Food & Culture

The Twisted Tales of Seattle

New ‘tourism’ book highlights bizarre, infamous, and obscure historical sites

By Rob Smith September 19, 2023

The site of the former Lester Apartments in Beacon Hill was once the world's largest brothel.

This article originally appeared in the November/December 2023 issue of Seattle Magazine.

You’ll never hear Seattle tourism officials bring this up, but, like it or not, Ted Bundy is part of the fabric of this region. So is the Green River Killer, the suicides of musicians Kurt Cobain and Layne Staley, the murder of Gits singer Mia Zapata, and the ship pilot who crashed into a West Seattle drawbridge back in 1978.

All these and more can be found in an updated edition of the Twisted Tour Guide to Seattle and Puget Sound. The book identifies bizarre narratives rarely profiled in tourism industry directives. As author Marques Vickers says, “Many of the narratives defy believability, yet they are true.”

Also included are gambling haunts, historic scandals, catastrophic disasters, and other local legacies and hidden discoveries. Readers can visit sites and learn about the distinctive stories behind many of these macabre events.

Vickers has published 11 Twisted Tours Guides profiling international urban cities. If you’ve got the stomach for it, paperback editions are available through Amazon, and electronic editions through numerous e-book online sales outlets.

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