St. Louis woman Catrina McGhaw was watching a cold case documentary about serial killers on A&E Network when she noticed that a house featured in the show looked eerily similar to her own.
McGhaw later realized that the house had been used as the torture chamber of 36-year-old Maury Travis, a man who police noted had filmed himself torturing and murdering multiple women before his arrest and suicide in 2002.
Police believe Travis murdered at least 17 women, though some speculate more.
“This whole basement was his torture chamber and it’s not okay,” McGhaw said.
McGhaw recalled a time when her 2-year-old relative was playing in the basement near a pole Travis used to tie women to, when the young girl suddenly started crying as if she had seen something upsetting. The St. Louis resident also noted that the furnishings seen in the crime scene photos had never been replaced – including the dining room table.
McGhaw claimed that the home owner, Travis’ mother, never revealed the house’s terrifying past. Travis’ mother, however, has denied the allegation and refused to break the lease early at McGhaw’s request.
“She said, 'No, you signed a lease you need to stay there until the lease is up,'” McGhaw said.
McGhaw eventually involved the St. Louis Housing Authority. Although there is no state law requiring that a homeowner disclose a property’s past, Travis’ mother finally budged.
McGhaw is now looking forward to moving out at the end of July.