On the outside, this dark-brown, tile-roofed home in Perris, CA, looks no different from the thousands of other stucco abodes in Southern California. But on the inside, the house comes with something else: a history. A tragic one.
The California home where David and Louise Turpin allegedly tortured 12 of their 13 children is currently for sale on auction site Hudson & Marshall, which is accepting bids through Wednesday. This home, which became known far and wide as the “house of horrors,” is where the Turpins reportedly shackled their children to furniture with ropes and chains and starved them to the brink of death.
Last January, the Turpins were arrested after their 17-year-old daughter managed to escape captivity and call 911. In November, the four-bedroom, three-bathroom house went into foreclosure. The last appraisal of the property valued the home at $353,138, but real estate experts predict that it will sell for much less now.
The auction site fails to mention the home’s stomach-churning background, but real estate appraiser Orell Anderson—who valued the residences where Nicole Brown Simpson and JonBenét Ramsey were murdered—thinks most buyers will have heard of this home’s grim past, and lowball accordingly. As of Monday, the most recent bid comes in at $280,001.
Anderson is not surprised. As he puts it, “Who’s going to want to live there?”
Will anyone buy this ‘house of horrors’?
Home buyers unfazed by grim crimes are a rare breed. Anderson anticipates that buyers with children will not go near this abode, and most likely, it will be purchased just to be razed.
“A redevelopment agency or the homeowners association will want to tear this house down,” says Anderson. “Hopefully, they’ll put a plaque or a monument in its place.”
Anderson compares the tragedy of the Turpin home with the site of the apartment complex where cannibal and serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer resided until his arrest in 1991. After Dahmer was sentenced to life in prison for killing 17 boys and young men, the entire apartment complex was sold to a redevelopment agency and demolished the following year.
“Just like Dahmer, it will sell for the land value,” says Anderson. “This ‘house of horrors’ is located in a new subdivision. It wouldn’t look out of place to tear it down and put something else in that spot.”
Another possibility? An investor could buy it, fix it up, and rent it out, notes Anderson.
“There are multiple homes in this neighborhood that are for lease,” he says. “Short-term occupants have a willingness to pay a low rent and tend to not care as much about the tragic history of the actual home.”
So perhaps there’s hope that this house of horrors might be able to make a fresh start after all.
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