Serial Killer Art
Rick Staton was once an art collector. Although, the art he obtained was made by well-known serial killers. The first artwork he began to sell were the John Wayne Gacy. This is the man who sexually assaulted and murdered 33 boys, and Staton showed great interest in selling his art. Prices for Gacy's work would be from $99 to $299, and now that he is dead the value of the art has gone up. Many of the works he would make to sell is Pogo the Clown, Charles Manson with self-portraits of other people, various paintings of the Seven Dwarves, and skulls. The process of how he made his art was explained by Staton. What he did was he would line up several canvases and then paint each one by color. Staton compared this to a factory work. He would paint all the reds on a canvas, then all the blues, and keep on going. Gacy made a lot of painting, and also a lot of money, but he could not do much with the money aside from buying cigarettes and coke. If you thought people were okay with this happening, they were not. The idea of a serial killer profiting so well off of his crime is disgusting. Unfortunately, people began buying his artwork just for the sake of burning it. This is bad because the values for the ones that were not burned went up. This is not the only work that Staton would sell. He would also sell works from Edward Gein, body snatcher and murderer of Bernice Worden and Mary Hogan; Wayne Healy, helped Dean Corrl who killed 28 boys; and Richard Ramirez, the “Night Stalker” who killed 13 people. Eventually Staton said he gave up selling the art, it was an interest that faded out. He claimed that he only did it because he need money in order to buy vintage movie posters. With all this art from serial killers, who would actually want to purchase it? The people who take interest in murderabilia are the ones who buy. Murderabilia is the collection of items that connect to murders or murderers. When it comes to art, paintings are not the only things to be sold. In fact, poems who also made and collected. Despite there being a culture for this, it is not well received. Ebay actually banned any murderabilia from being sold on their site. This resulted in other websites to be made to sell the work, the website for Ed Gein is called Serial Killer Ink. In the state of New York created the “Law of Sam” in order to prevent the criminals to profit off their work. There was complications with the first amendment, yet written carefully, the law would pass. In the end the law stated that if criminal made over $10,000, then the victims would be notified and are able to proceed with a lawsuit to sue the criminal. This actually includes outside sources as well. Any one person making art or film that profits off the crime may not benefit with monetary values. The obsession with serial killers does not just extend to murderabilia, but also there is a musical group called The Crawlspace Brothers who write songs about serial killers. One of their songs is called “Shut Up and Spoon Me.” My initial reaction to this would to assume no one was happy with this, but however there is a cult following for serial killers. I should know this because I just researched about how well John Wayne Gacy's paintings were sold (whether burned or not, people bought it so he profited). The song is extremely graphic, referring to every type of serial killer out there. There is a documentary on murderabilia and the cult following and there was an interview with The Crawlspace Brothers. While watching the film, there were very pleased to talk about the songs that worshiped serial killers such as Gacy. The laws to prevent this make complete sense. No one should be able to profit off the pain of others. Also, the other problem is these guys have a cult following! That is extremely weird and uncomfortable. The fact that Staton was okay to sell the artwork of serial killers just to support his hobby is really disturbing. Art should be practiced and can be therapeutic, but when the killer are able to profit of it, there is a big problem. The fact they profit from their crimes is unfair to the victims who had to suffer so much.