Editorial Update: This Auction has now been removed.
When Paddy Power offered odds on Oscar Pistorius’ murder trial with “money back if he walks,” I thought the world couldn’t get any lower. Sadly, I was wrong.
The sunglasses worn by The Fast and the Furious actor Paul Walker on the day of his death have been placed up for auction. This is not an auction by Walker’s family, trying to raise awareness for charitable causes the actor had championed while he was alive. No, this is a seller who raided the crash scene in Santa Clarita where Walker died.
Last year on November 30th, the 40-year-old actor perished alongside his friend Roger Rodas when the car they were traveling in lost control and crashed. According to the auction listing on BidAMI.com, the owner of this “lot” was nearby and “on scene for information and assistance with officers and reporters. Once the site investigation was cleared with car debris hauled away and tape taken down, a responding officer allowed him as well as others back to the public site. The only thing left was a charred ivy brush, minor residual debris, a knocked down pole, and tree.”
The listing continues, “As the consigner walked the scene in disbelief and grief, he found a pair of sunglasses nearby in the ivy. After showing one of the officers, he was waved off. The glasses were dirty so he wrapped them in a handkerchief and put them in his pocket. He also found some residual debris nearby which he kept in memorandum.”
Now forgive me if I’m wrong, but isn’t the collection of these items — including a fire extinguisher (allegedly) used to try and put out the flames while the car blazed — beyond creepy? It takes ambulance-chasing to a whole new level. Whilst I think that is ghoulish and odd, the fact that this seller is now trying to PROFIT from a scene of a tragic death just astounds me. Do people have no level of humanity? No moment where they step back and remember two lives were lost in this accident? That Paul Walker leaves behind a daughter and a grieving family? Do they not deserve to have these items, should they wish to have them?
Walker died on his way back from attending a Reach Out Worldwide charity event, but are the sale of these items going to it? Nope. The site mentions “these auction items are offered with the acknowledgement of Paul Walker’s immeasurable charitable contributions. A portion of the proceeds will benefit.” What exactly does that mean? The lot has attracted three bids so far at a price of $605.
I don’t understand why anyone would bid on these items, but even more so, why someone would scour the scene of a death for memorabilia and then choose to sell it and profit from said-death. That isn’t morose, morbid, or creepy — it is utterly repellent. Shame on the person selling and shame on the site that does so. What’s next, a wheel from Princess Diana’s car crash? A glove from the OJ trial?
Do you agree with me? Has the world gone mad?