'More REAL to see it yourself': Ghoulish 'true crime' tourists flock to Idaho murder house
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MOSCOW, IDAHO: The horrifying deaths of four University of Idaho students on November 13 at their off-campus rental house at 1122 King Road shook the town of Moscow. Even as police are no closer to solving the case, the murder house is already attracting tourists. Soon after the killings, digital sleuths had begun churning out odd, unsubstantiated accusations one after the other, and now, around a month later, true crime junkies are flocking to the 1122 King Road house.
As per Daily Mail, on December 18, Sunday morning, Amanda Padgett and her daughter rolled in front of the Idaho murder house in their station wagon, loaded with luggage. They were returning to Spokane, Washington, after spending the weekend in Moscow for her softball team's Christmas party. They had been reading the news about the horrific stabbings and listen to true crime podcasts. "We're just curious," she said when asked why she had stopped by. "It's shocking," she said of the crime itself, adding that "it's just more real to see it yourself."
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The house has become a tourist attraction with the holiday season arriving, and many people visiting the town. One woman even drove all the way from Columbus, Ohio for the express purpose of visiting the murder house to pay her respects to the victims by dropping off a poinsettia. She was captured on camera by a News Nation reporter. The outlet spoke to Jeffrey Podoshen, a leading scholar on the subject, who said that visiting crime scenes is a way for people to “experience death from a safe distance.” He elaborated, saying, "In some cases, you have some people who are looking for sensations that they don’t feel in other aspects of their life. Or in some cases, they want to feel closer to these people that they have, in their minds, forged a relationship with, be it through media consumption, or just talking about it with other people. So this is something that’s been going on for a long time, although it has certainly increased in the past number of years.”
However, this murder case has deeply shaken the whole nation and the victims' families. The belongings of the four victims have been packed up, removed from the premises, and returned to their families, as reported by MEAWW.
The police and FBI are actively working the case and gathering video clips from different Moscow business dealers to break down the case and to find the accused of this gruesome crime. The investigation is currently being led by 48 FBI agents and 28 Idaho State Police officers.
Investigators are still looking for a white 2011-2013 Hyundai Elantra seen near the crime scene on November 13 as they believe its occupants may have seen something. Police did find a damaged and abandoned white Hyundai Elantra with no license plates in Eugene, Oregon, which is a 460-mile drive from the town of Moscow, but even that lead fizzled out after it was confirmed that the car was not connected to the case. The Moscow Police Department has received so many tips about the vehicle that they are being forwarded to a national FBI tip line.
The authorities have yet to give a profile of the culprit or divulge more than the bare minimum of facts on the case, much to the chagrin of the victims' families. Furthermore, incorrect information circulated by amateur sleuths on the Internet has impeded the investigation, and police have already issued a strong warning against true crime junkies spreading misleading information. Furthermore, increased media attention and pressure from victims' families have complicated the probe. There is currently no sign of a breakthrough in the investigation, which is still ongoing.