The ‘Murder House’ Is Demolished To Make Way For New School

Photo via David Gallaher
Photo via David Gallaher

A home at 33 Hinckley Place, which has been abandoned for more than a decade and was deemed “The Murder House” after a 57-year-old homeless woman was killed there in 2011, has been torn down to make way for the incoming P.S./I.S. 338.

Thanks to neighbor David Gallaher for posting the above picture of the demolished house, which was gutted by a fire in 2013 and was the bane of many a neighbor’s existence after it was abandoned more than a decade ago, with neighbor Valerie D’Orazio writing in her Murder House photo essay that the home was a graveyard for dead TV sets, ripped-out car seats, broken bricks, and much more.

33 Hinckley Place, before it was torn down.
33 Hinckley Place, before it was torn down.

Valerie writes in her essay, which followed the 2013 fire:

Murder House used to be a normal house — that’s what they tell me. But some time more than a decade ago, it was abandoned. We’re talking a house, a very large yard next to it, and some sort of small “cabin.” All left to rot. A child’s pink tricycle drowning in a sea of overgrown weeds. The corpses of several dead TV sets, bags of garbage dumped in the hard black shells. Ripped-out car seats. And stacks of broken bricks, bleached light after many summers — still standing to this very day on the charred porch, as if ready to be used for much-needed repair.

Murder House was, you will no doubt be surprised to learn, a magnet for drug addicts, prostitutes, and the homeless. In fact there was apparently an entire eco-system of the shadow-side of society living within its walls.

Even long before the house was abandoned, the site has had an interesting history, with its owners in 1911 trying to sell it with the line “people leaving town.”

Now the property, which is owned by the city’s School Construction Authority, will be part of P.S./I.S. 338, which will be located at 510 Coney Island Avenue between Turner Place and Hinckley Place.

Construction for the school is set to begin this spring, and the five-story school is anticipated to open in September 2017 with 757 seats for children in pre-K through eighth grade. According to the city SCA, there will be two pre-K, three kindergarten, and 29 standard classrooms, as well as a cafeteria and kitchen, library, gym, outdoor recreation space, and more.

A ribbon cutting for the school had been planned for January 27 but was canceled in the face of what we now know was the very non-apocalyptic Winter Storm Juno. The ribbon cutting is expected to be rescheduled, but not date has yet been set.

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Anna Gustafson

Editor of Ditmas Park Corner


  1. Ugh, I live right behind the site and I’m not looking forward to the construction. I am glad those houses are gone though. I always wondered about that woman who was killed and couldn’t find any news items or updates beyond the day it happened so thank you for that.

  2. A good news is that Murder House is now going to be the part of a school.Its a house where in 2011 a 57 year old lady was killed.Now Citys School Construction Authority has owned this property and they are ready to make a new School here.

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