The PJ Tatler

One Coffin, Slightly Used...

… by Lee Harvey Oswald, that is:

The original casket that Lee Harvey Oswald was buried in days after allegedly assassinating President John F. Kennedy in 1963 is at the center of a trial that began in Fort Worth on Monday. “This is an interesting case; it has historical implications,” said Gant Grimes, attorney for Robert Oswald, Lee Harvey’s brother. “Parts of it are fascinating, but the facts are simple: One party sold what another party owned.”

Turns out that the presidential assassin’s coffin was auctioned off by a funeral parlor in 2010 for $87,000 after it was unclaimed. The casket became, um, available after Oswald’s Russian-born widow, Marina, had his body exhumed in order to make sure it was really his remains inside, and not those of a double. (JFK assassination conspiracy theories die hard.) The gunman, who in turn was assassinated by Jack Ruby on live television, was reburied in the Rose Hill cemetery in Fort Worth, where the location of his grave is kept private to avoid curiosity seekers. But Oswald’s brother, Robert, is suing to get back the casket — which he paid $710 in 1963.  Lawyers on the other side argue that only Marina and her daughters should be entitled to it, as part of Oswald’s estate.

More than half a century after Kennedy’s death, the case still haunts our dreams, and our nightmares.