Pearland TX

Profiting from Murder: A presentation from Crime Stoppers of Houston

John Wayne Gacy is one of the most notorious serial killers in history. He was known for dressing up as “Pogo the Clown” at children’s parties and infamously known for sexually torturing and murdering at least 33 men and boys between 1972 and 1978.

Before Gacy was executed for his crimes 25 years ago, he created thousands of paintings both before and after his imprisonment and for whatever reason that I will never understand–his artwork is a lucrative business.

Andy Kahan, a victims rights advocate for Crime Stoppers of Houston may be murderabilia’s biggest threat. For almost 20 years, Kahan, who also literally coined the term “murderabilia“, has tirelessly worked to outlaw the sale of the controversial artwork.

Kahan travels the country, giving lectures on the subject, pushing for legislation to make it illegal to profit off murder.

He has appeared on national tv shows like “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” “The Nancy Grace Show” and “Good Morning America.”

And, now Kahan wants to share his special presentation with the public on June 12, 2019, 6-7:30 at the Crime Stoppers of Houston building located on 3001 Main Street, Houston, Tx 77002. 

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More about Andy Kahan

Andy Kahan served as the Victim Advocate for the Mayor’s Office and Houston Police Department for 26 years before retiring and joining Crime-Stoppers of Houston to resume his career as a Victim Advocate

37969195_10216858738081268_1060984551360167936_nAndy Kahan received his Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice in 1983 from the University of Houston. He worked as both a Parole and Probation Officer before becoming the first victim advocate in the country to work in a Mayor’s Office. Some of his responsibilities included working with local crime victim’s rights organizations to facilitate the pooling of resources and the exchange of information. In addition, he will accompany and represent victims before the Parole Board. He also put crime victims in touch with local crime victims support and advocacy groups in addition to court accompaniment

 

The Advocate conducts several annual events to assist crime victims:

  • National Day of Remembrance for surviving family members of homicide
  • Unsolved Homicide Day
  • Memorial Holiday Tree Ceremony for homicide victims
  • National Missing Person’s Day
  • National Crime Victims Rights Week

 

Board Member:

  • Parents of Murdered Children & Surviving Family Members of Homicide
  • Texas Equusearch

Since its inception, the Advocate has had great success in working with the Legislature in support of Victims Rights & Public Safety. Mr. Kahan’s advocacy efforts have played a pivotal role in the passage of numerous laws and policy changes, including:

  • 1993: Creating a Capital offense for those who murder a child under the age of six
  • 1993: Reduction in the amount of Parolees released in Harris County.
  • 1995: Abolishment of Mandatory Release of convicted felons.
  • 1995: Promotion of gun safety by making adults criminally responsible for failure to properly store firearms.
  • 1996: Enacted a policy change to allow victims families to witness executions.
  • 1997: “Lori’s Law” Allowing juveniles to be criminally charged with Failure to Stop and Render Aid.
  • 1997: Mandating the Parole Board meet with either the victims or family members before a vote takes place.
  • 1997: Allowing Governmental Agencies the option of providing public information to convicted felons who are incarcerated.
  • 1999: Creation of an enhanced sex offender’s notification to include names, specific numeric address and photographs free of charge.  Direct mailing of the above provided to residents within three blocks of a high- risk offender.
  • 1999: Extended Crime Victims compensation benefits for relocation expenses to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.
  • 2000: Instrumental in bringing Victim Information and Notification Everyday (VINE) to Harris County.
  • 2001: Spearheaded National Campaign to prevent convicted criminals and their agents from profiting from the sale of “Murderabilia”.  Several states as a result enacted the Notoriety for Profit Law.
  • 2001: Extension of Statute of Limitations on Hit-And-Run fatalities from three years to unlimited, as in other cases of homicide.
  • 2003: Extended Parole Set-offs from a maximum of three years to five years for violent offenders.
  • 2005: Changed the cause of death from “Homicide” to Judicial Order on a death certificate of an executed inmate.
  • 2005: Allows for victim notification on cases found not guilty by reason of insanity.
  • 2006: Initiated policy change within the Texas Department of Public Safety to include deported sex offenders on their public database.
  • 2006: Initiated policy change within MySpace to screen death row inmate web pages.
  • 2009: Enhanced Conspiracy to Solicit Capitol Murder to a 1stDegree Felony
  • 2009: Added Conspiracy to Solicit Capitol Murder to the list of offenses eligible for Termination of Parental Rights
  • 2009: Pre-1980 Homicide Cases will now be eligible to receive Crime Victim Compensation Benefits.
  • 2011: Eliminated convicted first degree murderers from being eligible to receive Probation
  • 2011: Mandated the Court to ask Prosecutors before a plea bargain is accepted if the victims/survivors have been notified
  • 2013: ‘Emma’s Law’ which give the Parole Board discretion to set-off all Injury To a Child cases for up to five years upon denying parole
  • 2013: Graphic Crime Scene Photos no longer automatically released to the public upon request unless a stipulated by a Court order
  • 2015: Allowing discretion for the Parole Board not to review offenders convicted of Capital Murder and Aggravated Sexual Assault for up to ten years upon denial of parole
  • 2015: Allowing the Parole Board to impose sex offender conditions on offenders convicted on non-sexual offenses as long as evidence clearly indicates a sexual assault took place.
  • 2018: City ordinance crafted to regulate parolee halfway houses in Houston

 

MEDIA AND PUBLICATION

Andy Kahan in his role as Victim Advocate has received national recognition on Television and News Shows such as:

  • CNN
  • The Oprah Winfrey Show
  • Anderson Cooper Show
  • ABC’s 20/20/Prime Time
  • CBS’s 48 Hours
  • The Today Show
  • Court TV
  • Good Morning America
  • The Nancy Grace Show
  • Fox News
  • MSNBC
  • America’s Most Wanted
  • CBS 60 Minutes
  • Newsweek
  • People Magazine
  • Crime Watch Daily
  • The John Walsh Show
  • A@E Network
  • Discovery ID
  • Netflix : Killer Nurses
  • Time Magazine

 

HONORS AND AWARDS

 

  •  Governor’s Senator Ralph Yarborough Allied Professional Award for Outstanding Leadership by a Service Professional

 

  • Foundation for Improvement of Justice National Award Winner for significant contributions to the field of criminal justice

 

  • National Council of Jewish Women Hannah G. Solomon Award for enacting social change to improve crime victims rights

 

  •  Ronald Wilson Reagan Public Policy Award from the United States Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) for public policy leadership and innovation that benefits crime victims

 

  • National Organization of Parents of Murdered Children Becky Reed Memorial Award for outstanding contributions  on behalf of survivors of homicide

 

  • Recognized by the City of Katy as one of their top Person’s of the Year 2017

 

  • Andy Kahan Day: City of Houston Mayoral Proclamation – May 2018
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