Murderabilia: The Scourge of Humanity

Posted: May 16, 2010 by Lazlo in Crime, Op-Ed
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

By Lazlo

I am going to break away from the usual grit, gore, and amusing idiots that you have grown to love and cherish on this site. My offering today concerns a little sideline of real crime that has recently made the news – “Murderabilia”. It’s an international (if you consider Canada, like, a nation) phenomena that is driving some folks bat-shit crazy.

Murderablia is the category of objects that are deemed “collectible” by real crime enthusiasts and other sick fucks like me that appreciate a little insanity in their daily lives. Things like letters, paintings and even toenail clippings from criminals who have achieved infamous notoriety qualify for inclusion. The mainstream media have taken up the klaxon call to have this burgeoning industry in dark merchandise suppressed. They use arguments based on criminals profiting from their crimes, and the pain inflicted on the victims families as planks in their case. I am here to cry BULLSHIT!

Lets get one thing straight right off the bat. I have no interest in owning John Wayne Gacy’s rosary, or Charlie Manson’s shitty art.

Gacy's hand-drawn crawlspace map

I exercise my right as a consumer, and refuse to spend my hard earned money on such ridiculous artifacts. But there are those out there that do, and as long as they don’t fuck around with my extensive collection of hand-crafted aluminum-foil brain-wave protectors, I see no reason why they shouldn’t be allowed to collect their favorite fetish items. It’s American Enterprise at it’s best – the selling of dubious products made or owned (used, touched?) by sick minds to an army of hungry consumers; all for a nominal fee of course.

So whats the buzz? Why the controversy? Because you know there has to be some butt-hurt going on for the pink pantied “journalists” to pick up the story. It seems that the  stir originates around one man in particular, Andy Kahan (Director of the Houston-based Mayor’s Crime Victims Office), the man who coined the word “murderabilia”. He has been on his Texan, fuck-all, high horse relentlessly lobbying to have his particular morality imposed on the nation at large. And it’s working. Kahan has been instrumental in the criminalization of “murderabilia”  trafficking in five states.

Murderers sister's grave dirt

Of course it’s working. There is nothing that Americans like better than to impose their personal norms and mores on to their neighbors. And it is a politicians wet dream to be seen on the side of fighting evil. It’s an easy issue to frame into clear right and wrong sound bites, and after all, we’re just looking out for the victims families, right?

The media has crashed in on the party. These champions of free speech (as long as it is their speech being discussed) and liberal, flag burning civil-liberties, have inexplicably landed  on the side of the enraged masses. To read the articles and “human interest” pieces that are clogging the info-stream on this subject, you would think that this is the greatest evil since Nixon and DDT. I guess their noses are more attuned to the currents of public opinion these days, seeing that they are about to be obsolete, and are desperately trying to make connections with “the common folk” in order to be relevant again. Or could it be that the word “victim” has blinded them to the deeper issues involved here? You know they get instantly wet when the word victim is bandied about.

So lets take a quick look at the two major complaints that are fueling this unreasonable suppression of commerce.

1) The criminals are profiting from their crimes

Yeah - it's the Hilton!

For fucks sake! Do you really buy this? If we are talking about  the big money makers of this macabre market – the Son of Sams and the Boston Stranglers – these guys are doomed to perpetual confinement for the rest of their lives. The very most that they can gain from the sale of their crap is an enlarged commissary account within their prison. Last I checked, there are no Ferraris or Yachts for sale there. And I am pretty fucking sure there are limits to how much a prisoner can buy of the stuff they do have. So whats the issue? That maybe, just maybe, some of that money can find it’s way to the families of these asshats, and perhaps some small solace might be found for the lives that were destroyed that no one considers? You know – the innocent moms and pops of these dickheads. OH GOD! The injustice of it all.

And for those that might see some daylight in their golden years: wouldn’t it be better for all of us if they had a small nest egg to support themselves with, instead of going on the public dole, or using those skills they learned in the big house to make a living? Think it through, beyond the limits of the talking points, and you’ll see how utterly baseless this argument is.

