Reporting Joel Thomas
FORT WORTH (CBS 11 NEWS) – A lot of visitors wander the Rose Hill cemetery looking for a single, flat grave marker. They’re not mourners. They are sightseers, tour guides and conspiracy theorists. The tombstone marks the burial sight of JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald. But many visitors are surprised by the mysterious tombstone right next to it Oswald’s. The marker reads, “Nick Beef.”
People who’ve lived near the cemetery since Oswald was buried didn’t know who the mysterious marker might belong to. “I wondered who Nick Beef was, you know?” said John Culliton, a cemetery neighbor. “No one seems to know.”
But tour guides had some stories about Nick Beef for cemetery visitors. “We learn later about Nick Beef, a night club comedian,” said one tour guide as he pointed to the mysterious granite headstone. “Since they won’t tell you where Oswald is ask for Nick Beef.”
JFK tour operator Jerry Dealey explained that, “A radio disc jockey or comedian — I’ve heard both — found out the plot next to Oswald’s was available and bought it and put a headstone on that so that his listeners would go and ask for Nick Beef. And that way they could go to Nick Beef and find Oswald right next to it.”
Now, the real Nick Beef has stepped forward and he is not comedian or a disc jockey. A New York Times report identifies him as Patric Abedin, a self-proclaimed writer and “non-performing performer” in New York City.
Abedin told The Times he remembered seeing Kennedy in Fort Worth, just before his assassination.
His mother would later point out Oswald’s grave to Abedin. When he was 18-years old Abedin said he read a newspaper story about the vacant plot next to Oswald’s. So, he bought it. It was, Abedin said, a place he could go and feel comfortable.
And what about the name? Abedin says he and a buddy made up funny names at a bar and grill one day as a joke — his buddy’s new name was Hash Brown.
Abedin said he bought the plot back in 1975 for $175. Twenty years later he bought the grave marker for just under $1,000.
It’s not likely the grave of Nick Beef will be occupied any time soon because the man who bought the tombstone told The Times he’d rather be cremated.
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