Hasan letter

A letter from Nidal Hasan to a college student that sold on the website Darkvomit.com for $2,000 is seen. Hasan wrote it while he was in the Bell County Jail.

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A letter from convicted Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan sold in an online auction for $2,000 and has prompted U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, to make another attempt to end the sale of items he calls “murderabilia.”

The letter sold on the website Darkvomit.com, which promotes itself as a “True Crime Macabre and Outsider Art Gallery.”

Its listings feature personal items of Charles Manson, a drawing by Richard Ramirez and Ku Klux Klan memorabilia.

Cornyn has attempted to end the sale of items from convicted killers much in the same way many state laws prevent criminals from profiting from their crimes after convicted.

Cornyn introduced similar bills in 2007 and 2010 that failed to garner enough support to pass through the Senate chamber.

He said selling the so-called murderabilia is “incomprehensible and unconscionable.”

Janine Vaccarello, with the National Museum of Crime and Punishment, said many people are fascinated by the possessions or writings of serial killers, mass murderers, rapists and other criminals because their actions run contrary to the morals of a typical person.

“There is a fascination because people are good, most people are good, so they don’t understand why people could do these things,” Vaccarello said.

According to a website entry posted by the website’s owner, Kelly Hutchison, Hasan wrote the letter to a college student who was studying criminology and wanted to know why Hasan had carried out the Fort Hood shooting.

Hasan’s reply encourages the student to continue studying. He also correctly predicts that he will receive a death sentence in his upcoming trial.

Hutchison acquired the letter through a trade, and may have sold it to a person in the United Kingdom. He claimed all proceeds benefited an unspecified charity.

Hasan killed 13 people and wounded more than 30 others in a shooting spree Nov. 5, 2009, at Fort Hood.

Contact Philip Jankowski at philipj@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7553. Follow him on Twitter at KDHcrime.

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