Convicted killers get away with selling "murderabilia" - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Convicted killers get away with producing and selling "murderabilia"

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Jodi Arias Jodi Arias
PHOENIX -

Should convicted killers be able to profit from their crimes?  More than 40 states have laws that say no.

They're known as "Son of Sam" laws, named after an infamous New York serial killer who tried to sell a book from prison.

Arizona has a Son of Sam law, and has some people asking how one of our state's most infamous killers, Jodi Arias, is still able to sell her artwork from behind bars.

You might call it killer artwork and there's a lot of this out there from a lot of different people.

Two pictures by Jodi Arias are for sale right now on a web site created just for her.  Jodi has been marketing and selling her artwork since very early in her trial, back when she was just an accused killer, but now she's a convicted killer and a lot of people are wondering how she's still able to do this.

It's not artwork that you would find in any gallery, most of it looks like creepy, adolescent doodling, but why would anybody pay $3,200 for this?

Because of the signature of the artist.  It's a picture drawn by serial killer Richard Ramirez, known as the night stalker -- posted on SuperNaught.com -- a clearing house for this genre of art.

A Charles Manson sketch goes for $3,500, a creepy John Wayne Gacy clown and manuscript: $50,000. 

It's an underground business that's grown to the point that it even has a name: murderabilia.

So maybe it's not that surprising that Arizona's own notorious killer, Jodi Arias, is using her fame or infamy -- to continue to sell her artwork through a web site called JodiArias.com, even though she's now a convicted murderer.

Right now, the site is offering two different drawings for sale.  Sailing at Sunset and Angel, both priced at $1,500.  And Jodi has marketed her art like a business woman over the past few weeks through her twitter account, with tweets like:

"Angel" is now available at http://www.jodiarias.com"

"100 Limited-Edition Prints of "Sailing at Sunset" now available at JodiArias.com."

"If you pre-ordered a limited-edition print of "Sailing At Sunset," shipping has started."

Jodi may have come up with the idea of selling art back when she was in the general jail population.  We met some of her fellow inmates who wanted some sort of Jodi memento.

And since that time, Arias has apparently sold numerous pieces of art for thousands and thousands of dollars.  Is she legally able to do that?

FOX 10 legal analyst Brian Foster looked into Arizona's Son of Sam law.  It reads in part:
"Every contract... written or oral... with an accused with respect to the reenactment, description or depiction of a crime... live entertainment or expression of thoughts, feelings, opinions or emotions is contrary to public policy...."

Do the pictures of sailboats, celebrities and random women Jodi is selling fit that description?

"I think she is pushing the law as far as she can both in her murder trial in her defense and now selling this artwork," said Foster.

"We'd like to put a stop to it, but there is only so much we can do," said Lt. Brandon Jones of the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.

MCSO is in charge of Arias.  She's in his jail, on lock down 23 hours a day, but in that one free hour, she can make phone calls, send out her tweets through a third person and she is also free to send out as much artwork as she likes.

We asked the Sheriff and County Attorney Bill Montgomery about their thoughts on Arias selling artwork.

"Your phone call to us, we've looked into it a little bit deeper and got the County Attorney involved and we were told there was nothing here right now that indicates a violation of the law," said Jones.

So the County Attorney is not going to stop Jodi's online art sales and nobody knows where that money is going or if  Travis Alexander's family can go after it.

The amounts of money involved seeming to surprise even Jodi herself.

Back in May, she stated, "It's interesting... I take pride not in the price tag.. but in the gift itself."

In a world where someone might buy Charles Manson's half eaten burrito for $500 and with Jodi Arias apparently not breaking any law, you can bet she will continue to produce and sell her artwork for years to come.

How do you feel about Jodi selling her artwork?  Leave a comment below or join the conversation on Facebook.com/myfoxphoenix!

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