Dr. Davies says that Holmes’s ways of polygamy may have stemmed from a feeling that what he had was not good enough, and so he always strived for more. Holmes also may have recalled examples of polygamy from the Bible stories. 1It may be a confusing story to follow, but Holmes never divorced his first wife Clara Lovering, and we don’t know what happened to her or what she thinks happened to Holmes. Holmes had several other wives during his life, most of them disappearing mysteriously, but those are only the ones we know about.

According to Dr. Davies, murder was a business to Holmes. He turned it into a production line.1We see this in the design of his “Castle.”, He had gas nozzles in the rooms along with peepholes to watch his guests’s demise. Holmes also had a laundry shoot type contraption to slide his victims down to the basement. He had all sorts of methods of murder such as a type of acid, a kiln, and his own weapons.

Dr. Davies says that his killing methods progressed in severity and intention. It started out motivated by money, but Holmes became more interested and involved. 1 We can see an example of this in the fact that he just started to murder people for “fun” but later in life he had to kill to tie up loose ends.

According to Dr. Scott Bohn, the images presented by most serial killers suggest that they either have a mental illness or brilliant or demented genius, but this is not accurate. What is more likely is that they have antisocial personality disorders such as sociopathy or psychopathy. These are not considered to be mental illness by the American Psychiatric Association. These two disorders share many traits such as a disregard for laws, social norms, and the rights of others, a failure to feel remorse, and a tendency to display violent behavior. 2

Dr. Bohn also says that very few serial killers suffer from any mental illness to the extent that they are considered insane by the criminal justice system. To be classified as legally insane, an individual must be unable to comprehend that an action is against the laws the exact moment that action is undertaken. In other words, they must understand that murder is legally wrong. The category of legal insanity is so stringent that very few serial killers are actually included in it. 2

Dr. Bohn further states that it is not high intelligence that makes serial killers successful, it is the psychopathic personality that enables serial killers to operate over long periods of time without detection. 2Holmes is a great example of this; he was very charming, and no one ever suspected the kind Dr. Holmes to be guilty of anything.


1. Davies 

2 Bohn