A judge in Texas has ruled that the original coffin of Lee Harvey Oswald, who assassinated President John F. Kennedy, belongs to the assassin’s brother and not to a funeral home that intended to sell it for nearly $90, 000.
According to the New York Times, Robert Oswald had thought that the coffin was destroyed in 1981 when the body was exhumed to dispel theories that the coffin held a Soviet agent’s body instead. In addition to discovering that the rumors were false, investigators found that the coffin 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, Inquisitr said.
Allen Baumgardner, the owner of the funeral home, was unable able to sell the coffin for years, but in 2010 he found a buyer who 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 was the rightful owner. The lawsuit prevented the sale from being finalized, the website said.
Besides the coffin, Robert Oswald will receive $87, 468 from the funeral home for damages. Oswald’s attorney, Gant Grimes, noted that Oswald will most likely dispose of it in some way, saying “He thought the thing was destroyed in 1981.”
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, the website said.
Judge Donald J. Cosby said that the reason the funeral home did not reveal that they still had the coffin is because Baumgardner saw it as a financial benefit
Baumgardner’s lawyer, Brett Meyers, told Reuters that the original coffin was left at the funeral home after the exhumation. “Nobody claimed it, it was abandoned property, ” he said.
Lee Harvey Oswald’s assassination of Kennedy in Dallas, Texas in November 1963 stunned the United States. Oswald was apprehended shortly after the assassination but he was shot dead at Dallas Police Headquarters by nightclub owner Jack Ruby while being transferred to the country jail.
Recent surveys showed that the majority of Americans believe that Oswald had co-conspirators in the murder, Reuters said.
Thousands of books, news articles, TV shows, movies and documentaries have been produced about the events in Dallas, and surveys show a majority of Americans still believe in the conspiracy theories, distrusting official evidence that points to Oswald as the sole killer.