Homes With Infamous Criminal Connections

Do you think everyone is clamoring to buy a house that's made the news? Not always. According to Realtor, homes that once saw infamous murders and crimes occur behind their walls often sit empty, sell for 10% to 50% less than they're worth, or are razed to make way for homes lacking notoriety. However, it's not all bad news. Some buyers see these steep price cuts as an opportunity to buy a house that would typically be way outside their price range. All they have to do is forget about the house's unfortunate history.

There have been more than a few cases where sellers who owned haunted houses leveraged the property's past to fatten their wallets. In New Orleans, a city known for its ghostly appeal, homes known for hosting paranormal happenings sell for more than their average-historied counterparts. For instance, Nicolas Cage purchased the famed LaLaurie Mansion for $3.45 million, where a white socialite tortured enslaved people in the attic. Plus, New Orleans apartments in haunted buildings are rented for $2,500, well above the city's $1,650 average. But that doesn't mean haunted homes in other cities are as lucrative. Here are a few houses across the United States which have witnessed some of the most heinous crimes and killers in American history.

The following stories include allegations of domestic violence, murder, kidnapping, necrophilia, cannibalism, and organized crime.

The Amityville Horror House, Amityville, New York

Take one look at this cozy, beige home in Long Island, New York, and you'll be hard-pressed to believe that evil was once afoot. This house is located at 108 Ocean Ave., but its former address was listed as 112 Ocean Ave. It was later modified to confuse spectators who wanted to visit the location due to its grisly history. In this unassuming house, Ronald DeFeo Jr. murdered his entire family after hearing voices, as per New York Post. However, the tragic deaths of his two parents and four siblings were just one piece of the Amityville Horror puzzle.

Just one year after the 1974 murders, the house seemed to have a new start when married couple George and Kathy Lutz moved in. They thought they scored the deal of the century when they paid only $80,000 for the 10,900 square foot property, which was an extremely discounted rate (via Biography). But after less than a month living there, strange happenings at home sent them packing. Just a few of their experiences included a green substance seeping out of the walls, the entire family seemingly floating above their beds, a voice heard by a visiting priest urging him to "get out," and a red-eyed monster watching George and his son from afar. But despite the fact the house conjures up scenes straight out of a horror movie, the home continues to be bought by various families. It was last purchased in 2017 for $605,000.

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The JonBenét Ramsey House, Boulder, Colorado

One of the most notorious crimes in American history occurred at a 7,000 square foot brick mansion in Boulder, Colorado. According to Morbid Tourism, it's where the body of JonBenét Ramsey, a six-year-old girl, was found in 1996 after she suffered a crushed skull and strangulation. However, this was only the tip of the iceberg regarding the former pageant star's murder mystery. Experts thought that the ransom note demanding $118,000 was written in the home itself since an earlier version of the message was found in one of its trash cans. That $118,000 was nearly the same amount of money that the girl's father, John Bennett Ramsey, had recently received at his job. And later, some experts argued that evidence pointed to JonBenét's brother, Burke, as the killer, leading the public to speculate that the children's parents had covered up the crime.

After the Ramseys moved away, the black cloud hovering over 749 15th Street continued to rear its ugly head in the real estate market. According to Westword, it went on and off the market for six years, losing nearly $500,000 in value in the process. Now, the daughter of a former televangelist lives there with her husband. But she says that to the contrary, she loves the house these days and has no intention of passing it on to another buyer.

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Lindbergh Kidnapping House, Hopewell, New Jersey

Take one look at the century-old house far from the suburbs of New Jersey, and it's clear that the French country-style estate has seen some history. And that it has: It's the location of one of the most talked-about historical moments in the Garden State. That moment is the kidnapping and murder of aviator Charles Lindbergh's baby son, who was snatched from his bed while his parents were home, according to the Charles Lindbergh House and Museum. It became apparent the child was kidnapped when the family found a ransom note demanding $50,000 and a ladder outside the window.

Unfortunately, Baby Charlie's body was discovered near the same home where he was taken, according to House Crazy Sarah. After two years of investigating, German immigrant Bruno Richard Hauptmann was indicted and later found guilty of the crime, despite his pleas of innocence. Some of the evidence which sent him to the electric chair included a scientist claiming the wooden ladder was made with the same wood used to construct Hauptmann's attic. However, although he was convicted, the case continues to be enshrouded in conspiracy theories, partly due to the home itself. The Lindberghs had just moved to the mansion before the kidnapping, and most people close to the family hadn't even been there yet, let alone know which room Baby Charlie slept in. So how did a stranger know? The world may never know.

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The In Cold Blood House, Holcomb, Kansas

Even without a bestselling true crime book written by one of the most famous writers of the period, the murders of the entire Clutter family in a city of only a few hundred people would have still been a national news item. But throw in Truman Capote's book "In Cold Blood," and it becomes a murder case that has forever tarnished the family's four-bedroom home. Even worse is that only a few years earlier, the chic farmhouse built new in 1948 was something to aspire to in the Holcomb community, reported Realtor. With a whopping 2.5 bathrooms, a massive basement, and a sunny yellow brick façade, the house was such a standout that at least one newspaper published photos of it when it was built.

