever and begin the formation of the monster we now call H.H. Holmes.
When he was ten he was terrified of the skeleton in the doctor’s office. Two older classmates knew this. One day they grabbed him and forced him into the empty office, pushing him closer and closer to the outstretched arms of the skeleton until he came face to face with its creepy, haunting grin. Clearly this could have gone one of three ways. It could have crushed this poor child’s psyche, crippling him forever in some way. It could have had no effect and the child simply might have run out and eventually outgrown the fear with age and education. Or, perhaps it could have backfired, extinguishing the fear, replacing it with a morbid curiosity bolstered by a newfound bravery and lack of empathy or feeling of any kind. This, my friends, IS what happened. Holmes found himself “cured” of his fear and instead incredibly curious about what lies beneath the skin of the human body and the many means that one could wind up dead. He had lost all feeling for fellow man or living things. Now, it was just him and his morbid curiosity. And each time he fed his curiosity, his ego and manipulation skills grew stronger.
Holmes was one of the few multiple murders/serial killers (I know, I know…) that actually finished college. He finished college AND medical school actually and earned himself a medical degree. He was always a good student throughout his entire life and he was an extremely intelligent man. Not only was he formally educated but, the man was a world class snake oil salesman. A real con artist. But, I’ll get to that in a minute.
Now, most serial killers or multiple murderers don’t get medical degrees. For most, it’s hard enough to finish high school let alone get all the way through a four-year college program and then go on to graduate school. There’s a number of reasons but, none apply to Holmes. He got degrees and did well so he’s kind of an anomaly as far as that goes.
Once he obtained his medical degree he immediately began the criminal art of the day known as “scamming” which was defrauding insurance companies for life insurance claims. He would convince someone to take out a large policy for which he guaranteed he could produce an unidentifiable cadaver and then fake the insured party’s death and collect on the policy. This would be a common ruse he would use throughout his life and it would come to make him a lot of money. Some of the people would live to split the life insurance money with him and move on and some would not. Ironically, this very ruse would also be his undoing in the end.
While running this insurance scam across the Midwest, he would also employ scams posing as a drugstore clerk, an asylum attendant, a teacher and a doctor. Eventually, things got too heavy and he needed a fresh start. Too many cons in too many places. He needed a new name, a new persona that nobody knew. And thus, Henry Howard Holmes was born.
He landed himself in Chicago in 1886 years after the Chicago fire and found a city booming with rebuilding and production. Progress was everywhere. So, Holmes decided to take advantage of the new booming growth. He settled in Englewood, a three square mile community in Chicago. (At its height in 1960, over 97,000 people lived in that small area. It has since dwindled. But it was once a very hoppin’ place.) Holmes found himself a job at a pharmacy owned by a man named E.S. Holton. Shortly after taking Holmes on, Mr. Holton sees him to be a valuable asset and eventually sells the business to Holmes. There is some speculation that Holmes killed both the owner, Mr. Holton and his wife but, there is little proof to that.
Once settled in his new business, Holmes purchased the lot across the street, the lot at 63rdand Wallace streets, which would later come to be known as The Murder Castle. Here, he erected a grand building unlike anything anyone had ever seen. He was very careful about how he did it too. First of all, almost everything was done on credit. This man hardly ever paid for anything. He was a true conman. Next, he would hire a number of men to do ONE JOB. For instance, one man would be hired to put in one wall in one room, then fired. The another man would be hired to put in another wall in another room, then fired. Often he would claim the work was substandard and would not pay them. He did this for the duration of the build until the work was complete. Like the Winchester House, he had doors that opened to brick walls, hallways that led nowhere, so on and so forth. It was a maze of doors and halls and rooms meant to confuse and disorient his tenants, making it easier to kill them.
Interestingly, at the same time that Holmes is finalizing his blueprints for his murder castle, Jack the Ripper is finishing his killing spree 4,000 miles away in London. Holmes surely reads about Jack in the papers and his narcissism was almost surely bolstered by the attention The Ripper was getting. Holmes was the kind of man that would not have wanted to be “out done” by any means. He most likely would have felt a need to “top” what Jack the Ripper had already done, seeing himself as a higher caliber of intellect, human, man, killer, entity.
