EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP, N.J. – Fifty years ago, the motels along the Black Horse Pike attracted families who went crabbing in the waters just outside Atlantic City, or enjoyed some time on the beach.
But over the years, the one-story cinder block structures declined – along with their clientele – to become magnets for drug addicts and prostitutes.
For the last 15 years, local officials have wanted to buy the motels, knock them down and replace them with something more palatable, like condos or offices.
And while those plans have remained stuck in park for years, the discovery behind the motels of the bodies of four prostitutes – at least two of whom had been murdered – could give new impetus to plans to raze the seedy strip.
“Police say they routinely make drug and prostitution arrests at the motels. Neighbors complain that prostitutes wander onto their streets and do their business in parked cars or on the beach in front of their homes.
One woman recalled seeing a naked man running down the middle of the highway, formally known as Route 40, chasing after a prostitute that had stolen his pants with his wallet inside.