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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009

    IA - Craigslist ad for antique coffin with actual skeleton inside runs afoul of law

    Craigslist ad by Bluffs family offers old coffin for sale — complete with human skeleton. (omaha.com)
    COUNCIL BLUFFS — The headline on the ad was unusual enough: “Oak coffin on stand.”

    Even more unusual was that the coffin wasn't empty. It contained a full set of human skeletal remains.

    That's where a Council Bluffs family's effort to raise money to save a fraternal organization's former home hit a snag. Unidentified human remains can't be sold, police say.

    Dave Burgstrum of Council Bluffs said the coffin had been used in the past for rituals conducted by the organization, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.
    The coffin, he said, is from the early 1900s and is made of oak. He said the Odd Fellows used it in initiation rituals as a representation of death.
    The story of the skeleton inside the coffin is less clear.

    Burgstrum said a lodge historian told him years ago that a doctor had donated the skeleton to the lodge. As the story goes, the doctor, who retired in the 1880s, had used the skeleton to show patients their anatomy. Why the lodge took the bones and why they were in the coffin remain mysteries.
    A skeleton in a classified ad caught the attention of Council Bluffs police, and detectives went to the lodge Friday to look at the remains. Detective Michael Roberts said the bones could not be sold without an identification tag.
    Burgstrum said an antique dealer estimated the coffin's worth at between $12,000 and $15,000.
    much more at the link

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    I wonder how many takers they had on it?

    How macabre to keep a skeleton around anyway.
    Just when I think that I have seen the most depraved things a human can do to another human, somebody posts a new story...........

    Why is it that when a custodial parent fails to provide for a child it is called neglect and is a criminal matter. But when a non custodial parent fails to provide it is called failure to support and is a civil matter?

    "Just when the caterpillar thought its world was over, it became a butterfly" ~ Michelle Knight

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Among many items my recently deceased 95 year old Aunt collected,were medical antiques. She had quite a few coffins...some from Fraternal Org like the one mentioned. She even had a skeleton hanging in an unused shower !

    I miss her

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Quote Originally Posted by wfgodot View Post
    "Unidentified human remains can't be sold, police say."

    All they had to do was think outside the box....pun intended. Sell the coffin and throw the skeletin in for free.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Being that there is a bit of a story behind it, and it is an articulated skeleton, they would be in the clear to throw it in for free or donate it(just the skeleton) to a school.

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