9 of America's Most Infamous Murder Mansions
Gruesome stories hide behind these grandiose exteriors.


The New Orleans mansion of socialite Delphine LaLaurie is one of the most notorious spots in the Big Easy. Legend has it that Madame LaLaurie tortured — and possibly murdered — her numerous slaves inside her otherwise glamorous home. Her backstory was featured prominently on American Horror Story: Coven.


This Los Angeles mansion, also known as the Doheny Mansion, has been featured in numerous films — There Will Be Blood, Rush Hour, and The Social Network, just to name a few — but even more interesting is its murderous past. Only five months after the Doheny family moved in, the family's patriarch Ned Doheny was found shot alongside his longtime friend Hugh Plunket, in an apparent murder-suicide.


The entire country was shaken in December 1996 when a six-year-old beauty queen was reported missing after her mother found a ransom note in their home. She was found murdered later that same day in the basement of the family's Boulder, Colorado home.


Lyle and Erik Menendez shot their parents to death in their Beverly Hills mansion in 1989 and incited a media circus when the case went to trial and broadcast on Court TV. Their story was turned into a made for TV movie, naturally, in 1994. According to Forbes, the house was purchased by television writer William Link for $3.7 million in 2001.


Music producer Phil Spector received a jail sentence of 19 years to life, after he was found guilty of shooting actress Lana Clarkson, who was found dead in his mansion in Southern California. During his trial, jurors visited the home, known as the Pyrenees Castle and built as a replica of a chateau in the South of France.


The Lloyd Wright-designed John Sowden House is known for its beauty and architectural details, but it's also tied to one of the most infamous deaths in Los Angeles history: The Black Dahlia murder. It was once owned by Dr. George Hill Hodel, whose own son vehemently believes that Hodel is responsible for the death of Elizabeth Short. The stylish home is now rented out for private events, corporate retreats, and film shoots.


Taliesin, an architectural wonder in Wisconsin, was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright as his studio and home, but in 1914, tragedy struck the home when a hired cook and caretaker Julian Carlton went on a rampage killing seven people, including Wright's lover and her two children, and lighting the structure on fire. Carlton died just a few weeks later, leaving many questions about the murderous streak unanswered. Wright did rebuild the space after the tragedy, and again after its second fire in 1925. It still stands and is open for public tours.



Perhaps one of the most well-known America murders is the death of Sharon Tate, her unborn child, and her companions, at the hands of the Manson Family. The actress was brutally murdered in her Los Angeles home in 1969 by the followers of Charles Manson, while her husband Roman Polanski was away. The home was torn down in 1994, and the address changed in an attempt to separate the property from its sordid past.


In 1997, fashion designer Gianni Versace was found shot to death at the hands of serial killer Andrew Cunanan outside of his stunning mansion in Miami Beach. The reason behind Versace's murder remains a mystery. The home sold a few years ago for $41.5 million, and now operates as a luxury boutique hotel, restaurant and event space.

From: ELLE Decor US

This story originally appeared on
* Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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