News createt: 22-07-2010
Morbid Elvis Auction Yanked!
An array of surgical and other instruments allegedly used in the 1977 embalming of Elvis Presley was withdrawn Thursday from a planned auction after Memphis Funeral Home objected to the auction of property taken without the funeral home’s consent.
Funeral home president E.C. Daves said the instruments were taken by an embalmer who kept them for more than 30 years before offering them for sale through Leslie Hindman Auctioneers in Chicago. The auction scheduled Aug. 12 listed the Elvis items in two lots valued by the auction house at $8,000 and $6,000.
Daves said the authenticity of the items still is in question. He said the retired embalmer, in his 80s, claimed to have taken the items after Presley’s embalming the night of Aug. 16, 1977. But Daves said another employee told him that those instruments had been sterilized and were used again. “There’s no way to tell whether they (the auction items) are authentic,” he said.
Daves said the retired embalmer and his son, who handled negotiations with the auction house, agreed to withdraw the items. He said the funeral home plans no legal reprisals if the items are returned to the funeral home.
Auction house owner Leslie Hindman was less final. In an e-mail, she said, “We are in discussions with all parties.”
Daves said the funeral home is awaiting word from the Elvis Presley estate on its preferences. The items could be donated to a funeral history museum in Houston. “Or we could destroy them. We’re not going to do anything until the Presley estate agrees with it.”
A Graceland spokesman declined to comment.
*This story appeared in google alerts this morning and we refused to advertise it, we are happy it has been pulled and hope everything is destroyed and not displayed in any form. Everyone is entitled to some form of privacy in death. And *IF* some of these instruments were used in a private or state autopsy, maybe possible charges should be brought against this former funeral directorfor theft. The funeral business is a very private one and EU is glad to see the Memphis Funeral Home taking a public stand and ending this auction!