Web Exclusive: More on Randy Kraft

Unwanted Memorabilia & Myths About Serial Killers

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Kraft Sale
Since Randy Kraft infamously kept souvenirs and photos of his victims, there’s a bizarre irony to his own exploitation on the Web by peddlers of serial-killer memorabilia, who offer his letters and other items on various websites. But the proprietor of one site says the market for Kraft memorabilia is slack: “There is no real interest in Randy Kraft items.” Among them:
·      A 2004 Christmas card, in which Kraft advises his correspondent, “Don’t forget to party a little now and then.” $45
·      A 2005 postcard depicting the Balboa Peninsula, which Kraft inscribed with memories of living there in 1969-70. $40
·      “Randy Kraft authentic hair, clipped in February 1994.” This item apparently was peddled by fellow serial killer Lawrence Bittaker, who cleaned up after a death row barber and traded the cuttings to collectors in exchange for pornography and postage stamps. Kraft stopped talking to him when he found out. “Maybe he overreacted a bit,” Bittaker later told an interviewer.  $75
·      A 2007 Christmaspostcard, with the inscription: “So what’s up? I haven’t heard from you lately, and my last couple of letters are unanswered. Please send a line or two when you can …” $40


Myths About Serial Killers

Your image of serial madmen likely is shaped by made-for-TV movies and true-crime bestsellers. However, FBI experts tell us that most assumptions are wrong.

 Myth                                                                      Reality

All serial killers are dysfunctional loners. Most appear to be normal members of their communities, with homes and families
They’re all white males. Most are men, but there have been Asian-American, black, and Hispanic serial killers.
They roam the country. Most conduct their killings in a “comfort zone” close to home.
They can’t stop themselves from killing. They often stop for periods when involved in family activities or other diversions.
They’re insane. While they tend to suffer from personality disorders, most are legally sane, meaning they understand that what they’re doing is criminal.
They’re evil geniuses. Their intelligence ranges from borderline mentally disabled to above average.
They want to get caught. Most plan more carefully than other criminals, in an effort not to get caught.

 

Illustration by Keith Negley

The related article appeared in the May 2013 issue.

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