Oswald’s Original Coffin

Sleaze Culture

As I prepare for the Saturday performance of The Magic Bullet Theory, I came across this creepy story in the New York Daily News. The topic: Lee Harvey Oswald’s ORIGINAL coffin.

An auction house in Los Angeles is offering up a rather macabre piece of history — the coffin of JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald.

The pine wood casket, damaged by moisture and age, will start at $1,000 when it goes up for sale on Dec. 16 through Nate D. Sanders Auctions.

“There’s just a lot of interest in Kennedy and anything to do with his assassination,” said auction manager Laura Yntema.

Accompanied by a Letter of Authenticity, it is part of a collection owned by Allen Baumgardner, a funeral director who assisted in the original embalming of Oswald, according to the auction house.

Accused of killing President John F. Kennedy in 1963, the 24-year-old was later shot and killed himself by Jack Ruby as he was being escorted out of a Dallas police department.

Buried on Nov. 25, his remains were exhumed nearly 20 years later in 1981 after a legal battle between his brother, Robert, and his widowed wife, Marina, over persistent rumors that a Russian agent had been buried in the coffin and not the assassin.

“The remains in the grave marked as Lee Harvey Oswald are indeed Lee Harvey Oswald,” a member of the team who examined the remains famously said at the time.

Because the original coffin was in such poor condition, he was reburied in Forth Worth, Texas inside a new casket.

Other Oswald items up for sale include the table upon which the infamous “lone gunman” was embalmed, an Easter card bearing his signature, as well as his death certificate and transcripts from an August 1963 interview he gave following his arrest for “disturbance of the peace.”

Yes, Oswald had something to do with the murder of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy but this boggles the mind. Even I who have co-written this play which looks at the assassination at Dealey Plaza from a Dr. Strangelove point of view must ask this auction house: at the end of the day have you no decency?

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