Infamous crime scenes, then and now

By MSN News AP Photo: Tony Dejak
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What happened to these notorious crime scenes?

When it comes to properties like that of kidnapping suspect Ariel Castro, a history of crime is attached. Here are the stories of some famous crime scenes and what became of them. See gallery

 

Ariel Castro's house: Cleveland

If a group of neighbors get their way, the white, two-story Cleveland home where 52-year-old Ariel Castro allegedly held Amanda Berry, Georgina "Gina" DeJesus and Michelle Knight against their will for nearly a decade will be torn to the ground. According to several reports, people have been threatening to burn Castro's home down and police have erected a fence to keep people out. Whatever becomes of the home, it almost certainly will need to wait until Castro is tried for the trio of kidnappings.

Read the latest on Castro's fate

 

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Travis Alexander's home: Mesa, Ariz.

The state of Arizona doesn't require the seller of a home to disclose crimes that have occurred on the property. Good thing, too, because the new owners of the two-story Mesa home where Travis Alexander was brutally stabbed and shot dead by his girlfriend Jodi Arias in 2008 was bought by another couple in 2009 for $200,000, the home's sordid past unbeknownst to them, according to HLN news. The house today has turned into a tourist destination of sorts, with the owners quoted saying people come by to take photos and even knock on the door frequently.

Find the latest news on Arias' status

 

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Green River Killer's house: Auburn, Wash.

Gary Ridgway, also known as the Green River Killer, murdered and terrorized women in the Seattle area for nearly two decades until he was caught in 2001. Ridgeway frequented strip clubs and dive bars around Seattle in search of his victims. The first victim found in the Green River in western Washington was in 1982. "I wanted to kill as many women I thought were prostitutes as I possibly could," Ridgway, 54, admitted in court. His green, 2,730-square-foot home in Auburn, Wash., was bought in 2002 for $255,000, according to Zillow — a price that lawyer Doug MacPherson described as being significantly discounted because of the previous occupant.

 

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'BTK Killer' house: Park City, Kan.

Dennis Rader, aka the "BTK Killer," of Kansas pleaded guilty in 2005 to killing 10 people between 1974 and 1991 to satisfy his sexual fantasies. BTK, which stands for "bound, torture, kill," was Radar's infamous signature. During his trial, he admitted to stalking a number of people at the same time, referring to them as his "projects." "If one didn't work out, I just moved to another one," Rader said. He was able to elude the police for years, sending authorities and the media taunting letters, often with before-and-after pictures of his victims. Rader's house in Park City, Kan., was bought by the city and demolished in 2007, but not before some people reportedly tried to sell stolen boards and other mementos on eBay.

Video: Rader sentenced to 175 years in prison

 

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'The Amityville Horror' house: Amityville, NY

The house at 112 Ocean Ave. in Amityville, N.Y., has become a bona fide piece of horror movie history thanks to the book "The Amityville Horror" by Jay Anson and the subsequent 10 spinoff films that followed it. The horror that occurred in the house began in 1974, when Ronald DeFeo Jr. shot and killed his father, mother, two brothers and two sisters. It didn't end there, as the Lutz family moved into the home in 1975, only to move out 28 days later, complaining of extreme paranormal activity. Today, the address has been changed to 108 Ocean Ave., the home has been drastically remodeled, and it was last sold in 2010 for $950,000, according to Zillow.

Video: Inside the 'Amityville Horror' house

 

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Jose and Kitty Menendez's house: Beverly Hills, Calif.

This six-bedroom, eight-bath Mediterranean mansion in Beverly Hills, once belonging to entertainment executive Jose Menendez and his wife, Kitty, was also the scene of their grisly murder in 1989. The couple's two sons, Joseph Lyle and Erik Galen Menendez, were convicted in 1996 of killing their wealthy parents with a shotgun in their den and sentenced to life in prison without parole after a much-publicized trial. The Los Angeles Times reported that the house was sold in 1994 to Woodland Hills couple Raymond and Vera Stewart for $1.3 million. The house is still owned by the couple and is now valued at $2.5 million, according to Zillow.

Video: 'A Killing in Beverly Hills' TV recreation of Menendez brothers killings

 

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Phillip Garrido's house: Antioch, Calif.

For more than 18 years Jaycee Lee Dugard spent much of her time locked in a concealed area behind a house on Walnut Avenue in Antioch, Calif. The home belonged to convicted sex offender Phillip Garrido, who, after kidnapping Dugard in 1991, repeatedly drugged and raped her — forcing her to give birth to two of Garrido's children. Today the three-bedroom, one-bathroom house is still there, having just been sold in 2011 for a mere $41,000 — a much lower price than homes surrounding it, according to Zillow.

Video: Police search Garrido's home

 

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JonBenet Ramsey's home: Boulder, Colo.

The murder of child beauty-pageant star JonBenet Ramsey in 1996 remains one of the most infamous unsolved crimes in American history. The body of the 6-year-old girl was found in the basement of her parents' Boulder, Colo., home, where she had been hit on the head and strangled. While initially suspected, Ramsey's parents have been cleared of the crime. As for the house — a spacious five-bedroom, eight-bathroom, 7,240-square-foot estate — it is on sale for $2.4 million after the seller dropped the price from $2.5 million, according to Zillow.

