The Erskineville home where a woman was slain with a razor blade.
THE DARK past of an Erskineville terrace where a man killed his lover with a razor blade before allegedly trying to cut out her heart has recently come back to haunt it.
The two-bedroom home on Union St came up for rent on the weekend at $680 per week, but the gruesome past was enough to put off many would-be renters, according to the agents involved.
The murder had occurred back in 1932, but Ray White-Petersham property manager Neica Fleming said some would-be tenants’ were still hesitant about moving in.
One application for the property was quickly withdrawn once the prospective tenants learned of the property’s past, she added.
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The crime was one of Sydney’s most brutal murders.
The interior of the Erskineville home.
Alfred Ball was said to have killed partner Catherine Sims after discovering a romantic letter she had written to another man.
A neighbour had rushed to the house after hearing screams and had discovered Ball at the front door covered in blood.
Ball had claimed to have been “killin’ some fowls” before rushing out the house.
The neighbour then discovered Sims lying on the floor with blood coming from her throat.
A newspaper account of the murder. Picture: Trove
Later newspaper accounts revealed that “she was breathing faintly, and blood was welling from fearful wounds in her chest and back. It appeared that the murderer, with fiendish cruelty, had tried to cut her heart out.”
Sims died on the way to hospital and Ball went on the run, remaining at large for seven weeks. He was reported to have eluded capture by sleeping in railway carriages, parks and abandoned buildings.
Ball later claimed to remember nothing of the killing and entered a plea of temporary insanity, which was upheld by a jury.
The apartment where Lisa Harnum was murdered by fiance Simon Gittany is also up for rent.
Gittany killed Harnum by pushing her off their balcony. Picture: Channel 7
CoreLogic records showed the home last sold in 1996 for $254,000.
The owners had apparently been unaware of the home’s history until about a year ago, Ms Fleming said.
NSW agents have a duty to disclose any “material facts” that may influence someone’s decision to buy or rent a home, which includes recent murders and deaths but not those that happened decades ago.
The history of the Erskineville home was declared to prospective renters nonetheless and a deposit has since been put down on it.
The Erskineville home was up for rent at $680 per week.
“The people moving in didn’t have an issue with (the history),” Ms Fleming said.
The home was not the only property with a history of murder up for rent.
The inner city apartment where businessman Simon Gittany murdered fiance Lisa Harnum by pushing her off their balcony is currently on the market at $1400 per week.
Among the homes with a dark history for sale is the Surry Hills terrace where the skeletal remains of Natalie Jean Wood were found in 2011, eight years after her death.
The property where Natalie Jean Wood’s skeletal remains were discovered in 2011 is up for sale.
Ms Wood, who had been out of touch with friends and family, died of natural causes inside the home and her corpse lay beside her bed untouched until discovered by police.
It was first listed with a guide of about $1.5 million but has been on the market for nearly seven weeks.