Lee Harvey Oswald's Brother Sues Funeral Home For Selling Oswald's Old Coffin

from the ownership-of-coffins dept

Paul Keating alerts us to a bizarre lawsuit, where the brother of JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald, Robert Edward Lee Oswald, is suing a funeral home and an auction house because they auctioned off an old casket that Lee Harvey Oswald had been buried in for a while. Apparently, back in 1981, due to one round of conspiracy theories that claimed that Lee Harvey Oswald was not actually buried in his grave, the grave site was dug up and Owald was exhumed and proven to be Lee Harvey Oswald again (for the doubters). In doing so, it was discovered that his original coffin had "deteriorated" (they tend to do that), so it was replaced with another one.

Fast forward to December of last year when Robert Edward Lee Oswald discovered that the funeral home was auctioning off the old casket, along with some other items related to the funeral of both Lee Harvey Oswald and his mother. It's not clear how he has any right to claim ownership or some sort of contractual obligation concerning those items, but he's trying. While it's true that he did "buy" the original coffin, it does not appear that he paid for the replacement coffin, which leads to all sorts of interesting "ownership" questions. Do we really continue to "own" a coffin after it's been buried in the ground? And then what if it's been exhumed and replaced? The living Oswald didn't seem to have any issue with the fact that he never got back the original coffin until he found out it was being sold, so perhaps an argument could be made that he "abandoned" it. The whole thing will likely make for an entertaining trial either way, assuming it gets that far.


Reader Comments (rss)

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    Marcus Carab (profile), Jan 25th, 2011 @ 8:07am

    to further complicate things, there is evidence of a second owner behind the fence on the grassy knoll...

     

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    Jon B. (profile), Jan 25th, 2011 @ 8:17am

    This post isn't about tech, but it's about dirt, so there's that

     

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    Joe Bilderberg, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 8:19am

    A moot point

    The whole thing will likely make for an entertaining trial either way, assuming it gets that far.

    Needless to say, the Illuminati will make sure that this case quietly disappears.

     

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    sam, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 8:22am

    this profiteering off a man's dead brother and dead his mother is sick. i hope he wins, they disrespected his wishes that the coffin be destroyed. a coffin he purchased and had full say on what to say with. and yes you own the grave property since it's been firmly established in cases where graveyards were moved or graves dug up and vandalized, or other illegal activities.

     

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      Johnny, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 9:42am

      Re:

      I'd agree with that, this is profiteering by the funeral home. They had no business selling this stuff.

       

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      The Infamous Joe (profile), Jan 25th, 2011 @ 10:34am

      Re:

      Yes, but the man with the dead mother and dead brother doesn't want the items destroyed or the auction stopped, he wants the items given to him as well as the money they've made. He also wants his money back for the burial plot(s). He is also claiming that this has hurt him financially.

      I don't think there are any upstanding citizens in this suit.

       

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Jan 25th, 2011 @ 8:30am

    Uh...

    "Paul Keating alerts us to a bizarre lawsuit, where the brother of JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald"

    Whoa, whoa, whoa, my friend. I'm not so sure you want to write that sentence out quite so definitively....

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 8:37am

    The key point is that they believed the old casket was destroyed by the funeral home at the time of the changeover. As the casket had been paid for, the ownership would have been with the estate. If the funeral home didn't destroy it, they should have returned it or asked for directions as to what to do with it. They did neither, it seems, and just kept it.

    A little sharp reading shows that even this simple story can be poorly presented on TD.

     

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      ethorad (profile), Jan 25th, 2011 @ 8:54am

      Re:

      Agree - the court submission clearly states he bought the coffin and so should retain the ownership of it. The only thing I can think of is when LHO was reburied with a new casket whether his brother signed something to trade coffins.

       

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      The Infamous Joe (profile), Jan 25th, 2011 @ 10:24am

      Re:

      As the casket had been paid for, the ownership would have been with the estate.

      With the fact that the living Oswald didn't pay for the new coffin, this is a win-win for the funeral home. They'll simply dig up the dead Oswald and put him back in his old coffin and sell the "new" one, that presumably they still own.

       

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        David Liu (profile), Jan 25th, 2011 @ 11:01am

        Re: Re:

        IANAL, but isn't digging up bodies illegal without an exhumation order?

         

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        ethorad (profile), Jan 26th, 2011 @ 4:48am

        Re: Re:

        Sounds like a good business idea, digging up and reburying Oswald every few years

         

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        Shay Doyle, Jan 1st, 2013 @ 12:17pm

        Re: Re:

        They can't just go digging up bodies whenever they like. They'd have to get a court order and if the family refuse permission then that's that unless a crime is suspected. Oswalds 1 Undertaker 0

         

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        Shay Doyle, Jan 1st, 2013 @ 12:17pm

        Re: Re:

        They can't just go digging up bodies whenever they like. They'd have to get a court order and if the family refuse permission then that's that unless a crime is suspected. Oswalds 1 Undertaker 0

         

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      Chris Rhodes (profile), Jan 25th, 2011 @ 11:54am

      Re:

      The key point is that they believed the old casket was destroyed by the funeral home at the time of the changeover.

