Toledo man sells items from convicted killer's funeral, burial
Tue, 29 Jul 2014 12:40:53 GMT —
A Toledo man is behind a new online auction of items with a connection to one of the Glass City's most notorious murder cases.
Dan Clay teamed up with the owner of Serial Killers Ink, Eric Holler, to sell a small group of items he collected following the recent passing of Father Gerald Robinson.
Earlier this month, Robinson passed away while serving time for a murder conviction in the stabbing death of Sister Margaret Ann Pahl.
"The entire lot is the picture of Father Robinson, the four ounce vile of dirt [from Robinson's grave], his funeral obit card, and copy of The Blade that details the funeral," Clay said of collection priced at $350.
The picture of Robinson, which NBC24 has decided not to include in this story, shows the Toledo priest in an open casket and wearing what appears to be clerical garments.
NBC 24 reached out to the Diocese of Toledo for comment, specifically on the photograph, as press were barred from publicizing Robinson's funeral. "What's interesting is that it was a closed casket at the funeral," said the diocese's director of communications.
Clay recounted. "I walked up when nobody else was around, I paid my respects and I did snap a picture but it was an open casket."
When asked if the Diocese questioned the authenticity of Clayâ??s photo, communication director Sally Oberski referred only to the entire auction. "Such activity does not deserve a response."
Members of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), which recently objected to Robinson being buried with full priestly honors, also objects to the sale but lay some blame for the auction with local Catholic officials.
"I was horrified that anyone would try to capitalize and make for profit the horrible brutal death of Sister Margaret Ann Pahl...but not for the Toledo Catholic Diocese burying him as a priest in good standing and having a priest's funeral... but not for that happening there would be no opportunity, such like the one that is out there now on the national circuit, of selling father Robinson's memorabilia," Toledo SNAP leader Claudia Vercellotti said.
The operator of website thatâ??s listed Clayâ??s auction items said he's used to criticism of his business but also said he'd be out of a job if people weren't looking to buy what he's selling.
"I have people opposed to what I do and yeah that's what makes this country of ours great. We are able to voice our opinions if we don't like something or don't agree with it. I have the 1st amendment in my side, I'm running a legal," Holler said.