The Weird Fight Over Oswald's Tombstone

How it wound up at a small auto museum in Illinois
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 27, 2012 2:23 PM CDT
Lee Harvey Oswald reacts as night club owner Jack Ruby, foreground, shoots at him from point blank range in a corridor of Dallas police headquarters, Nov. 24, 1963.   (AP Photo/Dallas Times-Herald, Bob Jackson, File)

(Newser) – The Historic Auto Attractions museum in Roscoe, Illinois, is home to a Lincoln once owned by Elvis, an Andy Griffith Show squad car, three Batmobiles, and... Lee Harvey Oswald's tombstone? It's not quite as weird as it sounds—the tiny museum has an array of non-vehicular esoterica, including a rocking chair once owned by Martin Luther King, 100 wax figures, and, yes, some JFK memorabilia. But how it got there is a strange story that may end up in court, the Chicago Tribune reports.

The tombstone was stolen by teenage pranksters four years after Oswald's death. Authorities later returned it to Oswald's mother, but, afraid it would be stolen again, she didn't return it to his grave. It was found years after her death by an electrician rooting around in a crawl space in her home. Another family owned the house at that point, and they passed the tombstone amongst themselves until 2008, when one of them sold it. Now, the son of the home's owner wants it back, and has threatened legal action. “They screwed us out of it,” he says, promising to donate it to the Dealey Plaza museum in Dallas.

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