The mystery surrounding Marilyn Monroe’s death will probably never be solved. (Murder? Suicide? Accidental overdose?) But this is the house in which she was found dead at the age of 36 in August of 1962 - her very first and very last home.
1962 photo of Marilyn Monroe in her home:
It is ironic that she died in this humble Spanish style bungalow because it was reportedly the only place where Marilyn ever felt safe and secure. Her whole life involved longing for the home she never had as an orphaned, nomadic child. She had barely lived in this house for 6 months before her death, but how she was fond of her little hacienda.
Marilyn’s last home is located in the Brentwood area of Los Angeles - more specifically in the “Helena’s” which is an early 20th century subdivision of homes on miniature cul-de-sacs. I was there recently during my Epic Road Trip and, being House Crazy Sarah, I couldn’t help but become one of those pesky Marilyn house stalkers.
Driving up the cul-de-sac feels like driving in a tight back alley…
This unassuming bungalow on a residential street in Montgomery, Alabama was once the place of some extraordinary historic events during the American Civil Rights era.
Known as the “Dexter Parsonage” this house was home to Martin Luther King, Jr. and his young family when he began his career as minister and legendary civil rights leader.
Since yesterday was the 45th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s death, I thought it would be timely to have a look at where he lived during his formative years.
King resided in this parsonage while he was pastor of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church between the years of 1954 and 1960.
I was in downtown Montgomery, Alabama in the fall of 2009 when I snapped this photo of the backside of the Dexter Avenue Church…
I had no idea at the time that MLK’s former parsonage home associated with this church was now open to the public as a museum! (Had I known, I would have been there in a nano-second!)
You may be wondering why I categorized this home as a “Crime scene house” on my blog. Well, it was actually bombed TWICE by local segregationists while Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. lived there.
The first bombing took place on January 31, 1956 when King’s wife Coretta was at home with her 10-week old infant daughter, Yolanda. They survived unharmed but the following year the house and its occupants were again targeted when a bomb went off on the front porch in February 1957. No one was home at the time. The perpetrators were eventually caught but despite their signed confessions, all seven were inexplicably acquitted by a jury.
A plaque on the front porch of the house indicates the spot where the bomb exploded - you can still see the small crater:
The 1912 bungalow was used as a parsonage residence for the Dexter Avenue Church from 1920-1992 and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. In 2003, the home underwent a conscientious restoration headed by the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Foundation.
Hundreds of thousands of dollars went into the restoration of the home, its gardens and the administrative office next door.
The interior is completely styled with period furniture and original pieces from the King family. The house is so authentic, in fact, that it appears that the King family of the late 1950′s still lives there and just stepped out for a brief moment.
Have a look inside…
I have interspersed historic photos of the King family inside the home alongside the present-day photos so you can get a sense of history here:
I present to you: the infamous Black Dahlia House, a.k.a. the The Sowden House, a.k.a. the “Jaws House” at 5121 Franklin Avenue, Hollywood, California.
Built by Lloyd Wright [not to be confused with his famous father Frank Lloyd Wright] in 1926 in the Los Feliz section of Los Angeles, the neo-Mayan temple-esque house has both old Hollywood glamour AND an insanely ominous creep factor about it - for good reason.
The house is quite possibly the location of the long unsolved 1947 murder of Elizabeth Short – a.k.a. The Black Dahlia.
In addition, the home has been featured in several films and has seen its share of movie stars and news coverage. Most recently, a cadaver-sniffing dog indicated that there were human remains buried in the basement, lending credibility to the long held theory that the home’s former owner Dr. George Hodel murdered and mutilated at least one - and possibly several - young women here.
This is an intriguing story about a tiny, non-descript home that was the scene (allegedly) of some incredible miracles, and more recently, some unfortunate stomach-turning events (allegedly).
If you are at all queasy, it’s probably best to stop reading here.
If you are anything like me, you will keep reading in spite of (or perhaps because of) the above warning.
I had heard reference to the Saint Rose Arveson Shrine on the westside of Colorado Springs, Colorado, but never really knew anything about it until I read an article recently in the Gazette newspaper by Bill Vogrin.
It all started back in August of 1963 with the death of a woman named Rose Ella Scott Arveson Simmons (November 8, 1897 – August 18, 1963). Her two grown daughters had placed six roses on her casket and of course the flowers withered and died. Apparently, the roses miraculously re-bloomed 10 days later and had special healing powers. The sisters – who were Catholic – claimed it was a bonafide miracle and soon after they built a shrine to their mother right beside their house and spent the rest of their lives petitioning the Vatican to have their mother nominated as a saint.
The shrine (pictured above) is at the top of the wooded hillside lot - the ornate iron archway is located down at the bottom of the path next to West Pikes Peak Avenue.
Sainthood was never granted to Rose Arveson, even though the sisters argued that several healing miracles over the years could be attributed to their mother’s shrine and the roses associated with it. They maintained the shrine and kept it open for anyone from the public to visit who was seeking a miracle or just wanting to send a prayer.
Said to be THE MOST haunted house in America, The Myrtles Plantation was reportedly home to some 20 murders and mysterious deaths. Today, it is run as a bed and breakfast.
The Myrtles Plantation is a southern antebellum plantation in St. Francisville, near Baton Rouge, Louisiana. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is open for daily historical and “mystery” tours.
The plantation house was built in 1796 by General David Bradford and was originally called Laurel Grove.