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Owning a Piece of a Historical Death

By Yona Williams    3/16/10

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When it comes to the death of infamous characters in history or people who have changed the course of history, it's only natural that owning a piece of the action seems attractive to some. From locks of hair, toe tags, and even a significant window, this article mentions some of the purchases and possessions directly linked to the death of another.

Toe Tag of Infamous Assassin

The ambulance driver that drove the body of John F Kennedy assassin (Lee Harvey Oswald) to the Dallas morgue removed the toe tag that hung off of his corpse. In the end, Oswald was shot and fatally wounded by Jack Ruby – an event that took place on live television. The toe tag, which was stained with blood sold at an auction in New York for $6,600.

In a related artifact, the actual window and frame from which Lee Harvey Oswald shot and killed our Kennedy received 188 bids. The winning bidder paid $3,001,501.00 on February 16th, 2007. This would mark what is most likely the most expensive window in the world that has a significant meaning behind it.

Legendary Strands of Hair

The duo of Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were known as the stuff that legends were made of – bank robbers with appeal. They led a volatile life that ended in a spray of bullet, but their love story and legacy continue to charm. In May of 1934, Bonnie and Clyde were ambushed in their car as a group of patrolmen finally caught up with the pair.

Shooting 77 bullets in their directions, the upholstery of the car they were driving became covered in their blood and other body parts. The locals quickly descended upon the car and demolished it. It was chaotic as people scurried to find trophies to mark the day Bonnie and Clyde were finally put to rest. The frenzy continued, as one man was taken out of the coroner's office as he tried to saw off one of Clyde's ears. In the end, some people were successful in walking away with locks of Bonnie's hair as keepsakes.

Last Dying Breath

In 1931, as Thomas Edison (the infamous inventor of the light bulb) approached his last moments on earth, Henry Ford (founder of Ford Motor Company) managed to capture his last dying breath in a bottle. So, how did Ford manage this feat and why? For starters, Ford believed that the human soul left the body with its last breath. Interestingly, Ford convinced Edison's son to sit by his dying father, clamp a test tube over his mouth and seal it with a cork. Today, you can find this artifact at the Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan.

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