Johann Otto Hoch

Johann Otto Hoch

About Johann Otto Hoch

Johann Otto Hoch (-) is the most famous and last-used alias of a German-born murderer and bigamist, John Schmidt. He was found guilty of the murder of one wife but is thought to have killed many more. He was hanged. Hoch was born John Schmidt in 1855, at Horweiler, Germany. He immigrated to the United States as a young man in the 1890s and dropped his surname in favor of assorted pseudonyms where he began to marry a string of women, frequently taking the name of his most recent victim. He would swindle all their money and either leave them or kill them with arsenic and then begin his pattern all over again. At age 51 Chicago police would dub him 'Americas greatest mass murderer,' but statistics remain vague in this puzzling case. We know that Hoch bigamously married at least 55 women between 1890 and 1905, bilking all of them for cash and slaying many, but the final number of murder victims is a matter of conjecture.

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