The Los Feliz “Murder House”Jan 26th, 2011 | By Lindsay | Category: This and That
I can honestly say that out of all of the locations that I have ever stalked in my entire life, the subject of today’s post is hands down the most perplexing and mind-boggling! Last week, when I called up Mike, from MovieShotsLA, to tell him that Geoff, from the 90210locations website, had tracked down the residence belonging to Donna Martin (aka Tori Spelling) during Season One of Beverly Hills, 90210, he fell silent with shock. As it turns out there is another very famous, or perhaps very infamous, property located just up the road from Donna’s house and it is a property that Mike has actually been to countless times in the past. He then proceeded to tell me about the Los Feliz “Murder House”, or “Murder Mansion” as it is also sometimes called, which I had never before heard of. And, let me tell you, once Mike filled me in on the story of the home I was literally up ALL NIGHT reading articles on the subject and I also immediately ran right out to see the place in person the very next day. And while I usually keep the postings on this blog of a more positive nature, this was one location that, while morbid, I just HAD to write about.
The story – and it is absolutely fascinating – is as follows . . . On the night of December 6, 1959, Dr. Harold Perelson, a wealthy Inglewood heart specialist, bludgeoned his wife, Lillian, to death with a ball-peen hammer and severely beat his 18-year-old daughter, Judye, while his other two children slept soundly in their bedrooms. Judye survived the beating and ran down the hillside to a neighbor’s home at 2471 Glendower Place to call for help. In the meantime, the two younger children awoke and asked their father about the screaming. Harold told them that they had been having a nightmare and to go back to sleep. He then drank a glass of poison, killing himself instantly. The police arrived shortly thereafter and took all three Perelson children into custody. The mansion was locked up and the children were sent to live with relatives back east. The motive behind the brutal murder/suicide was never completely known, although some speculate that the Perelsons were in financial trouble. But here’s where the story gets weird.
About a year after the murder/suicide, the Perelson’s 5,050-square-foot, Spanish Revival-style mansion was purchased by Emily and Julian Enriquez via a probate auction. And while the couple, who lived in Lincoln Heights at the time, visited the mansion on occasion and even stored some of their possessions there, for reasons that remain unclear they never inhabited the property, nor did they ever move the Perelson’s belongings out! To this day, over five decades later, the mansion remains in almost the exact same state it was in on the night of December 6, 1959! According to a February 6, 2009 Los Angeles Times article written about the case, not only is the Perelson’s furniture still as it was on that evening, but their Christmas gifts remain sitting on the kitchen table, as if someone was interrupted mid-wrap, and their Christmas tree still stands in the living room!! I’m not making this up! Even stranger still is the fact that even though Emily and Julian have since passed away and their son has owned the property since 1994, it still remains in its December 1959 state. The Los Angeles Times article reports that numerous buyers have contacted Rudy wanting to purchase the home, but that, for whatever reason, he refuses to sell.
The mansion, which was built in 1925 and was quite beautiful in its day, boasts four master bedrooms, three bathrooms, a conservatory, maid’s quarters, a 20-foot by 36-foot ballroom, sweeping views of Los Angeles, and sits on over half an acre of land. Sadly though, the house has fallen into severe disrepair during the past fifty-plus years that it has remained vacant. As you can see in the above photographs, the driveway is severely cracked and the mailbox is almost completely toppled over. Neighbors do what they can to keep the grounds in order and a burglar alarm has recently been installed to keep trespassers out, but other than that the house remains frozen in time and most believe that it will eventually have to be torn down. Ron Shinkman, of The Irony Supplement Blog, wrote a very interesting post on the Perelson mansion back in early 2009 and actually managed to snap a few photographs of the interior of the property, in which some of the Perelson’s former furniture and even one of the children’s former board games are visible. Personally I think there has to be something more to the story and that perhaps the Enriquez family knew the Perelsons and had a personal reason for leaving the house in its 1959 state, but the truth of the matter is that we will most likely never know the whole story.
Another famous property, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Ennis house, is located directly behind the Perelson mansion and is denoted with the pink arrow in the above photograph. The house, which I have yet to blog about, is one of the most famous properties in the entire world, architecturally speaking, and has appeared in such films as 1959’s House on Haunted Hill, The Day of the Locust, Blade Runner, and Rush Hour.
Big THANK YOU to Mike, from MovieShotsLA, for telling me about this location!
Until next time, Happy Stalking!
Stalk It: The former Perelson mansion, aka the “Los Feliz Murder House”, is located at 2475 Glendower Place, just off of Glendower Avenue, in Los Feliz. Donna Martin’s house from the first season of Beverly Hills, 90210 is located at 2405 Glendower Avenue and the Ennis house is located at 2607 Glendower Avenue.