The List Mansion Murder – Bill List

In 1984, the List Mansion in Seabrook, Texas, became the center of a chilling murder story. This tale involves Bill List, a 57-year-old businessman with a dark past, and a grotesque murder that shook the foundations of the local community. This blog post delves into the intricate details of the case, exploring the life of Bill List, the architecture of his infamous mansion, and the events leading up to the murder.

Bill List: A Controversial Figure

  • Background and Character: Bill List was known for his success in business but also for his abrasive personality. A native of Ohio, he had a troubling history as a sex offender, with a conviction in 1959 for molesting teenage boys. List’s sexual preferences were complex and disturbing, involving elements of sadomasochism. His time in prison revealed deep-seated issues, as he confessed to recognizing his homosexuality at a young age.
  • Post-Prison Life: After his parole in 1962, List relocated to Texas, where he thrived during the oil boom of the 1970s. His wealth from the trailer manufacturing business enabled him to construct a lavish mansion, a symbol of his success but also a reflection of his troubled psyche.

The Mansion at 3300 Todville Road

  • Architectural Marvel or Monstrosity: Bill List’s mansion was a 34,000-square-foot structure that stood out in its middle-class neighborhood. Its design was extravagant, featuring a reflecting pond, an atrium, and luxurious amenities like a ballroom and a Jacuzzi. However, the mansion’s aesthetic drew mixed reactions, with some describing it as hideous and prison-like.
  • A Reflection of List’s Personality: The mansion’s interior was equally controversial. Despite its size and potential for luxury, the decor was likened to a “contemporary Holiday Inn.” The presence of a steam table in the dining room and the location of the electric circuit box in the living room were peculiar choices that mirrored List’s unconventional and troubled mind.

The Dark Side of the Mansion

Bill List’s mansion was not just a home; it was a den of illicit activities and a prison for those he lured into his world. The mansion’s opulence masked the sinister happenings within its walls, leading to a series of events that culminated in a horrific crime.

Bill List’s Predatory Behavior

  • Cruising for Victims: List’s sexual desires led him to the lower Westheimer strip in Houston’s Montrose district, where he preyed on young street hustlers. His method was manipulative and sinister, offering shelter and sustenance in exchange for sexual favors. This predatory behavior was a well-known aspect of his life, yet it went unchecked for years.
  • The Mansion as a Prison: For the young men List brought to his mansion, it was a gilded cage. They were provided with everything except their freedom, trapped in a cycle of drug use and sexual exploitation. Rumors even suggested that List may have been responsible for the deaths of some of these boys, adding a layer of fear and mystery to the mansion’s already dark history.

In a similar vein of dark and complex histories, the story of Sharon Holmes, another figure entangled in the web of the city’s underground, echoes the sinister undercurrents that pervaded this era.

The Breakout and Vengeance

  • Rebellion and Destruction: By September 1984, several young men, including Elbert Ervin Homan (Smiley), Jeff Statton, Joey, and Tim, were living in the mansion. Fed up with List’s abuse, they revolted, causing extensive damage to the mansion in a frenzy of anger and desperation. Their actions were a chaotic mix of destruction and defiance, signaling the end of their tolerance for List’s control.
  • The Murder of Bill List: The climax of their rebellion was the murder of Bill List. Armed with List’s shotgun, Smiley waited for the moment to strike. The murder was not just an act of self-defense; it was a statement against the years of abuse and manipulation they had endured. The aftermath of the murder saw the young men fleeing, leaving behind a scene of carnage and a story that would haunt the mansion for years to come.


Was Bill List ever married or did he have any family?

Bill List’s personal life, including marital status and family connections, is not well-documented. The focus of his story has primarily been on his criminal activities and the events surrounding the List Mansion.

What happened to the young men involved in the murder after their arrest?

The specifics of the legal proceedings and the fate of the young men involved in Bill List’s murder are not detailed in the available information. This aspect remains a point of interest and speculation.

Were there any other known victims of Bill List?

While rumors and allegations suggest there might have been other victims, concrete evidence or detailed accounts of additional victims are not available in the public domain.

Did the List Mansion have any historical significance before Bill List owned it?

The List Mansion was built by Bill List himself. Prior to its construction, the land did not hold any notable historical significance.

How did the community react to the murder and the subsequent events?

The community’s reaction was one of shock and disbelief, particularly due to the mansion’s ostentatious presence and the gruesome nature of the crime. It left a lasting impact on the local residents.

Has there been any media coverage or documentaries about the List Mansion murder?

The List Mansion murder has been covered in various local news reports and true crime documentaries, but it hasn’t received widespread national attention like some other high-profile cases.

Are there any books or publications that provide more in-depth details about the case?

As of now, there are no known books or extensive publications dedicated solely to the List Mansion murder. Most information comes from news archives and local historical records.

Final Words

The List Mansion murder is a stark reminder of how wealth and power can mask darker truths. It’s a story that intertwines the complexities of human behavior with the tragic consequences of unchecked criminal activities. This case, though not widely known, holds a significant place in the annals of true crime history.

If you have a fascination for mysteries and notorious crimes, the unsolved Wonderland Murders, which cast a shadow over the glamour of Hollywood, might pique your interest.