Questions Raised After Woman Spooked By Home's Past

By Matt Lupoli |

Published 07/09 2014 09:38PM

Updated 07/10 2014 04:23AM

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- What if the house you're looking to rent or buy holds a disturbing secret?

"This whole basement was his torture chamber and its not okay," St. Louis renter Catrina McGhaw said.

Finding out her home once belonged to a suspected serial killer was too much for McGhaw.

In the Springfield area, buyers and renters in our area are not assured they'll be told about a prospective property's history -- only a home's physical defects, whether seen or unseen, require disclosure.

"You can't see a condenser that's cracked in the air conditioner, but you can see a crack in the foundation that's going up the walls so you have to disclose the hidden defects of the property," Greater Springfield Board of Realtors Association Executive Jessica Hickok said.

Hickok said that while transparency is good for business, psychological attributes, like past murders, suicides and violent crimes, do not rise to the level of legal obligation for disclosure.

"Our MLS and how we do it is we are not required to disclose any properties that are stigmatized," Hickok said.

Anyone can do their own research on a property. The Springfield Police Department posts crime reports on a map on, and other websites host similar information too.

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