The DNAinfo archives brought to you by WNYC.
Read the press release here.

H. H. Holmes' 'Murder Castle' Is Being Made Into a Jigsaw Puzzle

By Kelly Bauer | January 28, 2016 5:40am

CHICAGO — Notorious killer H. H. Holmes' "murder castle" is being made into a jigsaw puzzle.

Artist Holly Carden has been interested in Holmes and his World's Fair Hotel since reading "Devil in the White City" by Erik Larson. The book describes how during the 1893 fair in Jackson Park, Holmes lured dozens — if not hundreds — of women to his Englewood hotel, which was outfitted with secret torture rooms where Holmes abused and murdered his victims.

Finding herself in between jobs, Carden, from Tennessee, decided to illustrate Holmes' "murder castle," which was at Wallace Avenue and 63rd Street. She used blueprints and notes, cross-referencing research to make her depiction of the hotel as accurate as possible.

[Courtesy Holly Carden]

Carden wanted to do a 3-D cutaway, so she sketched out a view of the hotel that stripped away its exterior and allowed viewers to look into multiple rooms across all of the building's floors. She drew and inked the drawing by hand, then painted it digitally, with the project taking about a month.

Carden considered turning the illustration into a jigsaw puzzle and selling it, but she didn't know if anyone would buy it and instead posted the illustration to Reddit and Facebook on Tuesday.

Within hours, hundreds of people had commented on the illustration, praising the detail and Carden's abilities — and talking about what had happened at the murder castle.

"I wasn't sure there'd be a ton of interest," she said. "Turns out, yeah, a lot of people are really interested in H. H. Holmes right now."

RELATED: Leo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese Making 'Devil In The White City'

Encouraged, Carden launched a Kickstarter, seeking to raise $1,200 so she could sell and ship puzzle versions of her murder castle. Carden met her goal — and then some — within a single day, and the Kickstarter has now raised more than $3,000.

"I think maybe analog fun like that — board games, puzzles, stuff like that — I feel like people are kind of yearning for the nostalgia of that," she said.

Donors can pledge $30 to receive the 504-piece puzzle, though Kickstarter rewards also include stickers and prints of the illustration.

Carden said the murder castle illustration is the first art piece she's done that focuses on something from Chicago, but she hopes to one day visit the city and create a detailed map like she did for Nashville.

"I'd absolutely love to do one of those for Chicago," she said, "although it would definitely require a pretty lengthy visit."

Closeups of the puzzle:

[Courtesy Holly Carden]

[Courtesy Holly Carden]

[Courtesy Holly Carden]

The kickstarter:

For more neighborhood news, listen to DNAinfo Radio here: