Demolishing Crime-Linked Homes: The Resonating Repercussions Across America

Moscow, Idaho – A home, the site of a brutal slaying of four University of Idaho students, was recently demolished during the school’s holiday break on 28 December. This marks a significant step for the victims’ families and the close-knit community who were devastated by the tragic event in November 2022.

The house has been associated with notorious killings over the years, prompting questions about what to do with such properties. Some infamous “murder houses” have been remodeled, sold, or turned into tourist attractions, while others have been demolished in an effort to erase any memory of the horrors.

The demolition of the Moscow house began before dawn and within two hours, the three-story building was gone. The victims’ families had opposed the demolition, hoping to preserve the house until the accused, Bryan Kohberger, was tried. However, prosecutors stated that they didn’t anticipate further need for the house, having already gathered necessary measurements for a jury’s illustrative exhibits.

Similar situations have occurred with properties tied to other notorious killings, such as Jeffrey Dahmer’s apartment in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and John Wayne Gacy’s home in Chicago, Illinois. Another infamous case involves the house of the ‘Cleveland Strangler’ in Ohio, which was also demolished after the horrific crimes committed by Ariel Castro.

Not only are private homes linked to notorious killings demolished, but schools also face similar decisions, as seen with the demolitions of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, and Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. These instances raise questions about how communities choose to honor victims while also seeking to heal and move forward.