Back in January, we told you that Aurora theater shooting survivor Carli Richards had sold one of the birdshot pellets that hit her for $1,650. Now, Richards has sold a second pellet, the last one she had, for the same sum. She says the proceeds have allowed her to begin getting back on her feet after the financial hardship she suffered post-shooting.
See also: Update: Collector Buys Pellet That Hit Aurora Theater Shooting Survivor Carli Richards, published January 23, 2015
Richards sold the pellets on SerialKillersInk.net, a website that specializes in so-called "murderabilia." Among the items for sale on the site are signed photographs of Charles Manson and a Christmas card sent by Ted Bundy. Richards's pellets -- just two of the 22 that hit her as she fled the theater on July 20, 2012 -- were the first items put up for sale on the website by a crime victim, owner Eric Holler told us in January. Holler says he agreed to sell the pellets in order to help Richards; all of the proceeds went to her.
The first pellet was purchased by a Georgia-based forensic consultant named Anthony Meoli. But the identity of the person who bought the second pellet remains a mystery -- at least to Richards. The buyer, she says, would like to remain anonymous.
Whoever it is, Richards wants him or her to know she's grateful. The money generated by the sales has allowed her to pay off bills that had been piling up while she searched for work. Post-traumatic stress disorder has made it difficult for her to keep a job, though she recently started working again, this time as a salesperson at Guitar Center.
While she waits for her first paycheck, Richards says she's been able to make car payments and pay insurance bills that have allowed her to stop her car from being repossessed. She's also paid off her credit card debt, bought groceries and gas, and signed up for a jiu jitsu class, which she hopes will teach her to defend herself from dangerous situations. Already, she says the training is making her feel more empowered and safe.
"After the shooting happened, it was hard for me to see the good in the world," Richards says. "It's nice just to know that people actually do care."Follow me on Twitter @MelanieAsmar or e-mail me at email@example.com
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.