      Discarded items are no longer considered your property (this is why police officers don't need a warrant to go through your trash when it's at the curb).

      If the family were the ones who said "Yeah, toss it" then the funeral home has a good claim on it. If the family said "Where's the old one?" and the funeral home said "Uh, we burnt it." when they really didn't, then not so much.

       

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      Michael, Jan 26th, 2011 @ 5:02am

      Re:

      "The key point is that they believed the old casket was destroyed"

      umm...no.

      The key point is that there are people creepy enough out there that is is worthwhile to auction off a USED COFFIN.
      Apparently, it IS true that you can buy anything on eBay...

       

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    iamtheky (profile), Jan 25th, 2011 @ 8:53am

    Upon exhuming the body "they" determine that the casket is deteriorated and "they" replace it.

    I'll be the skeptic for the other side and think that the funeral parlor misled the plaintiff into believing the casket destroyed with the intent of profiting off the item themselves.

    Think they can just replace and sell off old tombstones or mausoleums, maybe some bonus ashes? If you cant profit off of the momentos that people purchased for their deceased loved ones, whats the point of running a chop shop?

     

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      ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Jan 25th, 2011 @ 9:25am

      Re:

      Upon exhuming the body "they" determine that the casket is deteriorated and "they" replace it.

      There are laws about interring bodies (and re-interring counts,) so it's a fairly objective call.

      As alluded to above, the time to claim your 'property' is sometime in the previous thirty years. This reeks of rent seeking.

       

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    daveruah, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 9:16am

    Sounds like grave robbing to me. I don't think that is legal.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 25th, 2011 @ 9:29am

    Dead and Buried now who owns ya

    Who "owns" Grandpa's gold teeth and Grandma's diamond necklace that are presumably with their bones in their casket?
    For that matter what about great, great, great grandpa's stuff that went to the grave with him?

    Reminds me of Kennewick Man http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kennewick_Man (Who looked amazingly like Patrick Stewart) Where federal government and the Umatilla Indians have spent millions trying to determine the ownership of bones found on public land that are somewhere between 5650 and 9510 years old.

     

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      Marcus Carab (profile), Jan 25th, 2011 @ 12:18pm

      Re: Dead and Buried now who owns ya

      Who looked amazingly like Patrick Stewart)

      Okay wow, yeah... that corpse is clearly the result of some sort of time-travel paradox. Turns out "Time's Arrow" had it almost right...

       

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    Pickle Monger (profile), Jan 25th, 2011 @ 10:52am

    Too much TV?

    Here's something I learned while watching season 1 (the only season I watched) of "Six Feet Under". It is illegal to sell coffins that have been used.

     

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      Jeff Jones (profile), Jan 25th, 2011 @ 11:08am

      Re: Too much TV?

      If it is intended for use.

      If they were selling it as a casket for use in a burial, AND, not disclosing the previously used nature of the casket, then yes, I would imagine that is illegal. Prevents dishonest funeral homes from selling the same caskets over and over.

      Anything can be sold as a "collectible" as long as the item itself is legal.

       

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      Jeff Jones (profile), Jan 25th, 2011 @ 11:10am

      Re: Too much TV?

      And...

      Just because it was on TV does not make it true.

       

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    TheBigH (profile), Jan 26th, 2011 @ 3:35am

    Hmmm...

    This argument between Oswald and the funeral place is going to increase publicity of the auction and potentially boost the price of the coffin. So even if the funeral people have to come to some kind of settlement with Oswald to divvy up the loot, they'll probably still do well out of it.

     

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    Texan, Feb 18th, 2011 @ 7:42am

    JFK-Oswalds casket

    It seems that Oswald's brother believes in the purpose of law and the courts. The honorable thing for a true Texan to do in this situation is to shoot the owner of the funeral home, steal the casket and the other stuff, and then let the courts worry about which nut did all of this. Instead he has chosen to go to the mercy of the courts. If someone sold my brothers casket, their prayers should be asking for a merciful brother as Oswald has.

     

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    joe, Feb 21st, 2011 @ 12:29pm

    lho casket

    Neither get oswald's casket its considered hazardous needed to be destroyed

     

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    identicon
    LBJ Killed JFK (Here's the Proof), Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 7:17pm

    LBJ Killed JFK (Here's the Proof)

    Perhaps, more importantly, Oswald was a mere PATSY.

    The Case Against LBJ (Part 1)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZzEbKxCFBM&feature=related

    The Case Against LBJ (Part 2)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZcecy1btLY&feature=related

    The Case Against LBJ (Part 3)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6BiYVw8ml9c&feature=related

    The LBJ-CIA Assassination of JFK
    http://www.federaljack.com/?p=18969

    Read 1) BLOOD, MONEY & POWER, by Barr McClellan, 2) Maryís Mosaic: Mary Pinchot Meyer & John F. Kennedy and Their Vision for World Peace, and 3) JFK: The CIA, Vietnam, and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy, by L. Fletcher Prouty.

