Located on Linden Street, just off exit 54 from I-84, sits a large craftsman style home was built in 1910, and is the subject of many grandiose urban legends: the Boise Murder House. And while those legends are mostly untrue, it was the site of what is said to be one of the most brutal murders in Boise, Idaho.
On June 30, 1987, an altercation broke out among three men that only two would walk away from. Join the Haunted Ladies as they travel back to Boise, Idaho, 1906, to tell the story of Preston Murr, the man who tried to get away but didn’t.
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Note: This podcast was recorded under the name “The Haunted True Crime Podcast” which later became The Lady Dicks Podcast. So pardon the name change. We assure you that the real Lady Dicks are standing up!
Visiting the Boise Murder House
Because the house is privately owned, you obviously can’t go visit it. But if you’re in the mood to drop by Boise anyway and maybe do a slow drive-by while you’re in the area, here are a few haunted places you might be able to check out:
- Old Idaho Penitentiary Site located at 2445 Old Penitentiary Road
- The Owyhee located at 110 W Main Street
- The Egyptian Theater located at 700 W Main Street
- Historic Idanha Building located at 10th and Main Street
Ready to book your trip to Idaho?
The Story of the Boise Murder House
If you have ever lived in Boise, Idaho, then you have probably heard of the “murder house,” sometimes referred to as Boise’s own Amityville horror house.
Located on Linden Street, off exit 54 off I-84, the large craftsman style home was built in 1910. Nestled in a nice neighbourhood with well-kept homes and a tree-lined street, the house is subject of many grandiose urban legends, including:
- The place where a crazed murderer killed and dismembered a number of people.
- A former fraternity house for Boise State University where fraternity members were disembodied with blood dripping from the basement walls.
- Home to a 19th century female ghost that stares out the window at night.
And while those are mostly just rumours, the home was the site of what is described to be one of Boise’s most grotesque murders.
The Murder of Preston A. Murr
On the night of June 30, 1987, an altercation broke out among three men: Preston A. Murr, Daron Cox and Daniel Rodgers (who owned the house). It was alleged that the young men were involved in the drug and gun trade. But rumour has it, something had gone wrong and Daron and Daniel were suspicious of Preston.
Earlier that day, Preston had received a threatening phone call from an unknown caller. He reached out to his friends Daron and Daniel to see if they could figure out who might have called him. The three then apparently attended a funeral, which ended in them cruising around Boise looking for guns that had been stolen from Daniel—they had no luck finding them.
Later that evening, the three men got into an altercation at the Linden house that was said to be be about Rodgers’ stolen guns and someone threatening Murr. While attempting to flee the altercation, Murr was shot in the shoulder. He ran down the street to nearby homes, knocking on doors and pleading for help.
A neighbour, and the owner of a house that Murr went to for help, phoned the police and reported suspicious activity after finding a trail of blood on his doorstep and seeing Murr being dragged back to house number 805. The transcript of the call was:
Ada County Dispatcher: OK, what’s the problem there?
Neighbour: Uh, I don’t know. A couple of guys came up and beat on the door and uh I went out and looked and there’s some blood on the door it looks like
Dispatcher: OK. Can you see them down the street at all?” asked the dispatcher.
Neighbour: Uh there looks like something is going on in the house across the street,” the neighbour said.
Despite the call, police did not respond promptly and the neighbour went to bed.
Meanwhile, Murr was retrieved from the neighbour’s house and dragged back to the home by Rodgers and Cox before any neighbours opened their doors.
Rodgers and Cox fatally shot Murr with a bullet to the brain and dismembered his body. The pair cut Murr into 13 pieces, put them in plastic bags and placed them into the trunk of a Rodger’s wife’s brown Grand Prix sedan. They then drove to Brownlee Reservoir, near Weiser, Idaho to dump Murr’s body.
About Preston A. Murr
There isn’t much known about the victim, Preston Murr, but he was born on September 18, 1965, and was 21 years old at the date of his death on June 30, 1987. He is buried in the Rose Hill Cemetery in Idaho Falls, Bonneville County, Idaho.
Boise Murder House Investigation and Trial
After a second call by the concerned neighbour, police rolled onto the scene and discovered bloodstains on the street along with several neighbouring doors.
Police attempted to contact residents inside the Linden Street house, but after receiving no response they got a search warrant and entered the house. And while conducting a search of the home police find guns, money and 13 pounds of marijuana.
A week later, a fisherman found Preston’s remains over 100 miles away. The remains lead officials right back to the Boise murder house. They also found gloves and plastic bags that were thrown into a dumpster behind a Meridian, Idaho convenience store.
Cox and Rodgers were then apprehended and charged with murder.
Cox rolled on Rodgers, giving them details of the grisly murder. He lead the police to evidence, placed blame on Rodgers for the murder and attributed his own involvement to his fear of Rodgers. He was charged as an accomplice and served 6 years in prison. Separate trials were ordered for Rodgers and Cox.
Rodgers’ trial was scheduled first, during which Cox was considered unavailable and was not called to testify. Although Rodgers had made some exculpatory statements to police early in the investigation about where he had been on the night of the murder, until the trial he did not admit that he was present at the Boise murder house when Murr was killed.
