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Oswald Coffin, Embalming Table Up For Auction

By Ryan Crowe & Carol Cavazos, CBS 11 News
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(credit: Nate D. Sanders Auctions)

(credit: Nate D. Sanders Auctions)

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – While you may not want any of it,  you can now own some very macabre pieces of local history.

The original coffin that housed the body of Lee Harvey Oswald, along with medical equipment and the table used to embalm his body are going to be auctioned off in Los Angeles later this month.

Los Angeles based dealers Nate D. Sanders Auctions is handling the bidding.  The items will be auctioned off on December 16.

Oswald has long been accused of shooting President John F. Kennedy in Dallas on November 22, 1963.  Oswald was then shot two days later in an infamous prisoner transfer at Dallas Police headquarters at the hand of Dallas bar owner Jack Ruby.

He was buried in the simple wooden coffin at Fort Worth’s Rose Hill Cemetery.  The body was exhumed by his widow and brother in 1981 over a legal dispute.  The initial burial and 1981 exhumation were handled by Miller Funeral Home of Fort Worth.

Baumgardner Funeral Home of Benbrook purchased the assets of Miller Funeral Home, and put the coffin and other items, including the embalming table, up for auction. The Nate D. Sander Auction House of L.A. expects the coffin to fetch as much as $100,000.

“Well, it’s kind of morbid,” said Greg Newton, who lives with his wife Elaine near the Rose Hill Cemetery. “I don’t know why anyone would want to own a used, deteriorating casket. It’s a free country and America is about making a buck.”

Documents ranging from a bill of sale for the funeral to Oswald’s death certificate can also be picked up.  A piece of the limo JFK was riding in the day he was shot is also being auctioned on December 16, complete with a certificate of authenticity from the White House.

Allen Baumgardner said The Sixth Floor Museum did not want the items with the Kennedy Collection. He said he hopes another museum will buy it.

“Somebody else will find it interesting, I’m sure,” said Elaine Newton. “There’s museums for everything.”

To browse the collection, click here.

To see a local guide on must-see assassination related sights, click here.

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