April and I live about five miles from Rosehill Cemetery, which happens to be where Lee Harvey Oswald is buried. Since he died 45 years ago today, shot dead by Jack Ruby, and since Jack Ruby is the unofficial patron saint of Antihero Comics (my unpublished attempt at nonfiction), I thought we’d visit his grave site. Yes, I’m one of those morbid JFK assassination history buffs — minus the conspiracy theories.
Rosehill Cemetery is large, and it’s difficult to find a headstone even if you know where it’s supposed to be. So, without any plan or guidance, we started walking. I presumed it would be along the fence and far away from everyone else. I mean, would you want to be buried next to Oswald? As we walked, across the street, there was a man tending to a barbecue at his house. He shouted, “Are you looking for Oswald?” Guilty. “Yeah.” He walked to the fence where we were, and shared some interesting information. First, we were close. Apparently, they move the body regularly. (Move?! That’s kinda creepy.) They changed the name on his headstone to a woman’s name, but the initials are still LHO. According to the neighbor, he’s somewhere along the fence. He got on his cell phone to call a friend. “Hey, what name is Oswald under now?” Then his neighbors came out, they started pointing: “Oswald’s somewhere between those two trees!” We kept walking around, and couldn’t find him anywhere. (April’s blog about the event.)
I went online, and found a few more details, which may or may not be outdated. First, Rose Hill officials will not tell an inquirer where the grave is located, and no historical marker references the location. Second, a man named Nick Beef is buried next to Oswald, unless they moved him. The Nick Beef story is interesting.
“According to the folks in the black suits at the cemetery office, Nick Beef is the stage name of a comedian who bought the plot and had a headstone with that name installed. In his act, he apparently tells people that if they want to find Oswald’s grave (which info the cemetery office will not give out)…just ask for Nick Beef instead and you will find Oswald. Only thing is…now they won’t tell people where Nick Beef’s grave is either! Once the cemetery folks realized a group of us (Arthur and Margaret Snyder, Bill Hamley, and myself) who were out there already knew where Oswald’s grave was and were just curious about Nick Beef, they told us the story. Of additional note…Marguerite (Oswald’s mother) is buried on the other side of Oswald…. sans headstone.”
Also, according to the site, he’s in section “Sunset 18″ about twenty feet from the cemetery road. Once again, unless they moved him and changed the headstone. I’m insanely curious. What’s his mysterious female acronym? I’ll make a return visit, and bring my camera.