Another brilliant yet dastardly con was how he obtained the vault/safe that he used to kill one of his mistresses. He bought the vault on credit, of course. He put it in the chosen room prior to the room actually being built and then had the walls put in around it. Once the creditors started calling on him and he refused to pay, they, of course, threatened to repo the vault. However, Holmes told them that was fine and to go ahead and take the vault BUT if they damaged his walls or building in ANY way, he would sue them for all they were worth. Now, how are you going to get a bank size steel vault out of a wall that it’s built into without tearing into the wall??? They had to eat it on that deal and Holmes kept the vault. Later, in 1892, he asked his second mistress Emeline Cigrande to go into the vault and get some papers for him. Willingly she did so and he closed the vault door, locking her in the airtight compartment. He then went about his business at his desk, listening to her pleas and cried for him to release her. She eventually suffocated to her death in that vault. Holmes would sell a clean female skeleton to a medical school shortly after her death.
Now, this Murder Castle wasn’t just that. The first floor was legitimate businesses. The second floor held all the murderous horror rooms. He started a third floor but it was never completed.
During all of this Holmes had mistresses and legitimate wives. Multiples of each in fact. His first marriage was to Clara Lovering in 1878. He would have been about 17. They had one child, Robert in 1880. Holmes abandoned this family to move to Illinois in 1886 and though the marriage had been estranged for some time, no one filed for divorce at that time. In late 1886, Holmes married Myrta Belknap, though still legally married to Clara. He did file for divorce a few weeks later citing infidelity on Clara’s part but, since there was no proof of that the petition was denied and divorce was never granted. (Not only a con but a polygamist now. Apparently Clara was most likely never even aware he filed for divorce. Wow, right?) Holmes and Myrta had a daughter, Lucy in 1889. Then, get this, while still married to BOTH Myrta AND Clara, Holmes married Georgiana Yolk in 1894. Wait, it gets better.
So, then his first murders in the castle would have been his first mistress Julia Conner and her daughter Pearl. Julia got pregnant by Holmes in 1891 and required that he marry her. He agreed with the condition that she let him perform an abortion on her. Christmas Eve 1891 Julia and Pearl were never heard from again. Then, poor Emeline met her demise in the vault in 1892. Next, when the World’s Fair hit Chicago in 1893 Holmes had countless victims at his fingertips as he rented rooms to visitors from all over the land as they came to see the the grand fair event. His true victim count is still unknown. Also in 1893, he is thought to have killed Minnie and Nannie Williams (sisters) in order to obtain some property they owned in Fort Worth, Texas.
Now, remember I said that the insurance scams would be his undoing? Well, in 1889 (approximately) Holmes crosses paths with Benjamin Pitezel. Pitezel is a hardworking man trying to take care of his wife and five kids but, just can’t ever seem to get ahead. He has a serious drinking problem that doesn’t seem to help his matters any. But that matters not to Holmes. They quickly strike up a partnership as Holmes is an elegant type of man and Pitezel, well, he functions as more the muscle. They become close and Pitezel learns firsthand of Holmes’ dark and morbid secrets. Over time, Ben does a lot of “dirty work” for Holmes. Eventually, his drinking gets to the point where Holmes thinks Ben is now a liability. So, he puts the squeeze on Ben to run the insurance scam so he and his wife Carrie can have the money they so desperately need. Carrie doesn’t think this is a good idea but, the two men convince her.
But, shortly before this in 1894, Holmes is actually arrested for the Texas property fraud involving the Williams sisters and the actual exchange of the property, though there is also evidence that he confessed to the insurance scam in St. Louis to avoid charges in Texas. So, he’s put in jail in St. Louis while an investigation bears out. While in jail, as almost all egotists do, he starts running his mouth to a cellmate, a man named Marion Hedgepeth (no, I’m not making these names up, I swear.) Holmes tells Hedgepeth the insurance scam in detail and says all he needs is a legit lawyer that’s willing to play ball to push the claim through. Hedgepeth gives him the name of a lawyer and Holmes promises him $500 in exchange for the referral when the claim gets paid. He is quickly bailed out of jail by his third wife Georgiana, who he spun a web of lies to convince her he was in for something innocuous, and away he went to start off in Chicago, met Pitezel, began a partnership and convinced him to be part of the scam.
Unfortunately for Pitezel and his family, Holmes never intended to provide a cadaver and instead killed Pitezel, had his fifteen-year-old daughter identify the body, had Carrie collect the insurance and then swindled her out of all but $500. He also never sent the $500 to Hedgepeth. Herein lies his undoing. When Hedgepeth reads of Pitezel’s death in the paper and he has not received his payment, he immediately goes to police and rats out Holmes. And an investigation gets underway.
Meanwhile, Holmes is shuffling not only himself but, Carrie and ALL of the Pitezel children around the Midwest to keep them away from each other, eventually killing three of children, two of the girls, Alice and Nellie and one of the boys, Howard.
