Admittedly, I’m not much of a “collector”. There are few things that I feel necessary to call a collection; in fact, I don’t like a lot of clutter and I find it unnecessary to have a bunch of things that don’t serve much of a functional purpose. This is not to say, of course, that I do not own things that are not used daily – my books, my board games, my vinyl (and yes, I listen to my records on my record player), et al – but trinkets, toys and stuffed animals just don’t do much for me. In fact, I think that memorabilia is that does not serve much of a purpose is where the hoarding begins. In fact, when their children became adults, my parents moved to a smaller home and my brother was drafted to help, as I was living out of state. He found a bin full of late 80s hip-hop magazines; collectables? maybe. I’m not sure that they were worth much of anything to anyone except my Pop.
Collectors often weird me out, especially after this entire
point-and-laugh-at-certain-mental-illness Hoarders revolution. As kids, some people gets stuffed animals or baseball cards and begin collections. Sometimes, it gets extreme.
In reading the “news” this morning, I discovered that there is an entire industry to selling collectible “murderabilia”: items that once belonged to and/or are reminiscent of famous serial killers, mass murderers, rapists, other despicable human beings. In fact, there is a website on which you can purchase items once belonging to the Unabomber, Charles Manson, and the VA Tech Shooter, among others, for a fairly hefty price. They’re apparently worth so much because they once belonged to aforementioned parties. Human beings are so strange. Of course, the owner of the website does not grant interviews to the media; probably a wise idea since he is glamourizing the killers of someone’s family member.
Some of the items on the website, among hundreds, for sale are a bracelet that Charles Manson made in prison ($3,500), a postcard that Jeffrey Dahmer sent from prison ($4,995), Seung-Hui Cho‘s calculator ($3,700), letters that Ted Kaczynski the Unabomber wrote ($695), a manuscript and two paintings by John Wayne Gacy, who raped and killed at least 33 boys and buried many of their bodies in the crawlspace of his home
, goes for $50,000. Seriously?
Apparently, though, aside from the people who might idolize such sick human beings purchasing these items, journalists and other professionals may have some point in purchasing the items. Though, honestly, I have to say that throwing up auctions for thousands of dollars for the fingernail clippings of a convicted rapist isn’t my idea of quality education. Yet, besides this single website, the government even participated in the sale of items belonging to the Unabomber (according to the site, the profits made went to the victims’ families, as Kacczynski owed in restitution). The sick ways in which we consume should be a major concern for everyone, and this is certainly one of the most indecent ways to “celebrate” a person without knowingly doing so. Is the government more justified in their own auction of a multiple/mass murderer’s personal effects as a result of what happens with the profit?
Oftentimes, serial killers keep those trinkets and collectibles to remember their victims by, and I don’t know that they often get rid of those items as a result of their own egos. Yet, speaking of collectibles and human behavior – remember that time the government killed that other killer and made trinkets to sell to the masses?
Yeah, me either. Humans are so strange.