The University of Idaho plans Thursday to begin demolition of the off-campus house where four students were fatally stabbed last year — the latest case in which property is razed following grisly, high-profile killings .
Ethan Chapin, Kaylee Goncalves, Xana Kernodle and Madison Mogen were killed inside an off-campus rental in Moscow, Idaho, on November 13, 2022, stunning the university and surrounding community.
The owner of the house donated it to the university, and the school planned to demolish it in July, before the start of the academic year. But those plans were delayed until this month, when the university announced that lawyers for the suspect, Bryan Kohberger, had been granted access to the house as part of their preparations for trial. Prosecutors also accessed the home on Dec. 21, the school said.
Kohberger was charged with four counts of first-degree murder and not guilty pleas were entered on his behalf. Prosecutors have proposed his trial begin in summer 2024.
Thursday’s demolition, which will take place during the winter break, is expected to begin at 7 a.m. and last several days. the University of Idaho said in a news release this month.
“This is a grim reminder of the heinous act that took place there,” University of Idaho President Scott Green said in a news release. “While we appreciate the emotional connection that some of the victims’ family members may have with this home, it is time to remove it and allow the collective healing of our community to continue.”
On the eve of the demolition, the families of Goncalves and Kernodle pleaded with the university and local attorneys to preserve the house. They argued it could provide evidence at the murder trial, including what surviving roommates may have heard during the killings, according to a joint statement.
But neither prosecutors nor defense attorneys objected to the demolition, the university said, and a prosecutor told school officials in an email that the house was “so different than it was at the time.” homicides” that a jury would not be allowed to see her. .
With the house gone, attention can turn to the future of the property. The university intends to create a memorial garden on the site to honor the four students, she said, and landscape design and architecture students were expected to develop concepts for the garden last fall.
The question of what to do with these properties has become painfully recurring in recent years, particularly in the United States, where communities regularly face scenes of mass shootings, wondering how they honor the victims and their families while allowing those left behind to heal and move forward.
This is particularly difficult in the wake of mass shootings in schools, where students and teachers may have to return: for example, Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, was demolished and rebuilt after 26 people, including 20 students aged 6 and 7, were destroyed. elderly children, were killed there in a shooting in December 2012.
But for decades, communities have faced similar questions about private homes, like the one in Idaho, where notorious killers lived or their victims were murdered. These homes are often demolished, like the Sandy Hook shooter’s, where he lived with his mother – his first victim on the day of the shooting.
Here’s a look at what happened to other homes synonymous with the murders that took place there.
In 1969, five people, including actress Sharon Tate, were murdered at 10050 Cielo Drive in what was perhaps the most notorious murders carried out by the cult led by Charles Manson.
The house in Beverly Hills, California, was demolished in 1994 and a new one – a sprawling nine-bedroom, 18-bathroom mansion – was built and completed in 1996. It was given a new address.
Sharon Tate’s body is taken to her home on Cielo Drive after she and four others are found murdered by Charles Manson and his followers.
The mansion was put on the market in January 2022 for $85 million, but the asking price has dropped several times. THE Last 23 months. The sellers are now asking $49.5 million, according to the real estate agent’s listing, which makes no mention of the property’s dark history.
Serial killer John Wayne Gacy killed at least 33 people, and the remains of more than two dozen of them were found under his home near Chicago by investigators after his arrest in December 1978, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Gacy’s house was demolished months later, in April 1979, the Tribune reported at the time. This came as a relief to neighbors, one of whom told the newspaper: “I’ll be happy when all this is gone.” »
The land sat empty for nearly a decade, until a new house was erected on the site beginning in June 1988, according to the Tribune. Like the Cielo Drive house, the new house was also given a new address.
Archives Bettmann/Getty Images
Police are seen on December 22, 1978 surrounding the home of serial killer John Wayne Gacy, where the bodies of several of his victims were found.
Fred and Rose West’s house
Fred and Rose West kidnapped, sexually abused and killed a series of girls and young women – including two of their daughters – between the 1960s and 1980s. In England. Fred, accused of 12 murders, committed suicide before he could stand trial, while Rose was convicted of 10 counts of murder in November 1995 and sentenced to life in prison.
When the case broke in the 1990s, investigators found the remains of many of their victims in their home at 25 Cromwell Street in Gloucester, including in the garden, basement and bathroom. bath.
The house, nicknamed “the house of horrors”, was demolished in 1996. A public walkway has since been built in its place.
Barry Batchelor/PA Images/Getty Images
The home of Fred and Rose West, located at 25 Cromwell Street in Gloucester, England, is being demolished.
Before becoming known as the site where Alex Murdaugh murdered his wife, Maggie, and adult son Paul, the 1,700-acre Islandton, South Carolina property known as Moselle was the domain of family hunt – including a house, cabin and kennels where the killings took place.
Andrew J. Whitaker/Pool/The Post and Courier/AP
The main house on Murdaugh’s Moselle property is seen March 1 in Islandton, South Carolina.
During the now-disgraced lawyer’s trial earlier this year, jurors toured the estate to help them better understand the crime scene and the arguments of the prosecution and defense.
But unlike other crime sites, the Moselle still stands.
The estate was put up for sale several months after the murders, according to CNN affiliate WJCL, and many items from the house were sold at auction shortly after Murdaugh’s conviction. He filed an appeal, which is on hold while his defense attorneys seek a new trial.
The house sold for $2.6 million, another affiliate, WCIV, reported in March.
CNN’s Cindy Von Quednow, Veronica Miracle and Jeffrey Kopp contributed to this report.
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