As the police investigated the scene of Pitezel’s death, though forensics was very rudimentary at the time, there were still things that were contradictory to common sense, making investigators raise their eyebrows. They could tell very quickly that the scene was staged. Holmes also made his connection to Pitezel very well known, even when they used aliases. The insurance policy for Pitezel was paid for via money order by way of telegraph on the last possible day before it was to be cancelled just days before his death AND the policy had been open less than a year and opened under an alias, B.F. Perry. All of these things sprang red flags in the eyes of not only the police but also the insurance company.
Eventually, in October of 1895, Holmes was put on trial for Pitezel’s murder. He was convicted and sentenced to death by hanging, which took place at Moyamensing Prison on May 7, 1986. (Apparently, death sentences had express lanes back then and didn’t have the mandatory 7-10 year appeal process. It took less than a year to execute him after his conviction. Nowadays, it’s a minimum of 7-10 because of an automatic appeal on ANY death penalty sentence, period.)
By the end of his trial, investigators had found evidence that he had killed the Pitezel children and others. At various times, Holmes confessed to different numbers of killings. Nine can be proven with a reasonable amount of certainty. He claimed up to 27 at one time.
At one time Holmes managed to juggle three wives, at least four businesses, a business partner, renting rooms to fair goers, scamming the people in his very town, evade creditors in his very town, evade being traced from previous crimes and victims, have mistresses AND kill at will and dispose of bodies, ALL without losing his cool or composure. Guys, I tell you, people think Ted Bundy is some sort of diabolical mastermind…NO. He’s a flopped out amateur compared to Holmes. I mean, any normal person with all that stress would have come unglued. The fact that Holmes was able to keep it together, that these women never questioned him not even once, that he was able to so quickly disarm people over and over again, that he was able to keep running the same scams over and over, that is a different kind of psychopath altogether.
Surprisingly though, for being as intelligent and crafty as he was, Holmes made some really rookie mistakes. The biggest was that he ran his mouth in jail. That ego, that need to brag, that was what ultimately got him caught. Next, he wasn’t much for keeping a low profile. He should have known better. Eventually people are going to know who you are, I mean, you are operating in a three square mile area, people talk. Hello? Next, all the women. I mean my god, did the man not know scorned women are dangerous? While none of them REALLY came back to bite him, Carrie Pitezel DID testify at his trial and she was VERY swaying for the jury, there wasn’t a dry eye in the courtroom when she was on the witness stand. That was VERY damning for Holmes. And again, out of $10,000 she only got $500, a dead husband and three dead children. I’d think she was pretty bitter about getting the very short end of that deal. Plus, he left bones in the basement of the castle. Not smart. That’s evidence. He killed Pitezel with chloroform, enough in fact that it actually showed up in his stomach content at autopsy. Big mistake. And as a medical school graduate with a specialty in dissection, Holmes should have known that would have been possible. For crying out loud, they could smell the chloroform at the crime scene. So, he was really diabolical but, like so many incredibly intellectual people, lacked a degree of common sense due to the inflated ego pushing his thoughts that he was too good and too smart to be caught. Obviously, that wasn’t exactly true. Once the Pinkertons were on his trail, they found him in less than a month.
Still, Holmes is a fascinating character of evil in the annals of our country’s history. It’s hard to think of someone more deserving of the title of Evil or Monster or Madman than Holmes himself. Surely there were many that crossed his path and went on their merry way. But, there were some that we know did not. Holmes had big plans for that “castle” in Chicago. When he moved to Texas he planned to erect another “castle” there to continue his work, fleeing Chicago when things got too hot and he feared he was close to capture. The only way this man was going to be stopped was arrest and confinement or death.
Shortly after his arrest for Pitezel’s murder and the castle was investigated, the building itself was set ablaze by an unknown party. It was not rebuilt in Holmes’ image and was instead repurposed as a city post office until 1938.
Though there is still mystery surrounding much of Holmes true activities today, one thing is perfectly clear. He killed at will, without compunction. He took advantage of men, women and children alike. He ran away when things got to complicated or too hot. He was a master manipulator and he was a well versed conman. In fact, had he used his skills in a more positive way, Holmes could have very well been one of the most successful men in the country of his time. Instead, he’s remembered as one of the most loathed.
While it doesn’t really constitute as a horror film, The Running Man is one of my favorite Arnold (The Governator) movies. Written by Stephen King under the penname Richard Bachman, it is a fantastic story of the old adage “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”. The idea of a police state isn’t that farfetched anymore, as we Americans slowly give up our civil and inalienable human rights for the illusion of safety and freedom.
