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City won’t buy Wesson land

The Fresno Bee, USA
May 19, 2004
Jim Davis • Wednesday May 19, 2004

Fresno City Council rejects proposal to purchase site of mass murder.

The Fresno City Council decided Tuesday against making an offer to purchase the Wesson property, site of the city’s worst mass murder.

The council discussed the issue behind closed doors and rejected a proposal to offer up to $70,000 for the office building at 761 W. Hammond Ave.

Council President Brad Castillo, however, said he would bring the issue back to council. He said he learned after the closed-session vote that the property is no longer a crime scene.

“Something I was made aware of after we finished was the Wesson family has begun moving back into the house,” Castillo said at the end of the session.

He said council members believed they could not demolish the building for possibly two years while waiting for the case to proceed through the legal system.

The house on Hammond Avenue was the scene of one of Fresno’s most gruesome murder cases. On March 12, police entered the home and found a stack of nine bodies, most of them children.

Marcus Wesson is accused of killing all nine. He has pleaded not guilty.

Council Member Jerry Duncan proposed in the weeks after the slayings to purchase the property and demolish the building to prevent the scene from becoming a macabre tourist destination.

The council Tuesday rejected a motion to make an offer on the building, with Duncan, Castillo and Council Member Cynthia Sterling voting for the proposal.
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