Man Who Almost Leased Home Built on Site of Todville Murder Mansion Wants His Money Back

514 Villa Dr., Villas by the Sea, Seabrook, Texas

514 Villa Dr., Villas by the Sea, Seabrook, TexasWelcome to lovely Villa by the Sea, the quaint Mediterranean-themed gated McMansion development off Todville Rd. in Seabrook that just happens to be built on the grounds of the former mansion where owner, trailer-rental mogul, and child predator Bill List was shot by some angry houseguests back in 1984. That last detail about the neighborhood’s history, apparently, was unknown to Nir Golan, who recently signed a lease to rent the house pictured above. The 4,550-sq.-ft. seaside home at 514 Villa Dr. was built in 2006 on a section of the land where part of List’s absurd 34,000-sq.-ft. mansion itself once stood, facing east toward Galveston Bay.

Golan says his Realtor didn’t tell him about the homesite’s history, but that he simply can’t live there now that he knows what happened. “People say that they wouldn’t come to my house as a guest,” he tells KHOU’s Jacqueline Crea. Crea reports that the homeowner has agreed to terminate Golan’s lease, but won’t return the deposit; he tells her he had no obligation to disclose any information about the Todville mansion. (Law professor Gerald Treece, who appears in the story, seems to agree on the disclosure issue.) Golan plans to sue to the current owner to get his money back, he tells KHOU.

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The development consists of a single street roughly aligned with the entry driveway of the famed Todville mansion:

514 Villa Dr., Villas by the Sea, Seabrook, Texas

514 Villa Dr., Villas by the Sea, Seabrook, Texas

The owner of 514 Villa Dr. has had the home posted for sale on MLS since the beginning of the year, for $1.5 million. The lease listing, for $5,900 a month, is still up as well. (Golan likely didn’t pay that much; he tells Crea that the price had been dropped, to “such a good price that I couldn’t say no.” Neither listing refers to the grisly murder on the site, or the home that fell so that 19 homesites could be developed.

Here’s a look inside:

514 Villa Dr., Villas by the Sea, Seabrook, Texas

514 Villa Dr., Villas by the Sea, Seabrook, Texas

514 Villa Dr., Villas by the Sea, Seabrook, Texas

514 Villa Dr., Villas by the Sea, Seabrook, Texas

514 Villa Dr., Villas by the Sea, Seabrook, Texas

514 Villa Dr., Villas by the Sea, Seabrook, Texas

514 Villa Dr., Villas by the Sea, Seabrook, Texas

514 Villa Dr., Villas by the Sea, Seabrook, Texas

 

514 Villa Dr., Villas by the Sea, Seabrook, Texas

514 Villa Dr., Villas by the Sea, Seabrook, Texas

514 Villa Dr., Villas by the Sea, Seabrook, Texas

514 Villa Dr., Villas by the Sea, Seabrook, Texas

514 Villa Dr., Villas by the Sea, Seabrook, Texas

A vacant homesite in the development at 521 Villa Dr. is listed for sale at $109,000.

Spooked by a Bit of Seabrook History

16 Comment

  • The thing is, people have been murdered in ALL types of buildings. You can’t just close down a city because someone was killed in it. There’d be no where left to LIVE

  • I went to Camp Casa Mare in the 80s, which was not far down Toddville road from that site. The weird mansion was still standing back then*, and my mom would always speed up when she passed it to drop me off at camp.

    *So was the Casa Mare mansion. Man, it breaks my heart to know that the Girl Scouts tore it down.

  • Really, who cares. The site of the Manson-Tate Murders on Cielo Dr in LA has a 14 million dollar mansion sitting on it and they’ve never had trouble selling it–if you can sell that land you can sell any land. This idiotic lawsuit should be thrown out–in the future do your homework, sir.

  • What an idiot. First off, the house was completely demolished–most “murder sites” are (especially in mass murders). If I were the judge, because the house was not part of the original site (nor the original address): all that is new material, the grounds were completely torn up well over a decade ago, the real estate person had no reason to tell them that, it should be thrown out.

  • If he had a chance of winning, he’d be talking to a judge instead of a TV reporter.

  • Ridiculous. Ghosts aren’t real, and this guy probably knows that and just wants to back out and get some attention.

  • Someone has died on every square inch of Houston through history, get over yourself….

  • Leasing a home on the site of an old murder mansion would not bother me a bit, leasing the actual mansion might!

    Gorgeous place

  • Now if it was Andrea Yates house … I’d be a little spooked about that. I’m glad the owner didn’t refund his deposit … ridiculous request! And if he even bothered to look up Toddville Mansion on the Internet … he would have read that only one person died Bill Gist (no ghosts of children).

  • 2spooky4me

  • Are there any pictures of the old mansion? Given that it’s already been destroyed, what’s the big deal if somebody builds a property on the new land?

  • Fernando: Here’s a Flickr photo collection of the INTERIOR of the original murder mansion owned by Bill List:
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/bjacques/sets/72157617599276541/

    This forum post has a few exterior photos of the BACK side of the original List mansion showing the barred windows/doors:
    http://www.houstonarchitecture.com/haif/topic/19285-list-mansion-in-seabrook/

    Article about the List murder:
    http://ididitforjodie.com/2012/11/22/overlapping-murders-debbie-thornton-and-bill-list/

    My family used to own a small bay house in the Bay Vista subdivision right next to the old “murder mansion.” Our bay house was destroyed during Hurricane Ike, along with many of the subdivision’s older homes (trivia: the subdivision’s name was originally “Gay Vista,” later changed to “Bay Vista”). It was always creepy to be out on the pier and looking up at the List place. There was wrought iron and iron bars covering every window and opening in that mansion, making it basically a prison.

    It’s still a prime piece of real estate overlooking the Galveston Bay. The List property was a very large, long piece of land with the mansion located at the end closest to the bay. They later built over a dozen homes on the rest of the property and put that one large home (the one in question) at the end, overlooking the bay.

  • Fernando, several years ago, I saw some photos on a facebook page for the mansion. I think it was started by folks that lived in the area back then. It may not be around now, don’t know.

  • This man and his friends are just silly.

  • It seems like such a nice house….. I just would not want to do any gardening (Ide be afraid to dig in the ground…….. the bodies…. ohhhhhhhhh the BODIES)

  • When my friends & I were in highschool back in 2000(seniors) we heard about the things that had gone on in that mansion. We were skeptical so we decided one weekend night to find the locations. We poured baby powder all over the bumper and b4 we left we got through, onto the property from the dark side road. We didn’t walk no more than a quarter of a mile up the property until we started experiencing very un normal things like voices,shadows, movements etc. By then we knew it was time to get out of there as soon as possible, so we did. About a half of mile after we started driving off I looked back & I kid you not I seen the scariest thing I’ve ever seen in my life. It was a pack of children floating in the air, like sad lost sole’s. I made my boyfriend drive faster because they were maybe 5 feet. From his car. All my other friends who were riding with us were screaming and crying for them to go away. Back then we didn’t have cell phones but thinking about it through out all these years, I wish we would have had the right equipment & voice recorders to have caught it all on video and evp’s. When we got to the closes gas station we pulled over to get out and stretch and breath. I couldn’t help but notice that there were small to average hand prints all over the trunk. That’s when we all freaked out and took pics. It was definately an experience ill never forget forget. 5-16-2014