Perhaps you haven’t heard about the multitudes of fans that revere the “work” of serial murderers. These peeps aren’t much different than rock star groupies, except they must have stronger stomachs.
Through murderabilia websites, auctions, and even Facebook, signed 8″x10″ glossies of serial killers go for hundreds. This is an underworld where anything goes. Groupies pay for fingernail clippings, locks of hair, and even foot scrapings (ew). Graphic crime scene photos of decomposing murder victims and dirt from victims’ graves can be purchased. Even the esteemed Christie’s auction house joined in. They sold Al Capone’s handgun for $110,000 in 2011.
Andy Kahan, a most persistent victims’ advocate from Texas, fought until he got eBay to ban these types of items. No prob, sellers just moved over to Facebook. Kahan isn’t having much luck with the behemoth social media site. Facebook ignored Kahan repeatedly until he proved he wasn’t going away. Finally, Facebook responded and said they were not shutting down the sites. Their defense was freedom of speech.
The Son of Sam law used to make it illegal for murderers to profit from their crimes. In New York alone, the law was invoked 11 times during the years 1977 to 1990. But, what you may not know is how much that law has changed. As of 2001, the Son of Sam law now only requires that crime victims’ families be notified if the murderer of their loved one receives $10,000 or more for selling something related to the crime. Incidentally, David Berkowitz became a born-again Christian in 1987 and said he is now the Son of Hope. Hmmm.
The website serialkillersink.com call themselves the premier true crime collectibles website. They were the first and they remain the biggest. Like a carney freak show, the site promises gasp-worthy ghouls and items that will rock ’n shock your world. You know what? They deliver what they promise. The nav links include a murderzine, interviews with the most depraved members of society, news of the latest creepy killers (are there any other kind?) and, of course, the store. On the ecommerce site you can search by killer name and type of criminal (i.e., cannibals, necrophiliacs, mass shooters, etc.). There’s even a murderer address list — kept current, of course.
Apparently it’s not too hard for Serial Killers Ink to get their hands on the terrible treasures. All they need to do is befriend the incarcerated murderers.
One saving grace is that the stuff from pedophiles doesn’t sell. I guess even macabre voyeurs have morals. Isn’t that comforting?
While Serial Killers Ink is the big kahuna, other websites have sprouted up to get in on the action. These include murderauction.com, darkvomit.com, and supernaught.com. Facebook pages and communities include Supernaught True Crime Collectibles and Memorabilia, Murderabilia, Killers and Madmen, and a closed group called Murderabilia & True Crime Collecting. Please write and tell us if you know of any more.
October is just around the corner. Happy Halloween shopping. Kidding. Don’t shoot.