Support Local Journalism. Join Riverfront Times Press Club.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Woman Sees Her House on TV, Discovers It Was Suspected Serial Killer's Torture Den

Posted By on Wed, Jul 9, 2014 at 7:00 AM

click to enlarge The north St. Louis County house where Maury Travis, then Catrina McGhaw, lived. - YOUTUBE
  • YouTube
  • The north St. Louis County house where Maury Travis, then Catrina McGhaw, lived.

Catrina McGhaw was watching an episode of A&E's Cold Case Files on suspected St. Louis serial killer Maury Travis when something struck her as strangely familiar.

The house where Travis is suspected of tying up, torturing and killing at least two -- and possibly as many as ten -- women is the same house McGhaw rents now, she tells KMOV (Channel 4).

"This whole basement was his torture chamber, and it's not OK," McGhaw says on KMOV.

Here's the A&E special on Travis:

McGhaw had no idea she was moving into a home with such a sinister history, so she called her landlord to get out of the lease. Turns out, the landlord knew exactly what happened in that house; she's Travis' mother. And she had no interest in helping McGhaw leave.

"She said, 'No, you signed the lease, and you need to stay there until the lease is up,'" McGhaw tells KMOV. The landlord eventually agreed to let McGhaw leave the house at the end of the month.

See also: Charles Manson's Fiancee is From St. Louis

Once the house's true background was exposed, McGhaw says a few previously minor details suddenly became downright creepy: Travis' mother gave her a dining-room table for free, which seemed fortuitous until McGhaw saw it in the crime-scene photos. And in the basement -- which was covered in blood splotches when police investigated in 2002 -- the pole where Travis allegedly tied up the women he tortured still stands.

McGhaw says she can't stop thinking about that basement pole, especially the time a two-year-old relative playing near the pole claimed to see an apparition.

"She looked over and she was like, 'She's scared, she's scared,' like she saw somebody who was scared and crying," McGhaw tells Channel 4.

"And there was nobody there?" reporter Chris Nagus asks.

"Nobody was there," she answers.

Travis, a 36-year-old hotel waiter and paroled robber, killed himself in his jail cell in 2002 after being arrested for two, and suspected of eight more, serial murders. His suspected victims were mostly prostitutes with drug habits.

He was arrested after investigators traced a letter and map he sent to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that led authorities to a woman's body in remote St. Charles County.

Follow Lindsay Toler on Twitter at @StLouisLindsay. E-mail the author at Lindsay.Toler@RiverfrontTimes.com.

Tags: ,

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

August 4th, 2021

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In St. Louis

© 2021 Riverfront Times

Website powered by Foundation