For the month of October, we’re going to feature Spooky, Creepy Preservation in honor of Halloween. We’re kicking off the month with perhaps one of the creepiest buildings in our built history – Jeffrey Dahmer’s childhood home. Not technically the historic building our posts normally feature, but this post by Guest Blogger Sarah is still something worth contemplating.
Yes, it’s been all over the national news. And I had made a conscious decision NOT to cover it since it is already being over-exposed and the hideous crimes of JD are a little too recent for my comfort level.
But then I got a gently prodding email from a reader in Ohio (thanks Stacie!) so I said “okay, okay, I’ll do JD’s house on House Crazy“.
But I can’t even bring myself to type the guy’s name (which I nonetheless had to type for the title of this post) so I’m just going to call him “JD”. He’s dead now anyhow – killed in prison in 1994 – but his crimes are some of the most heinous in recent memory.
The home where JD lived from 1968 to 1982 is up for sale near Akron, Ohio. This is also the home where JD murdered his first human victim in 1978, and um, cut-up and spread the remains throughout the wooded property. I’m sorry, I don’t know how else to say it – it’s just so horrible. JD moved to Wisconsin in 1982 and committed 16 more murders before he was caught in 1991.
This dreadful crime scene languished on the market for a very long time but eventually sold for a reduced price in 2005. The new owner, a musician, was at first hesitant when he learned of the home’s gory past. “I didn’t stop shaking for another 24 hours,” the owner told the Akron Beacon Journal. But he was in love with the mid-century architecture so he bought the home anyway. Now the house is up for sale again because the owner is relocating.
There’s been a lot of photos of the exterior of the house posted in newspapers during the last week, but nobody had posted interior photos. Until now…
I tracked down the actual listing after some minimal sleuthing.
This 1952 home on West Bath Road is listed at $329,000.
This is the actual listing blurb:
Amazing 50′s Ranch! Lush and beautiful flowers and trees decorate the landscap
e, which you can view from the oversized windows in the formal living room. Inside you will find plenty of space to create your own personal feel! Granite counters in the kitchen. Wood burning fireplaces! New central air unit was installed 6/2011
– from: trulia.com
The realtor is doing the best he can, but it’s a hard sell knowing the history of the house (and grounds).
According to the Acron Beacon Journal Online,
The ranch house was built in 1952 by Mr. and Mrs. Robert Arens. It was featured in the Beacon Journal’s Roto section a year later for its modern style, open layout and floor-to-ceiling windows that provided views of the wooded hillside.
This 2,170 square foot home has 3 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms.
The stone and wood mid-century modern home is located on 1.55 private wooded acres.
My stomach is turning just writing this post. Normally I like to embrace a house (as this house’s current owner has) for it’s own historic and architectural merritts, rather than any gory history that took place there.
And I truly commend the current owner for being able to look past the house’s unfortunate past and appreciate and love the house for what it truly is: a beautiful mid-century home.
But… I don’t know… I’d seriously get the willies every time I was carving ham in the kitchen. *shudder*