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Outrage Over the Sale of Lee Harvey Oswald's Casket

3 years 10 months 2 weeks ago Saturday, January 31 2015 Jan 31, 2015 January 31, 2015 10:53 AM January 31, 2015 in News
Source: New York Times
By: Elizabeth Lawrence

Austin, Texas - A Texas judged ruled on Friday that the Fort Worth funeral home had to return $87,000 over the sale of Lee Harvey Oswald's casket. The coffin, the judge believes, belongs not to the funeral home, but to Oswald's brother.

Judge Cosby of the District Court in Fort Worth found that the Baumgardener Funeral Home and its owner were engaged in "wrongful and malicious conduct". They attempted to hide the existence of the coffin from Lee Oswald's older brother, Robert, by putting it up for action years later. Robert Oswald sued to reclaim the casket after learning that a local Los Angeles auction had sold it to an anonymous bidder in 2010. The sale was halted after Robert filed suit, and the old coffin has been living in storage at the auction house since.

The coffin in question was used to burry Lee Harvey Oswald after he had assassinated President John F. Kennedy in 1963. The body was exhumed in 1981 to dispel rumors that a Soviet spy had been buried instead of Oswald. During this time, it was learned that coffin had badly deteriorated, and so Oswald was reburied in a new casket. The original coffin was then taken to the Fort Worth funeral home.

In addition to returning the casket to Robert, the funeral home has been ordered to pay him the sale price, which totals over $87,000. This fine does not include storage fees to the auction house and shipping expenses. Robert Oswald, now 80 years old, had thought the coffin was destroyed in 1981, and has now expressed an interest to see it properly laid to rest.


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