Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Sisters' Magical Mystery Murder Tour

My LA daughter seems to have a proclivity for picking out apartments close to sites where notorious murders have taken place, although, now that I think about it, that may be unavoidable. Or maybe I've read too many Michael Connelly novels. 

Her first apartment was in a great location, in an Echo Lake unit built into the basement of a house on the side of a mountain. It was a quirky place, with walled-off steps on the back side of the apartment; she and her roommate used the steps as bookshelves. The refrigerator was in a hallway leading from the kitchen; the dishwasher didn't work; there was no AC or heat and electricity was undependable if too many things were plugged in at once. But large windows were on one side of the apartment and looked out over the street below, and then down and out to one of LA's freeways. At night the view was beautiful with all those faraway car lights sparkling in the dark.

The apartment was at the end of a dead-end street, and that was unfortunately a way to describe the hillside descending from the opposite side of the street. It was where some of the Hillside Strangler's victims found their dead end.

Now my daughter lives in Los Feliz, an interesting area of Los Angeles with a mix of housing styles, apartments, and businesses. She can walk to Gelson's, a great grocery store, Trader Joe's, restaurants, laundromats, interesting little shops, and she regularly walks around a reservoir and through the neighborhood for exercise.  

On her route is this former convent. 

This convent was in the news recently because it belongs to some nuns who no longer live there and who sold it a couple of weeks ago for 15.5 million dollars. A group of nuns had bought the place with money they raised themselves decades ago, and two of the five remaining nuns felt it was the nuns' right to sell it. The new owner, restauranteur and nightclub owner, Dana Hollister, is already living in the convent and says that she might turn it into a "hip" hotel.

However, Los Angeles Archbishop José Gomez had agreed to sell it to Katy Perry for 14.5 million dollars and is going to file papers to negate the sale that has already taken place. The Archbishop says that the nuns had long ago signed papers that allow the Dioceses to sell the convent. This will all end up in court next month, and the nuns vow that they will take the fight to the Vatican if necessary.

My daughter wonders if Katy Perry, or the new owner, knows that this convent is right next door to the Manson Murder House, where Leno and Rosemary Labianca were murdered by the Charles Manson "Family" in 1969.  Spoooooky....

My daughter lives where the blue dot is; the convent and the Manson Murder House are marked in red.
My daughter did not move to either of these apartments BECAUSE there had been murders nearby; that would be weird! I really like the area she lives in now, and I think she does too. But if she decides to move, I guess she could check out locations where the Freeway Killer(s) worked.

Or maybe not.

Definitely not, even though her sister does want to take The Magical Mystery Murder tour the next time she visits.

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