Video: Tour the updated Ramsey house

 

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Nicole Brown Simpson's condo

Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman were murdered in 1994 inside a large, tile-roofed condo in Los Angeles' Brentwood neighborhood. O.J. Simpson was arrested for — and later acquitted of — the murders, but the home has survived. According to Zillow, the house was sold in 1996 for $100,000 less than it was purchased for in 1994. But in 2006, after an extensive remodel, the home was sold for a steep $1.7 million.

Video: Walkaround of Simpson's Brentwood condo

 

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John Sowden House: Los Angeles

With its mouth-like facade and Mayan theme, architect Frank Lloyd Wright Jr.'s 1926-built John Sowden House is a famous property in Los Angeles that has been featured in scenes from such films as "The Aviator" and "The Rocketeer." But as the site of the infamous killing and dismemberment of Elizabeth Short in 1947, better known as the "Black Dahlia," it has a macabre past. For buyers who don't mind the sordid history, the five-bedroom, six-bathroom, 5,600-square foot house is for sale at $4.8 million, according to Zillow.

Video: Tour the John Sowden House

 

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Andrea Yates' home: Houston

In June 2001, Andrea Yates drowned all five of her children one by one in the bathtub of her Houston home. The crime and subsequent trials captivated the nation, as she was convicted of the murders and then acquitted upon appeal by reason of insanity. According to AOL, the home where the tragic slayings took place was purchased in 2004 by a man named Peter Muller, who has lived there since, despite the home becoming an "attraction" of sorts for curious tourists.

Video: Yates' husband talks about killings

 

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The Murder Castle: Chicago

Herman Webster Mudgett, better known as H.H. Holmes, is often said to be the United States' first documented serial killer. In 1893, just in time for Chicago's hosting of the World's Fair, Holmes opened a hotel, later dubbed the Murder Castle, specifically for the purpose of slaying guests. Using the hotel's secret passages, hidden rooms and torture chambers, Holmes killed at least 27 people, though some say he killed as many as 200. The hotel was demolished in 1938 and replaced with a U.S. post office, which some claim is still haunted by Holmes' victims.

Video: 'Ghost tour' through current site of Murder Castle

 

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Hotel Chelsea: New York City

The Hotel Chelsea in Manhattan is a registered New York City landmark and has been the home of numerous famous artists, authors and musicians over the years, including Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Charles Bukowski, Iggy Pop and Janis Joplin. Two of its more infamous moments came in 1953 when author Dylan Thomas died of pneumonia in the building, and in 1978, when former Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious allegedly stabbed his girlfriend Nancy Spungen to death. After being sold in 2010, the hotel is currently closed for renovations, but it remains a tourist destination for many New York visitors.

Video: Tour Hotel Chelsea

 

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Sharon Tate's estate: Benedict Canyon, Calif.

The 1969 murder of pregnant actress Sharon Tate and four of her house guests at her beachside estate in Benedict Canyon, near Los Angeles, was carried out by followers of Charles Manson, who thought the crime would start a race war they called Helter Skelter. In the early 1990s the house was purchased by Nine Inch Nails frontman Trent Reznor, though he left after a couple years, telling Rolling Stone magazine that he bailed after being confronted by Tate's sister, who accused him of exploiting her sister's death. The mansion was reportedly torn down and replaced with another home in 1994, but Reznor is said to still have the front door, which he keeps in his recording studio.

Read the latest on Manson's status in prison

 

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John Wayne Gacy's home: Chicago

A brick house on Summerdale Street in Chicago was the home of John Wayne Gacy, one of the United States' most infamous serial killers, and the final resting place of at least 29 of his estimated 33 victims. The home was demolished in 1979, according to the Chicago Tribune. Since then a new house has been built at the site, which, according to Zillow, was last sold in 2004 for $300,000.

Documentary: John Wayne Gacy

 

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The Dakota: New York City

John Lennon's life came to a tragic end on Dec. 8, 1980, when crazed fan Mark David Chapman shot him four times in front of the entrance gate to The Dakota co-op hotel in Manhattan, where he lived for more than seven years. Since Lennon's death, a tile mosaic that says "Imagine" and memorial garden called Strawberry Fields were been built across the street from the hotel in Central Park. The hotel is still a popular destination for Beatles fans, and Lennon's widow Yoko Ono, who still lives there, traditionally lights a candle in one of the apartments she owns in the building every year on Dec. 8.

Video: See The Dakota and the place where Lennon was shot

 

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The Clutter House: Holcomb, Kan.

Immortalized in author Truman Capote's landmark true-crime book "In Cold Blood," the Clutter House in Holcomb, Kan., was where Herb Clutter, his wife and two of their four children were killed by Richard Hickock and Perry Smith in 1959. According to the Daily Beast, the spacious, 3,600-square-foot Clutter home was bought in the early 1990s by a man named Bob Byrd, who charged curious tourists $5 to tour the property. The house has had trouble selling in the past, landing an offer of only $100,000 in 2006, The Associated Press reports.

Video: 'In Cold Blood' — 1996 remake of classic film

 

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Lizzie Borden's house: Fall River, Mass.

Many homes where famous crimes took place attempt to erase the past with remodels, address changes and even new houses altogether. But as the place where, in 1892, Lizzie Borden was accused of murdering her father and stepmother with an axe, the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast Museum celebrates its bloody past in full force. Borden was acquitted of the crime, but much speculation of her guilt has remained. The B&B now operating in the home has an axe-themed website and rooms dedicated to those who were killed there. Interestingly, no children under age 5 are allowed to stay the night at the hotel.

Video: Inside the Lizzie Borden house

 

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