Woman Allowed to Break Lease on Suspected ‘Torture Chamber’


Renter Catrina McGhaw

ST. LOUIS — A woman who discovered her rental home was the likely site of several slayings by a suspected serial killer is moving out early after appealing to St. Louis public housing officials when her landlord wouldn’t budge.

St. Louis station KMOV-TV reported Tuesday that Catrina McGhaw rented a house in Ferguson, Missouri, that was once home to Maury Troy Travis. (The TV station’s story is below.) The 36-year-old waiter committed suicide in jail in 2002 after he was charged with killing two St. Louis-area women. Police said he was a suspect in as many as 20 murders in the area, as well as the 1994 deaths of six prostitutes in Atlanta.

McGhaw said she learned of the home’s morbid past only after a family member saw a TV documentary about Travis. A dining room table donated to her by her landlord — Travis’ mother — can be seen in crime scene photos. She also wasn’t aware of the videotapes police found in the basement of Travis with his victims, some of whom were tied to a pole.

“This whole basement was his torture chamber and it’s not okay,” McGhaw said.

The St. Louis Housing Authority, which manages Section 8 housing, told the television station that McGhaw can move out of the home at the end of this month after Sandra Travis refused her request to break her lease.

While some states require property owners to disclose details about violent crimes that occurred there, Missouri stipulates only that material defects be documented.

Information from: KMOV-TV

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