Date of Award

Spring 2017

Degree Type


Degree Name

Departmental Honors




This research is focused on two serial killers in the late 1800s and comparing the amount of media coverage for each case. They are H.H. Holmes who was killing in Chicago, Illinois and the Servant Girl Annihilator in Austin, Texas. Holmes was caught and convicted, while the Servant Girl Annihilator was not. This research shows that this was due, in majority, to the amount of media coverage for both cases. The Servant Girl Annihilator had minimal media coverage, mostly because of racial issues at the time, and he was never caught. In contrast, Holmes was convicted for insurance fraud and his case was covered nationwide, which caused people in Chicago to report Holmes's odd behavior in the city to authorities. The argument of this research is that media coverage impacted the level of police investigation, which was why the Servant Girl Annihilator was not caught, while Holmes was. The sources that have been used for this research are newspaper articles and articles from psychological and historical journals.



Faculty Mentor

Susan Cogan