Last month, an LA auction house sold Lee Harvey Oswald's coffin and other embalming items for more than $160,000.
Oswald's brother, Robert Edward Lee Oswald, says he called the auction house and told them that it was not theirs to sell and that he wanted the items, which he claimed were stolen by a Texas funeral home, returned to the family to be destroyed.
Still, Oswald says, the Beverley Hills auction house, Nate D. Sanders, went ahead with the sale. So now Oswald is suing the auction house and the funeral parlor.
According to the lawsuit, first reported by Courthouse News Service, Lee Harvey Oswald's body, which was buried in a “#31 Pine Bluff” casket, was exhumed in 1981 due to all the conspiracy theories that it was not in fact Lee Harvey in the ground but rather the body of a Russian agent.
That theory proved false, but when they unearthed the body from Rose Hill Memorial Park near Forth Worth, Texas, Oswald's family discovered that the casket they had bought had deteriorated. So, they put the body in a new casket and then buried it again.
Robert Edward Lee Oswald says he and his family assumed that the old coffin was destroyed, but little did they know that the folks at the funeral home held onto it.
Fast forward nearly 20 years, when Robert Edward Lee Oswald says he picked up a Texas newspaper in December and read that his famous brother's coffin was up for auction, and that the funeral home had hired Nate D. Sanders to sell it.
Robert Edward Lee Oswald claims he told the funeral home and the auction house his objections to the sale, and that someone at Nate D. Sanders responded by saying the sale was going to happen unless Oswald could prove he owned the coffin.
Oswald says he showed the auction house the original funeral order, which stated that he bought the coffin to begin with, but it didn't seem to matter.
“Notwithstanding, this proof of ownership,” states the lawsuit, Nate D. Sanders “proceeded with the sale in full knowledge of [Oswald's'] claim of ownership.”
The auction house apparently not only sold Lee Harvey's coffin, but also other related items including his death certificate, medical instruments used on the body, and the porcelain embalming table.
No one at Nate D. Sanders auction house was available this morning for comment.