Visiting Crime Scenes

Spookdaddy

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McAvennie_ said:
...I just discovered one recently here in Paris, the Marcel Petiot murders at 21 Rue le Sueur. When you Google Earth that address you can see it has almost certainly been demolished and a new structure put in its place.

Apparently it was demolished in the late 1950's.

I can't help wondering how easy it would have been to let the property, if at all, in post-war Paris. Petiot's murders were on a mini-industrial scale (in fact number 21 was known as the murder factory) and managed to cause a sensation (this during world war and foriegn occupation, mind - no mean feat). Petiot bought the property but put it in his son's name; as there were questions asked over the rest of the family's knowledge of his crimes, I don't think this would have helped much either.

Personally, I suspect that whoever owned the property at the time simply found it too difficult to let and cut their losses. Ironically, as is often the case with this type of redevelopment, the original basement - where Petiot disposed of some of the bodies, and the site of the crimes initial discovery - remains.

garrick92 said:
Fred and Rose West's gaff was similarly Wiped From The Face Of The Earth.

I wonder which pen-pusher, in which anonymous department, gets to decide when a murder-hourse should be demolished?...

Apparently the local authority bought West's house - the proceeds going into his estate, which was being administered by the Official Solicitor for the benefit of his remaining children. Source.

I looked this up because it struck me that I'd be pretty surprised if a local authority has the power to order the demolition of a privately owned property - unless, maybe it was structurally unsafe, or the subject of a compulsory purchase.

In West's case I'm not sure a compulsory purchase would be necessary (if, indeed, one is allowed under such circumstances). I don't doubt that the reasoning was that the cash involved in the sale was of greater practical benefit to West's dependants than the house remaining in his estate.

Edit for typo.
 

McAvennie

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Spookdaddy said:
McAvennie_ said:
...I just discovered one recently here in Paris, the Marcel Petiot murders at 21 Rue le Sueur. When you Google Earth that address you can see it has almost certainly been demolished and a new structure put in its place.

Ironically, as is often the case with this type of redevelopment, the original basement - where Petiot disposed of some of the bodies, and the site of the crimes initial discovery - remains.


I did wonder that, as the cavernous caves go deep under the buildings and roads so would have been incredibly hard to wipe out all traces of his lair. I guess it is a symbolic thing, the building being the visual face of his crimes. Shame, as the new building is a crime against the aesthetics of the street!

And cherrybomb, slightly wrong... but seeing as I'm clearly the same kind of wrong I'll not say anything if you don't ;)
 

Spookdaddy

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McAvennie_ said:
I did wonder that, as the cavernous caves go deep under the buildings and roads so would have been incredibly hard to wipe out all traces of his lair. I guess it is a symbolic thing, the building being the visual face of his crimes. Shame, as the new building is a crime against the aesthetics of the street!...

I also wondered whether - as the very considerable profits Petiot accumulated from his crimes were never completely traced, and that he had told his interrogators that the bulk of his profit was at rue Le Sueur - number 21 might not have been butchered into dereliction in an effort to find the loot, either by the authorities, or treasure hunters.
 

McAvennie

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Spookdaddy said:
McAvennie_ said:
I did wonder that, as the cavernous caves go deep under the buildings and roads so would have been incredibly hard to wipe out all traces of his lair. I guess it is a symbolic thing, the building being the visual face of his crimes. Shame, as the new building is a crime against the aesthetics of the street!...

I also wondered whether - as the very considerable profits Petiot accumulated from his crimes were never completely traced, and that he had told his interrogators that the bulk of his profit was at rue Le Sueur - number 21 might not have been butchered into dereliction in an effort to find the loot, either by the authorities, or treasure hunters.

Hidden loot, eh... Umm, I'll be back later... *grabs coat and spade...*
 

Spookdaddy

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liveinabin1 said:
Well Stephen Wright's flat is still there and seems to be occupied...
I wonder if it has something to do with the murders not happening there.

You've probably got a point with the latter, at least in as far as this fact makes it easier to let or sell, and makes it less of an attraction for gawpers - but I think the wider point is that actual demolition in these cases is probably pretty rare.
 

liveinabin

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Spookdaddy said:
liveinabin1 said:
Well Stephen Wright's flat is still there and seems to be occupied...
I wonder if it has something to do with the murders not happening there.

