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Serial Killer FAQ

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Wondering where to find resources? Trying to find "muderobilia", or ready to sell?  Want to try to contact a serial killer?  Check out this FAQ!  If your question isn't answered here, go to the "contact me" section

RESEARCH
 
 
Q. Where can I find news reports on serial killers, or articles written at the time of their manhunt or arrest?
 
A. Go to your local library and find their database.  They should be able to offer you at least one of three things: computer files of old newspaper articles, microfiche, or actual newspapers and magazines.  Some libraries have several types of computer terminals, where one finds you local newspapers, and the other finds you magazines and newspapers from other cities.  Be sure to check both.  The closer the newspaper publisher was to the actual killer, the more information, in many cases.  If your public library system doesn't have what you want, try the libraries on college campuses.  Though you can't check out books unless you are a student there, they're often open to the public. 
 
 
Q.  Where can I obtain actual magazines and newspapers featuring killers?
 
A. If photocopies and print-outs aren't good enough, actual magazines and newspapers are often available--if you know where to look.  Though eBay banned most serial killer items, many magazines are still available.  Check carefully (using different aliases if necessary and searching both with and without the killer's first name) and often.  Persistance will pay off.  Compare prices, and set a limit of how much you are willing to pay.  Keep in mind that many times, a bidding war will start and the price will skyrocket, and then another copy will be posted.  Decide what it's worth to you. 
Also, if you see one, check estate and garage sales.  Various internet sites may also offer them, but be careful to make sure that the site is legitimate before you send money.
 
 
Q.  Where do I find books with reliable information?  How do I know if an internet site is telling me real facts?
 
A.  Books can often be varified just be reading the back flap with the "about the author" section.  Though some books are written purely for shock value by people who have no clue what they're talking about, often times the author was investigating the case while it unwound, or has some other inside track (Anne Rule, for instance, actually knew Ted Bundy).  Be weary of any book where the killer had imput.  Danny Rolling co-wrote his book and it has some obvious fantasies written as if they were fact.
Websites are even more dangerous when it comes to shock-value writing and misleading information.  If you can't confirm the information with something you've already read, e-mail the webmaster and ask where they got the information.  They should be able to tell you.

Q.  I want to write to a killer, where can I write, and how do I get a response?
 
A. I have a few addresses, but I do not promise that they are current.  Some addresses are very hard to find, but some killers are open about their mailing address and have pretyped letters to send you (don't expect a personal reply from these people, as they get lots of mail).  Some killers are so flooded with mail that you may have to write several times, and even then may not get a reply. 
Be careful with what you say.  Try to think about what type of person the killer is, and what they might want to hear.  You may have to lie a little to bait your hook.  Try asking a question that you feel they may be unable to resist answering.   Many do not want to talk about their crime or trial, and may be more interested in personal correspondence about their current life.  Be up-to-date on what they're doing.  Be friendly, undemanding, and let them you that you know they're busy.
Finally, tell them flat-out that you would not sell their reply letter.  Killers like David Berkowitz used to write many letters until he saw they were for sale.  Letting them know that their letter is just for you may help.
Good luck!
 
PLEASE BE VERY CAREFUL WHEN WRITING TO A SERIAL KILLER. SOME OF THESE PEOPLE COME UP FOR PAROLE, AND SOME HAVE CLOSE FRIENDS OR A SPOUSE ON THE OUTSIDE. YOU MAY WISH TO OBTAIN A PO BOX

COLLECTORS
 
 
Q. I'm looking for serial killer's personal items...Where should I be looking?
 
A. Many of these items are now very hard to find.  Expect to pay in the hundreds for pretty much anything.  A few items, such as articles of clothing that were cut apart, can be bought fairly cheaply (under $50).  Check my links section, as I try to provide links to sites that sell serial killer items, such as autographs, personal possesions, etc.  Note: unless I state otherwise, I have not purchased from the site, and do not vouche for it.  Be careful where you send money.  Make sure your payments are traceable.
Look in my gallery! I may have items for sale!
 
 
Q.  I am looking to sell a serial killer item.  Where can I do so?
 
A.  As you probably know, eBay will no longer let you sell serial killer memerobelia on their site.  Other auction sites are available, but there may not be a very good market there.  Check my links for sites where you can buy, and ask the webmaster there if they are interested in buying it from you.  Some sites sell for many different collectors.  You could also set up your own page to try to sell.  If you don't want to hassle with any of that e-mail me!  I may be interested in buying your item!
 
 
Q.  How much can I get for an item?
 
A.  Unfortunately, an item is only worth as much as someone is willing to pay in the current market.  If you don't feel like you can find a buyer willing to meet your price, try hanging onto the item for a while.  When pricing your item, take the following factors into consideration:
~ Was the killer very famous? Did they ever get on the covers of magazines, etc?
~ Are items concerning that killer rare and hard to find?
~ Is the killer dead, making my item original or limited?
~ Is my item one of a kind, or concerning the killer's person life?
The more of those questions you could answer "yes" to, the more money your item is probably worth.  Take a look around and see what similar items are selling for, and finally, go with your gut instinct!
 
 
Q.  Where can I find collectables such as trading cards, movies, and comic books?
 
A.  Luckily, many of these types of items can still be found on sites like eBay.  Search carefully, using lots of different descriptions and combinations.  Search often.  Persistance will pay off.  Some items, such as the serial killer trading cards, were banned on eBay, but I managed to find them on the sister site, half.com.  Why that was so, I don't know (even the seller was confused).  Decide in advance what you're willing to pay so you don't get caught up in bidding wars that leave you broke.  Trading cards, comics, movies, and magazines are not yet so rare that they're worth taking a serious hit in the wallet for.  Unless you honestly believe that you will never find the item again, don't bid too high.
Some of the movies (though not parole hearings or trial videos) can be found in video stores, though the hole-in-the-wall stores are a better place to look than the big chains.
Try checking by garage sales.  Old magazines are often saved then sold. 
Check the gallery!  I may have some items for sale.
 
 
Q.  How do I know if an item is authentic?
 
A.  I've worried about this a bit myself, as most of my items do not COAs.  If the seller does not offer a COA, there are a few other things to look for such as who distributed the item originally, what proof the seller has of their story about how they obtained the item (for instance, pieces of a prison shirt belonging to Gacy were sold, and the seller had a copy of Gacy's rare stationary, proving that he had contact with the killer, and with the content of the note, that Gacy gave him a shirt).   Letters are often popular items for sellers.  The seller will most likely have the envelope it came in.  Check to see if it was in fact mailed from the prison.  Big sellers or collectors should be able to offer you some references.  Trust your gut.  If in complete doubt, do not buy.
 

 

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