Jeff Mudgett spent early family life with a disjointed series of characters who invented lineage instead of talking about the truth. But the horrible news that befell Jeff over a family dinner at age 40 -- is the bloody fact that he's a direct descendant from possibly the most despicable American criminal who ever lived.
Herman Mudgett's insane 19th-century pastimes as H.H. Holmes may have taken the lives of more than 400 people. I doubt the family stuck around for dessert and party favors after that punch. But fifteen years later, the book Bloodstains was born -- great, great grandson Jeff methodically researched the family secret and lived to write about how one guy dealt with the hidden close-knit association with the devil himself.