Austin, Texas – The Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) today joined U.S. Senator John Cornyn to support his federal legislation to crack down on the heinous practice of the sale of “murderabilia,“ items such as letters, hair, art work or crime scene DNA that inmates attempt to sell for profit from behind bars.
“Murderabilia“ is the term used to describe crime memorabilia that violent prisoners produce and sell. To stem the growing murderabilia trade, Senator Cornyn has introduced the Stop the Sale of Murderabilia Act.
“Domestic violence survivors have already been victimized once by their abuser,“ said Gloria A. Terry, TCFV’s CEO. “Crime victims should not be forced to re-live the crime as prisoners profit off the notoriety of their case by selling items to the public. We praise Sen. Cornyn for his leadership supporting victims of crime.“
Internet sites nationwide currently thrive off the sale of murderabilia. Frequently sold items include the artwork, hair, clothing, writings, blood, and even nail-clippings of convicted murders and rapists. Prices of these items vary depending on the notoriety of the prisoner who produced them. A letter signed by the Fort Hood killer Nidal Hasan is currently being marketed for $5,000; a sketch of Osama bin Laden by Lee Boyd Malvo, one of the DC-snipers involved in 23 murders, was offered for $500; a self-portrait of Charles Manson sold for $500; and the rosary of John Wayne Gacy, who killed 33 boys, sold for $3,000.
Terry joined Sen. Cornyn and several local crime victims’ advocacy organizations to announce the “Stop the Sale of Murderabilia Act.“ The bill would prevent prisoners from mailing or having another person mail any object the prisoner intends to be placed in interstate or foreign commerce. Through several provisions, the bill would remove the financial incentive for prisoners to make murderabilia and stop the trade in new murderabilia goods.
Texas Council on Family Violence is a statewide organization representing a network of domestic violence programs that provide direct services to victims and their families, and serves as the voice of victims at the state level while working with local communities to create strategies to prevent family violence. Visit us online at http://www.tcfv.org/.