Sacramento's most famous house
From 1982 to 1988, Sacramento resident Dorothea Puente lived at 1426 F Street. She rented out rooms in her house to short-term residents. She also murdered some of them, buried them in the back yard, and stole their Social Security checks.
Barbara Holmes and her husband Tom Williams live in the house now. And while some homeowners might seek to downplay the house's history, this couple is proud to show it off to visitors.
Having lived in the house for five years, Holmes and Williams give regular house tours, with all proceeds going to a local homeless shelter, as a "slap in the face" to Puente's memory. They have also recently produced a documentary titled "The House is Innocent," which is currently getting rave reviews on the festival circuit.
Dorothea Puente is one of the few known female serial killers. Both of her parents were dead by the time she was nine, and she was placed in an orphanage until she was taken in by family later on. Puente had a string of difficult marriages, a miscarriage, and gave birth to several children, whom she put up for adoption.
Puente had a surprisingly broad criminal background, considering that most serial killers are perfectly ordinary (aside from their secretive murders). She made a living by forging checks, was arrested for running a brothel in 1960, and forged men's signatures to steal their pension money.
In fact, her serial murders could be seen as a side effect of her criminal history, rather than as an end unto themselves, as they are to many serial killers. Puente was stealing the Social Security checks of her elderly and disabled boarding house residents, and if someone complained about it, she killed them and buried them in the back yard. To Puente, murder seemed to be simply an expedient way to keep making an easy buck.