Bud Kennedy

At Oswald’s grave, a new mystery and a missing tombstone

Where do you put the headstone of ‘the most famous assassin in the history of civilization’?

A North Texas family won a yearslong court case to recover Lee Harvey Oswald's first grave marker, which was sold along with his mother's Fort Worth home. Now they need to find a proper home for it.
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A North Texas family won a yearslong court case to recover Lee Harvey Oswald's first grave marker, which was sold along with his mother's Fort Worth home. Now they need to find a proper home for it.

A grave marker using an alias of accused presidential assassin Lee Harvey Oswald was removed this week from near Oswald’s grave in a Fort Worth cemetery, officials confirmed in a statement.

A marker in the name “Hidell” — Oswald often used the alias “Alek Hidell” — was removed Tuesday from Shannon Rose Hill Cemetery, three weeks after a New York-based reporter asked the cemetery’s parent company about the stone.

The “Hidell” marker was near the main road and could have been used as a directional marker for those seeking Oswald’s grave in the large cemetery in east Fort Worth.

“In accordance with our rules and regulations, we determined it was not appropriate for the marker to remain on the property,” cemetery officials said in a statement issued by Houston-based owner Dignity Memorial, an affiliate of Service Corporation International.

“Had the cemetery staff known the connection to Lee Harvey Oswald at the time of purchase, it would not have been placed on the grounds.”

It is not clear when the marker was placed. It was first described on social media last May in a tweet by a British cruise ship comedian, John Martin of Appleton.

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A grave marker for a “Hidell,” Lee Oswald’s alias, has been removed from near Oswald’s grave at Shannon Rose Hill in Fort Worth. Bud Kennedy bud@star-telegram.com

New York writer Victoria Balfour noticed the marker on a recent visit and emailed the cemetery’s parent company, she said.

“ ‘Alek Hidell’ was and continues to be the darling of JFK conspiracy hobbyists everywhere,” she wrote in a commentary sent to the Star-Telegram before the marker was removed.

The cemetery’s statement did not explain why another marker has remained next to Oswald since 1997 for a “Nick Beef.”

According to a 2013 report in the New York Times, writer and former Arlington resident Patric Abedin bought and placed that marker for sentimental reasons. Abedin was once a student at Waverly Park Elementary in Fort Worth.

Oswald was buried in Rose Hill Nov. 25, 1963, the day after he was shot dead by bystander Jack Ruby during a prisoner transfer in Dallas. He remains the accused assassin in the Nov. 22, 1963 shooting of President John F. Kennedy on Elm Street in Dallas.

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