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Tales of the macabre at L.A. hotels

October 26, 2008|Leslie Anne Wiggins

The Lizzie Borden B&B near Boston isn't the only lodging with a creepy, notorious past. Here, with an assist from Concierge.com, are several local haunts with histories that are hard to shake:

The Night Stalker's retreat

The Cecil Hotel, minutes from Staples Center, was a favorite haunt of "Night Stalker" Richard Ramirez in the 1980s as well as Austrian journalist and fellow serial killer Jack Unterweger in the 1990s. It was also the site of a 1962 suicide in which a woman leaped to her death and killed a pedestrian. Two years later, Pershing Square "pigeon lady" Goldie Osgood was killed in her room at the Cecil; the case is unsolved. Today, the hotel touts itself as "The Premier Choice of Affordable Downtown Los Angeles Hotels" on its website; rates start at $70. 640 S. Main St., Los Angeles; (800) 896-5294.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Tuesday, October 28, 2008 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 2 inches; 75 words Type of Material: Correction
Lodgings with macabre pasts: An article in Sunday's Travel section on a B&B at Lizzie Borden's former home misidentified one of the 1892 slaying victims as Borden's mother, Sarah. The victim was Borden's stepmother, Abby. The article also called Borden's older sister her younger sister. An accompanying article about local lodgings said Sam Cooke died at the Hacienda Hotel in El Segundo. It was the Hacienda Motel on South Figueroa Street in South Los Angeles.
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Sunday, November 02, 2008 Home Edition Travel Part L Page 3 Features Desk 2 inches; 94 words Type of Material: Correction
Lizzie Borden: An article in the Oct. 26 Travel section on a B&B at Lizzie Borden's former home said that one of the victims in the notorious 1892 murders was Borden's mother. She was her stepmother. The article also referred to Lizzie and her younger sister inheriting their father's fortune. The sister involved was older. A related article about local lodgings with a storied past said the site where Sam Cooke died was the Hacienda Hotel in El Segundo. In fact, it was the Hacienda Motel on South Figueroa Street in South Los Angeles.

Janis Joplin's last stand

In 1970, the Landmark Motor Hotel hosted many young entertainment hopefuls, often for extended stays. Twenty-seven-year-old Janis Joplin had been a guest for about six weeks before her hard partying came to an end with a heroin overdose on Oct 4.

Now called the Highland Gardens Hotel, the property has a serene retro feel complete with pool and palm trees. Rates start at $119. 7047 Franklin Ave., Hollywood; (800) 404-5472.

Sam Cooke's violent end

In 1964, Hacienda Hotel manager Bertha Franklin fatally shot singer Sam Cooke, reportedly in self-defense. Inconsistencies in the case and the lack of a full police investigation have left fans wondering.

Today it's a convenient stop for business travelers who want to be close to LAX, just 10 minutes away. The hotel also features a conference center, and there's always the chance of being lulled to sleep by Cooke's soothing voice, or the spirit of it, anyway. Rates start at $119. 525 N. Sepulveda Blvd., El Segundo; (800) 421-5900.

-- Leslie Anne Wiggins

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