2) It causes the victims and their families pain

These bitches are touchyyyyy!

My retort? –  So fucking what?

It’s harsh, I know. But are we really ready to restrict one mans freedoms so that others in our society don’t get upset? (Shut the fuck up Pelosi!)  In my world, I was taught that we are free to pursue happiness. There was no caveat that stated “unless someones panties might become twisted”. By the time we achieve adulthood, we are expected to understand that there are those who do not believe as we do, who don’t act like we do, and that may even like country music. However much we may disagree with them, however much our delicate sensibilities are offended, they are entitled to pursue those things they find enjoyment in, and someone is entitled to sell it to them, unless there is a direct harm being done.

Do we want to ban books because some whacked Christian group finds them offensive? (Good bye Harry Potter and Dan Brown). Do we really want to restrict access to polyunsaturated fat because we can’t stand seeing fat people? (Good bye Whoppers and fries). The same is true in this instance. So you personally find “murderabilia” offensive. I think you have a fucking ugly dress. I won’t impose my tastes on you, and I damn well expect the same.

I am interested in your thoughts! Please leave a comment, for or against, and lets beat this issue to the bloody pulp it needs to be to make some serious murderablia cash!

Source 1 | Source 2 | Source 3

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  1. thinkgoat says:

    In one of the sources, it states the criminals are not receiving a dime from the sale of these items but it’s been disputed through some correspondence between “auctioneer” and the perp. If so, I can pretty much guarantee the host of the sale is keeping the vast majority of the profit.

    There is a truly sick side to this whole thing – there was an item being “sold”/”auctioned” that came from the crime scene where a guy was drug behind a vehicle, lost their limbs during the ride, his fate pretty much sealed when his head smashed into a culvert. Because you know, that body was flipping around like a fish out of water. (You’ve seen how the cans behind a “just married” car react) Anyway, now that you have a visual, someone went out and got a chunk of the concrete or pavement from where this head exploded and either sold it, or is attempting to sell it. Is that wrong? I don’t know, it’s sick for sure. But there are people who are completely fascinated with owning (and viewing) such macabre material.

    It would be upsetting and disturbing to me if something unspeakable happened to a loved one of mine. And as much as a family attempts to curb the gory details or cell phone photos that spread like wild rumors, there’s no way to really stop it. What a family CAN do is not visit the places featuring those details, photos, etc. Personal accountability and self-censoring. In all actuality, family members do seek this shit out because they too, are fascinated and have a dark wont to “know” and “to see” while throwing a fit this stuff exists.

    What’s amusing about this whole debate is that the same “authorities” who are screaming about this being wrong are the same people who’ve advocated for prisoner rights.

    I frequent the auction sites. There are a couple of items I’d love to own. I’m not talking about Manson’s fingernail clippings or convict’s art – but something that offers a glimpse into the insanity…like hand-written notes regarding their case, etc.

    I realize I was raised in an atmosphere quite different than the majority of people. I cut my teeth on real-life gore and coroner’s photos. I used to sit and attempt to figure out how the whole thing went down. So “murderabilia” isn’t a far-fetched concept for me. As a matter of fact, the whole genre intrigues me.

    Thanks for the stellar write-up, Lazlo. You never disappoint.


  2. Interesting says:

    You use the term “asshat” in this article. I think Wisconsin serial killer Ed Gein did in fact wear someone’s ass as a hat.


  3. crtial_rn says:

    Everytime I see a picture of Charlie Manson, John Wayne Gacy, Jeffery Dahmer, the list goes on I get so disgisted, so angry for what these human beings have done to other human beings I almost want to retch.

    What Manson did to the young people in his clan as far as brain washing them and convincing these idiots to go and perpetrate these hideous crimes. I think we have all learned to almost tolerate it when we ready about someone being stabbed and dying, however, being stabbed repeatedly is overkill, no pun intended. Do I want to own a picture or map drawn by Tattoohead? No, I personally don’t think it would fit into my decor but this world is filled with a vast amount of different people. Without all the differences, we would be staring at people just like us. How much fun can that be? I would be bored to death.

