Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

More Haunted Crime Scenes

Murder on Murder

Henriette Lubin, 57, was attacked in her home in West Park, Florida, which caused neighbors to ponder supernatural possibilities.  Lubin had lived on SW 31 Court in the Lake Forest Section.  On Monday night, May 8, 2006, around 10:00 P.M., neighbors heard screaming.  It was Lubin's daughter, Martide, who had just found her mother's body.  The police were called and within a few minutes a number of patrol cars arrived at the address.  They discovered that Lubin's car, a 1995 Nissan Maxima, was missing.  Apparently Martide had passed it going down the street without realizing until later that it was her mother's.

Ms. Lubin had last been seen earlier that evening, so when her daughter discovered her dead, the murder was clearly quite recent.  The police would not give out details, except to say there were marks of trauma on the body.

Eerily, it had also been a Monday night, seven years before that the bodies of two people living in the same house were discovered.  On May 4, 1999, John and Mary Holzknecht, ages 78 and 77, were brutally murdered.  Apparently their young neighbor, seventeen-year-old Joseph Cotto, had been in a "killing mood," as reported in the Miami Herald, and had invaded their home, stood over them as they slept, and slashed their throats.  He then used cologne to cover the smell of blood on his hands.  As an apparent afterthought, he stole some credit cards and a small amount of money, and then drove their car to South Beach. When he was caught, he pled guilty, receiving two life terms.

Add to that yet a third scenario more than two decades earlier (some sources indicate it was only a few months earlier): the elderly couple's thirty-year-old mentally ill son had committed suicide there.  Given a suicide and a murder, the house had gained a bad reputation, but Henrietta Lubin, a former crossing guard, had purchased it anyway, just the year before she died.  In fact, she'd been planning a wedding shower that weekend for her other daughter, Mireille.

Neighbors who spoke to reporters claimed that the house was "evil," "bad," "wrong."  Relatives of the elderly couple suggested that there was a terrible presence there.  The next-door neighbor, Nordan Beckford, said, "There is something very peculiar about that house.  I think it's haunted.  They need to tear it down."

There's no word yet about an arrest in the case, or the demolition of the home.  It's not the only place to become a realtor's nightmare.

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