Years later, photos were published yet again –- but for a much more sinister reason. A pair of ex-convicts finagled their way inside to steal a safe they heard rumors about while in prison but found nothing. They decided to shoot Herb, Bonnie, Nancy, and Kenyon Clutter to cover up their burglary and eliminate all witnesses. But the opposite happened, according to the Garden City Police Department. Richard Eugene Hickock and Perry Edward Smith were captured, confessed, convicted, and hung. Today, the house continues to attract tourists and trespassers, despite the 60 years that have gone by since the crimes.

Jeffrey Dahmer's childhood home, Akron, Ohio

We typically think of serial killers as lurking in the darkness, but even the most depraved people had to grow up somewhere. That includes Jeffrey Dahmer, who murdered 17 men before engaging in necrophilia and cannibalism with their corpses over 13 years, according to Biography. When he was eight years old, the seemingly innocent young boy moved to a three-bedroom home in Akron, Ohio. Like the Clutter family home, before the 2,170 square foot residence's dark notoriety, photos of it were published in the local newspaper due to its distinctiveness and flair (via Velvet Ropes).

Ten years after that young boy moved in, he would commit his first killing in this same home, which featured large windows overlooking the lush backyard. Here, hitchhiker Steven Hicks took his last breath before Dahmer buried him nearby. These days, the house continues to carry Dahmer's shadowy past. The house's owner, musician Chris Butler, has put it on-and-off the market for several years with no takers, reported USA Today. Butler's asking price has ranged from $295,000 in 2014 to $329,000 in 2017, but it still appears to be owned by the '80s songwriter and guitarist. One of the few interested parties was, oddly enough, the nonprofit organization PETA, who planned to open a vegan restaurant here. Those plans fell through, however, due to zoning issues.

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Versace Mansion, Miami Beach, Florida

Suppose you binge-watched "The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story," which chronicled the murder of Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace. In that case, it might be tough to imagine that the opulent home that once saw his final moments is now a stunning hotel situated on Ocean Drive on South Beach. It was here that a spree killer slew Versace on a seemingly ordinary day when he was outside his home for a morning stroll, according to The Villa Casa Casuarina. But despite its dark past, the new owners of Casa Casuarina are making the best of it. Here, guests pay more than a grand a night to sleep in Gianni or Donatella Versace's former bedrooms; have dinner at the aptly-named Italian eatery Gianni's Restaurant; or head to Onyx Bar for a drink in what was once Versace's own kitchen (via CNN).

But long before it was a 10-suite opulent hotel, it was Versace's humble abode. Well, maybe not so humble. He spent a whopping $32 million to make it his home, adding touches like a 24-karat gold-plated toilet seat; a 24-karat-gold mosaic of Medusa inside the pool that's longer than a semi-trailer; and a Turkish shower that can accommodate eight people at a time.

Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman Murder House, Los Angeles, California

Despite claims of domestic violence, a car chase watched by 95 million people, an unaccounted-for hour, and a nasty divorce, former football running back OJ Simpson was acquitted of the stabbings of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend, Ron Goldman, according to ABC News. Although most of us will never know the truth of what happened on that 1994 night, the walls of 875 South Bundy Drive in Brentwood, California, certainly do. According to the Los Angeles Times, Brown Simpson's former condo, which now has a new address to deter tourists, is a 3,400-square-foot home that attracted many curious visitors following the murders. But although people were flocking to see the three-story, four-bedroom home due to its sinister significance, no one wanted to buy it.

Not long after Brown Simpson and Goldman were buried, the home hit the market but remained there for three years before finally selling for $200,000 less than the asking price. The new owners did all they could to help themselves and future buyers forget what had happened there, and they did so by changing the address, hiding the front entranceway behind lush greenery, and even moving the walkway where Brown Simpson's body was found on that fateful night. It worked –- the condo sold for $1.7 million a little more than a decade later.

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Menendez Murder House, Beverly Hills, California

Located in "The Flats" of Beverly Hills on one of the priciest streets in the entire celeb-ridden city, the former home of the Menendez family was quite the backdrop for the 1989 murders of José and Mary "Kitty" Menendez by their sons, Lyle and Erik Menendez. Before the Menendez' residence here, the colossal mansion was built in 1927 and had been the temporary pad of big-name celebrities like Elton John and Prince, reported Bustle.

According to Biography, the brothers shot their parents to inherit their $14 million fortune, as well as escape their cruel father's unrelenting sexual abuse and overbearing nature. Despite their disturbing stories of what it was like growing up under José's reign, the brothers were sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Decades have passed since the Menendez brothers went to jail, but the Spanish-style house they once lived in with their parents still stands today. It looks the same with its six bedrooms, outdoor tennis court, stylish courtyard, and cozy guesthouse. Its value, however, has gone up and down. It was valued at $2.7 million in 2016, which is significantly less than the $4 million the Menendez family paid for it in 1988 (via Realtor).

