casket

18 Stories

No One Knew Body in Coffin Wasn't Grandma— Except Little Kids

Adults thought Val-Jean McDonald's body looked odd but didn't say anything

(Newser) - With eight sons, more than 20 grandkids, and nearly two dozen great- and great-great-grandchildren, it wasn't surprising there were lots of attendees at Val-Jean McDonald's funeral after her death in December at the age of 81, the New York Times reports. What was surprising: Not a single adult... More »

Family: Wrong Woman Was in Casket at Grandma's Viewing

And no one seems to know where Virginia Gray's body went

(Newser) - When Virginia Gray's grandkids went to Horton's Funeral Home last Friday to pay their respects to the DC matriarch, who had died at the age of 83 in mid-February, they were prepared to say their final goodbyes, News4 reports. But although her family recognized the clothing on the... More »

Funeral Called Off After Body Mix-Up

Chicago family horrified to discover matriarch had already been buried

(Newser) - When Monique Williams and her brother went to a Chicago funeral home Friday to ID her mom's body before her funeral the next day, they thought something was amiss. "[We said], 'That don't look nothing like Mom,'" Williams tells CBS Chicago . For one, the... More »

Judge: Oswald's Casket Belongs to Brother

Funeral home that tried to sell it must pay $87K in damages

(Newser) - Lee Harvey Oswald's original casket is no longer in limbo . A Texas judge has ruled that it belongs to his brother and not to the funeral home that tried to sell it as death memorabilia. Fort Worth Judge Don Cosby ruled that the Baumgardner Funeral Home acted "maliciously"... More »

Lee Harvey Oswald's Brother Fights Sale of His Coffin

It was purchased for $87K decades after body was exhumed

(Newser) - In 1981, the body of Lee Harvey Oswald was dug up to ensure that they really were his remains in the casket, a move prompted in part by conspiracy theories over the killing of John F. Kennedy, the AP reports. They were indeed his remains—but the casket of the... More »

Casket Exhumed in School Probe Holds ... No Body

Thomas Curry's remains are not in the casket that was buried

(Newser) - Anthropologists who have been working to locate and identify the remains of the boys who died at a notorious Florida reform school traveled to Philadelphia this week, hoping to get answers in the death of yet another student. But when they exhumed Thomas Curry's casket Tuesday, they found that... More »

Woman Finds Wrong Body in Mother's Casket

Daughter believes she was cremated in Ottawa by mistake

(Newser) - A Rhode Island woman wants answers after discovering the wrong body in a casket that should have contained her mother, who died unexpectedly while on vacation in St. Maarten. Lisa Kondvar, of Warwick, and her family discovered another woman's body in the casket at a New Jersey funeral home... More »

Grieving Relatives Find Stranger in Casket

Father was cremated against his wishes

(Newser) - When Jerry Moon's relatives opened his casket during his funeral for a final look at their loved one, they were horrified to find the corpse of a stranger with a plastic bag over his head. The body of a 97-year-old man who died in hospice care had somehow been... More »

Cemetery Worker Breaks Legs Tumbling Into Grave

Middle Village cemetery was site of surprising fall

(Newser) - Mourners at a funeral in New York were shocked to see a cemetery worker plunge into a grave today and break both his legs, DNAinfo reports. The 49-year-old "was removing the strap from the casket at that time," says a cemetery official who suspected the man only hurt... More »

Cops: Man Steals Game Boy From Teen's Casket

He also grabbed a light and 3 games, say investigators

(Newser) - Now that's low. Indiana cops have busted a 37-year-old man they say swiped a Game Boy from the casket of a teen killed in a car accident. The heist occurred during viewing of the 11th-grader's body at a local funeral home, said investigators. The teen's uncle confronted the robber outside... More »

Tony Curtis Is Not Alone in His Casket

Actor was buried with gold coins, an iPhone, and a single Percocet tablet

(Newser) - Wherever Tony Curtis ends up after his death, he will have some gold coins, sketchbooks, and a DVD of film clips to keep him busy. Curtis was buried yesterday with plenty of celebrities (including daughter Jamie Lee and Arnold Schwarzenegger, both of whom gave spirited eulogies) in attendance, and his... More »

Wal-Mart Enters Coffin Biz

Funeral homes face competition from discount caskets

(Newser) - America's leading big-box store is now also a pine box store. Wal-Mart has started selling a range of discount coffins on its website and plans to expand its death products to include pet urns and memorial jewelry. Prices start at just $895 for a steel coffin. Funeral home owners say... More »

Questions Linger in Wake of Memorial

How much it will cost? Where is his body? And what caused his death?

(Newser) - Fans are donating to the city of Los Angeles in an effort to defray the cost of Michael Jackson’s memorial, E! reports. The final total is still in the works, and some famous friends and corporate sponsors are rumored to have donated generously. More from the aftermath:
  • Los Angeles
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Jackson May Be on View in Glass Coffin

Funeral promises to be extravagant event

(Newser) - Michael Jackson’s funeral could be as lavish as one of his concerts. His body will reportedly be transported in a horse-drawn carriage, and he could be on view in a glass coffin. “The glass casket idea would create so much public interest it would take time to organize,... More »

Final 'Green' Frontier: Cemeteries

Increasingly popular embalming- and casket-free option freaked locals out

(Newser) - As the green movement contemplates the afterlife, more funeral directors are seeing demand for a sendoff without the embalming and sturdy coffins of traditional burials, the Wall Street Journal reports. Natural burials won't necessarily put funeral directors out of business: Yes, simple shrouds are available, but so is a $300... More »

Fans Get Prime Seats for Eternal Extra Innings

Logo coffins, urns make case for 'long-term' devotees of Sox, others

(Newser) - Die-hard baseball fans can now continue showing their team pride even in the afterlife. A Boston-area funeral home is offering its first-ever Red Sox casket, emblazoned with the team’s logo and accented with baseball-bat-type wood. “It's really a beautiful thing,” the funeral-home director, a Sox fan himself,... More »

As Cremations Increase, So Do Options

Lower cost, greater personalization appeal to families

(Newser) - The cremation industry is booming, a reflection of tighter economic times and a push from consumers for more creative funeral options, reports the Washington Post. Cremations, cheaper than traditional burial, rose 7% nationwide in the past 5 years and made up 35% of the funeral market last year. Funeral homes... More »

Death Be Not Proud (At a Discount)

(Newser) - What does it say about us, Mark Morford asks, that wandering the aisles at Costco in Palm Desert, CA, we come upon not only drums of olive oil and eighty-packs of frozen cream puffs, but over there, right next to the tires and the lawn furniture and right behind the... More »

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