Victim's family appalled by murderer memorabilia sale
Published Saturday, September 17, 2011 6:56PM PDT
The family of one of notorious child murderer Clifford Olson's victims says they can't have closure while the serial killer's memorabilia is available for purchase online.
Olson is serving 11 consecutive life sentences after being convicted in 1982 of killing eight girls and three boys in British Columbia – including Sharon Rosendfeldt's son Daryn.
Even after almost 30 years, Rosendfeldt still gets emotional every time she sees a picture of her slain son, who was 16 years old when he was killed.
Now, she says she's being traumatized all over again – by the American website MurderAuction.com. The site sells various "murderabilia," including a copy of the book Sexual Homicide by John Douglas that is signed by Olson and priced at $299.
"I think it's absolutely disgusting," Rosendfeldt said. "How are things belonging to Clifford Olson, how are they leaving the prison?"
According to the website's owner, William Harder, members of the public correspond with inmates through mail and then post what they collect on the site.
Harder said he doesn't have anything to say to people like Rosendfeldt.
"People are going to buy and sell items. People are going to write books," he said. "I think right and wrong is a subjective issue. This is not wrong."
A spokesperson for the Correctional Service of Canada says it has the right to intercept inmate communication if someone's safety is at risk – but that there's little it can do in cases like this.
Whether Olson is personally making money from the sale is hard to tell, but forensic psychologist Stephen Hart says he is benefitting either way.
"He wants the attention. This feeds into his need," Hart said. "Anyone who buys or sells memorabilia like this should know that they're making somebody who has deep problems even worse."
B.C. Solicitor General Shirley Bond said she has asked her staff to look at any potential ways the province can prevent further memorabilia from making its way online.
"What Clifford Olson did to families in the first place is horrific enough," Bond said. "If there's any benefit derived from [the sale of memorabilia], I think it is incumbent upon us to look at ways that we can prevent that from happening."
With a report from CTV British Columbia's Norma Reid