What Happened to These Notorious Crime Scenes?

Some buildings that bear witness to heinous crimes are transformed into tourist attractions (you can spend the night in Lizzie Borden's house!) Others get a change of address, or are completely torn down. Here's the current state of five famous crime scenes.

Jeffrey Dahmer's apartment building

At the time of his 1991 capture, cannibal killer Dahmer had a severed head stashed in his refrigerator; investigators eventually discovered various body parts taken from 11 different victims. His neighbors at Milwaukee's Oxford Apartments were criticized for not reporting the strange sounds (and, it goes without saying, strange odors) that emanated from unit 213. Unsurprisingly, many of them moved away when the truth came out, preferring not to be associated with the Dahmer case. The building was demolished in 1992 and has remained a vacant lot ever since.

Ariel Castro's house

The Cleveland home of kidnapper and rapist Ariel Castro, who cruelly held three women hostage for over a decade, was torn down last year with the assistance of family members of his victims. Watching the house fall, a neighbor said she hoped "something nice" would go up in its stead, because "we want to be able to look over there and not remember what happened." Image via Cleveland.com.



The site of Jim Jones' Peoples Temple in San Francisco is now a post office. But whatever became of the remote compound tucked into the tangled rainforest of Guyana, where in 1978 over 900 people perished in a massive act of murder-suicide? The BBC reports that the site has almost been completely overtaken by the jungle, and that some in Guyana have pondered earmarking the site as a ghoulish tourist destination. (To his credit, the head of Guyana's tourism department is not among them, telling the BBC "We don't want to bring back the association with Jonestown and tragedy. So it's not our priority.") Image via BBC.

Cheshire, Conn. home invasion murders house


In 2007, a mother and her two daughters were brutally killed in their quaint Connecticut home, having been stalked by a pair of career criminals who'd chosen their victims at random. Only patriarch William Petit survived. The case became a media sensation; both killers eventually received the death penalty, and the Petit family home, having been damaged by a fire set by the murderers, was torn down. The lot now holds a memorial garden dedicated to the victims. Image via Esquire.

Mount Carmel Center


You may know it better as the Waco, Texas home of the Branch Davidians, where in 1993 David Koresh and his followers engaged in a standoff with the ATF and FBI for 51 days. It didn't end well for either side, and the way the raid was handled remains controversial. Today, there are no public ceremonies to remember the tragedy, the Waco Tribune notes. There's a memorial, though, and as Roadside America points out,

There are no signs of the compound any more; the only remnant is a hole, formerly a swimming pool that was used as a bunker during the siege. A little chapel has been built out by the road by the Koreshians and their supporters, incorporating an infrequently-open museum of Davidian history that censures everyone for the bloodshed. Up a dirt road is a grove of young trees planted in rows, one for each Branch Davidian killed.


Top image of Mount Carmel Center, circa 1993, via Crime Museum.

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