Personal Items of Suspected Killer will be Auctioned Off in NC

8:33 AM, Jul 16, 2003   |    comments
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Personal items belonging to a suspected serial killer who died while fleeing from police who wanted to question him about four murders will be auctioned off later this month.

The 100-plus item collection includes a still-sooty purse and a walking stick, among the evidence collected after a black Chevrolet Blazer driven by Fritz Klenner exploded June 3, 1985 on a North Carolina highway.

"It will be absolutely interesting to see who's there," says Max Coleman, a co-auctioneer who owns Action Auctions in Greensboro. "Here you have some things that man had in his hands when the blast went off."

The case gained national notoriety, spawning the best-selling book, "Bitter Blood," and a CBS miniseries starring Harry Hamlin.

Police suspect that Klenner, angered by a custody fight between his cousin, Susie Lynch, and her ex-husband, Tom Lynch, killed Tom Lynch's mother and sister in Kentucky in 1984 and Susie Lynch's parents and grandmother in Winston-Salem in 1985.

Susie Lynch, who was also Klenner's lover, died with Klenner when one of them detonated a bomb inside the truck.

The bodies of Lynch's two young sons were also found at the scene. They had been poisoned and shot before the explosion, according to investigators.

Much of what will be sold later this month was collected by family members who cleaned out Klenner's apartment. The items remained in storage until earlier this summer. Klenner's sister, Gertrude Louise Klenner of South Carolina, and her son Shane Wilkerson offered the items for auction.

The July 26 auction in Reidsville will be a half block from the office where Fritz Klenner's father, Dr. Fred Klenner, operated a clinic.

In 1995, a Greensboro gun dealer auctioned off 29 assault rifles, shotguns and pistols owned by Klenner.

This auction will include two other firearms owned by Klenner, a Colt Cobra .22-caliber pistol and a Robert E. Lee commemorative black powder pistol.

The collection also includes piles of clothes, toys, survival gear, collectible coins and an elementary school essay written by Klenner titled "A Pause That Did Not Refresh."

There's also at least a dozen knives, a gold-colored shaving kit, several ninja suits and Klenner's Confederate battle flag.

Susie wore a size 5, according to a tag on one of her old jumpsuits.

Neither Coleman nor auctioneer Eric Smith, who will preside over the sale, know how the public will respond to the sale

Smith says people can either ignore the auction, or embrace it.

"This," Smith said, "is a part of Reidsville's history, and North Carolina's history."

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