The Los Feliz
Murder Mansion

Episode 2: The Making of a Legend

From Crime Scene to Urban Legend

The Perfect Recipe for Notoriety

After a horrific murder-suicide in the 1950’s, a mansion on a hill sat ominously vacant, the crime scene seemingly preserved.
For decades after the crime, only neighbors who lived on that street knew about the home’s past. It was rumored that the tragic family left behind their furniture and belongings, and that no one ever moved in after. But it took a nosey housepainter and his penchant for storytelling to blow this story up into a true urban legend.

Where It All Started

Steve Kalupski, working as a housepainter back in 2000, saw the notorious home from a neighboring window and was instantly intrigued.


After he was told the tragic tale by the neighbor whose house he was working in, he ventured over to investigate for himself. Sure enough, through the windows, he saw 1950’s furniture, belongings, and even a Christmas tree and wrapped presents. Could this really be a crime scene preserved?


With no details available to verify the story, Steve just started driving up his friends, telling them the tale, and daring them to look through the windows to see the Christmas tree and wrapped presents themselves. But was it all really true?


Turns out, Steve embellished the story a bit, adding the wrapped presents as an extra bonus just for fun. And after about a decade, the story took off, becoming a real urban legend, complete with deliberately inaccurate details.

Journalists Get The Scoop

Los Angeles Times journalist, Bob Pool, heard about the story Steve Kalupski had been spinning, and felt it would be a perfect topic for his next human interest piece. The story made the front page in 2009, and the story blew up even bigger. The urban legend that was gaining traction by word of mouth, was about to expand into a national topic. Bob wrote about the wrapped presents that never were, because that’s what Steve had told him. And something else he printed? That the murderous patriarch had committed suicide by drinking acid, which was not accurate. Where did Pool get this detail? It’s not entirely clear. But researching for articles can be arduous work, and something just fell through the cracks. And the urban legend was gaining even more inaccurate details now, only solidifying its status as a tale worth re-telling.