Man selling coffin gets questions about bones
COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa
An Iowa man’s online classified ad offering an oak coffin for sale neglected to mention the full skeleton inside, so police interrupted the deal and seized the bones.
The Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil reported that the coffin belonged to the now-defunct Council Bluffs chapter of the International Order of Odd Fellows, which promotes anonymous giving to the poor.
Dave Burgstrum placed the ad on Craigslist to sell the coffin for $12,000 because he’s trying to raise money to pay the property taxes on the organization’s hall.
Burgstrum said the coffin was made in the 1900s and had been used in the group’s rituals to represent death. The bones had been in there for years.
“They were just there as long as anyone could remember,” said Burgstrum, who is one of a handful of remaining members of the Council Bluffs chapter of the Odd Fellows.
Burgstrum said lodge records suggest the skeleton was donated by a doctor who retired in the 1880s.
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. If the skeleton is Native American, federal law requires that it be returned to the tribe.
Burgstrum said the laboratory is welcome to keep the skeleton. His interest has always been in selling the coffin.
Upset winner for World’s Ugliest Dog
A huge-headed, duck-footed mix of beagle, boxer and basset hound was the upset winner at the 25th annual World’s Ugliest Dog Contest.
Walle, a 4-year-old mutt from Chico, Calif., who was entered at the last minute, was judged recently as the most unsightly of 30 dogs at the Northern California competition.
“This dog looked like he’s been photo-shopped with pieces from various dogs and maybe a few other animals,” judge Brian Sobel said.
Walle overcame the dominance in recent years by nearly hairless Chihuahuas, Chinese cresteds, or combinations of the two. Owner Tammie Barbee got the dog when he was three months old.
Judges said they were especially impressed by Walle’s bizarre waddle of a walk.
Walle wins $1,500 and several network TV appearances, including NBC’s “Today” show and ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live.”
The contest at the Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds gets worldwide attention with media from around the world traveling to Petaluma, about 40 miles north of San Francisco.
Organizers say the dogs are judged for their “natural ugliness in both pedigree and mutt classes.”