Gacy, Manson, Berkowitz Items On Display
PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. (AP) _ An exhibit and sale of memorabilia from notorious killers including John Wayne Gacy and Charles Manson has outraged some people.
″It’s a total abomination,″ Saul Halpern, Broward County president of Parents of Murdered Children. His 28-year-old son was slain seven years ago; no killer has been arrested.
″Shows like this glorify the kind of people who killed my son,″ he told the Sun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale. ″These people are making money off the pain of others.″
More than a dozen murderers, including Manson, are represented by letters and drawings on display - and for sale - at Collectibles of the Stars.
There are two letters from David Berkowitz, New York’s ″Son of Sam″ serial killer. In one, priced at $250, he tells a friend he’d like a new bowl for his prison cell’s toilet as a Christmas gift.
There are also paintings of clowns that Gacy has done while on death row in Illinois for a series of killings in suburban Chicago. Stephen Koschal, one of the show’s co-organizers, served as the Gacy family’s agent for the paintings for two years; on the backs of some are photos of Gacy holding the works to authenticate them.
It isn’t quality stuff, admits co-organizer Mike Frost.
″If they weren’t signed by Gacy, you couldn’t hang them in the Dumpster,″ he said. ″The same goes for the rest.″
Even so, paintings that sold for $100 two years ago are priced at $800 to $2,000 at the show. Frost expects prices to rise again if Gacy, who killed 33 young men and boys between 1975 and 1978, is executed. Gacy is still appealing his case.
There’s no profit in it for the murderers, said Frost. ″The killers get nothing,″ he said.
That doesn’t satisfy Jay Howell, a Jacksonville lawyer who represents crime victims.
″One of the problems we already have in this society is the celebration of the criminal act, and this makes it worse,″ he said.