Could you live in a house that was the scene of one of Australia’s most gruesome crimes?
Even if decades had passed and the house had been renovated, I don’t think I could live in a property where a murder had taken place. However, it doesn’t bother some people – and they even have a chance to pick up a bargain.
Murder houses, or ‘stigmatised houses’ as they are formally known as, are houses where an unsavoury act has occurred, and as such, may not appeal to the general public or may affect the listing price of the property.
Finder.com.au advises that the Gonzales Home in Ryde (one of the houses mentioned in this article) was sold in 2004 without the new owners being advised of the property’s dark past. When the new owners found out via the local paper, they were given their deposit back and the Real Estate agent was fined $20,000 for ‘Failing to Disclose’ information about the murders.
In New South Wales, agents are now obliged to disclose the history of a property should it be ‘stigmatised’, although the law can differ state to state. In Victoria, agents are only required to tell prospective buyers if they ask. (via Herald Sun)
Let’s take a look at 10 of Australia’s most infamous murder houses that have been bought and sold since the murderous actions that happened there!
1. The Gonzales Murder House (Collins Street, North Ryde, NSW)
On 10 July 2001, Sef Gonzales killed his sister, mother and father. After killing his family, he spray-painted a racial slur on a wall in an attempt to trick police into believing that his family had been the victims of a racial hate crime.
Almost a year later, Gonzales was arrested and charged with three counts of murder. Shockingly, Gonzales had killed his parents because he was afraid that, due to his poor grades at university, his parents would take his car and other privileges away from him. He killed his sister so he would be the sole beneficiary of his parents’ $1.5 million property.
Gonzales was found guilty and sentenced to three concurrent life sentences without parole. Gonzales is serving his sentence at a maximum-security prison but still maintains his innocence.
The house was sold in October 2005 for $720,000.
2. Lin Family Murder House (Boundary Road, North Epping, NSW)
This was the site of one of Sydney’s most horrific mass murders. On July 18, 2009, the bodies of Min “Norman” Lin, his wife Yun Li “Lily” Lin, 43, her sister Yun Bin “Irene” Lin, 39, and the Lins’ two sons Henry, 12, and Terry, 9 were found lying in pools of blood after being viciously beaten to death. Norman’s brother-in-law Robert Xie was charged and subsequently, in January 2017, found guilty on five counts of murder. Prosecutors said Xie was motivated to kill his wife, brother and his family because he was enraged by his perceived lowly status within the family.
The home was last sold for $766,000 in March 2012.
3. The Frisoli Murder House (Goodsir Street, Rozelle, NSW)
In 2009, property developer Albert Frisoli and his brother, Mario was stabbed to death by a former business associate, Guiseppe Di Cianni. Di Cianni and Albert Frisoli had been in business together for several years before the murderer believed he was being defrauded. After unsuccessful and costly attempts to pursue Frisoli through the courts, Di Cianni stabbed Mario Frisoli to death and then waited in the house, dressed in women’s clothing to kill Albert.
The house was sold in 2014 for $2,265,000 (via Domain.com.au) which was more than $200,000 above the reserve price.
4. Easey St Murder House (Easey Street, Collingwood, VIC)
The murders of Suzanne Armstrong, a single mum aged 27, and Susan Bartlett a 28-year-old schoolteacher, have remained an unsolved crime since January 1977. The women were sexually assaulted and killed in a stabbing frenzy in this Victorian terrace house and were not found until two days later by a neighbour after hearing Suzanne’s son crying. Blood in the bathtub suggested the killer had washed his hands before leaving the house.
The home was last sold in August 2011 for $571,000.
5. Serial Killer Ivan Milat’s Former House (Cinnabar Street, Eagle Vale, NSW)
Although not the scene of a crime, this property in Sydney’s south once belonged to serial killer Ivan Milat. In fact, the house was built by Milat and his brother and was the site of his 1994 arrest.
Ivan Milat killed seven young backpackers in the Belanglo State Forest south of Sydney between 1989 and 1992. His victims were abducted, shot, stabbed and one was decapitated while she was still alive, her head was never found. Police believe some of the backpackers may have been sexually assaulted. Milat is serving life without parole in Goulburn’s Maximum security prison.
The house was last sold in May 2016 for $660,000.
6. Rattle Murder House (Malvern Road, South Yarra, VIC)
This apartment was the scene of the murder of Stuart Rattle, an well-known interior designer, by his partner Michael O’Neill in 2013.
O’Neill hit Rattle over the head with a saucepan before strangling him with a dog lead. He stuffed Stuart’s body inside a large furniture bag and left it on their bed for four days as he went about his normal routine, telling friends his partner was unwell. O’Neill spent the weekend at the couple’s farm in country Victoria before he set fire to the apartment.
As of July 2015, the unit was rented for $550.00 per week.
7. Harnum Murder Apartment (Liverpool Street, Sydney)
This two-bedroom high-rise Sydney apartment was the site of Lisa Harnum’s murder in 2011. In 2013, Simon Gittany was found guilty of throwing his fiancee from the 15th floor of their luxury inner-city apartment block, in a fit of rage.
Simon Gittany was sentenced to a minimum of 18 years with a maximum of 26 years for the murder.
The unit was last sold in May 2015 for $2.250,000. As of May 2016, it was rented for $1,395.00.
8. The Moorhouse Murders (Moorhouse Street, Willagee WA)
David and Catherine Birnie are Perth serial killers who murdered four women in the 1980s in their home in Willagee, Western Australia. The couple would cruise the streets in their car, looking for young women to abduct. The fifth girl they abducted managed to escape out of the window and contacted the police. David Birnie committed suicide in prison. Catherine Birnie remains in prison after being jailed to four sentences of life imprisonment and is in Bandyup Women’s Prison. It is not expected that she will ever be released.
The house was last sold in June 2012 for $380,000.
9. Transgender Beauty Queen Murder Unit (Commercial Road, Teneriffe, QLD)
One of the perhaps most horrible of crimes was committed in this ground-floor apartment at Teneriffe in Brisbane. Chef Marcus Volke stabbed his partner Mayang Prasetyo to death, before cutting up her body and boiling the body parts on the stove. The Chef then used his own knife to commit suicide. His body was found in a nearby laneway. The couple had only lived in the newly built apartments for a few weeks before the murder occurred. Police officers at the scene described it as ‘confronting’.
10. Manrique-Lutz Family Murder House (Sir Thomas Mitchell Drive, Davidson NSW)
When mother-of-two Maria Lutz failed to drop off her two children at school, concerned friends turned up at their home as there was no answer on her mobile phone. Police attended the home to find the family lifeless and with a disturbing smell in the home. With friends citing that the marriage of Maria and Manrique was in trouble, with two children both diagnosed with autism, horrified police reported that Manrique had rigged up a pipeline in the ceiling, pumping deadly gas into the home which caused the death of his family.
The house is currently rented for $750/week.