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article imageWoman discovers house was once a serial killer's torture chamber

By Scott Tuttle     Jul 8, 2014 in Crime
Ferguson - Imagine watching an A&E special about serial killers with a friend and realizing that one of the homes featured in the documentary was yours.
For a Ferguson, Missouri woman, this is exactly what happened.
Catrina McGhaw signed a lease back in March for what seemed like an ordinary North County ranch house, completely oblivious to the fact that the house once belonged to alleged serial killer Maury Travis, who built torture chambers in the basement and even stored dead bodies down there.
After Travis hanged himself in prison back in 2002, his mother, Sandra Travis became the proprietor of the home. McGhaw told KMOV-TV in St. Louis that Mrs. Travis never mentioned anything about the horrors that took place in the house when discussing the terms of agreement with her.
McGhaw reportedly was invited to watch a documentary on serial killers with a friend when she recognized the house featured in crimes scene photos during the show.
Horrified by the fact that she'd been living in the house for months, McGhaw went to Mrs. Travis to try and get out of the lease.
As Mrs. Travis was not bound by any Missouri laws forcing her to disclose any information about death or murder on the property, she was initially not so readily willing to honor McGhaw's request.
“She said ‘no you signed a lease you need to stay there until the lease is up,'’’ said McGhaw.
Fortunately for McGhaw, the St. Louis Housing Authority took her side and managed to negotiate with the landlord.
“We talked with her and eventually the landlord agreed to rescind the lease," said Housing Authority executive director Cheryl Lovell. "In this state, there is no duty to disclose. Other states there are, but mostly that is for selling houses."
McGhaw intends to be completely moved out of the house by the end of July.
Maury Travis committed suicide before having a chance to be officially charged, but it is believed that he murdered at least 17 women.
He was finally caught when he wrote anonymously to a newspaper bragging about his deeds and submitting a map to the secret burial place of one of his victims.
Because Travis made the map with an online application, police were able to trace it back to his computer leading them straight to Travis.
Authorities found the torture cells in Travis' basement as well as videos he'd made of himself carrying out the torture. One of the videos featured him tying a woman to a wooden beam that's still there to this day.
McGhaw recalls a disturbing moment during her stay in the house in which a two-year-old was playing in the basement and twirling around the beam.
“She looked over and she was like she’s scared like she saw somebody scared and crying and nobody was there, nobody there,” McGhaw recalled.
More about Missouri serial killer, A&E documentary, maury travis, torture chamber, woman lives in serial killer house
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