True crime aficionados know the lurid pull of a place where a brutal crime has occurred. Whether it's H.H. Holmes's murder castle, John Wayne Gacy's crawl space, or Jeffrey Dahmer's apartment of horrors, there's a morbid thrill in seeking out old crime scenes and stepping into the victim's (or perpetrator's) shoes. But what do these famous crime scenes look like today? What happened to these infamous places once the caution tape was torn down and the blood spatter sopped up?
The answer: some were razed and abandoned, some were gentrified into million-dollar homes (just because a brutal murder occurred there doesn't mean it's not still prime real estate, after all!), and others were bought by the creator of Full House. From the condo where Nicole Brown Simpson met her bloody demise to the basement where JonBenét Ramsey was strangled to death, take a surprising look at what some of these old crime scenes are like now.
JonBenét Ramsey's Basement Is Now a Kids' Playroom
On December 26, 1996, six-year-old child beauty pageant star JonBenét Ramsey was found strangled to death in the basement of her Boulder, CO home in what remains one of the most famous unsolved mysteries to date. Two years after their daughter's highly publicized death, the Ramseys (who were exonerated for her murder in 2008) sold the 11,000-square-foot home to an investor for $650,000.
In 2004, Carol Schuller Milner, daughter of famed televangelist Robert Schuller, and her husband Tim bought the home for $1 million. They completely remodeled the inside, including gutting the basement where JonBenét's body was found and turning it into a family room for their five kids. They have periodically put the home on the market, as recently as 2014, listing it for $1.98 million. They have yet to make the sale.
The Manson Murder House Is Now Owned by the Creator of Full House
The Manson murder house has a history almost as strange as the crimes committed there. On August 9, 1969, actress Sharon Tate and four other people were brutally murdered by the Manson family in her rented Benedict Canyon home located at 10050 Cielo Drive in Los Angeles, CA. The house's owner, Rudolph Altobelli, a music and film talent manager, moved in three weeks after the murders and lived there for 20 years.
In 1992, musician Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails rented the house and set up a recording studio for NIN's album The Downward Spiral. In 1994, the owner demolished the original house and built a new home called Villa Bella, with a new street address: 10066 Cielo Drive. Today, Hollywood producer Jeff Franklin owns the house; he's best known as the creator of Full House.
Jeffrey Dahmer's Apartment of Horrors Is Now a Vacant Lot
When cops finally decided to search the Milwaukee apartment of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer, after being flagged down by one of his escaped victims, they found the remains of 17 victims inside, including acid-soaked torsos, boxes of bones, and a fridge packed with three human heads.
On November 17, 1992, at the behest of his victims' families, workers demolished the 49-unit Oxford Apartments complex on North 25th Street, which has been a vacant lot ever since.
H.H. Holmes's Murder Castle Is Now a U.S. Post Office
H.H. Holmes frequently claims the title of "America's first serial killer" and with good reason. After moving to Chicago in the late 1880s, Holmes built what became known as his "Murder Castle" at 63rd and Wallace streets. There, he invited guests to spend the night, mostly young women touring the "White City" for the 1893 Chicago World's Fair; many of the women mysteriously went missing shortly after their stays. When cops finally decided to investigate his home, they discovered a labyrinthine nightmare factory with amenities such as a third-floor soundproof room equipped with a gas pipe for asphyxiating his victims and a cellar equipped with an oven designed especially for body cremation.
Two weeks later, a man named A.M. Clark purchased the building with the intent to turn it into a tourist attraction; however, the building caught fire and burned to the ground. The first floor was salvaged and turned into a sign shop and bookstore before changing hands again in 1938, when it was demolished to make way for the U.S. post office that stands there today.