Monthly Archives: December 2013

Murderabilia: When Does a Fascination With Crime Go Too Far?

Objects collected by murderabilia fans can vary from cars and houses to letters from killers like Charles Manson. Pictured, police escort Manson in 1999.


John Schwenk’s computer room at home is covered in a quilt-like pattern of serial killer artwork. Some drawings depict ghoulish skulls, others portray nature and animals.

Schwenk, 46, cares deeply about the quality of the artwork he has been collecting during the past eight years.

“Every [artist] has a different style,” he says. “The art is an expression of the person and who they really are … It amazes me that so many of these people have a real art talent and could have made something of themselves if they hadn’t committed the crimes they did.”

Schwenk is among what experts estimate to be thousands of collectors of “murderabilia,” or items linked to crimes and criminals.

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