You've probably got a point with the latter, at least in as far as this fact makes it easier to let or sell, and makes it less of an attraction for gawpers - but I think the wider point is that actual demolition in these cases is probably pretty rare.

I think with the West case Cromwell Road was where the murders happened, the bodies were buried and abuse took place. The address was so well known that no one could have bought it without realising they had done so.

I do remember there being a program about 10 years ago that was about people who had bought 'murder houses' and how they dealt with it. Some of them had knowingly bought them yet some of them only found out later. It was interesting to see the way they had been effected by it. I recall one guy, who found out much later that someone had murdered and buried his wife in the garden, becoming quite obsessed with working out exactly where the burial had happened and was going round his garden with a long stick, poking it into the soil to check for the disturbance.
 

ChrisBoardman

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In the case of Steve Wright, he committed the murders in his car, so I presume his car was crushed after all evidence was taken and the trial had finished.

Ian Huntley used his car to transport the bodies, so his car was probably crushed after the trial.
 

Ilikepencils

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I think everybody has a slight morbid fascination with crime scenes. I haven't visited any in person but have certainly looked things up on Google Earth for a nosey. Somehow when I hear about a story I like to set the scene for myself by looking at the location.

I also quite like reading books about serial killers etc although I always feel a bit embarrased getting them from the library. I find the psychological profiling fascinating but assume others think I'm some sort of murderer-worshipping nut job for borrowing them!
 

smokehead

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Well I also read books about serial killers, I'm fascinated by the way the net closes in on a suspect,it seems an impossible task, and is more reliant on sheer luck than the police,who I have enormous respect for,would like the public to think.
They are also useful for home security, leave a few cheap paperbacks out on the porch or in the recycling,and local gossip will ensure you are never burgled.
Also useful on public transport to bring out of a pocket and pretend to read if there are some people who look like they may get rowdy. :x
 

GNC

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Got a book on serial killers who have never been caught. Spent an evening leafing through it. Didn't sleep very well. Haven't picked it up since. Have no interest in visiting crime scenes! Brr.
 

OneWingedBird

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Does it mention anything about a killing in Leeds where a pair of women's shoes that didn;t belong to the victim were found at the crime scene?

Would be early 90s... I always wonder what became of that case.

Or the one where the lass was killed, refridgerated for a while then dumped and set on fire on the platform of Burley Park station.
 

smokehead

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Are you thinking of Suzanne Capper?, murdered in 1992, after being tortured,then taken to Romily near Stockport and set on fire,she was 16.
Details are on wiki,if you can stand to read them.
Evil,evil bastards.
 

GNC

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It was an American book, so it might not have mentioned a lot of UK cases, but I can't remember. One thing I do recall is that at least a couple of the worst ones were caught after the book had been published.
 

ChrisBoardman

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I've often found myself on google streetview looking at the Jonbenet murder house in Boulder, Colorado.
 

stu neville

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Spookdaddy said:
theyithian said:
Gotcha.

Can you imagine asking at the conclusion of the viewing, "I really like the place, but I must ask, has anyone ever been murdered here?"

To be honest, I think I can imagine some people asking that.

Many years ago I found online a list of questions - provided by a firm of UK solicitors - that a prospective purchaser might like to ask in order to save surprises later on. I'm not at all sure that 'unpleasantness' in the history of the building wasn't the basis of one of them.
When I worked in local authority housing, you'd be surprised how many potential tenants would ask during the viewing whether the place was a) the scene of a death (natural or murder) and b) whether it was haunted.

As for Cromwell St, IIRC by the time the scene had been examined properly,involving walls etc being taken down, the structure itself had started to become unstable anyway.
ChrisBoardman said:
I've often found myself on google streetview looking at the Jonbenet murder house in Boulder, Colorado.
Often?
 

Mythopoeika

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stuneville said:
ChrisBoardman said:
I've often found myself on google streetview looking at the Jonbenet murder house in Boulder, Colorado.
Often?

Yeah, you asked the question I was going to ask. :)
 

Ringo

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I visit dozens of murder scenes on a regular basis.

