The artwork created by a notorious Canadian killer is being offered for sale on an American website called Murderabilia which promotes criminals as celebrities.
At least half a dozen pieces of artwork produced by cult killer Roch Theriault at the Dorchester Penitentiary in New Brunswick are up for auction on MurderAuction.com.
Items like oil paintings, signed hand prints, pastels and even short poems written and colored by Theriault are up for bid.
Theriault is serving a life sentence after being convicted of brutal murder in 1993. He was the charismatic leader of a tiny religious group near Burnt River, Ontario between 1977 and 1989. Theriault chopped off the hands of one of his concubines and killed his wife by disemboweling her.
The art being auctioned is abstract or contains inoffensive images such as flowers, and dates from October and November 2007. Minimum bids range from US$20 to US$500.
The three-year-old website is one of the earliest to create a specialized marketplace for crime memorabilia, which has generally been banned from mainstream sites such as EBay.
MurderAuction.com founder Tod Bohannon makes no apologies, saying it’s merely a branch of the well-established hobby of collecting celebrity autographs.
Bohannon, 30, began collecting criminals’ signatures at age 13, when he first wrote to notorious prisoners. His large collection now includes a few choice Theriault pieces, as well as some prison memorabilia from Canadian child-murderer Clifford Olsen.
His advice for crime victims who might object to the website? “If my site’s hurting you, just don’t go to it.”
Theriault is still visited regularly by some of his former cult “wives,” who have moved to New Brunswick to be close to him and have borne him more children following conjugal visits.
What do you think of a site like this selling so called artwork created by notorious American and Canadian killers? I think it’s sick and disgusting.