Respecting a murder shrine set up on my property, and my property too.
July 2, 2004 9:53 AM   Subscribe

So, a murder happened in front of my house while we were on vacation last week. Now there is a shrine there around my tree about 5 feet from the bottom of my steps and people coming by day and night leaving stuff and lighting candles.

I don't mind the shrine, but how long do I leave that stuff there? How can I get people to not leave candles burning there (I am worried about fire danger.) Am I responsible for disposing of the stuff?

I have some ideas, but would like some suggestions.

Here's a link to the info about the murder.,1413,125~1486~2236893,00.html

Sorry for the double-post. How did that happen??? -Amanda
posted by aacheson to Human Relations (9 answers total)
around here, the neighborhood association doesn't allow "shrines", which i'm all for.
Usually they stopped being mantained after a few months or so and then you can take it up without anyone getting pissed off. If it's really a problem though, call your neighborhood association. those nazis have to be good for something.
Just make sure you dont run around kicking and screaming and knocking candles over in front of a bunch of people, that's a bad idea.
posted by bob sarabia at 10:46 AM on July 2, 2004

If you want to be a sport about it, contact the victim's next of kin, and offer to put a small unobstrusive memorial plaque on the site, maybe even offer to pay for part of it, something flush to the ground. Then you can get rid of the "stuff" in good conscience.

Also, I nominate this question as "Most Likely To Show Up In An Episode Of Curb Your Enthusiasm."
posted by luser at 11:05 AM on July 2, 2004

Wow, I read about that murder earlier--so sad and random! I wonder if the fire dept would have advice re the candles--if they play bad guy, then you don't have to.
posted by GaelFC at 12:04 PM on July 2, 2004

luser: I would so love to see Larry deal with that.
posted by wackybrit at 1:05 PM on July 2, 2004

NYT "ethicist" Randy Cohen covered a similar topic a few weeks ago in the Sunday Mag. He suggested that you allow it for a while then work with the bereaved to figure out a tastefull, more agreable solution (plaque in the tree, engraved brick, something a little more low key and permanent).
posted by jmgorman at 2:07 PM on July 2, 2004

Oh my God. I'm sorry for the victim, I'm sorry for you, but this got a chuckle out of me. I think luser has the best idea. A nice little plaque, and I'd offer to buy it...

Oh my God. If I were you, I'd be totally depressed by the scene at first for days, then at some point I'd want to scream "S/He's dead, you losers, go home!", then I'd feel guilty for wanting to scream that, then I'd consider tying a mean dog to the tree...

This is SO black comedy...
posted by Shane at 2:08 PM on July 2, 2004

But why a plaque? Why?
posted by agregoli at 2:19 PM on July 2, 2004

god DAMN i hadn't heard about this! i was down there at Ben and Nicks last week--i walk down there all the time.

posted by _sirmissalot_ at 2:45 PM on July 2, 2004

A few years ago a guy got hit by a car in the street on which I live and he died in my driveway. Two days later, much to my horror, somebody had erected a wooden white cross that stood about four feet tall right next to my driveway. I too wondered what I was going to do about it, but it was only there for two days. Someone then moved it down to the corner and actually usurped the shrine of a woman that had died there in a car accident a few months prior. I live on a dangerous street I guess.
posted by mokujin at 7:57 PM on July 2, 2004

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