eBay-like websites selling Mid-South "murderabilia" - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

eBay-like websites selling Mid-South "murderabilia"

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MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - A handful of websites offer items that once belonged to serial killers for sale online, and now they have set their sights on Mid-South "murderabilia."

Linda Logan believes in an eye for an eye.

"Let me take him out the same way he took my sister out," said Logan.  "Stab, stab, stab, and then decapitate.  He tried to decapitate her head."

She was outraged when she searched for her sister's killer online.  She was led to murderauction.com, an eBay-like site for high profile murder memorabilia. A prison t-shirt worn by Logan's sister's killer was for sale to the highest bidder, alongside memorabilia from hundreds of other cases.

Crime scene and autopsy photos of three boys murdered in West Memphis are available on another site for $50.

"What type of sick individual would want to make a profit off of showing my dead baby?" asked the victim's mother, Pam Hobbs.

Hobbs said she wants to know where the pictures came from.

"I'd say you're a sick individual," she said.  "What are you getting out of this?"

The seller of a letter written by Jessie Misskelley of the West Memphis Three wants $225.  Another seller wants $100 for a collection of Mary Winkler press clippings highlighting gruesome details of a preacher killed by his wife.

"The fact that anyone would want to do that and that there's a marker for anyone to buy, that is a concern to all of us as members of a civilized society," said Shelby County District Attorney Amy Weirich.

So-called "Son of Sam" laws are designed to prohibit criminals from profiting directly from the sale of personal items or stories.  Only a few states that prohibit vendors from selling murder-related material, and there is little survivors can do about it.

Texas, California, Utah, New Jersey, Florida, Alaska, Michigan and Montana are the only states that forbid selling murder memorabilia.  The market is wide open in Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi.

Weirich said the people have the power to change that.

"If it becomes an issue and certainly needs to be addressed legislatively, then we will do that like we do on all issues," said Weirich.

The creators of one popular murder memorabilia site, SerialKillersInk.net, said, "We do sympathize with the families of victims. We're sure they have a tremendous amount of pain to bare, but we make no apologies for our business. We do not solicit anyone. People seek us out with an interest in purchasing true crime memorabilia. If you are offended by what this website has to offer, you simply do not have to visit."

Survivors like Hobbs and Logan want the collectors who pay for these items to remember how much it cost the victims and their families.

"There are victims out there that have to try to live with the tragedy itself, and when somebody is able to get something and then sell it for their own gain, or their own profit, it's sickening," said Hobbs.

Earlier this year, the United States Government auctioned off personal items belonging to the Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski.  The auction took place online and the proceeds went to victims and their families.

 


 

Auctions in this story were pulled from the following websites:

- http://www.serialkillersink.net
- http://www.supernaught.com
- http://www.murderauction.com

Copyright 2011 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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