The listing reads as follows:
“Mid-century modern home with a true park-like setting. Smoking and animals okay. This is Jeffrey Dahmer’s childhood home. Close to Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Montrose shopping. Easy access to I-77 highway.”
Yes, you read that right. In between lines boasting about nature and the openness of the pet policy, the listing for this $8,000 a week Bath Township vacation rental casually notes that an infamous serial killer, who murdered and cannibalized at least 17 people, grew up here. Dahmer, the Animal Legal Defense Fund also points out, “as a child…would capture animals and torture them, impaling frogs, cats, and dogs’ heads on sticks.”
Not only that, but according to an article on Cleveland.com, Dahmer’s first murder may have occurred while he was living in this home. “In 1978,” reads the article, “Dahmer, then 18, killed Steven Hicks, an 18-year-old hitchhiker, and disposed of his remains in the woods in the house’s backyard.”
That vacationers can stay in the home of a notorious serial killer made big news when it was first posted late last month—Huffington Post, the New York Post, ABC News, the Daily Mail and numerous other outlets picked up the story. But really, this news shouldn’t be such news.
Presently, many of the country’s hottest television shows are about murderers, or those possibly wrongfully convicted of murder; Making a Murderer, The People v O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, True Detective, and Slasher. Americans, for better or worst, are obsessed with murderers, and they seem to be particularly enthused with serial killers.
There also appears to be a certain allure in sleeping where famous murders have happened.
That Sid Vicious allegedly killed Nancy Spungen in The Hotel Chelsea, in 1978, only seems to have made the place more popular. And if you widen the net to hotels where famous people have commit suicide or accidentally died, the list begins getting very long. John Belushi at The Chateau Marmont in West Hollywood, Janice Joplin at the Landmark Hotel (now the Highland Gardens), INXS lead singer Michael Hutchence at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Sydney, Australia (now called the Stamford Plaza Hotel).
Meanwhile, the Republican National Convention is coming to the Cleveland area, and the listing company for the former Dahmer home, Howard Hanna, is, according to the Cleveland.com article, “the Cuyahoga County Republican Party’s official real estate company for the RNC.” Yet following the link one will find that the company seems to have taken the listing down. Perhaps not all publicity, is good publicity.