Crime Scenes: A Killer Attraction for Visitors

Lizzy Borden's B&B: 'Axe Me Where I Live'

Certainly, there's been public outrage, led by victims' rights groups, when anyone has tried to profit from a violent crime.

Once some time passes, however, even the most heinous act of violence can be turned into a tourist attraction.

At the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast in Fall River, Mass., there's no shortage of thrill seekers ready to check in.

The seemingly quaint New England Inn is the very spot where Andrew and Abby Borden were hacked to death -- and in the last few years, it's been restored to its 1892 splendor, when the abode earned its infamy.

As the twisted nursery rhyme goes:

"Lizzie Borden took an axe,

And gave her mother forty whacks,

When she had seen what she had done,

She gave her father forty-one."

Borden was eventually acquitted, and now, a night in her room is $200.

If you want, you and your friends can rent the entire seven-bedroom house for $1,160. One couple even got married there last year. On Halloween, of course.

If that's too creepy, the house also offers daily tours, where you can pick up $5 hatchet-shaped silver earrings, gift books, T-shirts ("Axe Me Where I Live"), or a $10 vial of basement dust, which comes with a letter of authenticity.

"It's a little piece of history, a mystery that people can still share in," said co-owner Lee-Ann Wilber, who purchased the premises two years ago.

All over the country, yesteryear's crime scenes are today's tourist destinations.

Go to Jesse James' farm in Kearney, Mo., and see the bullet hole in the wall from when the famed gunslinger was killed.

James was standing on a chair and straightening a picture when a member of his outlaw gang shot him in the back in hopes of collecting a $10,000 reward.

The bullet is under Plexiglas and on display, along with a casting of James' skull.

At the Dalton Gang hideout in Meade, Kan., you can creep into the 95-foot-long escape tunnel that runs under the 19th century abode.

More action awaits at Ma Barker's place in Oklawaha, Fla., where they annually re-enact the Jan. 16, 1935, gunfight, when police riddled the home with 3,500 rounds of ammunition.

Then, try relaxing at Al Capone's hideout in Couderay, Wis., a fortified lakeside estate with bulletproof walls, gun turrets and a guard tower.

It's now a restaurant and bar.

Just don't confuse it with the mob boss' other makeshift museums, including a onetime Chicago speakeasy that's now Al Capone's Hideaway & Steakhouse.

Among other historical items, a sign in the men's room says, "Big Al Was Here."

People often feel compelled to visit tragic locations, a motivation that might go back as far as the very first battlefield monument.

You can't say crowds go to Capone's hideout or Borden's place to pay their respects, though.

"It's really a matter of time and taste before something like this becomes acceptable," Epting said.

"I can't imagine the Ramsey house turned into anything like the Borden house, ever. It's not just violence. It's a horrible crime against a child, and that's a million miles over the line."

Bonnie & Clyde's Weekend Getaway

Perhaps only in America can an outlaw like Jesse James rob a railroad in 1873, and then, 81 years later, get the railroad to erect a monument to commemorate this evil deed.

You'll also find such a monument in Adair, Iowa, where his crew committed one of the first train robberies of the Old West, hauling off $2,000.

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