Our homes are not just a house where we live in. It is where we build our sanctuary, we build our memories at home, and for many, it is their safest place to be in.
When it comes to our houses, it is extremely logical to keep it safe from intruders and trespassers. But at what length can your safety go too far?
Here are five insanely booby-trapped homes that served to be the last frontier for some of their victims.
1. Edward Briney
In 1967, a 28-year-old man named Marvin Katko trespassed an abandoned farmhouse in Oskaloosa, Iowa. The farmhouse was a property of Edward and Bertha Briney. In the past, the farmhouse was broken into some 40 times already. Having had enough of it, Edward Briney set a booby trap that will set off a shotgun to the intruder once they open the door.
Katko suffered a gunshot wound in his leg and filed charges against the Brineys. Unbelievably, he won, with the court saying that it is unjustifiable for the Edward Briney to use deadly force on a structure or building that is abandoned or unoccupied.
2. Eric Stetz
This happened in 2008. A man named Eric Stetz lived in an apartment in Bay Shore, on Long Island, New York. In April, Stetz’ superintendent notified him that a technician from Verizon would arrive in the following days and will need to access his apartment. On the day that the technician arrived, the superintendent went and let him in because Stetz wasn’t at home.
Upon opening the door, the superintendent noticed a resistance and noticed that the door was rigged with some kind of booby trap. The police were called, and it was found out that Stetz had a large knife duct taped to a crutch and was supposed to swing and stab anyone who is entering the door. He had a similar trap on his bedroom door. When his mom was interviewed, the police found out that the knives were aimed at the squatters that Stetz was afraid would get inside his house when he wasn’t home.
3. Ed and Elaine Brown
A couple in a compound in rural Concord, New Hampshire, named Ed and Elaine Brown decided to evade their taxes. Elaine was a dentist, and they came to a conclusion that being a dentist is considered as “ordinary work” and therefore should not be taxed. This was in 1996; they stopped paying their taxes because they said it was stated in the Constitution and the Supreme court that they are not eligible to pay taxes.
In 2007 the Browns were convicted of tax evasion, their due reaching up to $625,000 in back taxes. Instead of coming peacefully, the couple had other plans. They barricaded themselves inside their house and refuse to go out. According to them they either go out as a free couple or they die inside their home.
This lasted for one and a half years and only ended when a few marshals disguised themselves as supporters, which led to the Browns letting them in. There they arrested the couple. After the arrest, the house was searched and it was found out that they had set up booby traps all around it and even until the edge of the property near the woods.
4. Louis Dethy
This is one booby-trapped house that ended in tragedy. Louis Dethy, a 79-year old man who lives alone. The revenge stricken man was so full of anger when he lost his house to his estranged family members. Not having any of those, he decided to put up booby traps inside the house with the hope of killing his family.
In November of 1992, when the police in Charlerois, Belgium went to Dethy’s house and discovered his dead body with a shotgun wound in the neck. At first, they thought he committed suicide, but the booby traps became apparent when one officer opened a wooden chest and nearly got shot by a shotgun.
All in all, they found 21 booby traps all around the house, he even had a map of the traps. No doubt, for him to remember where he placed them. It was found out that in the later years of his life, he was starting to be forgetful. The trap that ended his life was hidden in the soup ladle in his kitchen.
5. H.H. Holmes
This is a terrifying story that looks like it was taken out of a horror movie. But this really happened in Chicago, Illinois, in 1886. A man named H.H. Holmes pretended to be a doctor and worked at a pharmacy. He took over the pharmacy when the owner disappeared.
Over time, he built a 3-storey castle that will eventually be known as the “Murder Castle.” It has 51 doors that sometimes led to nothing but brick walls. Countless stairways also lead to nothing and sometimes to trap doors. The castle had over 100 rooms that were windowless. The worst booby trap he had was gas jets in bedrooms so he can asphyxiate the people who were staying in there, he then had trap doors that allowed him to move bodies from rooms to his torture chambers.
In 1893, he opened up the castle as a hotel and lured his victims. When the law finally caught up with him, he was convicted of murder and hanged on May 7, 1896. Up to now, it is still unclear how many murders he did, but the estimates range from 20-200 victims.
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