SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The story behind one of Sacramento’s most notorious crimes is hitting the big screen in a way you would never expect.
It’s a comedy about the couple inside the home where Dorothea Puente once killed some of her tenants and buried them in the yard.READ MORE: Updates: Strong Winds And Rain Moving Across Sacramento Region
It’s the house where evil once lurked in the form of one of Sacramento’s most notorious serial killers. The unassuming grandmotherly operator of a boarding house drugged and killed some of her tenants in the late 1980s. Seven were found dead and buried in the yard of the quaint-looking Victorian home on F Street.
It’s now home to Tom Williams and Barbara Holmes, a quirky couple with a sharp eye for style and a unique sense of humor.
When Los Angeles filmmaker Nick Coles met the couple, he decided to showcase their easygoing attitude.
The result is “The House is Innocent,” a short documentary where the focus isn’t on the murders.
“It’s really not on what really happened here; it’s about what they’ve done to improve the place,” Coles said.
The 14-minute documentary has already won awards and was recently selected to be showcased at next month’s Sacramento Film and Music Festival.
It chronicles, in comedic form, the journey of transformation of the house on F Street.READ MORE: Storm Forces Cancellation Of Outlaw Music Festival, Willie Nelson Performance In Wheatland
The room where Puente killed her victims is now Tom and Barbara’s master bedroom.
“Not much happens in here,” Tom said.
His sense of humor rings out loud and clear. When you walk down the staircase where Puente dragged her victims into the yard to bury them, you’ll see one of the many signs displayed around the home. Other signs are put up throughout the yard, intended to fight the heinous acts that occurred at the home with humor.
It’s the essence of acceptance.
Even the detective who dug up the first remains in Puente’s yard, John Cabrera, sees it as a turning point.
“This is a house that’s been reborn,” he said. “Yeah, seven people were buried in the yard; yes, this was a house of horrors; but it no longer lingers.”
The pain for many still does linger, and that’s not lost on the couple or the filmmaker. The victims are listed at the end of the documentary.
But the film’s goal is to help turn the page on one of Sacramento’s most infamous homes.MORE NEWS: Ironman California 2021 Triathlon Canceled Due To Safety Concerns Brought On By Powerful Storm
The couple plans to offer tours of the home before the documentary showing on Sept. 12, and donate the money raised to a local homeless charity.