PENNSYLVANIA: Murderabilia — a craze that pillages the coffers of human decency. It’s the phenomenon of collecting and selling items related to murders, murderers or other violent crimes. 23-year old Paul Duffy is one of many lining his pockets from the industry.“There’s a big underground market for it,” he says.
His Facebook page is called “Wholesale Murder.” He boasts of having pencil drawings by Philadelphia sex strangler Harrison Marty Graham and Charles Manson’s official prison ID from Cocoran State Prison that he says is well sought after. So far, Duffy has not sold Manson’s ID because he has grown a personal attachment to it. Or maybe he’s holding out for a bigger payday.
What can you hope to find among the collectibles? Virtually anything once owned by mass murderers or serial killers such as vehicles and houses. Weapons used in crimes and clothing worn during the crimes are in high demand.
Sound offensive? Indeed. Duffy’s murderabilia business is not without opposition. Efforts are underway to shut down his Facebook site.
And that’s not all. The industry has caught the attention of lawmakers. In 2005, a serial killer’s artwork was sold online in Massachusetts prompting state lawmakers to block the activity, setting off a debate on free speech rights of prisoners.
In 2010 lawmakers introduced a bill in Congress called “Stop the Sale of Murderabilia to Protect the Dignity of Crime Victims Act of 2010.” Eric Gein, owner of murderabilia website Serial Killers Ink, is an outspoken opponent of the bill and has enlisted the help of the ACLU to expose it as an anti-civil liberties bill.
Are persons offended by the idea of this industry sickened by profiteers who make personal gain from it? I certainly am. But are there any redeeming reasons to sell off the stuff of murderers? Perhaps. Consider this:
In June 2011, the United States Government auctioned off personal items belonging to Ted Kaczynski found in his Montana cabin when he was apprehended in 1996. The proceeds went to victims and victims’ families of Kaczynski’s crimes.
(Sources, CBS, Wikipedia) (Photo Credit: Unknown)
- Chester County Man Collects And Sells Items From Murders On Internet (philadelphia.cbslocal.com)