I figured I’d kick this issue off with a bizarre personal story. My buddy and I were driving to work in Carlsbad, California one morning in March 1997 when traffic came to a dead stop. After literally not moving an inch in 15 minutes, all kinds of sirens start screaming by us. Eventually we find a radio station that’s reporting a mass suicide by a cult who’d rented a mansion in Rancho Santa Fe, perhaps the wealthiest suburb of San Diego. What’s more, the house was for sale.
On the list of phone calls you never want to receive as a landlord, reports of a mass suicide in your rental has to be pretty near the top. And when you’re also trying to sell the place? Fuhgeddaboudit.
My buddy and I dashed off a lowball offer to purchase the house before we even set our stuff down when we got to the office. We figured the seller would be desperate (what with the 39 bodies being carted off his property on CNN and all), and I was already planning the most epic Halloween party San Diego had ever seen. Alas, we weren’t the only vultures out there, and the house ended up selling for more than its list price after a pretty heated bidding war.
So I was pretty interested to see that the remaining members of the Heavens Gate cult are still keeping the home fires burning, so to speak. They have their work cut out for them, because the Hale-Bopp comet (the intergalactic Uber their fellow cult members shuffled off their mortal coils to catch) won’t make another appearance until the year 4380.