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October 31, 2010

Dorothea Puente house in Sacramento

Filed under: California, True Crime — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 5:16 pm

Dorothea Puente house at 1426 F St. in Sacramento, California

(Click on the photo to enlarge)

It’s Halloween and time for ghosts and haunted houses.  Today I went to see where Dorothea Puente buried the bodies of 7 of the 9 people, that she had allegedly murdered, in the back yard of her house at 1426 F Street in Sacramento. 

This was a huge story when the bodies were unearthed, beginning on November 11, 1988.  The next day Dorothea, a kindly looking, white-haired old lady, was escorted from the property while a second body was dug up.  In December 1993, Dorothea was convicted of killing 3 of the victims and sentenced to life without parole. The trial was a sensation that shocked America and even people in other countries.  Tour buses used to bring Japanese tourists past the house.

Back yard on F St. in Sacramento where 7 bodies were buried

Another view of the back yard of the Dorothea Puente house in Sacrmento

The back yard, which is fenced off from the alley behind it, is tiny and it doesn’t look big enough to hold 7 bodies.  The entire yard is now covered in concrete, and hopefully there are no more bodies there.

Downstairs of the boarding house

Dorothea lived upstairs in the house, and the downstairs rooms were rented to elderly men who were living on Social Security.  Dorothea collected their checks, forged the men’s signatures, cashed the checks and gave the men a small amount of money, after deducting expenses for their room and board.  Dorothea was a good cook; she even had a cookbook published.  She killed her victims with an overdose of prescription medication and continued to cash their checks.  She got caught when the police began investigating the disappearance of one of her boarders.

This style of house used to be popular in Sacramento because people liked to live on the second floor to be safe from floods.  The downstairs section is like a basement; it has a concrete floor, although it is not underground.

Dorothea was an attractive woman and she used to recruit her victims at a bar that was just down the street from her house.  The bar is now a restaurant called “Sandra Dee’s.”

In September this year, the local newspaper reported that Dorothea, who is now 81 years old, is on her death bed.  She was removed from prison and taken to a hospital where she is expected to die soon.

The haunted house on F street has new owners who are currently restoring the house. They graciously allowed me to go inside the yard to take photos.   I thought there would be a crowd of people there because, after all, it is Halloween. I thought I would have to stand in line and wait for a bunch of Japanese tourists to take photos, but I was the only one there.  How quickly people forget a horror story that shocked the world!


  1. Lizzy, any chance of getting an interview with your Aunt & Uncle? I’m from

    Comment by Jim — September 21, 2014 @ 6:29 pm

  2. This is actually my aunt and uncle’s house!! they have alot of stories about this house. And when i say alot, i mean alot!! This is one cool, but freaky house! now, every halloween, they put out a life size doll of Dorothea! Its really freaky!!

    Comment by lizzy — October 15, 2012 @ 3:28 pm

  3. You didn’t forget and neither have I. Dorothea killed women, too. She killed Vera Faye Martin, who used to live in a cream-colored house with green shutters, and trim. Faye was our neighbor for years.

    Comment by JFE — September 10, 2012 @ 7:16 am

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