In this movie, the year is 2019 (just around our corner isn’t it?) and EVERYTHING is dictated by the government…the shows you watch, the music you listen to, the books you read, the food you eat, the clothes you can wear…everything. The government also controls where you go, who you go with and how (or if) you get there. In addition to all that, the government has started farming out convicted criminals (well, what THEY consider convicted, there are no more courts or trials, no more plea bargains or deals) to a sadistic TV show called “The Running Man” which puts the convicts in a 400 square block fight zone with people chasing after them designated to kill them.
The government lies about everything to control the masses. They fake news releases to cover their asses on major foul-ups. They kill tons of innocent people and make tons of money doing it. The majority of the public stays in line but, there is, as always, a resistance. They are the few that live underground, away from the state, plotting how they are going to steal back the satellite signal that broadcasts all the government’s lies.
I can’t imagine too many of you have NOT seen this movie. I would think it would be mostly younger folks who think anything made prior to 2000 is old and sucks. Well, not every film needs to be drowning in CGI in order to be good. And back in the day, Hollywood was making original movies, not a bunch of crappy remakes…reboots, redux, whatever they are calling them nowadays. (I’m sorry but, Redux sounds like a laundry detergent, not a film style). I’m a Generation Xer. To me, they are remakes. And they suck big time. Hollywood hasn’t come up with a new and fresh film idea in decades. They just keep regurgitating the same films with new, younger actors and more expensive special effects.
(On a side note, the original Total Recall was killer too. Why can’t they leave the classics alone and do some real work?)
The kill scenes in The Running Man are awesome. The dialogue is smartass and quick witted. There are some great lines in this film. Arnie gets his “I’ll be back” comment in there. The chick makes a great joke about one of the killer stalkers, Dynamo. There’s a lot of solid one-liners in this film. The writers (the screenplay writers and King) actually did their job and did it well.
I often wonder how they came up with these ideas of what the world would be like this far into the future. I mean in Back to the Future II we had flying cars and hover boards and inflatable self-drying shoes and jackets. Everything was digital. In Total Recall we had humans and mutants inhabiting Mars. In Demolition Man there’s no violence or negativity, no crime. Actually, they take away a lot of humanity in Demolition Man. Everyone is like an antidepressant robot. In Judge Dredd it’s very similar to Demolition Man. All these films portray the collapse of modern society and a world where the people are minions and have no individuality and no voice. Basically, a world where the very fabric of what this nation stands for has unraveled and apparently, no one cares.
Still, the ideas brought to screen seemed so out there back then but, now seem only a stone’s throw away. I find it quite interesting the different takes there have been on the future of this country and how all of them seem to depict a world that, in all actuality, few of us would truly want to spend our lives in. Let’s hope we are a smarter group of people than what Hollywood deems us to be, huh?
Chris Watts lived with his wife Shan'ann and their two young daughters in Frederick, Colorado. They were married for six years. Their life was the ideal American dream with two small children, Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3, and a beautiful five-bedroom home. But, as we learn as we get older, things aren’t always what they seem to be on the surface.
Although I am not sure as to the length of the affair, it is now public knowledge that Chris was having an affair with a female co-worker. It is also assumed, per discovery of certain searches done on his computer, that he may very well have wanted out of his marriage and to start anew with his mistress.
This was a very short investigation. Shan'ann and her daughters were reported missing on August 13 and by end of day August 15, the police had arrested Chris. During that interrogation Chris confessed to strangling his wife in a fit of rage and retaliation after (this is HIS account now) she strangled her two children when he asked her for a separation. (I find it hard to believe that a woman who was evidenced to be trying to get the marriage back on track and a dedicated mother would strangle her children in anger towards her husband. It’s very rare that a woman chooses strangulation, especially manual strangulation. That takes anywhere from 2-4 minutes of constant pressure. It’s very physically draining. Women more often use methods of murder that aren’t so hands-on, i.e. poison, firearm, fire…something where they don’t have to actually TOUCH the person to cause death. And it’s even more rare that a pregnant woman commits multiple murder, especially of children.)
On August 16 the bodies of Shan'ann and her two daughters were discovered at the property of Chris’ former employer (he was fired on August 15, maybe because he got arrested or maybe because the former boss had suspicions, I don’t know). The two little girls were found in oil tanks while Shan'ann was buried in a shallow grave near the tanks.
After that, he was charged with multiple counts of first degree murder, unlawful termination of a pregnancy and three tampering with a deceased human body counts. He pled guilty to all of those charges to avoid the death penalty. (Definitely cowardly, if you ask me but, I know no one did so, moving on.)
