This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.
This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.
Who'll Cough Up Cash for Kennedy Killer's Coffin?
Collectors can get pretty obsessed with John F. Kennedy memorabilia and authentic items found at auction. However, one item connected to the life--and death--of JFK is a little more "ghoulish" than others, according to an AP report published by NPR. It's a "rotting wooden box, with its rust-coated metal ornamentation," that held the corpse of JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald for 18 years.
The coffin had been "stashed in a storage room of the Baumgardner Funeral Home in Fort Worth, Texas," after it was dug up in 1981 to quell rumors that Oswald was not actually buried in it. Now the grim piece of an even more grim episode in our nation's history is here in the Los Angeles area, and will be sold to the highest bidder; funeral home owner Allen Baumgardner has consigned the coffin for sale by Nate D. Sanders Auctions of Santa Monica.
Bidding got underway earlier this week at $1,000, but "auction manager Laura Yntema expects it could go as high as $100,000 by the time the online and phone auction closes Dec. 16." Baumgardner says he hopes the winner is someone who is "more interested in history than the coffin's macabre appeal."