It’s not uncommon for killers or serial sexual offenders to enact crimes in a controlled environment, such as one’s home or property. For some, the basement is a means to an end - a way to quickly get rid of a body in a place where no one’s going to stumble upon it. But for methodical offenders, the basement can function as a makeshift prison for victims. Famous killers, such as John Wayne Gacy and alleged cannibal Gary Heidnik, used their homes to conduct and conceal murders. Others, like The Toy Box Killer, owned a remote property that allowed him to imprison women, undetected.
These basements from across the world - from dirty rooms at the bottom of New York tenements to carefully constructed chambers beneath an Austrian home - reflect how some criminals managed to evade police detection. The most recent crime on this list happened in 2016, and the earliest was from when H.H. Holmes dedicated an entire castle to murder in the late 19th century.