Herman Mudgett, alias H.H. Holmes, was America’s first serial killer. No one knows for sure how many lives he took, but it’s believed he was responsible for killing as many as 200 people in the late 19th century, when at the same time across the Atlantic, a killer was terrorizing the streets of London. To this day, the killer known as Jack the Ripper has never been identified.
In the first half of the program, guest host Dave Schrader (email) was joined by H.H. Holmes' great grandson, Jeff Mudgett, for an update on the case with more clues that suggest Holmes and Jack the Ripper were the same person. Mudgett admitted he was initially skeptical of the evidence but after examining it has no doubt about the connection between the two killers. "The evidence, when someone opens their mind to consider the possibilities, is quite astounding," he said.
According to Mudgett, there is a mountain of circumstantial evidence establishing Holmes was the Ripper, so much so that if Holmes were alive today he would likely have to stand trial for some of the murders credited to the Ripper. Some key evidence in the case revolves around when Holmes left America and traveled by ocean liner to England. Two of his aliases have been found on ship manifests, Mudgett explained, noting he arrived in England before the murders began and returned to America after they stopped. Early investigators also believed the Ripper to have been an American with medical training (like Holmes), and Scotland Yard even came to America to find the Ripper, he added.
During WWII, Lithuanian collaborator Silvestras Griekshell was plucked from a Nazi death camp and sent on covert missions by his handlers. He was redeployed during the Cold War as Steven Griggs, a nondescript American husband and father of four serving stateside in the U.S. Army. In the latter half of the show, journalist Sondra London discussed how the dangerous and volatile Griggs was consumed by an insatiable appetite for sadistic violence and psychological torture involving his own children, Steven and Diane.
Griggs would take his two children to his murders in order to intimidate them and ensure their compliance, London revealed. One time after Diane had talked about her father's murderous activities to nuns at her school, Griggs beat her and left her in the woods for dead, London noted. Eventually, Griggs and his wife placed Steven and Diane in a secret government program (MK Ultra) for experimentation, study, and training with psychedelic enhancement, she continued. "These programs were intentional to create... push button killers," London said. She spoke about the powerful programming which kept Diane from sharing her story for so long, and how the two children emerged from this matrix of horror triumphant and transformed.