A controversial Web site that markets the paraphernalia of some of America's most horrific criminals is selling letters written by the accused killer of 11 women in Ohio that seek companionship and money — and the victims' families want it to stop.
The site, Serialkillersink.net, has posted letters, envelopes and a Christmas card sent by accused serial killer Anthony Sowell, who's awaiting trial in Cuyahoga County, Ohio, on charges of murder, rape, assault and corpse abuse relating to the discovery of the remains of 11 women buried in and around his home, Fox8.com in Cleveland reported.
The letters and card, priced at $200, and the envelopes, priced at $100, were sent by Sowell to employees at the Web site.
Dorothy Pollard, the aunt of murder victim Diane Turner, told Fox8.com: "I think it was a damn shame that he was even permitted to do it and whoever was supplying him with paper, they have no damn conscience and they can't care about nobody because he shouldn't be supplied with anything down there."
One of the letters, selling for $200, reads in part: "I can only get money orders at this time and yes, I can receive pictures. P.S. the 25 dollars is fine. Thank you."
Perhaps just as troubling is a look at Sowell's page on the site, which shows four out of the five of his items "out of stock."
Pollard is adamant about making sure Sowell doesn't receive compensation for his letter.
"No way should he be allowed to receive anything and profit off of anything for all the pain that he has caused," Pollard told Fox8.com.
In one letter, Sowell tells a California woman that he is available to correspond with her.
"So if you need someone to talk to I am here for you," Sowell wrote. "So tell me what do you want to know about me? I know what I want to know about you, what type of woman are you? Do you have a man in your life?"
Sowell has pleaded not guilty to charges of murder, rape, assault and corpse abuse and is being held in the Cuyahoga County jail.
Sowell writes that he is being treated well in the jail. He mentions his ex-wife who died in 1998. He writes that he can receive money orders, but that cash should not be sent.
"I am in need of just about anything. So anything you can do to help me out is a blessing," he writes.
A couple weeks ago, the site had one Sowell letter for sale, and a Christmas card posted for viewing.
The card, with the preprinted message "May every road you travel this season remind you that God's gift of Jesus is with you wherever you go," is signed "Tony Sowell."
The families of the victims are now urging authorities at the Cuyahoga County Jail to prevent Anthony Sowell or the Web site from profiting any further from their misery, Fox8.com.
The Ohio attorney general's office says inmates are not allowed to make money from crimes by selling their stories to book publishers or filmmakers.
Eric Gein, who owns the Los Angeles-based Internet company, says inmates do not get paid for the letters. He says his biggest customers are criminology professors who use the letters and artwork to teach. The site also sells personal items from inmates.
Eight states have banned inmates from sending items to companies for sale, said Andy Kahan, director of Crime Victims Assistance for the mayor's office in Houston. Kahan, who has led a national movement to end the practice of selling inmates' items, says Ohio is not among those states.
"This is the beginning of the merchandising and marketing of Anthony Sowell," he said.
Gein said he has been corresponding with inmates for 15 years and started his business four years ago.
Cuyahoga County Jail warden Kevin McDonough said Sowell has received more mail than most inmates and has received small amounts of money and several small deposits to his jail commissary account.
"A lot want to see his soul," McDonough said. "Many people want to be his friend or pen pal."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.