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Shrines and Victim Walls - Real or Not?

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  • Shrines and Victim Walls - Real or Not?

    Last night I was watching an episode of CSI and at one point the team burst into a suspect's flat.. and found a room where the walls were covered in hundreds of pictures of the victims.

    This is a common sort of scene in movies and tv dramas. The murderer has a shrine to his victim, or a room full of mementos and pictures, or (the most common, I think) a wall covered in candid photos of the victim/s (or potential victims).

    Sometimes there are maps and bits of string going out to photos.

    Or newspaper clippings of their own crimes - that seems a popular variation.

    I am sure you know what I am referring to here.

    But has this ever actually happened in real life?

    Do real serial killers create shrines like this? Have police ever really found a "wall of victims" in a suspect's house?

    Or is it just a Hollywood trope?

  • #2
    Alexander Pichuskin had a custom chessboard where every time he killed someone he filled in one of the squares with the victims name and the date of the murder. When he was arrested 63 out of the 64 squares on it had been filled with a murder.

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    • #3
      I don't know about the photo walls, but I have heard that many serial killers keep "souvenirs" from each victim, pieces of jewelry or clothing, for example.
      Pat D. https://forum.casebook.org/core/imag...rt/reading.gif
      ---------------
      Von Konigswald: Jack the Ripper plays shuffleboard. -- Happy Birthday, Wanda June by Kurt Vonnegut, c.1970.
      ---------------

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Pcdunn View Post
        I don't know about the photo walls, but I have heard that many serial killers keep "souvenirs" from each victim, pieces of jewelry or clothing, for example.
        This. Mainstream TV is not going to show what serial killers really keep as momentos from their crimes. Otherwise it would not be mainstream. The dramtic devices used are more of a nod to the fact that post-mortem fascniation is part of their rituals. The strings to suerveilance photos and maps thing is a police tool. Even 'organised' serial killers do not do this. They might keep photos, but they wont be anything a normal person would ever wish to see. The associated clothing and jewellery are a sensory reminder of their crimes, and allows them to re-live them for the purposes of "enjoyment" at their lesiure. Some even go their victims funerals to get the added excitement. The crime scenes themselves are often places the killer will return to "enjoy himself". It is not unusual for them keep body parts for the same purpose.
        Last edited by erobitha; 04-17-2021, 06:20 AM.
        "When the legend becomes fact... print the legend"
        - The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)

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        • #5
          BTK kept souvenirs. They were hidden away.

          c.d.

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          • #6
            Re the fascination with the victim, a local police force captured a suspected killer by keeping surveillance on him long enough that he finally went to a remote area where the woman's body was eventually discovered by "cadaver dogs" and searchers (some time later).
            Murderers can't be trusted to leave things well alone, at least in some cases.
            Pat D. https://forum.casebook.org/core/imag...rt/reading.gif
            ---------------
            Von Konigswald: Jack the Ripper plays shuffleboard. -- Happy Birthday, Wanda June by Kurt Vonnegut, c.1970.
            ---------------

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            • #7
              Don't the Police normally recover these kind of souvenirs in the backs of cupboards and in drawers at some point after someone has been arrested?
              Best Regards,

              Tristan

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              • #8
                Thank you, I knew I could count on you guys to have some interesting cases to go check out.

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