The interrogation video of Chris and his mistress’ interview have been released. Nancy Grace and guests discuss this at www.crimeonline.com. Check it out. You’ll realize the diabolical coldness that allowed this man to annihilate his family. Guests include Susan Constantine, Deception & Body Language Expert; Vincent Hill, Private Investigator, Author of "Playbook to a Murder"; Ashley Willcott, Atlanta Juvenile Judge & Lawyer; Ellen Killoran, CrimeOnline Reporter.
The murder trial of Robert Durst NANCY GRACE REPORTS:
November 26, 2018
SiriusXM 111, 12:00PM EST / Podcast1:00PM EST
*Note: The first hour airs later in the day, in syndication, on Premiere Networks.
The murder trial of Robert Durst
# TO FOLLOW:
#NancyGrace #CrimeStories #CrimeAlert #CrimeOnline #RobertDurst
Ray Guidice, Atlanta Defense Lawyer
Caryn Stark, New York Psychologist
Karen Smith, Forensics Expert
Gary Greenberg, Co-Author of "Sex and the Serial Killer: My Bizarre Times with Robert Durst"
Robyn Walensky, Crime Stories Reporter
About Crime Online:
Crime Online, founded by Nancy Grace, is a digital platform that ushers in a new era of combatting crime and crime awareness through its breaking news website, podcast network and premium video content. The flagship radio show, Crime Stories with Nancy Grace, not only tackles breaking crime news but also dissects specific cases, cold or hot, with experts, special guests and listener call-ins. In conjunction with the podcast call-in feature, the site itself also allows readers to engage by providing their own input and theories. Listeners can also connect by calling 1-909-49-CRIME or by connecting with the team through Facebook messenger.
With a passion to provide real-time coverage of crime in America and informing viewers everywhere, Crime Online uses multiple platforms to reach the masses, including: tow daily radio shows via Sirius XM and Podcast a 60-second daily Crime Alert and a website dedicated to: Missing; Most Wanted; Trials; Cold Cases; Crime Scene Photos; Crime Library; Family Crime; Teacher Scandals; Celebrity Justice; and Support.
On Crime Stories with Nancy Grace, airing daily on SiriusXM 111 and Podcast across multiple channels, Nancy tackles the tough questions and breaks down theories with an ever-changing panel of legal and criminal experts from all walks of life who join editorially with their highly trained perspectives on topics including, but not limited to: cybercrime, addiction, forensic pathology, crime scene investigation, cold cases and even criminal psychopathy.Covering everything from“MostWanted” to missing persons, Crime Online uses these channels to allow its audience to fight back against crime and inspire awareness toAmerican’s everywhere. Nancy has even created a 5-part webinar, Justice Nation, teaching parents techniques to protect their children (now available: https://www.crimestopshere.com/).
Get into the Halloween spirit and stream free horror and thriller films with Kanopy! The entertainment streaming platform, available to members of partnered libraries and universities nationwide, has curated a list of must-watch films you won't want to miss.
Kanopy's horrifying collection includes new and classic thrillers, world cinema and other terrifying films that will make it hard to sleep at night:
Or browse the collection and pick your favorites!
‘NIGHT TERRORS: BLOODY MARY’ AUGMENTED REALITY MOBILE GAME LAUNCHES IN OCTOBER
’Paranormal Activity’ Creator, Oren Peli, and Imprezario Entertainment Resurrect One of the Most Notorious Urban Legends.
Imprezario Entertainment, an augmented reality (AR) mobile entertainment company, today announced the release of its new horror mobile experience, “Night Terrors presents Bloody Mary: Queen of the Damned.”
Film director, producer and screenwriter Oren Peli(Paranormal Activity, Insidious) serves as the executive producer of “Night Terrors: Bloody Mary,” which will be available on both Android and iOS on October 12th.
“Night Terrors” pioneers state-of-the-art technology to immerse users into a survival horror game. The player’s environment is filled with terrifying creatures – demons, souls and other petrifying entities. The phone’s camera, LED light, 360 audio, and other system features create customized scares by using unique AR captured content in order to truly immerse players in an experience unlike anything else.
“Throughout my career, I’ve prided myself on storytelling and exploring innovative perspectives to deliver some of the most electrifying moments in film. ‘Night Terrors: Bloody Mary’ is enabling me to work with a new creative medium that will bring the narrative to users in their own homes, this time through their mobile device. I can think of nothing more horrifying, so I could not be more thrilled to be at the forefront of this emerging entertainment technology,” said Oren Peli, Executive Producer.
