If you are up for a renovation and a house with a bit of history, the home of mafia capo Albert Anastasia can be yours for a bargain. On Dec. 8, luxury auction house Guernsey's will offer up the 25-room, 1.3-acre estate in Fort Lee, NJ, with city views to die for (oops, someone probably did) for a starting bid of $5.5 million.
But before bidding, buyers may want to know the history of the Italianate house, or at least try to figure out the story behind that one empty room that had nothing but a drain. The "slaughter room" was allegedly used for cleaning deer, though the drain would likely be handy for other creatures' blood, too.
"I don't know about deer, but they were definitely slaughtering something in there," Sandy Hackett, whose father, Buddy Hackett, was a friend of Anastasia and bought the home from him, told The New York Times. After all, Anastasia headed up the mafia's enforcement arm, known as Murder Inc.
Hackett later sold to the current owner, Arthur Imperatore Sr., owner of the NY Waterway ferry company. Imperatore took advantage of the plumbing in place and turned the slaughter room into a Jacuzzi and sauna room.
The rest of the house, though, remains remarkably un-updated from its Anastasia days, which may account for the lowball bid (a Fort Lee home similar in size and acreage is on the market for $18.9 million). The place is grand but neglected -- think Miss Havisham meets Don Corleone. This may explain why there are no interior pictures.
The kitchens are vintage, as is the carpeting, but there's a marble fireplace, lush grounds, and enviable 180-degree views. Many rooms have at least two exits (for an easy getaway?). More home lore: Secret rooms and a tunnel to the cliffside, though there's no evidence of such structures today.
Anastasia, who hosted many mafia pals in the home, was murdered in a Manhattan barbershop on Oct. 25, 1957.