Some people like to tour national parks or go to Disney World on their family vacations… for those who want an unorthodox vacation, and don’t scare easily, these murder sites that you can visit might make for a more exciting road trip this year.
Villisca Ax Murder House
The murder of eight people, six members of the Moore family and two overnight house guests, during the night in Villisca, Iowa on June 9 or 10, 1912 has remained unsolved for more than a century.
When a neighbor noticed that no one had begun farm chores on the morning of the 10th, it was discovered that each person had been bludgeoned to death with an ax. While there was a lengthy investigation and even two trials, no one was ever convicted for the murders.
The house is open for tours, and those who are brave enough can even spend the night there!
Lizzie Borden’s Home
“Lizzie Borden took an axe and gave her mother forty whacks. When she saw what she had done she gave her father forty-one.”
Lizzie Borden was a 32 year old woman living with her father and stepmother when they were found bludgeoned to death by an axe. She was tried and acquitted of the crime, and it was never solved.
Tourists can view the inside and outside of the house, as well as stay the night, if they’re brave enough.
Lizzie Borden lived out the remainder of her days in the community, in spite of the reputation that followed her around for the remainder of her days. She is buried in the local cemetery, and the site is often visited by those who stay at the house.
Black Dahlia’s Murder Site
Elizabeth Short was a young woman living in Los Angeles when she went missing in 1947. She was found several days later, having been murdered and mutilated and left to the elements.
Her beauty and reputation for wearing black earned her the nickname “Black Dahlia” in the media during a very long and public investigation that never resulted in any viable suspects.
The unsolved case has become a part of LA lore, and curious visitors still visit the murder site, which is now a front yard in a middle class neighborhood.
Visiting this site would make an excellent and unconventional side visit if you’re already in the area.
Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman Crime Scene
Often referred to as “the crime of the century”, the murder of Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman, allegedly by Brown’s husband, football legend O. J. Simpson, incited a nation to follow the arrest, prosecution and aftermath of O. J. Simpson’s life.
On June 13, 1994, the two were found stabbed to death in her home, and the events at the crime scene kicked off the infamous police chase of O. J. Simpson in a white Bronco, and the globally broadcast trial of Simpson. While Simpson was acquitted, the story has remained a part of the cultural psyche for the last two decades.
True crime fans visiting the LA area often make a trek to the Brentwood neighborhood to see the home where the biggest media circus crime all started.
John Lennon’s Home and Murder Scene
John Lennon, lead singer of the world’s most famous and beloved band The Beatles, lived with his wife Yoko Ono and son Sean in The Dakota, a posh coop building in the desirable Central Park West area of New York City.
He and Yoko were returning from a recording session when he was shot dead by stalker Mark David Chapman, who after the shooting waited for police nearby reading Catcher in the Rye, claiming the reason for his crime was “in the book”.
Fans of Lennon and the Beatles often visit Strawberry Fields, a memorial site established in Central Park near his home and murder site. It is a peaceful place for fans to pay respects to Lennon and enjoy tribute music played by talented fans and musicians.
Unfortunately, there are many more places to visit if you’re interested in seeing the darker side of society, but these are some of the more popular, and more famous, crime scenes in American history. Have fun, and watch your back!