‘The Steeple Times’ selects five houses currently for sale that were decked out with “police line do not cross” tape after murders occurred there; would you want to live in a ‘murder house’?
Since September 2020, when we featured ‘Five of the Worst – Undesirable Homes Currently For Sale’ – amongst them Jeffrey Epstein’s since sold New York “paedo pad” and a Gothic villa in Cheshire where a lawyer stabbed his Sotheby’s auctioneer wife to death in March 2005 – we were inundated with additional suggestions.
In September, the New York Post’s Katie Jackson penned an article on ‘murder houses’ in which she quoted a YouGov poll that found 30% of Americans “wouldn’t hesitate to buy and live in a house where a previous owner was murdered.” The study also found that “only 32% of Americans would deem murder a dealbreaker.”
Going further, Jackson quoted Tony Mariotti, a California listing agent. He shared: “Only California, South Dakota, Alaska and Vermont have laws requiring sellers to disclose a recent death in a home, including murders or suicides.” In Britain, where shockingly estate agents aren’t even regulated, no such declaration has even been on the statute.
Now, following up two years after our previous feature, we today showcase five properties that even the most gung-ho realtor or estate agent would find hard to flog on. “Why?” we hear you ask; the answer: All of them have been the scenes of murders most horrid.
A Double Glazed, Double Murder – Pingle House, The Pingle, Upwell, Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, PE14 9BN, United Kingdom
For sale for £200,000 ($230,000, €233,000 or درهم845,000) through Purple Bricks.
Whilst the property valuation site The Move Market suggests Pingle House should be worth around £251,000 today, it is currently on the market for a sum 20% lower. Sold previously in 2001 for just £30,000, for a remarkable profit at £155,000 in August 2006 and £191,000 in April 2017, here is a 3-bedroom detached house that was the scene of two killings sometime in the days between the 7th and 10th January 1999.
Lived in at that time by Constance Sheridan, 70, and her “successful dog breeder” daughter, Janice, 45, this is an isolated home on the border of Norfolk and Cambridgeshire where both ladies were viciously stabbed to death in what was termed a killing “ruthless and determined.” The case subsequently featured in a Channel 4 programme, Blood Under The Carpet.
A then 33-year-old double glazing salesman with two juvenile convictions for burglary and “indecent acts” in 1983, Kevin Cottrell – who “claimed to be ‘the friendly face of home shopping’” according to The Guardian and who had sold the Sheridans a single UPVC window in 1998 – was convicted and jailed for life for the apparently “motiveless” double murder in April 2000.
Cottrell’s decision to enter switch his not guilty plea to guilty at the last minute left the Sheridans family “devastated.” Though, at the time, Miss Sheridan’s half-sister, Diana Penfold, remarked: “We just want to know why. We were hoping that we might get some answers during the trial, but still we won’t,” bizarrely the website JustJustice.org continues to suggest that “the wrong man is [in] jail.”
Purple Bricks make no mention of the since totally reconfigured property’s past in its sale brochure, but if it does achieve asking price, the current owners will achieve a sum 567% higher than when it was sold after the gruesome slayings that occurred there.
An Evidence Hideway – 2827 Aquetong Road, Solebury Township, New Hope, Pennsylvania, PA 18938, United States of America
For sale for £624,000 ($700,000, €716,000 or درهم2.6 million) through Tony Esposito of REMAX Aspire.
Sold previously for £285,000 in May 2005, £401,000 in August 2006 and for just £1 in December 2021, this 1,528 square foot detached house stands on a plot of 0.89 acres. Built in 1821 and fully renovated, this 3-bedroom property is being marketed as a place to “just unpack your bags and move right in,” but no mention is made of its connections to the murders of four young men between 5th and 7th July 2017.
Bought in 2006 and sold to her sister for a nominal sum in 2021 by Sandra Affatato DiNardo – who still owns the 90-acre farm nearby where her deranged drug dealer son Cosmo DiNardo slaughtered Dean A. Finnochiaro, Thomas C. Meo, Jimi T. Patrick and Mark R. Sturgis with the assistance of his cousin Sean Michael Kratz – a shed at 2827 Aquetong Road was where much of the evidence connected to the slayings was subsequently hidden.
DiNardo, who tried to burn the bodies of the four men in a pig roaster on his family’s farm, subsequently said he had “wanted to set the victims up when they came to the farm to buy marijuana.” He claimed he killed them simply because he “felt cheated and threatened.”
Featured in a two-hour 2020 Investigation Discovery Channel special titled The Lost Boys of Bucks County, DiNardo was sentenced to life in prison without parole in May 2018 whilst Kratz received the same in November that year. DiNardo’s claims that he was “responsible” for at least two other killings in the previous five years remain to this day unverified.
Of her spawn of the devil child, in 2017, Sandra DiNardo pathetically bleated: “My son wasn’t this horrible animal that everybody says he was. He lost his life a year before those kids. He’s a prisoner in his own brain. He’s lost forever.” A neighbour responded: “He was pretty nutty. He used to walk around here in camouflage with a gun hunting squirrels. He’s a scary kid” whilst Cosmo DiNardo himself somewhat more accurately concluded: “I threw my life away for nothing… My life’s done… For nothing.”
The Manson Murder Mansion Site – The Cielo Estate, 10066 Cielo Drive, Beverly Hills, California, CA 90210, United States of America
For sale for £53.519 million ($59.995 million, €61.415 million or درهم220.332 million) through The Altman Brothers Team and offered for rent for £223,000 per month ($250,000, €256,000 or درهم918,000 per month) also.
