Holy Land USA was built over 50 years ago as a testament to one man's religious beliefs. Since then, it has become a test of faith for many others.
To its founder John Greco, the 17.7 acre parcel of land atop a rocky Waterbury hill was a way to share Christianity with the masses. To the Religious Teachers Filippini, the order of nuns that now own it, it is a memorial and a burden. To the city of Waterbury, it is an enigma. For 16-year-old Chloe Ottman, it was the last place she saw as she was being raped and murdered.
"Nobody could have imagined an event as horrific as the one that happened up there," said Steve Gambini, aide to the Waterbury Mayor, of Ottman's death. "Low-grade annoyances have been on the radar there for a while and police have taken appropriate action. And there are other folks who still take positive interest...some of the more charismatic Hispanic Christians do some Passion services up that way from time to time."