Rodgers said that he tried to break up a knife fight in the basement between Murr and Cox. And testified that Murr suddenly came at him with a knife, which caused him to fire a warning shot in self-defence. The shot unintentionally struck Murr in the shoulder as he rushed into Rodgers, knocking him down and causing him to lose his gun.
As Murr then fled up the stairs, Cox seized the gun and fired at him. Cox chased him down and brought him back to the basement. Rodgers was then upstairs when he heard the fatal shot. Cox then came up, said that he had killed Murr, and announced his plan to dispose of the body. Rodgers testified that he could not participate in dismembering the body, but admitted that he helped clean up and dispose of the evidence.
Daniel Edward Rodgers was convicted of first degree murder in a jury trial on March 18, 1988, and was sentenced to a fixed life term without the possibility of parole.
Rodgers filed several appeals on the grounds that:
The district court abused its discretion by admitting evidence in the murder trial of his drug-dealing activities. Approximately thirteen pounds of marijuana and a large amount of cash were found by police officers investigating the scene at 805 Linden Street. Late into the trial, the state offered the testimony of Barbara Fleming as to several conversations she had with Rodgers prior to the murder. Rodgers purportedly told her about thefts of his personal property, including guns, marijuana and cocaine from his home and apartment. Fleming related that Rodgers told her he would find out who was responsible, and he would take care of it. After carefully outlining the permissible limits of this witness’ proposed testimony, the court allowed the jury to hear it as evidence of motive and intent. Rodgers again moved for a mistrial; again, the motion was denied.
The trial court erred in allowing the state to introduce—for impeachment purposes—the fact that he had been convicted of a prior felony. Before Rodgers testified, the district court ruled the state would be allowed to ask Rodgers if he had a felony conviction, but not the nature of that felony. Rodgers had been convicted of second-degree murder in California in 1977. Here, Rodgers pled guilty to second-degree murder in California in 1977. He was released from the California penal system in 1982. Therefore, Rodgers’ prior felony conviction fell within the time limit.
Rodgers contends the district court erroneously determined that Cox could not be required to testify because he had exercised his Fifth Amendment privilege. Court says: We are not persuaded that error has been shown, let alone fundamental error. Accordingly, we do not need to address Rodgers’ argument that Cox had somehow waived his Fifth Amendment right not to testify by talking to and cooperating with the police. Rodgers argues that once Cox pled guilty to lesser included charges following Rodgers’ trial, Cox effectively waived his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent. Therefore, Rodgers concludes that Cox would be available to testify at Rodgers’ new trial and such testimony would constitute newly discovered evidence. Rodgers has failed to show how Cox’s testimony would materially aid his defence at a new trial. If anything, Cox’s testimony would be highly damaging to Rodgers if the testimony paralleled the statements Cox made to police. Certainly, we cannot say that the “new” evidence portends any likelihood of acquittal.
Rodgers challenges the sentences on the grounds that they are unreasonably excessive when looking at the circumstances surrounding his case. He was also charged for possession of a controlled substance for 5 years and misdemeanour possession of drug paraphernalia for 1 year. Due to the fixed nature of Rodgers’ sentence for first-degree murder, the probable confinement is for the remainder of his life. After imposing the life sentence, the district court filed written findings of fact and conclusions of law.
He was most recently denied parole in 2005, and is currently serving a fixed life sentence at the Idaho Correctional Center.
Side Note, Bitches
Interestingly enough, Mrs. Rodgers, the wife of Daniel Rodgers had a history all of her own, so much so that a 1992 movie was made about her. She committed numerous armed robberies, until going straight, changing her identity, getting married and settling down as a successful real estate agent.
Boise Murder House Hauntings
The Linden murder house is allegedly haunted, and we found the following stories around the internet about the various states of haunting:
“I lived in the upstairs for about 2 semesters while I attended BSU about 12 years ago. We had a bunch of friends living with us. Often times with all the foot traffic we would spill out onto the front porch. In the summer we made a fire pit out front and would have people sitting around the campfire until very early in the morning the next day. I’m sure that’s were the fraternity comes up. The basement was creepy and had a weird feeling. We would take people down there to scare them. We had heard the same story. I never saw any ghosts but you could tell something want right. It was a fun place to stay for a bit.”The above text has slightly been modified for spelling.
You can read more haunted stories from the Boise murder house 5 True Stories from the Boise Murder House.
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The Lady Dicks did not just magically come up with the information for The Green Lady of the Fairytale Castle themselves, they, in fact, did research beyond Wikipedia (thanks jerky iTunes reviewer for your one-star comment), and here are those sources:
- 1987 Boise Murder House, dlocksmith.
- 5 True Stories from the Boise Murder House, 107.9 LITE FM.
- The Murder House: Is site of decades-old murder haunted?, Idaho News.
- Haunted in Idaho – Woman at Murder House, 107.9 LITE FM.
- Visions Paranormal Society Blog – Urban Legend Of The Linden Murder House, Living in the News.
- Unsolved: The Linden Murders, American Hauntings.
The Lady Dicks Podcast was created by Tae Haahr. The Lady Dicks are Andrea C., Nikki K. and Tae H. “Boise Murder House: 805 W. Linden Street” was researched by Nikki, Andrea and Tae, and written, edited and produced by Tae Haahr. The Lady Dicks theme music, A Pink Panther, is licenced through AudioJungle.