    John Wayne Gacy, all I can say is thank you. I now refuse and have a very valid reason to not own nor allow anything that resembles a clown in my house.

    Jeffery Dahmer is another story altogether. While what he did to another human makes one want to vomit in their mouth, technically we do things like this on a daily basis. Cannibalism happens in some third world countries and we except that as their custom. We slaughter cows, pigs, lambs, deer, squirrels, rabbits oh, my list could go on and on yet that is legal. Yes, their are groups like PETA and other animal rights activists that try and stop the killing of “poor defenseless animals”, hello, God gave them certain talents/gifts/weapons of their own to fight against the other animals (including man). I’m definately not saying that what Dahmer did is excuseable but it’s not that far from what happens on a day to day basis. It’s just a different venue with different players.

    With all that being said. Like I mentioned earlier, I wouldn’t have any of the shit that these slugs may be selling so they can buy a pack of gum in the commissary, I do believe that they have the right to sell their, murderablia. Everyday we listen to different music and some of them hay have driven drunk and killed someone,molested a child, robbed a gas station, murder/accidently kill someone, yet we buy their music concert tickets, etc. So what’s the difference, geography, voyerism, idol-worship.

    In Exodus 20:2-3, it says, “I am the LORD your God …..You shall have no other gods before me.” Basically worship no one else but the Lord, God our saviour. There are alot of people that worship the musicians, artists, speakers, actors/actresses, oh I could go on and on. If there are people out there that want to worship these people that morally may have sinned and legally did a vile and criminal act, then let them. We can sit here and judge them, but the ultimate judge is bigger than all of us and will decide their fate at a later date.



  4. deadmyron says:

    I think there is a morbid curiosity imprinted in each of us. I see it in children when they squash a bug, or see a dead animal. It is up to the parents to instill a sense of disgust into their children, regarding what is and isn’t appropriate.

    When I was a young teen, I witnessed a train/car collision. The driver had pulled up on the tracks and stopped and the train plowed into him. The police pulled up and questioned me about what I saw. I was proud I could play a part. I never saw the body, but on the walkway of the train was the rear view mirror of the car with blood spatter on it. I managed to sneak it home and proudly showed my mother, whom to my surprise, promptly blew a fucking mainspring! I mean, I didn’t expect her to hang it up on the fridge, or anything; but Jesus, she yelled at me for an hour. I kept the mirror. Hey, I’m a sick fuck.

    Murderabilia can only exist if there is a market for such things, which is evident in Lazlo’s article. It is an individual’s choice whether to embrace it as a hobby. However, it is a constitutional right to allow it to exist. Everyone has an opinion…good or bad…and the most interesting casuistic conversations are born in controversy.

    Would I purchase this shit? Nope. But not because I am not curious. Spiritually, I believe that evil things retain their evil. Believe me, I can sit here all night on Strangeland and Rotten, but I can turn it off and it is no longer in my presence. I would definitely peruse someone else’s collection. One man’s spirituality is another man’s superstition.

    As far as it exists as a business. Great. Fine. One very important reason for its existence is purely sociological. It could well fizzle out in a couple of years. It could always stay about the same, but (and this is my hope), it could burgeon beyond anyone’s imagination. I’d like to imagine a world where during the commercials on Family Guy, fucking Gilbert Gottfried screams that for a limited time, you can buy an original replica of Susan Atkins’ asshole, coated in 15 Mg of .995% gold for only $45! That’s what I want.


  5. thinkgoat says:

    Coincidence? LOL There are several Gein articles for sale – one item that’s a must for every outdoor bbq grilling fanatic – an apron that has a picture of Gein on the front and says, “The Original Wisconsin Cannibal” (which shows there’s a bunch of junk being sold with these idiot’s name and face on them – but there’s always a certificate of authenticity included on the good stuff)


  6. thinkgoat says:

    Deadmyron, I’d purchase Adkins’ asshole for $45, poke a candle in it and set the fucker on my mantle. I’d need to know if it took the 8″ or 14″ diameter candles though.


