Thursday, September 21, 2000

Few bid little for killer's letter

Prosecutor says auction is gruesome and pathetic

By Jane Prendergast
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Dear James: Letters from serial killers aren't worth big bucks. Regards, Donald.

        A letter written by Cincinnati's infamous serial killer/nurse's aide Donald Harvey isn't attracting high bidders on eBay. As the sale wound down Wednesday on the sell-anything Internet Web site, a gossipy chit-chat from the “Angel of Death” was going for $34.89 and drew seven bidders.

Donald Harvey
Donald Harvey
        But some involved in Mr. Harvey's case would say even that's too much.

        Hamilton County Prosecutor Mike Allen, in fact, called the sale gruesome and pathetic.

        Mr. Harvey — in the 1998 letter the seller swears is authentic — writes about his favorite actress, Kim Zimmer, who plays Reva on Guiding Light. Runners-up, he writes: Liz Taylor and Betty White.

        He asks his pen pal, James Sparks, to please send some gossip.

        Mr. Sparks, of Alabama, apparently has a thing for letters from serial killers, known on the site as SKs. With the Harvey letter, he also offers for sale a Polaroid picture of John Wayne Gacy, the Chicago man who dressed as a clown and buried dead boys under his porch.

        Mr. Harvey confessed in 1987 to killing 24 patients at the former Drake Hospital, now Drake Center Inc.

        He also was convicted of nine other killings at a hospital in London, Ky. He is serving three consecutive life sentences.


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