Thursday, December 2, 2010

Oswald’s Coffin to be Auctioned in L.A., Experts Question Authenticity

LOS ANGELES, Calif. -- A Los Angeles auction house announced Tuesday that it would be selling the pine box in which Lee Harvey Oswald, the suspected assassin of President John f. Kennedy, was buried for over 20 years. Bidding will begin at $1,000, but representatives at the auction house estimate the item to fetch a substantially higher amount of money with conspiracy buffs.

According to Reuters, “The coffin was unearthed in October 1981 after a legal dispute between Oswald’s widow, Marina, and his brother, Robert. Marina successfully sought an exhumation to test a conspiracy theory that a lookalike Russian agent had been buried in her husband’s place.”

However, complications and disputes have already arisen among historians and scholars who have been allowed to study the coffin. Chief among the concerns is the length of the box. According to Abel Wharfinger, the dean of history at local San Narciso College, “The coffin is about four inches shorter than Oswald. There’s no way he could have fit in there. It’s just not possible that a mortician packed his corpse into a box of those dimensions without cutting off his feet. And in that case, we can presume that it wasn’t merely a single mortician who did this. There may have been two or three other people involved.”

DNA samples from the box also revealed two other sets of as yet unidentified fingerprints and hair follicles. “It’s not unreasonable to suspect that another man may have been interred in the coffin,” Wharfinger continued. “Oswald’s widow may have been onto something.”

Another forensic scientist from the university added, “We’re also questioning the gold foil wrapper of what appears to the remains of a Cuban cigar, bearing the initials LBJ.”

And while the event itself is sure to attract all manner of attention, further controversy has been aroused by the venue’s decision to contract private security personnel from Few and Shue Security. Said Maria Lesposa, the events coordinator at the auction house, “Given the high profile nature of the lot, we’re taking precautions to allay any subsequent safety concerns. I’ll be honest, it’s been getting a little weird out there. Just this afternoon, we noticed a group of incredibly well-dressed, clean-cut homeless people lurking around the grounds. We want to make sure that our bidders aren’t harassed or discouraged from attending.”

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