The bizarre lawsuit over Lee Harvey Oswald’s coffin

Hey, it’s a lawsuit (property rights?) and the New York Times story certainly got my attention.

Today, Kevin Underhill recognized its weirdness in Lowering the Bar (and linked to the Times piece, thank you, Kevin for eliminating one of my tasks), and has some choice comments − to which I respond, “Ditto.”

Who Owns Lee Harvey Oswald’s Coffin? – Lowering the Bar. Here’s the beginning:

At the moment nobody knows, but the New York Times reports that a judge in Fort Worth is stuck deciding this question.

Oswald was exhumed in 1981 to make sure it was really him in there, and after tests confirmed his identity (or did they?) he was reburied in a new coffin. That’s because the original pine coffin was not doing too well after almost 20 years in the ground, as you might have expected. So what does one do with a used coffin? Well, if it’s Lee Harvey Oswald’s coffin and you’re the Baumgardner Funeral Home, you apparently stick it in a closet for another 30 years and then put it up for auction. (The Times has a picture of it sitting in an office near two workers’ desks, and that must have been a very pleasant day for them.)

This super-neat collectible sold in 2010 for $87,468, but Oswald’s brother Robert sued to block the sale. This week a Texas judge heard arguments in the case and is expected to rule later this month.

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