Ted Bundy to Robert Pickton: B.C. couple houses private ‘murderabilia’ collection

Joshua and Weyla Roy display some of the many letters they have from serial killers like Robert Pickton and Dennis Rader, the BTK killer. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)
Joshua and Weyla Roy have been collecting murderabilia, oddities and wet specimens for years, building up a private collection with the goal of housing them in a museum one day. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)
Joshua and Weyla Roy display some of the many letters they have from serial killers like Robert Pickton and Dennis Rader, the BTK killer. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)
Joshua and Weyla Roy have been collecting murderabilia, oddities and wet specimens for years, building up a private collection with the goal of housing them in a museum one day. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)
A preserved cow eyeball, part of Joshua and Weyla Roy’s collection. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)
A 100-year-old fetus from the Buffalo School of Medicine. It now sits in Weyla and Joshua Roy’s private collection. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)
Joshua and Weyla Roy have been collecting murderabilia, oddities and wet specimens for years, building up a private collection with the goal of housing them in a museum one day. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)
A skeleton Joshua and Weyla Roy acquired after getting a phone call from someone saying they have a skeleton in their closet. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)

Weyla and Joshua Roy’s cedar home is set on a quiet road in Metchosin. They have two dogs, a pet pig and live with their youngest daughter, 14. For the most part, it seems like an average home until you step inside.

Various pieces of art, letters and displays of oddities the couple has been collecting for years, hang on the home’s burgundy walls. They call it their collection of “murderabilia” and have been building the private collection for many years with the goal of opening a museum.

“It started when we went to New Orleans. We ended up going to the Museum of Death and found the world of true crime collecting and oddities,” Joshua said. “We bought the first item in our collection, a rib bone, and it went from there.”

The couple has signed artwork, letters and documents from notorious serial killers such as Ted Bundy, Robert Pickton, Dennis Rader (the “BTK” killer), and the “unabomber” Ted Kaczynski.

Some of the pieces were acquired from other collectors before the killers met their deaths in prison while others are correspondence between the couple and the individual.

“People watch shows about them because they’re safe and can watch this thing that’s scary,” Weyla said. “It’s like watching a horror movie but you’re learning about real people. You get insight into something you wouldn’t in every day life.”

Joshua said a lot of what they collect comes from “the worst of the worst” which is what makes it interesting.

“Why are they bad and creepy?” he said.

Through collecting these items and corresponding with the individuals, the Roys said they’ve been able to learn more about them, with insights – such as penmanship or what they choose to talk about – that are often not found in documentaries or podcasts. They said some come off as very normal, while others don’t.

Their correspondence with Robert Pickton, for example, has been going on for eight years. Pickton knows Joshua is a carpenter and works in construction, so he has sent them plans for a big, new pig farm for when he is released from prison.

The letters feature Pickton’s immaculate handwriting which has been ruled and underlined so everything is in a straight line.

Letters from Rader come with tests for them to pass in the form of homework and deciphering colour codes.

He also creates a seal to add to the letters and gives people he corresponds with a green, yellow or red dot.

The green dot means he will communicate with them while the red dot means they are no longer on speaking terms.

Other individuals have sent them artwork and they’ve commissioned a piece of art as well.

The couple also collects oddities and wet specimens, ranging from human bones to a preserved cow’s eyeball or a 100-year-old fetus their daughter named “Benjamin Button” since he came from a medical school where he taught many students.

In building their collection, they’ve been able to join a world-wide community of murderabilia, true crime and oddities collectors to learn from and trade with. They’ve travelled to many places to meet with other collectors and call themselves mid-range collectors.

Currently, those interested in seeing the “murderabilia” visit their home but the Roy’s dream of opening a museum one day.

They’ve hosted pop-up museums in Vancouver that they said went over well, with many families coming in to examine the items they have and learn about them.

One was planned for Victoria this summer but with the pandemic, they decided to not go ahead with it. Joshua said they might look at opening a pop-up museum in October, depending on how the situation changes.

“We have interactive pop-ups,” Weyla said. “People can pick up the oddities and see them. It’s one thing to look and say ‘wow that’s human femur’ but to pick it up and feel the weight of a bone or turn it from all angles … I sure love the interactivity of it.”

Joshua and Weyla said collecting the items is an “expensive hobby” and they likely won’t gather any more true crime related items because they have mostly everything they want.

They may continue to collect oddities, however, to house in their future museum.


Museumserial killer

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Roly Russell, the predicted MLA for the Boundary Similkameen, and his wife Christine Carlson celebrate on election night. (Contributed)
B.C. Votes 2020: Russell leads as election heads to mail-in counting

Russell is likely to replace incumbent BC Liberal Linda Larson

Students across B.C. vote in a BC NDP majority government. (Student Vote B.C.)
Local students elect a BC NDP majority government

Penticton students elect NDP Toni Boot, with Green’s Ted Shumaker close behind

Incumbent B.C. Liberal Dan Ashton watching results come in on election night. (Contributed)
B.C. Votes 2020: Incumbent Dan Ashton heading towards third term in Penticton

Ashton was first elected to the legislature in 2013

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan celebrates projected majority NDP government, but no deadline for $1,000 deposit

Premier-elect says majority government will allow him to tackle issues across all of B.C.

FILE – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets Premier John Horgan during a press conference at the BC Transit corporate office following an announcement about new investments to improve transit for citizens in the province while in Victoria on Thursday, July 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Trudeau congratulates Horgan on NDP’s election victory in British Columbia

Final count won’t be available for three weeks due to the record number of 525,000 ballots cast by mail

Provincial Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau speaks at Provincial Green Party headquarters at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe in Victoria. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)
VIDEO: Furstenau leads BC Greens to win first riding outside of Vancouver Island

Sonia Furstenau became leader of BC Greens one week before snap election was called

NDP Leader John Horgan elbow bumps NDP candidate Coquitlam-Burke Mountain candidate Fin Donnelly following a seniors round table in Coquitlam, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan, NDP head for majority in B.C. election results

Record number of mail-in ballots may shift results

The Canadian border is pictured at the Peace Arch Canada/USA border crossing in Surrey, B.C. Friday, March 20, 2020. More than 4.6 million people have arrived in Canada since the border closed last March and fewer than one-quarter of them were ordered to quarantine while the rest were deemed “essential” and exempted from quarantining. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Majority of international travellers since March deemed ‘essential’, avoid quarantine

As of Oct. 20, 3.5 million travellers had been deemed essential, and another 1.1 million were considered non-essential

Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam responds to a question during a news conference Friday October 23, 2020 in Ottawa. Canada’s top physician says she fears the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths may increase in the coming weeks as the second wave continues to drive the death toll toward 10,000. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns severe illness likely to rise, trailing spike in COVID-19 cases

Average daily deaths from virus reached 23 over the past seven days, up from six deaths six weeks ago

Voters are saying they felt safe voting in person despite the current pandemic. (Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
Central Okanagan voters talk about their pandemic election experience

Despite an election taking place during COVID-19, residents said they felt safe voting in person

Efforts to replace the aging Rutland Middle School have been put off by another year by the ministry of education. (File photo)
Education ministry won’t replace Central Okanagan school anytime soon

New Westside Secondary top priority for ministry of education

Cole Collingwood casts his mock ballot at Vernon’s Mission Hill Elementary School ahead of the provincial election Oct. 24, 2020. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)
PHOTOS: Okanagan students cast mock election ballots

At Mission Hill Elementary, the election is a chance to learn about the democratic process

Most Read