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It's 'murderabilia' and, yes, there is a market for serial-killer relics
YOU MIGHT THINK the hair and fingernail clippings stored neatly in Andy Kahan's filing cabinet would have withered to dust, given their biological origins.
Or at least that they'd be burning bright with the fire of eternal damnation, considering their previous owners.
Instead, they sit there, looking as worthless as something swept off the bathroom floor.
But Kahan paid good money for them. Once attached to some of the world's most notorious killers, the clippings are a creepy collectible, part of a "murderabilia" market that has flourished online as the public's passion for all things true-crime has grown.
On sites like murderauction. com and ghoulslikeus.com, shoppers can buy or bid on autographs, artwork, personal effects and other artifacts connected to killers of all kind.
Is High Fence Hunting a Good Thing for Sportsmen?
Many hunters say they would never go after confined game. They call it "canned hunting" no matter how big the enclosure is and say it threatens the foundations of the sport. But those who pursue game at the estimated 1,000 high-fence operations across the country (there is no national regulatory system, so getting an exact number is impossible), and many who don't, say it's a choice left to the individual. The size of the enclosure, and the type of terrain inside, they feel, determines what is fair chase and what isn't.
The operators of these high-fence hunting ranches say they are simply filling a demand for hunting opportunities in a world where public lands are swamped with hunters, wild big-game animals are taken long before they reach maturity, and complex regulations have killed the heart of the traditional experience. In a society where a lot of hunters are pinched for time, flush with cash, and eager for a very large trophy, such a business can be very successful.
But critics, including many victims' families, say no one should profit from their pain.
"Like it or not, there's a small group of people out there that idolize serial killers," said Kahan, the Houston victims' advocate who coined the term "murderabilia" and amassed his own collection to aid his crusade against it. "But from my perspective, you shouldn't be able to rob, rape and murder, and then turn around and make a buck off it."
Kahan, who will present a murderabilia workshop Tuesday at the National Organization for Victim Assistance conference in Center City, has worked for two decades to persuade lawmakers to forbid the sale of murderabilia. Eight states, including New Jersey, outlaw such vending, but a federal bill introduced last year went nowhere.
The HSUS Applauds Introduction of Federal Bill to Combat Captive Hunts
The Humane Society of the United States commends U.S. Reps. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., and Brad Sherman, D-Calif., for introducing legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives that cracks down on the inhumane and unsportsmanlike practice of shooting exotic animals penned inside fences. The Sportsmanship in Hunting Act of 2011, H.R. 2210, would prohibit the interstate transport of exotic (non-native) mammals for the purpose of killing them for trophies or entertainment in fenced areas smaller than 1,000 acres
As Criminal Laws Proliferate, More Are Ensnared
The U.S. Constitution mentions three federal crimes by citizens: treason, piracy and counterfeiting. By the turn of the 20th century, the number of criminal statutes numbered in the dozens. Today, there are an estimated 4,500 crimes in federal statutes, according to a 2008 study by retired Louisiana State University law professor John Baker.
There are also thousands of regulations that carry criminal penalties. Some laws are so complex, scholars debate whether they represent one offense, or scores of offenses.
As federal criminal statutes have ballooned, it has become increasingly easy for Americans to end up on the wrong side of the law. Many of the new federal laws also set a lower bar for conviction than in the past: Prosecutors don't necessarily need to show that the defendant had criminal intent.
Originally posted by FortAnthem
In neither of the cases I outlined above does anybody get defrauded of their money. They know what they are paying for and they agree to shell out their hard earned bucks to satisfy their needs. Some people find their behavior sickening but, is that really such a good reason to outlaw what they are doing? They say hunting penned animals is inhumane but, how is that any different from what we do to our domestic cattle? At least the penned animals were allowed to run around somewhat freely while they did live. Do people really think that buying murderabilia will drive someone to become a serial killer?
Originally posted by Tsurugi
Yep. When I look at this question from a "morally neutral" standpoint, what I see is that people are gonna do stuff they wanna do.