Oren Peli executive produces the new app, along with Jordan Rambis (Global Esport Resources) and Imprezario co-founders, Bryce Katz and Brett Tomberlin. White Horse Pictures’ Nigel Sinclair (The Woman In Black, Let Me In) and Nicholas Ferrall, and Tobin Armbrust (The Woman in Black, Let Me In) are also serving as Executive Producers.
“‘Night Terrors: Bloody Mary’ will be the first of two new AR app experiences developed by Imprezario Entertainment over the next several months, and we plan to continue increasing our AR gaming presence each year moving forward,” said Bryce Katz, Imprezario co-founder. “Our goal is to create a vast array of new adventures in a variety of genres incorporating high quality characters and immersive storylines for all ages.”
The new “Night Terrors” experience brings to life the urban legend of Bloody Mary and the terrible fate she inflicts on those foolish enough to summon her. The horrifying tale has been shared for hundreds of years. Unwanted at birth, Mary Tudor was the daughter of the notorious King Henry VIII, who beheaded any queen that failed to give him a male heir.
Sustained by her vanity and the mirror that was never far from her side, she rose above all rivals to become England’s first reigning queen. Answering to no man, she ruled alone and the tyranny of Queen Mary’s reign matched her father’s as did her obsessions which lead to hundreds dead by her command. It was this bloodshed that earned her the moniker that would last forever - Bloody Mary.
For more information, visit www.NightTerrorsApp.com.
A native of Israel, Oren Peli came to the U.S. at the age of 19. Back home, he had dropped out of high school at age 16 to write PHOTON PAINT, a highly successful paint and animation software for the Commodore Amiga, then became a full-time software programmer, using his skills to create animation programs and video game software.
Peli then transitioned into film making. Paranormal Activity, which Peli wrote, directed and produced, was his first film. Since then, he produced the hit sequels Paranormal Activity 2, 3, and 4, The Marked Ones, and The Ghost Dimension. Paranormal Activity, which was made for only $15,000, would go on to make nearly $200 million. In total, the Paranormal Activity movies have earned more than $900 million, making it one some of the highest-grossing horror franchises of all time.
Peli is also the producer of Insidious 1, 2, 3 and 4 and of the horror film The Bay, from
director Barry Levinson, and Lords of Salem by writer/director Rob Zombie. He was the co-creator and executive producer of the ABC Show The River, from executive producer Steven Spielberg, and producer/writer of the movie Chernobyl Diaries.
Going back to his tech-roots, Peli founded SPOT, a mobile app that lets users easily create or join other local users' events to meet new people with similar interests.
Fandor’s haunted house! Halloween Movies to Stream that are NOT Hocus Pocus on Fandor
Looking to discover scary movies that you haven’t seen before? We’re kicking off the Halloween festivities by showcasing some of our worst nightmares, so dim the lights and sink into our favorite and most diabolical horror movies. See our list of creepy and bone-chilling films below and watch at your own risk!
Halloween: Worst Nightmares
Directed by William Friedkin
A lonely waitress with a tragic past, Agnes rooms in a run-down motel, living in fear of her abusive, recently paroled ex-husband. But when Agnes begins a tentative romance with Peter, an eccentric, nervous drifter, she starts to feel hopeful again - until the first bugs arrive.
Lisa and the Devil
Directed by Mario Bava
Regarded as Mario Bava's most personal and unconventional film, LISA AND THE DEVIL is a diabolical thriller flavored with the dreadful imagery and tormenting logic of an endless nightmare.
Directed by Richard Franklin
Robert Thompson stars as a comatose killer seemingly unresponsive in a small private hospital. But when a hot new nurse begins to question his condition, Patrick will unleash a waking nightmare of psychokinetic carnage.
Directed by F.W. Murnau
Before the assorted treatments of the Dracula tale starring either Bela Lugosi, Christopher Lee, Gary Oldman or Klaus Kinski there was F.W. Murnau's NOSFERATU, one of the first and still most haunting of all vampire tales.
The Bird with the Crystal Plumage
Directed by Dario Argento
While this modern day Jack the Ripper type is slithering through the dark byways of Rome slicing up pretty girls, director Dario Argento is carving up the emotions of terrified viewers. Dark deeds are mixed with black comedy worthy of Alfred Hitchcock in a film of almost unbearable tension and nail-biting suspense
The House that Dripped Blood
Directed by Peter Duffell
A four-part anthology, all revolving around a house where all the previous owners everyone have died in a horrible fashion.
