Ten Infamous Hotel Crime Scenes

January 26, 2005

Lorraine Motel, Memphis, TN

No list of infamous hotel crime scenes is complete without Lorraine Motel. During the height of the African-American civil rights movement its leader, Martin Luther King, Jr. was gunned down on the balcony of his hotel room at the age of 39 by James Earl Ray, a fugitive from Missouri State Penitentiary. In the ensuing fallout, Lorraine Motel became a museum dedicated to the civil rights struggle.

Ambassador Hotel, Los Angeles, CA

Only hours after winning the Democratic Primary election (which made him a candidate for president), Robert F. Kennedy was shot in the kitchen of the Ambassador on June 5th, 1968. Robert Kennedy was the brother of assassinated US President, John F. Kennedy.

Park Central, New York

Also known as the Park Sheraton, this hotel is famous for its high class clientèle including infamous mobster Albert Anastasia, boss of what is now the Gambino Family. Anstasia was murdered in 1957 while sitting in the barber’s chair during a full scale shootout.

Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast, Fall River, Massachusetts

Taking its name from the daughter of Andrew Borden, who along with his second wife, were hacked to pieces with an axe in their beds, the Lizzie B&B has the dubious honor of having been host to a particularly brutal slaying that Lizzie was tried and acquitted for in 1892.

Beau Rivage, Geneva

Few of these hotels can claim the level of ostentatious infamy that the Beau Rivage can. In 1898, Itallian anarchist Luigi Lucheni attacked and stabbed Empress Elizabeth of Austria when she was leaving the hotel. Ever a woman to propriety, the Empress did not allow her corset to be undone until she had reached the privacy of the boat. Unfortunately little could be done to save her and she bled out shortly thereafter.

Raffles Hotel, Singapore

August 20, 1945. Five days after Emperor Hirohito surrendered to the allied forces, signaling the end of World War II, 300 Japanese officers committed ritual suicide in the lobby of the hotel after a day of relaxing and drinking sake.

Cecil Hotel, Los Angeles

In more recent history, a 21 year old Canadian tourist missing only to be found in the bottom of the water tank under the Cecil Hotel but not before opening up a much bigger can of worms as to how she got there. Something smells fishy and it isn’t just the drinking water.

Chelsea Hotel, New York

While Sid Vicious, band member of the punk band Sex Pistols, might have been better known for his bass riffs, he cemented his fate when he stabbed his girlfriend in a heroin stupor. After being bailed out, he then chased the dragon one final time and overdosed.

Watergate Hotel

Being the only bloodless crime scene on the list of infamous hotel crime scenes does nothing to blunt the sheer majesty of the crime perpetrated in the hotel which started with a break in at the Democratic National Committee HQ in the hotel, continued when Nixon’s administration tried to cover it up and lead to the resignation of Nixon himself and the incarceration of 43 people, many of which were top administration officials. All without a drop of blood spilled.

The Grand Central Hotel, New York

Labeled the ‘Forgotten Inn’, the Grand Central Hotel is the most infamous hotel in all of New York, with a long history of suicide, murder and one scandal after another. Opened in 1870, the hotel hosted 650 rooms over 8 floors and attracted a slew of business magnates and ‘hotel hermits’ until it burned down in 1973.