(CBS) — The great-great-granddaughter of America’s first serial killer – a man who lived and murdered in Chicago in the 1890s — tells WBBM she thinks her family’s move to exhume his body is “much ado about nothing.”

Some of the descendants of Dr. H.H. Holmes are having his body exhumed from a Pennsylvania cemetery so that the remains can be DNA-tested to put to rest decades-old rumors that Holmes cheated the hangman.

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H.H. Holmes

H.H. Holmes, known as America’s first serial killer, confessed to the murder of 27 people in the 1890s. He lured his victims into a hotel he opened at 63rd and Wallace streets for the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. (Credit: Public Domain)

“I just found that out last night,” says 39-year-old Jennifer Saber, the great-great-granddaughter of Holmes.

“I told my aunt, ‘Hey, who’s the one doing this?’

“And she goes, ‘Well, we found out that we were actually the ones who own the plot so we were curious and we wanted to go ahead and put these conspiracy theories to rest.’

“And I’m just like, OK. Not that he deserves to rest in peace, maybe, either, according to some people, because he was a horrible person. He killed a lot of people.”

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Saber lives in California. She says she’s never read “The Devil and the White City,” the book that is partly about Dr. Holmes and his murder castle at 63rd and Wallace, but she says she wants to.

At least two of her friends have given her copies.

Holmes supposedly murdered visitors who stayed at his hotel during the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893.

He was later undone by an insurance and murder scheme on the East Coast.


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