I just finished watching a documentary about serial killer John Wayne Gacy. My sense of curiosity prompted me to do a Google search to see if Gacy's autographs are available.
Based on my cursory research, there is no shortage of Gacy letters/documents available for purchase.
I must say I'm very conflicted about the selling of serial killers' autographs/memorabilia. It seems like shameless exploitation of the victims.
Anyone want to chime in?
A friend of mine has collected only serial killers for decades. Each to their own I guess and too weird for me but he doesn't get why people collect NBA or WWE etc. He writes to many of them and has a Gacy painting, stuff from Manson and Bundy. Some of it is really valuable and there is a market as there is for Hitler and other stuff.
His argument when people ask why is to say that it's better to remember the bad so you appreciate the good!
I think the major point of criticism is that, at least on the ground level of autograph collecting, there's pretty decidedly an element of fandom and hero worship. People tend to collect what they like or are interested in. Granted, the past few decades have changed the landscape considerably to a heavier focus on financial gain, but at the end of the day it still comes down to catering to someone's admiration for a particular celebrity or other public figure. Given the dubious, if not our right despicable and evil characters involved, I'd say that the harshest judgement isn't entirely unfair.
In the this particular instance, most serial killers fall more on the "pop culture" side of the fence, as opposed to major historical figures of interest. To me, it makes collecting and profiting that much less respectable.
I appreciate your viewpoint and explanation. Makes a lot sense. You are right on the mark when you say "The past few decades have changed the landscape considerably to a heavier focus to financial gain." Excellent point.