Demolishing Houston’s Grisly Past

DEMOLISHING HOUSTON’S GRISLY PAST “Houstonians just don’t celebrate death and the past the way New Orleanians do,” writes John Nova Lomax in his recounting of 4 creepy tales from Bayou City history. “In fact, we tend to simply forget all the awful and weird things that have happened here over the last 176 years, and mercifully so, because there have been an enormous number of terrible episodes.” It’s much easier to forget, of course, when the gruesome settings themselves are summarily disposed of. The “Houston Heights House of Horror” — a 3-room shack at 732 Ashland St. that was the scene of a noted hatcheting in 1910 — by 1937 had been torn down and replaced. Its substitute is gone now too; a warehouse that’s home to a company called SemaSys now stands in its place. And down in Seabrook, condos occupy the site of the famous warehouse-like “Mansion on Todville Rd.” (in photo) where in 1984 a group of housesitting youngsters murdered its owner, child predator Bill List. [Houston Press] Photo of atrium, 3300 Todville Rd., Seabrook: Carl Guderian [license]

9 Comment

  • As someone who grew up in Seabrook just a stone’s throw down Meyer from the above mentioned incident, it was called “Murder Mansion” far more descriptive than “The Mansion on Toddville”.

  • I went to Camp Casa Mare right after the murders in Seabrook. The camp’s (allegedly haunted) mansion* was right down Toddville Road from the murder mansion. My mom always got the heebeejeebies passing that place, but she never explained to me what happened. Wasn’t until years later that I looked it up.

    Lots of ghost stories at camp.

    *The Girl Scouts tore down their mansion on Toddville Road in the early 90s. Broke my heart. The place was beautiful, but allegedly the upkeep was too much. There are a lot more dorms there now, and I’m sure that the Girl Scouts make a lot more money with more campers. But dammit, I wish this part of the world was a little more sentimental. (picture of the old Big House http://kira.lightsphere.com/casa_mare.html)

  • Housesitting? They weren’t hired help. You might want to go back and read that story again. I used to hang out there back in my junior and high school days, they used to have families live there to look after the place. The spot where the murder happened was still there, shag carpet was cut out in that particular spot. Crazy 70′s interior design had that same shag carpet wrapped around the legs of the table.

  • ‘stina: I went to Camp Casa Mare back in the late 70′s. That was a lovely house, do you remember the compass that was painted on the patio? I heard that it had been torn down too and that made me sad. I think a lot of the camps I went to back in the day are now closed.

  • The mention of Girl Scouts in this context has me totally creeped out.

  • The “Murder Mansion” was replaced with a small gated community of a dozen Tuscan styled homes, imagine that.

    http://search.har.com/engine/514-Villa-Seabrook-TX-77586_HAR82705380.htm

  • Hanabi-chan: I remember it well. Some of my happiest childhood memories are from sitting on that veranda around the compass after dinner. I don’t think I could go back to see the place without the house. Wouldn’t be the same at all.

  • I went to Casa Mare around the early 90′s… right before the big house was torn down. I believe Jeffery Dahmer was being prosecuted at the time and I recall countless stories being told about the Dahmer-like murderer who had lived in the Murder Mansion. The story must have gotten bigger as time passed.

  • Actually “jason”! You need to go back to the story again yourself! Because you have no idea what your talking about! Before you try to remove the dust from somone else’s eye….remove the plank from your eye first! You have no clue !!!