In a case that seems to border on the macabre, the surfacing of two letters on a serial killer memorabilia website purported to have been written by Elisa Baker only adds to what appears to be a horrific and tragic incident. Zahra Baker has been missing for over three weeks and authorities have been quick to note, according to the Charlotte Observer, that the letters not only might not be authentic but, if they prove to be actual letters written by Elisa, might not be of importance to the investigation. In the meantime, as the investigation into the 10-year-old girl’s disappearance uncovers new potential evidence in the case, Eric Gein, owner of website serialkillersink.com, is in the market to make a few dollars off of a couple letters.
Actually, Gein is looking to make a couple thousand dollars off of them. He offered up the letters for $1,250 each.
Eric Gein told the Charlotte Observer that he believes the letters to be authentic. In fact, the “About Us” portion of the website houses the claim: “Our items speak for themselves and we guarantee each and every piece of our stock is 100% authentic and are proven as such.” Material found on the website is also guaranteed to have come directly from the “inmates themselves.”
Gein, who operates out of Jacksonville, Florida, says that he received the letters from Elisa Baker last week. He told the Observer that he started writing Baker shortly after she was first incarcerated on Oct. 10.
Gein made available to AOL News and WCNC-TV, the Observer‘s news partner, copies of the letters.
The letters are written in an angry, frustrated, and somewhat petulant tone. One letter is covered in what appears to be juvenile scribblings, proclaiming “Vamps Rule!” and “Goths Rule.” A small spider figure dangles from a a blue horizontal line.
The writer, who addresses the letters to “My favorite dark person” and “Damien,” claims that she is going “crazy” in jail, that her lawyers won’t let her talk, and that she and her husband, Adam, didn’t “really kill” Zahra Baker. However, she does admit that what her husband, who is Zahra’s father, did “after is kinda horrifying.” She said it made her fear him.
But the writer maintains that Zahra Baker isn’t missing, that the “cops know where she is,” that her husband “knows what happened to Zahra,” and that she shouldn’t have confessed to writing that “stupid note,” the writing of which she also blames on her husband.
The note, a ransom note addressed to Adam Baker’s employer, Mark Coffey, demanded $1 million in exchange for his daughter (but police discovered that no kidnapping had occurred). It was the note’s existence that caused Hickory Police to issue an Amber Alert, which they canceled after Elisa Baker’s confession to writing the note. The investigation immediately became a homicide case and Elisa became a person of interest. She was charged with felony obstruction of justice for interfering in an ongoing police investigation. She was indicted on said charge Monday, the same day authorities confirmed that a prosthetic leg found near a former residence of Elisa Baker’s belonged to the missing girl.
The story of Zahra Baker has sparked international outrage as well as continuous media coverage. A survivor of bone cancer, the child had her leg removed above the knee when she was 5 years old. She moved to the United States with her father in 2008 after he met future wife Elisa Baker online. Former neighbors and relatives reported that Baker mistreated the little girl.
Elisa and her lawyers have disputed charges of abuse. In the letters, Baker says that the media is reporting lies about her and that her relatives have now turned against her.
Although it is arguable that Elisa Baker may have a point when it comes to the more speculative and tabloid-esque of the offerings of the media, what is known about the case is less a matter of conjecture. Even though the Hickory Police and associated law enforcement and recovery officials have remained relatively quiet about details, developments have been reported that, as mentioned, cast a macabre shadow on the investigation.
Cadaver dogs alerted to the scent of human remains at both the Baker residence and on a wood chipper and mulch pile at a property owned by a co-worker of Adam Baker’s. The prosthetic leg was found at an illegal trash “dump.” In that same area, police continue to drain a nearby pond and discovered in a ground search what appears to be a human bone.
The three areas — the Baker residence, the property owned by the co-worker, and the “dump” site — are located in three different counties.
The serial killer memorabilia website, serialkillersink.com, seems to add just a bit more exploitative gruesomeness to Zahra Baker’s already tragic story. Eric Gein, who claims to have been writing murderers and serial killers since the mid-1990s, does not write or operate his site under his real name, possibly for precautionary reasons, given the violent nature of the people with whom he deals (on the inmate side of the business). But it is interesting to note that for his pseudonym, he chose the last name of perhaps the most inspirational serial killer in history, Ed Gein.
Gein, a Wisconsin handyman, robbed graves and committed at least two murders, making clothing, furniture, and even eatery out of the skin and bones of his victims. Ed Gein was the inspiration for the “Psycho” and “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” films, as well as the model for Thomas Harris’ serial killer “Buffalo Bill” in Silence of the Lambs.
“Crime website claims it holds Elisa Baker letters,” CharlotteObserver.com
“Serial Killers Ink,” SerialKillersInk.com