Having read hundreds of murder cases, and visited many of the murder sites, I am somewhat fascinated with how a place can be normal one second and then sudenly plunged into infamy.

A street corner, a building, a store, an apartment - all of which are suddenly transformed into a mark on history. I find it equally fascinating that thousands of people can walk passed or over a place where a murdered human being once lay and be totally unawares.
 

Cochise

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Having read hundreds of murder cases, and visited many of the murder sites, I am somewhat fascinated with how a place can be normal one second and then sudenly plunged into infamy.

A street corner, a building, a store, an apartment - all of which are suddenly transformed into a mark on history.
Not crime scenes exactly, but I've had a lifelong interest in railways, and I never pass through Harrow and Wealdstone station without a slight shudder, and wonder how all the commuters on the platform can just be standing there unconcerned! Especially if its a bit foggy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harrow_and ... rail_crash
 

escargot

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Yup Cochise, you took the words out of my mouth a bit. I was about to point out that people are interested specifically in death scenes rather than simply scenes of crime.

I mean, nobody makes creepy pilgrimages to the scenes of non-fatal robberies or to the banks where salami-slicing clerks were employed! ;)

Disaster scenes and murder scenes are similar because, well, every murder is a disaster. :(
 

Spudrick68

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I recall going through a tube station in London years ago and thinking "ooh, this is nice, clean and new". And then it dawned on me that it was the site of a horrendous fire. It may have been Kings Cross, but it seemed that it happened far later than 1987.
 

ChrisBoardman

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Last weekend I visited my parents in Dudley, when coming back from the shops in Birmingham some said "This is where that schoolgirl was stabbed".

I never recognised the road in the news pictures as one that I knew.
 

smokehead

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I've been on the No.9 from Halesowen to Birmingham a few times, and my daughter used to go to college in Halesowen,she knows the area very well,so that tragic murder was chillingly close to home.
My first thought,I must admit was it was on the 79 from Wolvo to Brum, which has long resembled the Broadmoor UK Tour Bus, every time I've been on it something has happened.
 

smokehead

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From memory,a few Ripperologists visited the back yard of 29 Hanbury street in London,scene of Anne Chapmans murder by Jack the Ripper supposedly.
This was because IIRC there was a discrepancy between the time of death established by the pathologist and witness testimony.
Essentially if both were correct it must have meant the witness somehow missed seeing Anne's body whilst sitting on the step.
Having seen the photographs it looks highly unlikely, but of course that's just imho.
Then again,when the pressure on the Yorkshire police was at its height,they still managed to miss the body of a Yorkshire Ripper victim, probably because in our well lit streets we forget how dark it is without any source of illumination.
 

skinny

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Something about cows returning daily to a part of the field where one of their own was slain, maybe in a Ken Kesey book...

Anyway, I drove into Snowtown once on the way back from the Flinders Ranges, just out of curiosity and to have a slash ;). I parked outside the bank building for a while and just looked at it. There was a feeling of creepiness for sure, but the murders all took place elsewhere; the vault was just the storage area for the bits. The town itself was innocent of anything. Poor Snowtown.... though that's not to say it isn't capable. There's quite a bit of local slaughter occuring in the rural deadlands these days.

Ballarat

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smokehead

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I'm not so curious about crime scenes,only in how they relate to the investigation, location,possible routes etc, but not afterwards.
My what if's? are somehow 'knowing' who has commited a murder and got away with it and the location of victims,long since disappeared.
Anyone interested in real crime soon discovers that real serial killers don't live in cramped apartments with photographs with eyes cut out,biblical quotes and newspaper headlines circled in red all over the walls.
Or as I read somewhere, the serial killer is never the guy you don't get in the car with,he is the guy you do.
The image of Jack the Ripper,a man in an evening suit,top hat,red lined cape and a medical bag is a complete myth, no one looking remotely like that was ever seen by witnesses.
So,ordinary places where extraordinary events have ocurred remain ordinary places,undeniably wrapped in a sinister miasma of the human imagination,and I understand the fascination.
There is a website somewhere where people visit and photograph abandoned buildings,factories,hospitals,places like that.
It's a spooky site to visit, and it's that human factor, of workers and time long since past, but in some way leaving a residue on the present.
 
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