Real estate and murder: Homes with violent stories are bargains

The little cul-de-sac was quiet and peaceful; tree-lined, far from the madding crowd, the perfect place for the community of mostly retired folk.

They visited from the driveways and kept an eye on one another.

Then came that September day in 2014 when a monster slaughtered five of them with beatings and shotgun blasts, leaving all to die in his bloody wake.

Now jump ahead six months. Here comes Mary Spicer, a retired grandmother who likes to bowl. She’s looking for a condo to buy.

She knew what had happened there, and thought perhaps a dark aura would fall over her when she walked inside. Especially when she descended the stairs to the basement. That’s where the two beaten victims were found.

Could she live there? Could this place in Woodbridge in south Kansas City be her new home?

“I certainly understand why some people wouldn’t even look at his place — because of what happened,” Spicer said. “But for me, I couldn’t be happier.”

The condo Spicer purchased is what is known in real estate jargon as “stigmatized property.” That means something has cast a pall over the place — a house with a grisly back story. Fact is, some people just don’t want to live a house where somebody got killed.

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