The Devil in the White City

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Summary

Part IV: Cruelty Revealed (Chapters 48-53)

Summary Part IV: Cruelty Revealed (Chapters 48-53)

Summary: Chapter 50: The Tenant

Geyer next goes to Toronto and partners with Detective Alf Cuddy. He finds that Holmes came here with three groups of people. Geyer is unsure where to go next until a man named Thomas Ryves calls in a tip. He read a description of Holmes and believes that he lived next to him in October 1894.

Geyer is well-known in America, like Sherlock Holmes, and everyone reads about his progress in the newspapers daily. Geyer is stymied by Holmes’ motive. Holmes seems to be moving everyone around just for the fun of it, because he likes power. Geyer still doesn’t know where the Pitezel children are.

Thomas Ryves informs them that he found his neighbor odd because he moved in with only a bed and a trunk. One day, the neighbor asked to borrow a shovel to store potatoes in his basement. After giving it back, he left the next day.

Geyer travels to the house and digs in the basement. Three feet down, he finds Alice and Nellie’s bodies, buried naked. Nellie’s feet had been amputated to veil her identity, as she was clubfooted and easily identifiable. The weight of Nellie’s black hair pulls her scalp from her skull. Their mother travels to Toronto to identify them. Howard’s whereabouts are still unknown.

Summary: Chapter 51: A Lively Corpse

In prison, Holmes reads about the discovery, and laments that Minnie must have killed them. He refuses to answer questions and finds journalist John King to publish his memoir immediately to garner public support.

Summary: Chapter 52: “All the Weary Days”

Geyer and Detective Richards search for Howard a second time in Indianapolis. Meanwhile, Chicago police officers search Holmes’ hotel in Englewood and discover the vaults and gas valves. In the basement, they find the kiln, blood-stained dissection tools, burned personal items, and human remains. Charles Chappell leads them to four articulated skeletons. Holmes’ hotel burns to the ground on August 19, likely due to arson.