A “murderabilia” web site is trying to sell a Santa Claus suit once worn by Kansas serial killer John Robinson for $750, says the Kansas City Star. That and other items reportedly were plucked by a stranger from boxes of his personal effects. “I will go so far as to say that there will not be another chance to grab gems like these,” trumpets the Facebook page of Serial Killers Ink, the handiwork of a Florida man using the pseudonym Eric Gein.
There will be no payday for Robinson from the online auctions, stressed Gein. Robinson's family suspects the belongings were carried away by a salvage hunter at a neighborhood garage sale near the home of Robinson's ex-wife, Nancy. Vendors openly trade such items with little apparent regard for the families of murder victims who stumble upon the online marketplaces. “A small number of people idolize killers like others idolize athletes or rock stars,” said Andy Kahan, a crime victims advocate for the city of Houston. Kahan, who coined the term “murderabilia,” has been fighting the industry since 1999. In some instances, high-profile inmates have provided the goods from their prison cells — for a price or, more commonly, as a free service that further puffs up their inflated egos. “The bottom line is, it's all blood money, pure and simple,” Kahan says.