Judge: Oswald's Casket Belongs to Brother

Funeral home that tried to sell it must pay $87K in damages
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 31, 2015 8:40 AM CST
Judge: Oswald's Casket Belongs to Brother
Reporters were enlisted to act as pall bearers at the interment of Lee Harvey Oswald at the Shannon Rose Hill Cemetery.   (AP Photo/Gene Gordon)

Lee Harvey Oswald's original casket is no longer in limbo. A Texas judge has ruled that it belongs to his brother and not to the funeral home that tried to sell it as death memorabilia. Fort Worth Judge Don Cosby ruled that the Baumgardner Funeral Home acted "maliciously" when it sold the casket at auction a few years ago for about $87,000, reports WFAA. The sale was put on hold, however, when brother Robert Oswald got wind of it and filed a legal challenge. Now the pine coffin will go to Robert, and the funeral home must pay him the $87,000 it nearly made in profit.

The AP provides the back story on the coffin: It was raised in 1981 to settle conspiracy theories that Oswald was, in fact, buried inside it. When tests confirmed he was, his body was reburied in a different coffin because the original had too much water damage. Robert Oswald assumed it had been destroyed until he read about it being put up for sale in 2010. His attorney said yesterday that the coffin will be destroyed as soon as possible. (Reporters were enlisted as pall bearers at Oswald's burial.)

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