Serial Killer’s Home Becomes Tourist Site

Dorothea Puente home
ilvadel, Flickr

Between the beaches, national parks, vineyards and theme parks, California has plenty of tourist draw cards, but now an unlikely attraction has made the list — the home of a serial killer.

The boarding house run by Dorothea Puente, a Sacramento woman convicted of killing her elderly residents, became a tourist attraction when the city decided to add the building to its local tour of featured and historic homes.

Although the building has undergone some updates in the three decades since the gruesome murders, visitors are still able to see the room where the killer drained the body fluids from her elderly victims.While the home of a serial killer may seem like a strange attraction to visit during a vacation, macabre tourist sites are nothing new. Here are a couple other dark attractions that visitors flock to:

Choeung Ek. More than one million people were slaughtered during the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia, and Choeung Ek is one of the most well known Killing Fields. Nearly 9,000 bodies are buried in mass graves here, and visitors can see a giant glass memorial filled with 5,000 human skulls.

Auschwitz. This World War II concentration camp in Poland saw the deaths of more than 1 million prisoners at the hands of the Nazis. Each year, millions of visitors pass through the gates of the memorial and museum located at the site.

Fukushima Nuclear Reactor. It’s not quite an attraction yet, but a proposal is being considered to turn this Japanese disaster site into a tourist destination. Tourists would stay in hotels designed to protect them from high levels of radiation and would be able to take photos of the reactor while dressed in protective suits and respirators.

Angkor Wat video in honor of Dith Pran

There are several scenes in the movie “The Killing Fields” that make ones stomach clench. Dished out in the end, though, is a sense that goodness does prevail. The movie, mostly about a Cambodian journalist, Dith Pran’s escape from that country during the rule of the Khmer Rouge is heart-wrenching.

I read that Dith Pran died on Sunday from pancreatic cancer. He wasn’t old, only 65, but what a lifetime of change he witnessed. Pran had become a photojournalist for the New York Times after his escape. He was born near Angkor Wat, so in honor of him, here is a video posted by imorgan10 on YouTube that is simply lovely. I imagine that when Pran made his treacherous journey, he never expected his homeland would become such a tourist destination.