A Texas judge has ruled that the original wood coffin of Lee Harvey Oswald belongs to his brother, and not to the Fort Worth funeral home that had plans to sell it for more than $87,000.
According to the New York Times, Robert Oswald initially thought that the coffin was destroyed in 1981. That year, Lee Harvey Oswald’s body was exhumed, following theories that it was a Soviet agent’s body that may have been in his place. After the rumors were found to be false, it was discovered that the coffin in which Lee Harvey Oswald was in poor condition. Oswald’s body was then put into a new one, while the original was sent to the Baumgardner Funeral Home in Fort Worth.
In a related report from the Inquisitr, Allen Baumgardner, the owner of the funeral home, was there the day Lee Harvey Oswald’s body was exhumed. After years of not being able to sell it, he found a buyer in 2010, who had purchased it for $87,468 through the Nate D. Sanders auction house in Los Angeles.
Robert Oswald initially purchased the coffin for $300 in 1963. Once he discovered that the funeral home had plans to sell it, he filed a lawsuit, saying that he is the rightful owner. The lawsuit prevented the sale to be finalized.
— 11-22-1963 (@11221963) January 31, 2015
— Cult of Weird (@cultofweird) December 11, 2014
Along with receiving the original coffin, Robert Oswald will also receive $87,468 from the funeral home for damages. Oswald’s attorney, Gant Grimes, noted that he will most likely dispose of it in some way.
“He thought the thing was destroyed in 1981.”
In addition to having to pay Lee Harvey Oswald’s brother the sale amount for damages, the funeral home was also ordered to pay the auction house $10,771 in storage fees, $611 in travel expenses, and $215 per month for any additional fees.
Judge Donald J. Cosby mentioned that the reason the funeral home did not reveal that they still had Lee Harvey Oswald’s coffin is because Baumgardner saw it as a financial benefit for him.
Baumgardner’s lawyer, Brett Meyers, told Reuters that after the exhumation in 1981, Lee Harvey Oswald’s original coffin was left at the funeral home.
“Nobody claimed it, it was abandoned property.”
Meyers added that he wasn’t too fond of the judge’s description of his client.
“In my mind, they did not act maliciously. They’re not those kind of people.”
[Image via FrontPage Magazine]