The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
Directed by Robert Wiene
The most brilliant example of that dark and twisted film movement known as German expressionism, THE CABINET OF DR. CALIGARI is a plunge into the mind of insanity that severs all ties with the rational world.
Directed by Yohei Fukuda
A cowboy-hat-wearing, bikini-clad zombie assassin mows down hordes upon hordes of the undead in this tongue-in-cheek Japanese exploitation film, perhaps best understood by its alternative English title: ZOMBIE BIKINI SQUAD.
Carnival of Souls
Directed by Herk Harvey
Mary Henry struggles to put her life back in order after emerging the lone survivor of a gruesome car accident. She takes a job as a church organist in Utah, alienating neighbors and fellow roomers with an icy detachment; unbeknownst to them all, Mary is sinking into one mystery after another. How did Mary Henry survive that accident? Why is she drawn to the abandoned carnival on an isolated beach? And who is the pale, sinister-looking man that has followed her to her new home?
Directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky
The story of a young circus performer, the crime of passion that shatters his soul and the macabre journey back to the world of his armless mother, deaf-mute lover and murder. It is an odyssey of ecstasy and anguish, belief and blasphemy, beauty and madness. It is unlike any movie you have seen before... or ever will.
Dark Night of the Scarecrow
Directed by Frank De Felitta
When young Marylee Williams is found viciously mauled, all hell breaks loose in her small rural town. Officious postmaster Otis P. Hazelrigg (Charles Durning) leads a gang of bigots in pursuit of the suspect: her mentally challenged friend Bubba Ritter (Larry Drake). Finding him hiding inside a scarecrow, they exact brutal mob "justice" only to discover a tragic mistake! Now a strange apparition stalks the land seeking each of them out as the legend of the Scarecrow begins.
“Sex and the Serial Killer: My Bizarre Times with Robert Durst” is now available to pre-order, as it is set to be durstributed in October.
Multimillionaire Robert Durst is awaiting trial for the cold-blooded murder of his onetime best friend Susan Berman, but this gripping memoir reveals that he’s likely had many other victims, including several other women and innocent house-pets.
Sex and the Serial Killer is written by a repentant art and jewel thief, who is using the pseudonym William Steel and remains at an undisclosed location for his safety.
Steel was Durst’s friend and confidante for decades and now believes that the “Dursturbed” real estate scion is the wealthiest serial killer in American history.
Besides shedding light on Durst’s demented deeds, this book is a call for justice for many of Durst’s victims that simply vanished without a trace and remain unsolved mysteries, causing endless grief to their loved ones.
We urge you to share and support the book’s pre-sale, post, review and more. Durst has spent millions of dollars hiring a Dream Team of attorneys in a desperate bid for freedom, but Steel warns: "If Bobby Durst gets set free, he will kill again. That's what he does."
Please visit www.sexandtheserialkiller.com and follow us on social media to share the bone-chilling story of this abusive fiend and help bring him to justice for all of those who no longer have a voice.
FANDANGO’S STREAMING SERVICE, FANDANGONOW, BRINGS TO LIFE TOP 25 ZOMBIE MOVIES, RANKED BY ROTTEN TOMATOES’ TOMATOMETER SCORES, TO CELEBRATE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF “NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD”
Today marks the 50th anniversary of “Night of the Living Dead,” the granddaddy of the modern-day zombie movies. To celebrate the occasion, Fandango’s fast-growing on-demand video streaming service, FandangoNOW, is bringing to life the 25 “freshest” zombie movies in a list of classics curated by movie review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes and based on those movies’ Tomatometer scores. (A movie gets a “Fresh” designation when at least 60% of its critic reviews are positive, and the original “Living Dead” retains its crown as the “freshest” film of the zombie pack.)
“Zombies owe their popularity today to a little low-budget film from Pittsburgh released 50 years ago today, and ‘Night of the Living Dead’ has lost none of its power to shock, stun and terrify,” says Fandango Managing Editor Erik Davis. “With its stark, in-your-face black-and-white imagery of the dead coming back to flesh-eating life, director George Romero’s film made it clear to 1968 audiences that visceral horror no longer took the shape of Gothic frights like werewolves and vampires. It now looks just like your friends and neighbors, and there is no escape. To celebrate the ‘Dead’s 50th-anniversary FandangoNOW is hosting the top 25 zombie movies that you can view at home today, starting of course with the film that started it all.”
To celebrate the anniversary today only, fans can rent any (or all) of the zombie movies on the FandangoNOW list at a discounted rate, with $1.00 off the regular low price when using the promo code LIVINGDEAD50 at checkout.
