Metchosin 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 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 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)
Drawings from serial killers, a hair sample, a doll featuring human hair and DNA from a Swedish cannibal and a tribal skull. They are part of Weyla and Joshua Roy’s private collection of murderabilia and oddities. (Shalu Mehta/News Staff)
A court document signed by notorious serial killer Ted Bundy. Part of Weyla and Joshua Roy’s private collection. (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)
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)

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.

shalu.mehta@blackpress.ca

Museumserial killer

Just Posted

Dylan Hillis preparing collagen samples from ancient dog bones at the UBC musuem of Anthropology. Photo: Eric Guiry
Ancient ‘woolly dog’ ate mostly fish, new University of Victoria study finds

Study gives researchers better understanding of human-dog relationships on Tsehaht First Nation

Mary Fox’s new book My Life as a Potter is available at bookstores nationwide. (Cole Schisler photo)
My Life as a Potter raises funds for Mary Fox Legacy Project

Acclaimed Vancovuer Island potter’s story raising money for developing artists

L to R - Westshore Towing owner dave LeQuesne and Peninsula Towing owners Meghan and Don Affleck believe the cost of dealing with abandoned vehicles, boats, Rvs and campers is a significant financial burden. (Rick Stiebel/News Staff)
Towing the line: Vancouver Island tow truck operators at a loss with abandoned vehicles

Dealing with derelict boats, RVs, trailers, vehicles adds up to thousands in uncompensated costs

Lyric John-Cliffe and Cory Cliffe sing a traditional Laichkwiltach canoe song by the Campbell River Estuary. Photo by Binny Paul/Campbell River Mirror
Learning the land: restoration and education collide on the Campbell River estuary

Wei Wai Kum First Nation project passing the baton of environmental stewardship to seven generations

Comox Valley Unhoused executive director Sam Franey, right, is pictured at the Comox Valley Art Gallery with Jagmeet Singh, leader of Canada’s New Democratic Party, and Ronna-Rae Leonard, BC NDP candidate for the Courtenay—Comox riding. Scott Stanfield photo
Housing, for the unhoused, by the unhoused

Comox Valley man dedicated to battling homelessness after spending five years on the streets

B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry gives a daily briefing on COVID-19 cases at an almost empty B.C. Legislature press theatre in Victoria, B.C., on March 25, 2020. (Don Craig/B.C. government)
B.C. sees 223 new COVID-19 cases, now 2,009 active

Two new care home outbreaks in Surrey, Burnaby

Conservation officers hope the public can provide information about who shot and left a bull and cow Roosevelt elk near Spruston Road, south of Nanaimo. (Facebook photo)
Pair of Roosevelt elk shot and left in woods south of Nanaimo

Conservation officers hope public can help find who killed the animals near Spruston Road

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

An artists rendering of the proposed Aragon Properties development in Sooke’s town centre shows a friendly, walkable neighbourhood. (Contributed graphic)
Large housing development eyed for Sooke core

Aragon Properties seeks to build 132 housing units

The Capital Regional District spent $1.7 million to restore the Todd Creek Trestle. (Sooke News Mirror)
Todd Creek Trestle restoration completed

Restoration work adds 35 to 50 years to life span of former rail span near Sooke

Bill Kelly, general manager at Crown Isle Resort & Golf Community, has been named executive professional of the year by the PGA of BC. Scott Stanfield photo
Courtenay golf course, general manager earn PGA of BC awards

Crown Isle’s manager, facility honoured by the industry

Dinner shows in the Playbill Dining Room are keeping the Chemainus Theatre going during the pandemic. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Dinner events satisfying for the Chemainus Theatre and patrons

Small groups enjoy entertainment and the food in the Playbill Dining Room

100 Mile Conservation officer Joel Kline gingerly holds an injured but very much alive bald eagle after extracting him from a motorist’s minivan. (Photo submitted)
B.C. driver thought he retrieved a dead bald eagle – until it came to life in his backseat

The driver believed the bird to be dead and not unconscious as it turned out to be

Most Read