Gun purportedly used by Gary Gilmore listed on murder auction site for $1 million

DEBBIE HUMMEL, Associated Press Writer

July 13, 2006 7:08 PM

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - The gun purportedly used by executed killer Gary Gilmore to commit his crimes is being offered for sale on a murder collectibles auction site for a minimum bid of $1 million.

The owner put the .22-caliber Browning pistol on Wednesday with a description reading: ''The actual pistol used by Gary Gilmore for two murders. Absolute documentation.''

Gilmore was the first person in the country executed after a Supreme Court decision allowed states to restore the death penalty in 1976 after a 10-year moratorium.

He was executed by a Utah firing squad in 1977 for the shooting death two years earlier of a motel clerk. His story was the subject of the Norman Mailer book, ''The Executioner's Song,'' which was later made into a movie of the same name starring Tommy Lee Jones as Gilmore.

After the Gilmore case was closed, authorities returned the pistol to the owner of the Spanish Fork gun store where Gilmore had stolen it.

Dennis Stilson, a bail bondsman in Spanish Fork, said he bought the gun from the store owner in 2002. He wouldn't say how much he paid.

The gun still has a law enforcement evidence tag attached, Stilson said, adding he also has the FBI evidence file for the pistol.

If the gun sells, it's unlikely that Stilson would be able to keep the money.

Under Utah law, the money from such a sale would have to go to the Utah Crime Victims Reparation Fund, said Sharel Reber, an assistant attorney general for Utah.

Stilson, 50, said he wants to sell the gun to raise money to open a youth center.

The auction ends Wednesday. As of Thursday night, there were no bids.


On the Net:

Stilson's Web site:

Murder Auction: murderau/index.php?