With all of the interest surrounding this event I thought I would re-post my articles about the tombstone…..
I thought this was an interesting story three years ago and now that the tombstone has been stolen again its even more intriguing! Stay tuned.
Welcome back. The following interview was conducted this past week with one of the boys who took Lee Harvey Oswald’s gravestone and a friend who saw the grave marker in the trunk of their car the next day. I’ll leave their names out but many of you who were around in 1967 will know who I was talking to.
November 23, 1967 would be a day in the lives of two Bartlesville boys that they would never forget and their actions would bring Bartlesville to the attention of every law enforcement agency in the country. The two boys, one 19 and the other 20, needed a road trip. One was in the Army and headed to Vietnam and the other had just been drafted and was about to go down the same path. They planned to stopover in Dallas on their way to the Gulf coast and possibly New Orleans. Daily Plaza where President Kennedy had been assassinated was their first stop.
As the two sat on the infamous grassy knoll observing the murder site and the Texas book depository where Oswald fired from, they got the idea to visit Oswald’s grave. The pair decided to find out where he was buried which wouldn’t be easy. After some research in a local library, they found out he was in Rosehill Cemetery. The next day they walked through the cemetery for hours, going from grave to grave without finding Oswald.
Then they came up with the idea of telling an official at the cemetery that they were looking for the grave of a family friend named Oswell- and out popped Oswald’s location. Now they had the spot and after finding the grave they immediately decided to bring the marker back to Bartlesville- not as a political statement but just as a souvenir to show all their friends back at the local hangout in Comanche Plaza.
That night the boys rented a motel room near the cemetery and after seeing a movie they drove back to the area, parking close by on a city street. They took the only tool they had- a VW tire iron- and walked the short distance to the grave. The marker weighed a little more than 100 pounds but the ground was wet- they pried it out like a loose tooth wriggling it back and forth and it popped out a lot easier than they expected. The boys quickly carried the marker back to their VW bug and then returned to the motel room where they cleaned it up in the shower. Then they drank a few beers and toasted their success. The next morning they got up early and headed back to Bartlesville to show off their prize.
Little did the boys know that this particular night was the fourth anniversary of Oswald’s death or what lay ahead of them over the next few days.
Next week the story continues as the boys drive around town with Lee Harvey Oswald’s tombstone in the trunk of a VW bug, their plans to drop it off the Caney River bridge to hide the evidence, how the cops got the marker back and the boys conversation with Oswald’s mother after its return.