ST. LOUIS, Mo. — It sounds like a made-for-TV movie, but instead it’s a real life nightmare for one St. Louis woman.
A woman was watching a cold case documentary about serial killers on the A&E Network when she noticed something eerily familiar. The home that serial killer Maury Travis reportedly used as a torture chamber looked a lot like hers — they even had some of the same furniture. Catrina McGhaw quickly realized that she had signed a lease to rent the home of a real-life serial killer.
The landlord reportedly threw in a dining room table when she moved in, the same one she recognized from crime scene photos shown in the documentary.
In another shocking discovery, McGhaw learned that the landlord was actually the killer’s mother. But McGhaw told KMOV-TV that she was most disturbed to learn what went on in the basement:
That’s where Travis recorded some of his crimes; at one point he sent the St. Louis Post Dispatch a map to identify victim 17. Some of the victims were tied to a pole in the basement.
“This whole basement was his torture chamber and it’s not OK,” she said.
McGhaw called her landlord, begging to get out of the lease, but the landlord wasn’t sympathetic.
She ended up pleading with the St. Louis Housing Authority to get out of her lease, a request they approved. She says she is moving out at the end of July, a day that can’t come fast enough. McGhaw told the news station she can’t stop thinking about the horrific things that occurred in the house and she’s even been reexamining things that have happened to her there in the past.
She recalled one of her 2-year-old relatives playing in the basement near the pole where Travis allegedly tied up his victims. She says the girl started crying and looked really scared as if she had seen something, but there was “nobody there.”
Travis reportedly killed himself in the St. Louis County Jail in 2002. Investigators still aren’t sure how many women Travis murdered, though they suspect he is responsible for at least 20 murders.