Texas Judge Rules That Funeral Home Engaged In “Wrongful and Wanton and Malicious Conduct” In Trying To Sell Lee Harvey Oswald’s Casket

180px-OswaldinMinsk170px-Lho-133AThere is an interesting ruling by Judge Donald J. Cosby of the District Court in Fort Worth on a curious property claim. Cosby has ordered Allen S. Baumgardner Sr., the owner of Baumgardner Funeral Home to return the coffin that once held the body of Lee Harvey Oswald to his brother, Robert Oswald, 80. Baumgardner was attempting to sell it for roughly $90,000 and was accused of concealing the coffin’s existence from Oswald’s family members. Cosby described that Baumgardner was engaging in “wrongful and wanton and malicious conduct.” It is a bit creepy too. Baumgardner’s slogan is “THERE WHEN YOU NEED US.” Indeed, they often appear in places that you don’t need them . . . like auction houses trying to re-sell the casket of your family member.

170px-Lee_Harvey_Oswald_being_shot_by_Jack_Ruby_as_Oswald_is_being_moved_by_police,_1963After assassinating President John F. Kennedy (and himself being killed by Jack Ruby), Oswald was originally buried in the $300 pine bluff casket on Nov. 22, 1963. His remains were removed from the casket in 1981 in a later investigation to confirm that the body was indeed his body from dental records. He was then buried in a different casket.

Allen S. Baumgardner was accused of some truly dishonest dealing in the matter. The family in 2010 was forced to sue Baumgardner after they learned that the original casket was still in existence and was being sold via an auction house in California. The sale was halted.

What is interesting is that the reports indicate that the coffin was in fact sold to an unidentified buyer for $87,468. That appears to be the damages but it is not clear if that was meant to go to the undisclosed buyer. The reports indicate that it is to go to the brother.

Notably, the brother wants the coffin for only one purpose: to destroy it. That sounds like an excellent idea.

Baumgardner will now have to pay amount equal to the sale price — $87,468 — in damages as well as $10,771 in storage fees to the auction house and $611 in travel expenses (and any additional storage fees at the rate of $215 a month). The funeral home must also pay for transport of the coffin. This is all in addition to its legal fees. That is far more than what Allen S. Baumgardner wanted to get from his despicable effort to hide and sell the coffin.

Of course, there is also the cost of anyone with any sense refusing to do business this the funeral home, which is accused of an act that is tantamount to grave robbing. Baumgardner’s attorney attempted to put a good face on his client’s disgraceful greed. Brett Myers of Dallas said that the Baumgardners “did not act maliciously. They’re not those kind of people.” Well, I am not sure what type of people they are but they are not any people I would want to do business with . . . or ever meet.

You can see the coffin (which is in bad shape) with the New York Times article here.

Source: Washington Post

17 thoughts on “Texas Judge Rules That Funeral Home Engaged In “Wrongful and Wanton and Malicious Conduct” In Trying To Sell Lee Harvey Oswald’s Casket”

  1. Chuck A Burger had a site on S. Florissant in Ferguson too. Chuck Berry never came in there. I used to watch him play music with his band at a park in Berkeley, Mo nearby Ferguson when I was a kid. Jackson Park was the name.

    1. BarkinDog

      I wish that Po Po would come on here now so I could rag his butt our about someone who reeeeaaaaalllllyyyyyy got it buy the Jim Crow Laws and Ignored it and made something of himself and did not care what aaaanyone thought of him even though eeevereyone thought and knew he was aaa prrrreeevert. 😉

  2. happy, Hopefully Barney Fife, Truth Deputy, doesn’t come over here. He thinks the Mafia was too stupid to kill that smart Irishman. I think it was Mafia payback w/ probably CIA complicity.

  3. We told that young fellow who got knocked out by the waitress with a pistol and thrown on the Post Dispatch vending box out by the street that he should not ‘mess with the Edge”. I doubt that he ever came back or even walked or drove by. There was a collection of cops and mob guys in there but they were quite civilized. Yes, 20 to 30 pulled their guns but they all went back to yakking and eating as if nothing happened.
    I will admit that I used to frequent The Edge quite often. I was enamored by some of the women working there and a few women who came in as customers.
    Now, the guy I knew who had something to do with The Southern Cross group was not from this neck of the woods in the city and was in fact from out in the country.
    If you really want to meet some foreign affairs spy types then go to the Hilton Hotel bar in El Tahir Square in Cairo Egypt. They will share some stories if they get a bit drunk. One of those guys yakking with an MI6 guy related some stuff about Lee Harvey Oswald and his activities in life.

    The Edge closed about fifteen years ago. There was nothing like it. Well, maybe the clubs on the East Side back in the 60s. London House East for example. I wonder if Happypappies has been there? Or Blue Note?
    Chuck Berry still plays at Blue Berry Hill in the Loop in U City. Mellow place.

    1. Nick

      I prretty much agree with you on both accounts. 😉

      BarkinDog when I was a College Coed, I used to work at Chuckaburger on N Lindbergh and Chuck Berry used to frequent that place. He always came in for a cup of coffee and left me a dime tip. Isn’t that nice! 😉

  4. I think the Mafia was behind it. But with the connivance of the CIA. They probably got Bobby too. That James Earl Ray guy escaped from a Missouri prison and then had the money to romp around Canada and England and came back to shoot Bobby. There was a group in Missouri called The Southern Cross. They had a part in it. I know for a fact.

  5. Why did the family not carry the casket when the schmuck was in it at his funeral? If they would not carry it then why do they have a claim on it now. This is a matter of casket estoppel. Those who do not carry the relatives casket are estopped to assert a property claim for it as property. The doctrine is similar to estoppel by deed. In this case it was a dirty low rider deed in not carrying Lee’s casket aka coffin.

  6. Wouldn’t the casket belong to whomever paid for it originally? If they provided no definite instructions to destroy the casket after the body was removed from it, couldn’t it be considered abandoned property? Salvaging abandoned property and profiting from the sale of it once the value had appreciated in the market would seem to be a legitimate and legal activity. The verdict on this seems to be more motivated by moral attitudes than law or legal precedent.

    True, this is a grave situation, but it may be worth digging into.

  7. I remember watching footage of the Oswald funeral, sparsely attended by his mother and bride. There were no friends to be pallbearers, so some reporters stepped up and carried the casket.

  8. Why would anyone want a box that some dead guy was in other than to put another dead guy/gal in it?

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