    Did you know, that LBJ would have gone to PRISON, for the murders of 8 people in Texas (including LBJís own SISTER!), at the hand of Mac Wallace, LBJís hired hit-man, had LBJ NOT become President? LBJ wanted DESPERATELY to become President. (Just like Tricky Dick Nixon, who was at Clint Murchisonís house, the night before the Assassination, along with many, many other colorful characters, such as J. Edgar Hoover, and Jack Ruby). TPTB (The Powers That Be) knew that JFK and RFK were trying to get LBJ OFF the í64 ticket! In order for TPTB to reverse all of JFKís actions as President (such as Executive Order 11110) Ė LBJ would HAVE TO BECOME PRESIDENT. The choice was clear Ė the deed would be done in Dallas, but only after they ruled out Chicago, and Tampa). LBJ suggested the Dallas venue. JFK agreed. Jack Ruby owed a favor to Carlos Marcello. Thatís why he was the one who took out the patsy: Oswald.



    FIVE important books on the subject:

    1) Blood, Money & Power, by Barr McClellan
    2) Mary's Mosaic: Mary Pinchot Meyer & John F. Kennedy and their Vision for World Peace, by Peter Janney
    3) JFK: The CIA, Vietnam, and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy, L. Fletcher Prouty
    4) Coup d'Etat in America: The CIA and the Assassination of John F. Kennedy, by Alan J. Weberman and Michael Canfield
    5) Plausible Denial: Was the CIA Involved in the Assassination of JFK? by Mark Lane

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  •  
    identicon
    LBJ Killed JFK (Here's the Proof), Nov 3rd, 2011 @ 7:17pm

    LBJ Killed JFK (Here's the Proof)

    Perhaps, more importantly, Oswald was a mere PATSY.

    The Case Against LBJ (Part 1)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZzEbKxCFBM&feature=related

    The Case Against LBJ (Part 2)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZcecy1btLY&feature=related

    The Case Against LBJ (Part 3)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6BiYVw8ml9c&feature=related

    The LBJ-CIA Assassination of JFK
    http://www.federaljack.com/?p=18969

    Read 1) BLOOD, MONEY & POWER, by Barr McClellan, 2) Maryís Mosaic: Mary Pinchot Meyer & John F. Kennedy and Their Vision for World Peace, and 3) JFK: The CIA, Vietnam, and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy, by L. Fletcher Prouty.

    Did you know, that LBJ would have gone to PRISON, for the murders of 8 people in Texas (including LBJís own SISTER!), at the hand of Mac Wallace, LBJís hired hit-man, had LBJ NOT become President? LBJ wanted DESPERATELY to become President. (Just like Tricky Dick Nixon, who was at Clint Murchisonís house, the night before the Assassination, along with many, many other colorful characters, such as J. Edgar Hoover, and Jack Ruby). TPTB (The Powers That Be) knew that JFK and RFK were trying to get LBJ OFF the í64 ticket! In order for TPTB to reverse all of JFKís actions as President (such as Executive Order 11110) Ė LBJ would HAVE TO BECOME PRESIDENT. The choice was clear Ė the deed would be done in Dallas, but only after they ruled out Chicago, and Tampa). LBJ suggested the Dallas venue. JFK agreed. Jack Ruby owed a favor to Carlos Marcello. Thatís why he was the one who took out the patsy: Oswald.



    FIVE important books on the subject:

    1) Blood, Money & Power, by Barr McClellan
    2) Mary's Mosaic: Mary Pinchot Meyer & John F. Kennedy and their Vision for World Peace, by Peter Janney
    3) JFK: The CIA, Vietnam, and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy, L. Fletcher Prouty
    4) Coup d'Etat in America: The CIA and the Assassination of John F. Kennedy, by Alan J. Weberman and Michael Canfield
    5) Plausible Denial: Was the CIA Involved in the Assassination of JFK? by Mark Lane

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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    Kenny iantorno, Jan 7th, 2012 @ 7:48am

    The family already has the shame of jfks death but the brother dc hould be getting.any and all moneys from a selling of his brothers casket if he bought it in the first place who cares who bought the seco.d one its not the onr in the auction house damn let the past be the past

     

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    identicon
    Angels Independent Family Funerals, Jun 18th, 2012 @ 7:57am

    Lee Harvey Oswalds Coffin.

    Out of respect on any event of this nature once a Deceased has been laid to rest into a coffin that coffin. Repatriation of a Deceased is a common occurance where the coffin is brand new on reciept and in a lot of cases cannot be used in England crematorium so a new coffin is purchased by the family. We offer the original coffin to the family. If they do not want it it is destroyed. The fact of who was originaly in said coffin should not be used as a sale feature or advertising especially without the consent of the original purchaser. I would imagine the Honour of actualy Conducting the Funeral for Mr.Oswalds family has now lost all meaning in the General Public eye.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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