FandangoNOW has the most comprehensive selection of films in 4K Ultra HD from all the major studios and content providers. The fast-growing service’s robust catalog is available on more than 200 million devices, offering 70,000 new release and catalog movies, next-day TV shows, and an extensive library of 4K and HDR titles to buy or rent -- no subscription required. The streaming service curates entertainment options for every occasion and provides Tomatometer scores to help consumers with their viewing decisions.
Please see below for FandangoNOW’s list of top 25 Zombie Movies ranked by Tomatometer Score:
Night of Living Dead (1968) 97%
Train To Busan 96%
Dawn of the Dead (1978) 93%
Shaun of the Dead 92%
I Walked with a Zombie 92%
The Cabin in the Woods 91%
Return of the Living Dead 91%
White Zombie 89%
28 Days Later 87%
Dead Alive 86%
Dead Snow 2: Red vs. Dead 83%
The Plague of the Zombies 80%
Warm Bodies 80%
Dawn of the Dead (2004) 75%
Planet Terror 74%
Land of The Dead 73%
The Crazies 71%
28 Weeks Later 71%
Dead Snow 68%
Night of the Living Dead (1990) 68%
World War Z 66%
The Serpent and the Rainbow 61%
FandangoNOW is the fast-growing on-demand video service from Fandango, the nation's leading digital network for all things movies, serving more than 60 million visitors per month, according to comScore, with best-in-class movie information, theatrical ticketing, movie trailers, original content and home entertainment. FandangoNOW offers 70,000 new release and catalog movies, next-day TV shows, and an extensive library of 4K and HDR titles, to buy or rent -- no subscription required. The service curates entertainment options for every occasion and provides Rotten Tomatoes' Tomatometer scores to help consumers with their viewing decisions. FandangoNOW is now available on more than 200 million devices, including Smart TVs from Samsung, LG and VIZIO; over-the-top (OTT) streaming players including Roku and Chromecast; Xbox One video game system; iOS and Android mobile phones and tablets; Movies Anywhere; and online at FandangoNOW.com, consumers can watch movies and TV shows on FandangoNOW anytime, anywhere, whether at home or on the go.
Credit to FandangoNOW
Why Every CSI Buff Should Put Alcatraz East Crime Museum on their Fall To-Do List
CSI fans get a hands-on experience at the popular crime museum
PIGEON FORGE, Tennessee (September 17, 2018) – Millions of people are self-described CSI buffs. They love the intrigue, story, and mystery that goes along with trying to solve a crime. This fall, many of those CSI buffs should put making a stop at Alcatraz East Crime Museum on their to-do list. It’s a stop that won’t disappoint, as it gives visitors the chance to learn the ins and outs of forensic investigation.
“Our visitors are big CSI fans, and often say it’s their favorite gallery in the museum,” explains Rachael Penman, director of artifacts and exhibits at Alcatraz East Crime Museum. “From a crime scene investigation lab, to an area on cold cases, our guests see how what they watch on tv applies in the real world.”
Here are the top reasons why every CSI buff should put a stop at the museum on their fall to-do list:
“We give CSI fans a chance to view the evidence that put dangerous criminals away, and learn the methods used by investigators in an interactive setting,” added Penman. “Visitors can test the information they already know, and can have a great story to tell all of their other CSI fan friends when they return home.”
The Alcatraz East Crime Museum will also be opening a temporary exhibit on the Second Amendment on Friday, October 5, 2018. The exhibit will be open for one year, featuring the history of the amendment and the evolution of American firearms. Additional temporary exhibits include “It Happened Here: Tennessee Crimes & Justice,” which will be open until May 2019, and features artifacts from Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary, James Earl Ray, and Sheriff Buford Pusser.
The museum is always adding to its collection, and has a star-studded panel of experts who make up the Advisory Board, including those in law enforcement, collectors, a medical examiner, crime scene investigators, and others. The board includes Jim Willett, a retired prison warden, Anthony Rivera, a combat veteran and Navy SEAL chief, and Judge Belvin Perry, Jr., who is best known for the Casey Anthony trial. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit: www.alcatrazeast.com.
About Alcatraz East
Alcatraz East is the most arresting crime museum in the United States. Guests of all ages can encounter a unique journey into the history of American crime, crime solving, and our justice system. Through interactive exhibits and original artifacts, Alcatraz East is an entertaining and educational experience for all ages - so much fun it’s a crime! This family attraction is located at the entrance of The Island, located at 2757 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, TN. General admission tickets are $14.95 for children, $24.95 for adults. Group ticket sales are available. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., with the last ticket sold 60 minutes before closing. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit: www.alcatrazeast.com.