If you or anyone you know has been a victim of sexual assault, help is available. Visit the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network website or contact RAINN's National Helpline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Ted Bundy's childhood home, Tacoma, Washington

Little did the builders of 658 N. Skyline Drive know that the same year they would complete the modest, four-bedroom home, its most famous resident would be born. About nine years after serial killer Ted Bundy entered the world, he and his family of six moved into the 1400-square-foot house, reported The News Tribune. While he began his reign of terror long after leaving home, some believe he might have killed an eight-year-old here when he was 14. After Bundy was caught for his crimes, residents and contractors have reported creepy happenings here.

According to a contractor hired to renovate the home, his 11-year-old daughter refused to be left on her own while on-site and began to feel so anxious that she started to cry and had to leave. Another time, the contractor entered the locked home to find that each cabinet drawer and door was oddly opened. And, perhaps strangest of all, the renovation team once saw the words "help me" etched onto a glass window in the basement, which is right where some reports say Bundy's room once was. All of this was before the contractor ever knew about the house's former occupant. However, people continue to live here even as the haunted stories pile up. According to Morbid Tourism, the last owner purchased the property for about $335,000 in 2017.

Al Capone's mansion, Miami Beach, Florida

Before being shipped off to prison for being a crime boss, Al Capone lived large. According to The New York Times, the notorious gangster had a Spanish-style estate on an island not far from Miami Beach. Located at 93 Palm Avenue on 30,000 square feet, the house offers both a cabana ideal for beachfront gatherings and a guesthouse that once served as the home for armed guards. Capone purchased it before he was even 30 years old for what would amount to about $645,000 in today's currency. It was also where he bid the world goodbye –- Capone died in one of the bedrooms here after being released from prison due to his dwindling health.

However, the historical house may soon be no more. It was recently bought by real estate developers who want to tear it down. Bought for $10.75 million, they want to replace it with an eight-bedroom, $45 million home. While some believe that the mansion isn't worth saving because of Capone's violent legacy, preservationists believe that regardless of its darkness, it still serves as a meaningful, historic structure and should stand as such.

Al Capone's home, Chicago, Illinois

Al Capone's Florida respite may be something to gawk at, but his two-unit South Prairie Avenue home in Chicago is much more modest. It's the home he lived in before crime began to pay him the big bucks. With nearly 3,000 square feet and in need of renovations, it sold for $226,000 in 2019. Clearly, the unidentified buyer wasn't too deterred by the home's history or its derelict state since they paid more than twice the $109,900 asking price, reported CBS Chicago. Capone paid about $243,000 in today's currency for the home in 1923.

Capone's abode, which he shared with his wife and mother, was built in 1905. Currently, it has a brownstone façade, a kitchen with now-dated red cabinets, wood floors, pastel-colored walls, and, according to USA Today, possible secret tunnels. The tunnel's existence would make sense since Capone lived there when he initially joined ranks with crime boss Johnny Torrio. However, the home, which was rejected as a historic site by both the Commission on Chicago Landmarks and the Illinois Historic Sites Advisory Council, hasn't been owned by the Capone family since the 1950s. Capone himself went to his Florida mansion post-prison, while his mother stayed at this brownstone until she died.

LaBianca Murder House, Los Angeles, California

When we think of the Charles Mansion family murders, we usually think of the slaying of actress Sharon Tate and her four friends. But the world also lost Leno and Rosemary LaBianca. According to the Los Angeles Times, they were murdered in their Los Feliz home at 3311 Waverly Drive by the same group of cult followers. Despite its grizzly past, the house sold in 2021 for $1.875 million, which marked its second time on the market in just three years (via Los Angeles Times).

Although it wasn't easy to sell a home with a past that would send most buyers running, 2021 saw too many buyers and too few available homes, and so the house had takers. The last time the house hit the market, the only person who showed any interest was a paranormal reality show host who wanted to film there. With 1,655 square feet, stunning views of both Los Feliz and the surrounding mountains, a private driveway, a pool, and a sauna with some serious resort vibes, the LaBianca House offers many amenities to the modern buyer, as long as they can forget the past.

Mercer-Williams House, Savannah, Georgia

Fans of both the book and film "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" know all about the Mercer-Williams House. It was immortalized in pop culture after author John Berendt used it as the backdrop for his book about the killing of Danny Hansford. According to Ghost City Tours, Hansford was a young man who was supposedly shot by his boss and possible lover Jim Williams. Before it became a museum and reported haunted house, Williams, a preservationist, purchased and restored what's now known as the Mercer-Williams House. During the home's heyday, the entirety of Savannah's elite gathered for grand parties. Williams thought he could keep the good times rolling after he was found not guilty of Hansford's murder, but he died just a few months later of pneumonia complications. Ironically, he died in the exact spot where Hansford was shot in the home. The party was definitely over.

These days, tours are conducted at the museum, owned by Williams' sister (via Mercer Williams House Museum). But don't expect to hear much talk about "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" or the murder that brings many tourists there in the first place. Instead, all you'll hear about is Williams' antique collection and red-bricked abode, which is, at the least, stunning in its own right.