Couple shocked realtor never mentioned a serial killer once lived in their home

A home is the biggest purchase most people ever make – so would you want to live where a murder took place?

An investigation conducted by Inside Edition has found there are plenty of houses with a dark past for sale. But do prospective buyers have the right to know about it?

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Among the houses with sinister secrets is a home on a quiet street in Monterey, California. Its owners, Scott and Laura Cotes, told Inside Edition that convicted murderer Alfred Powell lived there in the 1980s and, according to police, buried the bodies of two of his victims on the property.

"This is where we found the body," Scott Cotes said, pointing to the garden. "You could never be prepared for somebody to look at you and say a serial killer has been living in your house."

The Cotes say they were never told about the home's history when they bought it.

"It's stunning, shocking and surreal all at once," said Laura.

The Cotes are now suing their realtor under California law, saying he failed to disclose their home's dark secret. The realtor denies any wrongdoing.

To find out whether some other homes are potentially hiding a heinous secret, Inside Edition's Lisa Guerrero and a producer posed as potential buyers and visited homes with troubled pasts to see what information realtors might disclose.

SEE: 10 serial killers who were never caught:

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4 serial killers who were never caught
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4 serial killers who were never caught
The Texarkana Moonlight Murderer: The killer, who was never identified, is credited with terrorizing the town of Texarkana, Texas in 1946 by attacking eight people in ten weeks, creating panic.

Béla Kiss, the Vampire of Czinkota: This accused Hungarian serial killer is believed to have murdered at least two dozen women and kept their bodies in giant metal drums. He eluded police for years.

(Getty Images)

The Servant Girl Murders: Three years before Jack the Ripper began his deadly attacks across the ocean, a killer preyed upon the city of Austin, Texas in the 1880s. He would attack men and women in their beds, although not all of his victims died. According to reports more than 400 men were arrested over the years for the crimes, but no one was ever convicted.

(RapidEye via Getty Images)

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One starter home in Corbin, Kentucky, might look quaint, but it was actually the scene of a triple murder; a teenager killed his mom, dad and kid sister at the house.

According to police, each one of the victims was shot several times in the head as they walked through the front door. The killer used a pillow to cover their faces and muffle the sound of gunfire.

A local realtor gave a tour of the property.

"I like it," an Inside Edition producer told her. "It's nice. Anything else I need to know?"

"Not that I know of," she responded.

Guerrero asked her: "I'd like to know why you didn't disclose the fact that there was a triple murder here?"

"I didn't know," she responded. "I had no idea. I'm saying I never heard of it, honestly."

In Kentucky, like in many states, a realtor is not required to disclose if a murder or suicide took place in a home they are selling.

A house we visited in Westfield, New Jersey, is known as "The Watcher" house.

It made headlines across the country after an anonymous letter was sent to the homeowners in 2015 with a chilling message: "I am The Watcher and have been in control of the house for the better part of two decades now. My grandfather watched the house in the 1920s and my father watched it in the 1960s. It is now my time."

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RELATED: Infamous serial killer Winston Moseley:

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Infamous serial killer Winston Moseley/Kitty Genovese murder
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Infamous serial killer Winston Moseley/Kitty Genovese murder
UNITED STATES - MARCH 21: Winston Moseley in police custody after surrendering to an FBI agent in a Buffalo suburb, ending 74 hours of freedom., (Photo by John Duprey/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MARCH 21: Winston Moseley in police custody after surrendering to an FBI agent in a Buffalo suburb, ending 74 hours of freedom., (Photo by John Duprey/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MARCH 21: Winston Moseley in police custody after surrendering to an FBI agent in a Buffalo suburb, ending 74 hours of freedom., (Photo by John Duprey/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MARCH 20: Winston Moseley arrives at Queens Criminal Court. (Photo by Tom Gallagher/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
William Genovese (in wheelchair), and Vincent (background with hand in air) brothers of Kitty Genovese, leaving Brooklyn Federal Courthouse showed yo at court to confront their sister's killer. (Photo By: Andrew Savulich/NY Daily News via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JULY 24: Catherine 'Kitty' Genovese Hearing at Brooklyn Federal Court - Attorney Sidney Sparrow, the lawyer in the conflict-of-interest question speaks to press. (Photo by Susan Watts/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MARCH 08: View of scene looking across the street where on March 13, 1964, Catherine 'Kitty' Genovese was murdered at 82-70 Austin St., Kew Garden, Queens, New York. (Photo by Dennis Caruso/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
Vincent Genovese, brother of Kitty Genovese, with press outside Brooklyn Federal Courthouse. (Photo By: Andrew Savulich/NY Daily News via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MARCH 13: Studio photo of Catherine 'Kitty' Genovese, 28. Lips closed and no help was offered when Kitty was knifed on Austin Street in Kew Gardens, in a crime that disgraced New York City. (Photo by NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
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In New Jersey, brokers are not required to disclose if a murder took place in a house that's for sale. Nor are they obligated to say whether there's a "stigma" associated with a house, like the existence of "The Watcher."

The realtor who showed the home to Inside Edition never brought up "The Watcher."

"Anything else important that we should know about the place?" our producer asked.

"Not that I can recall," said the realtor.

Guerrero later asked: "I'm really interested in knowing why you didn't disclose to me that this house was the target of a notorious stalker."

"I've heard about this Watcher. I never knew this was the house. I honestly never knew that," the realtor said.

Randall Bell, a real estate expert, says regardless of the law, realtors should inform homeowners if they do know about a home's dark past.

"I believe that all brokers and agents should be ethical and I think they should tell the truth," he said, "and telling the truth means you don't conceal things that would obviously be important to a perspective buyer."

If the realtor doesn't tell you about a home's notorious past, you can visit DiedInHouse.com. For a small fee, the website will tell you your house was once a crime scene.

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