Photographer Captures Los Angeles’ ‘Murder House’

A photographer captured images from inside the notorious "Murder House."

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Courtesy of Berkshire Hathaway
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Courtesy of Alexis Vaughn, Life in My Lens Photography
A relative of the man who recently died, leaving behind the notorious Los Feliz "Murder House," invited family friend and photographer Alexis Vaughn to tour the house with the rest of the family to look through the assets. What she found beyond the tattered back entrance put her mind into what she calls "sensory overload."
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Courtesy of Alexis Vaughn, Life in My Lens Photography
"This house has seen some things," Vaughn said. "And so now have I."
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Courtesy of Alexis Vaughn, Life in My Lens Photography
While the first floor showed signs of abandonment and neglect, the basement had an entirely different feel to it. "The air had a darker, heavier feeling that I didn't entirely enjoy," says Vaughn. "My mother, on the other hand, had a very hard time touring through the home, noting feelings of unrest at every turn, an upset stomach, and a headache for hours after leaving."
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Courtesy of Alexis Vaughn, Life in My Lens Photography
Looking at everything that has been left behind by the previous resident, it seems as if the house has been uninhabited since the 1960s, after Dr. Harold N. Perelson killed his wife in her sleep in a murder-suicide. Another family purchased the home after the incident, and the most recent owner, their son, did not live at the so-called "murder house." Now that he has deceased, the mansion, packed with vintage relics, is back on the market.
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Courtesy of Alexis Vaughn, Life in My Lens Photography
The closet full of military coats was a favorite of Alexis Vaughn, who played tourist at the mansion in January. "Something about those really fuel the imagination in thinking about actual people occupying the space," she said.
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Courtesy of Alexis Vaughn, Life in My Lens Photography
Records belonging to the last resident, who owned a record store, are stacked around the house. It is not apparent which items belonged to him and if any were from the probate process, inherited from his family or the first family that moved in after the murder-suicide.
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Courtesy of Alexis Vaughn, Life in My Lens Photography
The previous owner's family will tour the mansion and assess his estate, Vaughn learned. She occasionally spotted more contemporary items from the 1990s and early 2000s around the house.
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Courtesy of Alexis Vaughn, Life in My Lens Photography
The "Murder House" is a "murder scene-turned-hoarder-scene," says Vaughn. In her conversations with the previous owner's family, she found that he used his homes as storage for his various collections. They told her their late relative was a "well-kept, dapper man who was quite devoted to his church and who went out of his way to take care of stray cats in the area."
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Courtesy of Alexis Vaughn, Life in My Lens Photography
Checks from the 1970s belonging to the now-deceased owner are left on a table. Vaughn found that most of the relics around the mansion were from the '60s and '70s.
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Courtesy of Alexis Vaughn, Life in My Lens Photography
A box sits on the carpet.
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Courtesy of Alexis Vaughn, Life in My Lens Photography
The front door of the "Murder House" is not very welcoming as it is boarded up, though various windows around the uninhabited mansion are either broken or have been taken out over the decades. "Only then when I was able to sit and digest what I had seen, did I start feeling sad for everyone involved in this home," says Vaughn.
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