Murderous Houses: What Happened to Notorious Crime Sites Across the US

MOSCOW, Idaho – A house in Moscow, Idaho, where four University of Idaho students were fatally stabbed, has been demolished. The off-campus home was razed on 28 December during the school’s holiday break. The victims were Kaylee Goncalves, Madison Mogen, Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin, who were brutally killed there in November 2022. The demolition took two hours and marked an emotional step for the victims’ families and the devastated community.

This is not the first notorious killing site to be demolished. For decades, there has been a question of what to do with properties where killers lived or grave murders took place. Some homes are still standing, while others have been destroyed in a bid to erase the memory of the horrific tragedies.

In other infamous cases, like the house that belonged to serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, it was demolished after police found one of the grisliest crime scenes of all time. The same fate met John Wayne Gacy’s home in Chicago, Illinois, and the house of the Cleveland Strangler in Cleveland, Ohio.

More recently, the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, was razed after 26 people, including 20 children ages 6 and 7 and six adults, were slaughtered in a deadly shooting. Similarly, the Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, was partially demolished after a mass shooting that killed 12 students and one teacher. These cases highlight the ongoing struggle of how to deal with the aftermath of such tragedies.

While some properties have been transformed into tourist attractions, others are still standing, and some have been sold without any mention of their dark past. The decision to either preserve or demolish these sites sparks debates about how to honor the victims while allowing the healing and moving forward of their communities.