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Murderabilia, also known as murderbilia, is a term identifying collectibles related to murders, murderers or other violent crimes, coined by Andy Kahan, director of the Houston Police Department's Crime Victims Office.
Buyers typically seek collectibles that are either artifacts used or owned by murderers and items (often artwork) created by them. According to crime writer Leigh Lundin, buyers may be interested in the macabre, but many believe such artifacts offer power and control.
Virtually anything once owned by mass murderers or serial killers can be marketed, such as vehicles, houses, and especially weapons used in crimes. Clothing is also in high demand, particularly clothes worn during crimes themselves.
Killer art is defined as poetry or artwork created by mass murderers and serial killers while in prison. Often, this process is used as a therapy device, or for further understanding a particularly disturbed psyche, while in other instances it is purely a method of time spanning entertainment for imprisoned individuals. The artists vary dramatically in skill and themes covered.
John Wayne Gacy, Richard Ramirez, Glen Edward Rogers, and Henry Lee Lucas are a few of the better known American serial killer artists. Perry Smith, the mass murderer known from Truman Capote's famous work In Cold Blood, was also a prolific artist.
In May 2001, eBay banned the sale of murderabilia items, forcing the industry underground. One of the more prominent dealers of murderabilia who sold on eBay launched their own web site, Supernaught, the first of its kind dedicated to selling true crime collectibles.
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