So you spent the better part of Monday morning bashing your head against your computer screen waiting for Ticketmaster to fork over a pair of Rolling Stones tickets only to watch as There were no tickets available that matched your request popped up on your screen.
No worries. If you’re willing to pony up a thousand bucks, we’re sure there’s an enterprising young economics student happy to sell you his or her pair for a cool $800 profit on eBay.
Then again, if you’re that desperate to get your hands on a slice of Montana history, you might just have another opportunity, twisted though it may be.
Last week a federal judge in California ordered the contents of Ted “Unabomber” Kaczynski’s backwoods Lincoln shack put up for auction. Kaczynski’s writings, along with more than 350 of his personal belongings, are to be sold on a yet-to-be-determined Internet auction site in the coming months, with the proceeds earmarked for the victims’ families.
This isn’t the first time a famous killer’s possessions have been offered up for sale. The tradition of selling murderabilia dates at least as far back as the 1950s, when local officials tried to auction off Ed “The Plainfield Butcher” Gein’s Wisconsin farmhouse. (The killer’s “house of horrors” burned to the ground before making it to the auction block.)
In the late 1990s, a Milwaukee judge ordered the belongings of Jeffrey “The Milwaukee Cannibal” Dahmer deeded to the families of Dahmer’s victims and sold at auction. The monies raised were to be considered restitution for the families. (That sale, too, never happened. A Milwaukee civic pride group raised more than $400,000 to buy the items from the victims’ families and incinerate them instead.)
More recently, a Kansas strip-club owner bought convicted serial killer Dennis Rader’s house for $90,000. (A previous bidder who dropped out at $60,000 had reportedly planned to sell the BTK killer’s house “inch by inch” on the Internet.)
And while you won’t find any murderabilia for sale on eBay these days (the online auction house banned the sale of such items in 2001), you can still find ghoulish mementos on MurderAuctions.com, where a get-well card Gein sent to a friend in 1983 had been bid up to $1,700 at press time.
So if you’ve got your eye on Kaczynski’s copy of Axiomatization of the Theory of Relativity or Controlling Knapweed, or maybe just want to brighten up your day by wearing his welding mask, keep an eye out for the upcoming but as-yet-unscheduled auction.
And one day, when your buddy shows up at your apartment sporting a Bigger Bang tour T-shirt, you can glance down at your red Le Watch—the one that once told Kaczynski what time it was—and know that you’re the one wearing a truly one-of-a-kind piece of Montana history.