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How Much for that Body in the Basement?

Two eerily similar articles today in the Wall Street Journal and USA Today, each with their own handy sidebar chart examing the effects of murder and mayhem on real estate prices. The unsurprising finding in both: murders hurt listing prices. Scandals such as affairs with 19 year old assistants (Peter Cook) and babysitters (Michael Kennedy) might hurt a little, but holding onto a property long enough seems to render all that bad mojo moot. At least, it has for Jack Nicholson, who didn't try to unload his Mulholland home after Roman Polanski allegedly drugged and raped a 13 year old girl. Not only did Jack hold on, he also bought Marlon Brando's home next door where his son Christian, shot and killed his half-sister's boyfriend in a fight. According to the Journal, brokers estimate Nicholson's properties are worth five times what he paid for them, without or without the scandals. But as one broker posits, "It's hard to find a place on Mulholland that hasn't been in the papers at some point"
· The Scandal Effect []
· For sale: Scene of a crime [USA Today]