I understand the fascination with murderbilia—to a point. John Wayne Gacy’s clown paintings are terrifying, and Charles Manson’s music is unsettling its seductiveness (in an AM gold kind of way); we’re usually drawn to these artifacts because we think they can provide some insight into murderous minds. Obviously, this is unlikely; lots of perfectly harmless and good people create disturbing art (and if Hitler’s watercolors are any indication, we should be on the lookout for the banal, not the unnerving). Still, there is that vain hope that we can understand something about the monsters in our midst by examining their more mundane hobbies and habits, perhaps learn to identify their kind, and maybe keep ourselves safe that way.
Then there are the people who just covet gruesome souvenirs.
Recently, a cauldron that supposedly belonged to notorious serial killer Ed Gein—a cauldron he supposedly used to store the discarded remains of his victims—was advertised at a modest, small-town Wisconsin auction. There is some debate as to whether or not the cauldron actually belonged to Gein—a few people have wondered why such an object wouldn’t have been seized for evidence, and it’s a good question. The backstory sounds plausible enough though—the seller got it from his grandmother, who had purchased it at a Gein estate sale. The seller also says that a former neighbor of Gein’s recognized the cauldron from when he helped police clean up the gore at Gein’s farm. That part sounds a little more suspect—I’m not sure the police would enlist civilians for that kind of job.
Regardless, I’m not so much curious about the authenticity of the cauldron as I am the mindset of a prospective buyer—why would you want such a thing? You can’t even make the (in my opinion, pretty dubious) argument that it has a historical significance (love you Lemmy, but you’ve got a ghoulish hobby). And if it is a fake, who is more perverse—seller or buyer?
The cauldron was set to be auctioned on the 28th—no word on if it sold, or for how much. You can see pictures from the ad below.
Gein’s Wisconsin farmhouse
Via Cult of Weird