JFK killer's coffin up for sale
Published 02/12/2010 | 08:45
A ghoulish piece of American history is now up for sale to the highest bidder.
The modest wooden coffin in which John F Kennedy's assassin was buried for 18 years is being auctioned off by Allen Baumgardner, owner of Baumgardner Funeral Home in Fort Worth, Texas.
The brown pine box, its rusted metal ornamentation still intact, was dug up in 1981 as part of an effort to put to rest theories that Lee Harvey Oswald was not in it.
Authorities used dental records to conclude the remains did indeed belong to the man who shot the president to death in 1963.
The body was then reburied at Rose Hill Memorial Cemetery in Fort Worth.
"We placed Lee in a new casket, and I just brought that one back to the funeral home," Mr Baumgardner said. "I've had it all these years."
Mr Baumgardner said he was selling the coffin, along with the original embalming equipment and paperwork, because he felt it was time to do something with it.
"I'm 68 years old, I think this would be a good time to go ahead and see if anybody is interested in it," he said.
Bidding, which opened at 1,000 US dollars (£640) on Tuesday, was expected to go as high as 100,000 US dollars (£64,012) by the time it closes on December 16, said Laura Yntema, manager of Nate D. Sanders Auctions of Santa Monica, which is handling the sale. Bids are being taken by phone and online.
An early version of Oswald's death certificate, in which the cause of death was listed as being shot by Jack Ruby (identified by his real name, Jack Rubenstein), was being auctioned separately. Ms Yntema said it is expected to fetch as much as 20,000 US dollars (£ 12,802).