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Murder House on a Foggy Day

Reading Duluth News Tribune reporter Brandon Stahl’s series of stories on problem properties in Duluth made me think of the Murder House.

While it sucks to have a deadbeat and/or drug-addicted neighbor who can’t manage to do something as simple as put garbage into a garbage can, there are worse problems out there. Sometimes your neighbor is a paranoid schizophrenic who paints crazy things on his roof and puts up weird signs on the lawn that attempt to explain his conspiracy theories.

On one hand, I like to respect the rights of property owners — whether they are mentally ill or not — to turn their homes into pieces of expressionist art or whatever. On the other hand, I absolutely would not want to live next to the Murder House. One of the neighboring homes is currently for sale, and I have to imagine it will go for a fraction of its rightful price. Sucks living in a free country, I guess.

(By the way, I’m going to be sensitive and not mention the location of Duluth’s Murder House, so don’t ask or mention it yourself in the comments. It’s bad enough that the owner probably saw me take the picture and thinks I’m a government agent plotting his demise.)

(Also, to be clear, I found Mr. Stahl’s stories quite interesting and informative. I’m not trying to downplay his work; I’m just trying to one-up him in depicting crazy, awful stuff.)

And now, to cheer you all up after all that, here’s a lilac bush. Ain’t they lovely this time of year?

31 Comments

Rae

about 4 years ago

Are those actual dates of homicides that occurred in Duluth?

mevdev

about 4 years ago

Does this person also have a huge plywood sign that doesn't even make much sense? Then I think I know where it is.

watergirl

about 4 years ago

The fact that this person has 2 "murder dates" that personally affect him enough to paint them on his roof is sad.... and scary as hell! I'm glad I don't know where this house is.

wildgoose

about 4 years ago

My lilacs are blooming, too. Almost all of them. This time of year is perfect, when lilacs are blooming I think of Prince and how great it is to live here, it's like a magical little mini season - lilac blooming season. Well, lilac/rhubarb season, that is. I could be mistaken but I believe that they largely overlap. As someone who spends a lot of time pondering and reacting to bad tenants and slum lords and how they affect MY own personal quality of life as well as community standards in general, I think that Brandon and the photographer (Clint Austin, I believe) did a good job on Sunday's piece. I haven't read today's yet.

Paul Lundgren

about 4 years ago

To clarify, I'm pretty sure the dates do not represent actual murders, but murders of this guy's rights or something to that affect. It's not really for us to understand.

JPersch

about 4 years ago

I'm going to be in town for the 4th of July and Beth and I are going to look at the housing market while we are there. Be sure to keep an eye on that one for me. I don't mind crazy people. Hell I might paint something crazy on my roof to go along with the theme.

Bad Cat!

about 4 years ago

Now I'm so incredibly curious as to where this is.

Rae

about 4 years ago

Thanks for the clarification. I love colorful people - as long as they are in a different neighborhood.

Terry G.

about 4 years ago

Have to agree with wildgoose....excellent articles in the DNT about landlord/tenant/housing issues. It's the type of reporting that makes a local paper indispensable. I hope it makes a difference as these awful housing situations greatly affect the quality of life for all of us. The Murder House doesn't even come close to some of those rental pits.

Brandon Stahl

about 4 years ago

Thank you, Wildgoose and Terry, for the nice comments. As to the murder house: I'm almost certain that a murder didn't take place in Duluth on July 12, 2008. I've searched the archives and found that Duluth's first murder that year was on June 14 of Stanley Boody by Spencie Walker at an apartment at 227 West Third Street.

Paul Lundgren

about 4 years ago

You can trade a Garbage House for a Murder House if you want, Terry G., but in my experience you are way wrong. I spend about 15 minutes a week picking up garbage around the rentals across the alley from me and, yeah, that sucks. But it's not like I could go scrub the shingles on my neighbor's roof if I lived next to the Murder House. In that case I'd be powerless. I'll take the garbage any day.

Terry G.

about 4 years ago

Paul - that's why snow is so great - it covers all of it.

Paul Lundgren

about 4 years ago

Indeed. And hey there, Brandon Stahl, congratulations on your promotion to investigative/special projects editor. Much deserved.

Lithis

about 4 years ago

Nobody has pointed out yet that the top line on the Murder House is Morse code for SOS (or for 3B, or IJEI, or numerous other combinations due to lack of spaces).

Paul Lundgren

about 4 years ago

That's why we love you, Lithis. Well, among other reasons.

Jude

about 4 years ago

This house is SO creepy and I don't even want to know where it is...well, ok, a little bit I do. Hats off to you folks who pick up garbage. There is a vacant lot next to me and people think that is where they should throw garbage. Garbage breeds garbage so I pick it up. Not too difficult and makes my view better.

Jude

about 4 years ago

Oh, say, is there a place to pick lilacs where they are not on private property? I love lilacs and this property I just bought doesn't have any.. I keep looking for a place I might get a bouquet (they are everywhere) but am afraid I'll be reported if I trespass. Send me an email sonjud 2003 at yahoo dot com if you can help a gal out.

Wes Scott

about 4 years ago

I drove all over Duluth this weekend and most homes are outstanding and interesting even if some need repairs. Sure there are some bad properties but most aren't. Some have some great charactor and I always get a giggle when I drive past the house with the hot tub on the roof of his house with the outstanding view. It's been that way for years. Skyline Drive really is fun to look down on the houses from.

MaryK

about 4 years ago

Thanks for the lilacs Paul.

zra

about 4 years ago

I can see my house from here.

Barrett

about 4 years ago

I bet all the 12-year-olds in the neighborhood dare each other to sneak out during sleepovers and peek into the windows of the murder house. At least that's what I would have done.

Jude

about 4 years ago

Thanks to a VKP (very kind person) who emailed me, I will be able to pick a bouquet of lilacs. What a great community we have!

willie h

about 4 years ago

Talk about "crazy awful stuff"...I hit the paper archives after hearing some rumors, and seeing this post. I learned that one of our delivery guys, who has been coming into my home for years has a very checkered past. A woman died when he crossed the center line while heavily intoxicated many many years ago. He had no license at the time and he got convicted. Her 2 very young children were in the car and one of them was seriously injured. Then this guy got another DWI after that incident a few years later, a careless driving etc...I try not to judge others. It's very difficult to know this and still allow him to enter our home. He still drinks (moderately he says) and has not had a conviction for much in a very long time. I just cannot help thinking of those children when I see this guy. My neighbor says he paid his debt to society and I should let it go. Tough one for me.

@ndy

about 4 years ago

Jude, if you want a couple 12 foot lilac trees and you can haul them, check out this Craiglist ad: *** Two lilac trees (white & purple) *** (Billingspark, superior)

Ryan

about 4 years ago

This is in West Duluth. The house next to it is actually quite nice. This one though, not so much.

Paul Lundgren

about 4 years ago

Hey, hey! What did I say about not commenting on the location. C'mon Ryan, show some restraint.

Jude

about 4 years ago

@Andy: Thanks for the tip on lilacs. I'll check it out.

Anon

about 4 years ago

The guy that lives in this house served time in jail for bringing a pistol into a nearby church, pulling it out, and saying crazy things to the pastor. The "murders" are refering to a dog and the crazy guy's mother. Of course both of these are just delusions.

Em

about 3 years ago

Where in West Duluth is this murder house?

Bad Cat!

about 3 years ago

I heard it was recently torn down, so technically, it's no where in West Duluth.

Paul Lundgren

about 3 years ago

Yep, it's gone. More info is available in the post "Murder House Condemned."

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