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Crime Scenes Make Killing With Tourists

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A week later, a bidding war broke out over the home of BTK killer Dennis Rader, who admitted to killing 10 people in Wichita, Kan., between 1974 and 1991.

One bidder, Byron Jones, offering $60,000 for the home — $3,000 more than its assessed value — says he was planning to sell the abode, "inch by inch," over the Internet.

Exotic dance club owner Michelle Borin finally plunked down $90,000, saying she has no plans to live in the place. She just wanted the proceeds to help Rader's family. A court, however, may hold up the sale as victims of the killer press a wrongful death suit.

"It's just hideous to allow people to profit from crime," says Polly Franks, a spokeswoman for the National Coalition of Victims in Action. "Think of what this means to the people who suffered."

People often feel compelled to visit tragic locations, a motivation that might go back as far the very first battlefield monument. But you can't say crowds go to Capone's hideout or Borden's place to pay their respects.

"It's really a matter of time and taste before something like this becomes acceptable," says Chris Epting, author of "Elvis Presley Passed Here," the latest in his series of pop cultural landmarks.

Perhaps only in America can an outlaw like Jesse James rob a railroad in 1873, and then, 81 years later, get the railroad to erect a monument to commemorate this evil deed. And you'll find such a monument in Adair, Iowa, where his crew committed one of the first train robberies of the Old West, hauling off $2,000.

Borden was the bane of Fall River, but long after everyone directly related to the case had passed away, the quaint Massachusetts hamlet accepted — in some respects even embraced — its spot in history.

Here are some other crime scenes that have become magnets for tourists:

1. Bonnie and Clyde's Latest Hit
How's this for a quick getaway? On the third weekend of May, some 5,000 Bonnie and Clyde aficionados make an annual pilgrimage to Gibsland, La., to witness the re-enactment of the fateful 1934 shootout that marked the bloody end for the Romeo and Juliet of armed robbery.

The couple's two-year crime spree had left at least 12 people dead. They had stopped on Route 154 to help a farmer with a flat tire when they were ambushed by six officers.

Bonnie and Clyde made headlines in their day, but festival coordinator Billie Gene Poland says they would have been forgotten footnotes in true crime magazines if not for the 1967 blockbuster movie, starring Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway.