A used furniture dealer from Clarksburg, West Virginia, Herman Drenth earned his real money through operation of a deadly matrimonial racket, spanning the United States in the 1920s and early '30s. Though legally married in Clarksburg, Drenth traveled widely in search of his victims , consoling his wife with reports of his "business trips" from Boston to Spokane, and all points in between. The "business," as police discovered during 1931, was bigamy and murder. Drenth attached himself to wealthy widows, married them, and brought them back to his ''scientific laboratory," in the woods adjoining Clarksburg. There, his aging brides were gassed to death, with Herman pocketing their cash and selling off their other property. A farmer living in the same vicinity complained to local officers about the noxious odors emanating from the "lab." Their search revealed two rooms: a killing chamber, where Drenth's victims had been bound, with lethal gas piped in; and an adjoining "operations room," where Drenth sat safe behind a plate glass window, gloating on their final agony. The killing chamber's floor was caked with blood, as Drenth had used a hammer on the three young children of his latest victim, Asta Buick Eicher, prior to gassing her as usual. Arrested for the Eicher slayings and the murder of another widow, Dorothy Lemke of Worcester, Massachusetts, Drenth confessed after corpses were found in a ditch near the lab. He admitted deriving sexual pleasure from watching his victims die, commenting that, "It beat any cat house I was ever in." The local press christened Drenth "America's worst bluebeard," and police speculated that he may have killed over fifty women, but the prisoner was uncooperative when it came to hunting corpses. "You got me on five," he reminded his jailers. "What good would fifty more do?" Taking his secret to the gallows, Drenth was hanged on March 18, 1932.