  7. Krammmer says:

    Where the fuck have I been? This shit is great. Hell yes I would buy or steal some of this crap and show it off just like I do with my other collections. I am a little excited to make some extra cash now if I can buy a little Manson hair. I would glue that shit on my pubes like hair extensions dude and flip that shit out and brag to every one. Come on honey just touch it. I am going to get fingered like nobodys business.


  8. I’m honestly not sure how I feel about this. I don’t have an issue with them making their art, but I think it sends a dangerous message to let them sell it. Let’s face it — people aren’t buying this stuff because of any talent the creators posess — they are buying it based on the crimes they committed. It helps portray these killers as counter-cultural icons, rather than the loons and lowlifes they really are.

    As for the pain it causes the families, I think that’s a valid point. It’s easy to be snide towards their feelings when you’re on the outside looking in. But if it was your daughter or loved one’s death that a person was making money off of, your opinion may change.

    I saw an episode of LOCKUP: San Quentin where they talked about confiscating Charles Man’s art to keep others from selling it. I just thought I’d throw that in there.


  9. Lazlo says:


    I am not being snide. I am being blunt. Why should anyones emotional reaction dictate what I am allowed to do? These people have the option to ignore what is going on; indeed, they have to seek out examples of of this “outrage” in order to be incensed.

    And I don’t think anyone is raising these guys to Icon status by buying their paraphernalia. Buyers are just interested in physical artifacts – much in the same way that we are interested in the stories. Should novelists not be able to write about these horrible crimes? I mean, they are making money from the tragedy – and run a much greater chance of making these guys cult heroes.

    When we start to legislate based on emotion, or someones feelings, we have literally left the path of reason. To curtail someones right to commerce based on “unreasonable” arguments is, to me, an abomination.

    I have yet to see an argument against this activity based firmly on reason, nor do I think I will. It’s bleeding heart sensitivity that is driving this, and that is never based on logic.


  10. horbaby says:

    it gives me a sick feeling but whatever floats your boat. i think there are more important things to be legislating.


  11. thinkgoat says:

    Okay, I watched this ridiculous attempt to play on someone’s emotions. One resorts to this tactic when they’ve nothing else to stand upon.

    The white lady who’s clearly too emotional to speak coherently on TV actually went looking on Ebay for items. And I’m telling you, this shit doesn’t just “pop up”…you have to look for it. Another thing that made me want to punch the screen – I find it highly hypocritical of these people who willingly slap their name to some “nationally accredited” collection of murderabilia and it’s applauded but when a normal citizen expresses the same curiosity, they’re pointed out as being the next baby killer.

    Here, have a look: Take a gander at some of the items they have on display: Bundy’s car, OJ’s suit. Now how in the fuck does John Walsh think that makes the victim’s families feel? How is it different? It isn’t. And if the families don’t want to see it, they don’t have to fucking go to the museum, they don’t have to visit the site online, they can continue to be miserable attention whores who are suggesting that others should spend their money on victim’s families therapy. No thanks. We’re heading toward taking care of everyone’s woes as it is.

    I really hope these “victims” don’t reflect on that episode and think they did a good job of pleading their case. They actually made me throw my support to those who are wanting to collect and sell this shit even more.


  12. Jesus f´´ing Christ says:

    DO YOU THING WW2 and WW1 collectibles should be illegal, it is profit from the suffering of millions of people from all over the world. Just because it´s been 70 years it doesn´t mean the it is ok to profit from it, it is even worst, the modern world is the baby of the WW2, cold war was like adolescense jajaj, but we, (the modern world), were born in WW2 and WW1, so…..if you think murder articles should be ilegal, then be real about it!!!!YOU HUMAN BEINGS SHOULD ACCEPTED YOUR SADIST AND SELFFISH NATURE; MAYBE THEN YOU COULD DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT, INSTEAD YOU TRY TO THINK YOU NEED TO BECOME GOOD AND PURE…………to make a difference between the human state and nature,s way is the only sin and abomination that exist in this world, it is the cause of all of our problems,,,,,,humans ignore their nature instead of dealing with it. Well….there is no damnation from me, because I am a human too…..



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