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Sale of Coffin Halted After a Skeleton is Found Inside 

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  #1  
Old 06-23-2013, 02:53 PM
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Sale of Coffin Halted After a Skeleton is Found Inside

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Police have stopped the sale of a coffin on Craigslist after a skeleton was discovered inside.

The ad selling the oak coffin was fairly straightforward, if a bit unusual, but what it forgot to say was it came complete with the original owner.

Dave Burgstrum placed the ad on the Craigslist website to sell the coffin for $12,000 (£7,800) because he’s trying to raise money to pay the property taxes on his fraternal organisation’s former home.

The ad came to the attention of local police in Iowa and they’ve now halted the sale unless the skeleton can be identified.

Mr Burgstrum said the coffin was used in a ritual conducted by the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, which has a long history in the city of Council Bluffs.

He said the coffin was made in the 1900s and had been used in the group’s rituals to represent death.

‘All men are made equal. Rich man or poor man, everybody will eventually die,’ he explained.

‘So the lesson was to do as much good as you can while you are alive.’

The symbolism of the skeleton inside the coffin is a little less clear.

Mr Burgstrum said a lodge historian told him a number of years ago that the skeleton was donated to the lodge by a doctor.

The doctor retired in the 1880s and had used the skeleton to show patients their anatomy.

Why the lodge took the bones or why they were in the coffin remains a mystery but had been in there for years.

‘They were just there as long as anyone could remember,’ said Mr Burgstrum

But Council Bluffs police detective Michael Roberts said human remains can’t be sold with proper identification.

‘If they had papers of origination, then they would be OK to own,’ he said.

The skeleton was sent to the Iowa State Medical Examiner.

Pottawattamie County forensic investigator Karen Foreman said it’s unlikely the skeleton will be identified, but the race and gender can be determined.

And if the skeleton is Native American, federal law requires that it be returned to the tribe.

Mr Burgstrum said the laboratory is welcome to keep the skeleton as his interest has always been in selling the coffin.

‘I’m ready to wheel and deal on it. I’d like to get those taxes paid,’ he added.

The Independent Order of Odd Fellows is a global altruisitc and benevolent body derived from the British Oddfellows public service organisations of the 17th century.

The organisation was chartered in Council Bluffs in 1852 but Mr Burgstrum, who is a fifth-generation Odd Fellow, said the membership dwindled in the last two decades.

In fact, there are only three living members in the organisation, Mr Burgstrum, his wife, Linda, and his brother, Dan.

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Old 06-23-2013, 03:50 PM
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Re: Sale of Coffin Halted After a Skeleton is Found Inside

He should have taken the skeleton out before trying to sell it.

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Old 06-23-2013, 04:08 PM
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Re: Sale of Coffin Halted After a Skeleton is Found Inside

so he just forgot about the skeleton?

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Old 06-23-2013, 04:30 PM
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Re: Sale of Coffin Halted After a Skeleton is Found Inside


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Old 06-24-2013, 03:02 PM
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Re: Sale of Coffin Halted After a Skeleton is Found Inside

A coffin with a free skeleton, oh if only I were so lucky.

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Old 06-24-2013, 07:48 PM
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Re: Sale of Coffin Halted After a Skeleton is Found Inside

Damn squatters....

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Old 06-25-2013, 12:36 AM
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Re: Sale of Coffin Halted After a Skeleton is Found Inside

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Originally Posted by Megamel29 View Post
He should have taken the skeleton out before trying to sell it.

At the very least, opened it to see if it was clean!

I know, I know! I'm picky

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Old 06-26-2013, 03:42 AM
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Re: Sale of Coffin Halted After a Skeleton is Found Inside

He threw the skeleton in as a bonus. What a great story.

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Old 06-26-2013, 04:30 AM
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Re: Sale of Coffin Halted After a Skeleton is Found Inside

I'd pay extra for a skeleton inside. They're way too cool to be thrown away

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Old 06-26-2013, 04:10 PM
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Re: Sale of Coffin Halted After a Skeleton is Found Inside

Who knows? Your purchase may solve a crime

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