431 Hillside Avenue In Westfield New Jersey
431 Hillside Avenue in Westfield New Jersey – The Watcher House
The house at 431 Hillside Avenue in Westfield, New Jersey, was a former home of John List. List was a former vice president and comptroller of a bank in Jersey City. The three women who lived with List were found dead in an attic closet on the third floor. Their bodies were discovered with bullet wounds to the back of their heads. Parts of List’s letters to the Watcher house have been released.
List shot his wife and mother in the back of the head
John List shot his wife, mother, and two children in the back of the head at 431 hillside Avenue in Westfield, New Jersey, on September 18, 1971. The four victims were killed by List, who was 46 at the time. List shot his wife Helen in the back of the head before killing his children Patricia and Frederick. The shootings were meticulously planned and List escaped after nearly a month. List remained free for 17 years until his trial. He was born in Bay City, Michigan, to German-American parents. The family was Lutheran. His father died at age 85.
The police arrived at the scene after a nosy neighbor had called 911 and reported a possible burglary. However, they learned that the neighbor was just trying to get a look at what was happening in the house. Once the house was searched, they found the bodies of the List family and began to investigate.
List’s mother and three children were found crumpled in a third-floor attic closet
Investigators believe List killed the family and left a key to a filing cabinet containing letters and two pistols. List and his wife were regular church-goers, and List was also a well-educated accountant. He was convicted of murder in 1990. He has since served time in jail.
List was sentenced to five life sentences for the murders, and spent the last 18 years of his life in prison. Police were finally able to catch him in 1990 after he was transferred to the hospital. He lived under an alias for 18 years before being convicted.