Lee Harvey Oswald's Brother Fights Sale of His Coffin

It was purchased for $87K decades after body was exhumed
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 9, 2014 10:36 AM CST
Lee Harvey Oswald's Brother Fights Sale of His Coffin
In this Nov. 23, 1963 file photo, Lee Harvey Oswald is led down a corridor of the Dallas police station.   (AP Photo)

In 1981, the body of Lee Harvey Oswald was dug up to ensure that they really were his remains in the casket, a move prompted in part by conspiracy theories over the killing of John F. Kennedy, the AP reports. They were indeed his remains—but the casket of the alleged assassin was falling apart, and it was replaced. Now, Oswald's brother is fighting a funeral home over the casket, which the home tried to sell to an unidentified buyer in 2010 for $87,468. The suit, which headed to trial today, halted that sale as Robert Oswald, now 80, testified via video, WFAA reports. He was the one who purchased the casket in 1963, along with a vault, flowers, and other funeral needs, for $710, he said, adding that "as far as I know, it was sold by a bunch of scoundrels."

Baumgardner Funeral Home, however, argues that the coffin didn't belong to Robert Oswald. "At the time he bought the casket," a lawyer told the judge in Forth Worth, Texas, "he would never see the casket again, and it would remain in the ground forever and ever. Under Texas law, your honor, that's a gift." The funeral home's owner says that the coffin became its property after "nobody claimed it." Only Lee Harvey Oswald's widow, Marina, and his daughters have the right to challenge the matter, the lawyer adds, because they're the beneficiaries of his estate—and they haven't brought a suit. (More Lee Harvey Oswald stories.)

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