Recently it was announced that Charles Manson’s well covered marriage to Afton Elaine Burton is being called off. The reason? She wanted to display his body after his death. This conflicts directly with Manson’s belief that he is immortal, so yeah. Ms. Burton almost to be Burton-Manson isn’t the first person to try to capitalize on the infamous. There is a whole industry dedicated to making money off of murderous psychopaths. Try to keep close as we delve into the scary world of serial killer profiteers.
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Its call “Murderabillia”
Yes, it even has a cutesy name that plays off memorabilia. It takes a gross lack of scruples to sell things that remind people of death and tragedy. Of course in less ethical annuls of business a rule states, if there’s a market for it someone’s gonna sell it. It does give you the heeby-jeebies but really are your heeby-jeebies worth a few thousand dollars?
Who Buys this Shit?
According to an understandably anonymous source, (could you even photograph someone without a soul?) which is a “murderabilia” seller, he sells to law enforcement, educators and women that have fallen in love. I swear, women in love with serial killers, is definitely a sick, nausea inducing thing. I mean like the intro says a woman (a relatively attractive 30 year old woman at that) wants to marry an 80 year old murderer. Just saying the world always manages to up the ante when it comes to WTF.
Of Course People Oppose It
Families and friends of people that have been victimized by these violent individuals feel that the trade in serial killer, rapists’ or criminals’ items is horrific. They also believe that it can re-victimize the people that were touched by such inhuman violence. There are groups that visit various exhibits purchase items and then in direct protest destroy it. Sometimes they even burn it in the street.
Morbid Artifacts Fetch Big Ugly Bucks
Holler, owner of a website that is dedicated to selling “murderabilia”, says that he has someone that made a whopping $80.000 one year. Since 2001, when eBay disallowed true crime collectable, two primary websites have emerged, our friend Holler sources his artifacts from actual inmates he has met, his competitor insists on obtaining his “murd-chendise” from other collectors.
It’s Becoming Mainstream? Really?
Due to shows like CSI, Dexter, Hannibal and others that preoccupy themselves with similar subject matter, the market for these cloying collectibles has been expanding.
The Opposition is Growing Too
Kahan, a major opponent of profiting from true crime collectables, managed to pass a law in Texas that does not allow murders to profit from their story or image. He is currently working on restricting direct payments to inmates for their belongings and art.
The Only People that Don’t Profit are the People that Were Hurt
As despicable and disgusting as this trade is, the truth is that these killers became famous because of their inhuman actions. The people that got hurt or even lost their lives are now having their families victimized by the memory of those violent acts. Their murders are being venerated, and people are profiting off of that veneration. I don’t think that’s ethical or moral that as the owners of the website’s say: they don’t break laws doing it. There are unwritten societal rules that human beings should follow, not because of altruism but because if they were in those people’s shoes they wouldn’t want their loved one’s murderer profiting off of their death-dealing. Call it karma or just cyclical logic.
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