The Devil in the White City

The Devil in the White City


Erik Larson

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The Devil in the White City: Part 4, Chapter 6 Summary & Analysis

On September 12, 1895, a grand jury in Philadelphia indicts Holmes for the murder of Benjamin Pitezal. Juries in Indianapolis and Toronto indict Holmes for murdering Howard, Alice, and Nellie Pitezal. Holmes’s memoir is published, and editors are amazed to learn of how Holmes was able to avoid being investigated by the Chicago police for years. The Chicago chief of police, it’s revealed, represented Holmes in commercial lawsuits during his early legal career. Chicago newspapers like the Tribune criticize Holmes as a monstrous, almost demonic person.
Even when Holmes is brought to justice, it comes as an embarrassment to almost everyone that he was able to avoid detection for so long. The Chicago Tribune’s conclusion that Holmes was monstrous and demonic is thus correct but not completely correct — Holmes’s crimes are horrifying, but the society that allows him to get away with these crimes without asking any questions is horrifying too in its negligence.
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