A “lazy river” that winds through the 3.6-acre grounds of ‘The Cielo Estate’ is just one of its many unusual features, but what agents Joshua and Matthew Altman fail to mention is that the vast 21,000 square foot crib they’re flogging was built in the exact location where the most infamous Manson murders occurred.
Remodeled most recently by ABC’s Full House sitcom creator Jeff Franklin and listed for £76 million last year, the “mega mansion” offered stands on the rubble of a building where 1960s ‘It Girl’ Sharon Tate was slayed along with three friends on 8th August 1969 by the Californian cult commune gang, the ‘Manson Family.’
Now featuring 9 bedrooms, 18 bathrooms and a garage for 16 cars, the original house – which had been rented by Tate with her film director husband Roman Polanski – was demolished in 1994 after being sold for £5.4 million to a realtor-developer named Alvin Weintraub. He redeveloped and created what he termed an “Andalusian-style estate, in a league of its own” and added to the property by purchasing additional land.
Others to have lived in the various structures that have stood at 10066 Cielo Drive include the French actress Michèle Morgan, the talent manager Rudolph Altobelli and the musician Trent Reznor of the rock band Nine Inch Nails. The latter rented the house in 1992 and set up a recording studio which he dubbed ‘Pig’ in reference to murderer Susan Atkins writing “Pig” in Tate’s blood on the front door.
Reznor stayed in the house less than one year and subsequently explained: “There was too much history in that house for me to handle” whilst in 1998, Weintraub remarked: “We went to great pains to get rid of everything. There’s no house, no dirt, no blade of grass remotely connected to Sharon Tate.”
The Master Bedroom Dismembering – ‘The Castle House’ or ‘The Klindt Castle,’ 1220 Royal Oaks Drive, Davenport, Iowa, IA 52806, United States of America
For sale for £329,000 ($369,000, €377,000 or درهم1.4 million) directly through its current owner, Nancy Townsend Klemme.
Sold to its current owner for £101,000 in October 1996, this is the house where Dr Jim Klindt, a chiropractor, killed his wife Joyce on 18th March 1983 by lobbing a pool ball at her head in their bedroom. He subsequently dismembered her body with a chainsaw, dumped the pieces into the Mississippi river and was sentenced to the maximum 50 years in prison in 1984 for his crimes.
Of why she bought the 3,150 square foot 3-bedroom property, Nancy Townsend Klemme – whose own mother was murdered also – told the New York Post in September: “We bought the house due to the beauty of it and the uniqueness. We were 100% aware of what happened there but it didn’t bother us… I like unique houses.” She is selling up to move to a former monastery she has purchased.
Dr Klindt was released from prison for good behaviour in 2004 and opened a taco stand named Eats and Sweets in 2006 after working for eight out of the twenty years he spent in prison as a cook. He was arrested repeatedly after his release – for drug possession, traffic offences and interfering with officers amongst other things – but later turned to charity work.
Of attempting to do good deeds, the “strong as a bull” doctor – who died in November 2010 after suffering a “bad fall” – remarked: “I figured if you can make something good out of something that wasn’t so good, that’s good. I told them they should use my notoriety to get a few bucks for the kids.”
Turning to whether he felt any remorse for killing his wife – who’d planned to divorce him – Dr Klindt added: “I apologised for the act, I apologised for the lies.” A letter he sent to Joyce Klindt’s family, Criminal revealed, was never answered and supposedly his son “doesn’t like it much when reporters write stories about his dad’s crime.”
A Coffee and Concrete Bather, Horror in Honolulu – 357 Lelekepue Place, Hawaii Loa Ridge, Diamond Head, East Honolulu, Hawaii, HI 96821, United States of America
Recently sold for £2.296 million ($2.575 million, €2.630 million or درهم9.457 million) by Heidi Bertucci of Corcoran Pacific Properties.
Just sold for a sum 13.7% higher than the £1.957 million it was knocked down to Gary Ruby for in November 2020, this 2,327 square foot gated community 3-bedroom, 3-bathroom residence was marketed as an “entertainer’s dream” by selling agents Corcoran Pacific Properties.
Sadly for 73-year-old Mr Ruby, the ‘entertainment’ didn’t last long at this seaside address as he was strangled to death there by his 23-year-old male lover Juan Tejedor Baron on 8th February 2022 after he had revealed to him that he had HIV.
Baron subsequently entombed Ruby’s body in concrete – to which he somewhat ludicrously added coffee beans believing they would help “better mask the smell of the decomposing body” – before stealing his victim’s Audi A6. He then fled with his other lover, 34-year-old Scott Hannon, to California.
Subsequently arrested and charged in March, Juan Tejedor Baron’s trial has now been delayed until January 2023. Whether the new owners of this murder house will serve their guests coffee remains unknown, but the Beat of Hawaii website confirmed in August that listing agent Heidi Bertucci “said the property received a true Hawaiian blessing before being listed for sale.” She graciously also added that the “bathtub has, of course, since been replaced.”
Love it. Thanks, Matthew. Appeals to my baser instincts for low level tabloid gossip.
Thank you, Margaret. I do enjoy researching the more bizarre cases and some of these are truly exactly that.
A somewhat stomach-churning read, Matthew.
It was interesting though. xx