Skip to main content

tv   Stossel  FOX Business  March 26, 2016 8:00pm-9:01pm EDT

8:00 pm
entrepreneurs to try. fewer rules bring better lives and make almost everyone richer. that's our show. we'll be back this time in the week. >> a tv hitmaker loves animals. >> he turned that creativity on animal rights, and it was unbelievable. >> one dog he rescues is off-the-charts dangerous. >> if it's a scale from 1 to 10, columbo's a 12. >> when the hollywood owner dies, columbo becomes their strange -- and expensive -- inheritance. >> acupuncture for a dog? i know we're in los angeles, but really? [ dog growls ] >> is it all worth it? >> your kids could get hurt. you're willing to take the risk. >> we made a commitment to healing dogs and showing other families how to do it. >> welcome to the weird world of pet inheritance. >> so, are you leaving your home to the birds? [ bird squawks ]
8:01 pm
i'm jamie colby, and, today, i'm in encino, california. will rogers once said, "if there are no dogs in heaven, then when i die, i want to go where they go." but when the owners go first, especially the rich or eccentric ones, it can make for one strange inheritance. >> my name is tyson kilmer. i'm an animal trainer. when one of my clients, sam simon, passed away in march of 2015, i inherited his dog, who is not exactly lassie, marmaduke, or any other lovably harmless pet you've seen on tv. >> hi, kilmers. i'm jamie. >> i'm tyson kilmer. this is my wife, alison. aliyah and tyler. >> how are you? >> i'm great! >> i heard your family has a living, breathing inheritance? >> indeed, we do. we have a cane corso that used to belong to the late, great sam simon.
8:02 pm
>> sam simon -- even if you don't recognize the name, you surely know his work as co-developer, with matt groening, of that iconic and long-running tv show, "the simpsons." sam was born in 1955 and grew up in beverly hills, just down the street from groucho marx. after graduating from stanford university, sam catapults his way up in the tv business, becoming a showrunner in 1978 for the hit series "taxi," at the age of 23. >> sam was the youngest showrunner in the history of television, when he was a showrunner on "taxi." >> mark thompson is an l.a. radio host and a long-time friend of simon's. >> to describe him as highly intelligent would be to understate it in the extreme. >> sam works on "barney miller" and "cheers," before teaming up with matt groening on "the simpsons," which premieres on the fox network in 1989. >> matt groening created these characters and this family, but
8:03 pm
the universe that the simpsons exist in -- the town, the nuclear power plant, mr. burns, all of these different characters... sam simon was the driving force behind that. >> but in 1993, after four trailblazing seasons, sam decides he wants a life outside of television. before quitting, he negotiates a deal giving him continuous credit as an executive producer and a share of the show's annual profit, to the tune of $30 million a year. sam, now twice divorced with no children, turns his energy to what becomes his calling in life -- saving animals, especially dogs. in 2002, at the cost of several million dollars, he creates this lavish, sprawling dog shelter in malibu. one of the neglected pooches that end up at sam's shelter is a 6-month old cane corso, also known as an italian mastiff, a
8:04 pm
breed some people refer to as "a pit bull on steroids." the big canine is quickly deemed too aggressive to stay at the shelter. so sam takes him home and names him columbo, after the rumpled, trench-coat-wearing detective played by peter falk. >> he adored columbo, clearly. i think he was like an offspring almost. he was like a son. >> a son with a nasty disposition. within months, columbo attacks staff members on the simon estate. there are as many as eight biting incidents. he even goes after sam's buddy, howard stern. >> ok, guys, go play! [ dogs barking ] >> so, in 2011, sam contacts tyson kilmer, who has a reputation for working with dangerous breeds. his hollywood clientele includes rob lowe and mike tyson, but none impresses him like sam simon. >> the first meeting he had with sam, tyson came back and went, "i met my hero.
8:05 pm
i met a guy that's doing way more than i am with animals." it was a bromance. >> alison kilmer is tyson's wife. >> was it more than just about the dog? >> oh, yeah. tyson knew right away that sam was someone that was gonna mentor him. >> still, tyson hesitates taking the columbo case. why? >> i had stopped working with that breed a few years prior, just because of the volatility and the liability issues around them. >> i'm sure that training aggressive dogs is dangerous. where is columbo on the scale? >> if it's a scale from 1 to 10, columbo's a 12. >> tyson says he makes an exception for columbo, when simon convinces him that health issues, like painful hip dysplasia, explain why he's such a bad dog. so, it's not just behavioral. it's also medicine? >> that's correct. >> simon's already paying for the best veterinary medicine
8:06 pm
money can buy. among other things, columbo gets electromagnetic therapy and acupuncture. acupuncture for a dog? i know we're in los angeles, but really? >> this dog has endured so much pain in his legs that this is not some frivolous treatment. >> and the price tag for columbo's first-class care? >> columbo costs approximately $138,000 a year. >> that's a four-year college education. >> the reality is -- i didn't hire these fks. i was just asked to be present while these folks were working. and this work changed my perspective on this dog entirely. ready to go. >> tyson takes over the actual training, hooking up columbo with a partner to keep him in line. >> hey, jamie. i brought my friends. >> i see that, tyson. i hope they'll be my friends. >> they will be your friends. so, kasha's been the one to teach him how he should be responding and reacting in these encounters. >> she's a pit bull. >> she's a pit bull, yes, but she's very fabulously trained. you want to give it a try? >> i'm willing to try.
8:07 pm
>> perfect. okay, so, let's start off by showing her a stay. point to the ground. tell her, "okay, down." >> okay, down, kasha. good girl, kasha. >> and now, this is how she smiles. so, it looks like kind of scary. >> oh! you get a rub on the belly! stay. tyson says his hard work and sam's money transform columbo into a loving and much-less-aggressive pet. so, the bottom line is -- you have rehabilitated this dog. >> i would say that this dog is living, at this point, within very acceptable margins for behavior and safety, as long as we continue to put the work in with him daily. >> it's late 2012, when, at 57, sam simon is diagnosed with colorectal cancer. the prognosis -- it's terminal. >> how did sam tell you he was sick? >> [ voice breaking ] he was just sick. >> what happened?
8:08 pm
>> you know, he said, you know, "tyson, i'm dying." >> will sam's death sentence also be the end for columbo? >> i was asked to make sure that columbo was taken off the property immediately. >> immediately? >> yes. >> that's next. >> but first, our "strange inheritance" quiz question. was it roy rogers' trigger... mr. ed... or seabiscuit? you owned your car for four years, you named it brad. you loved brad. and then you totaled him. you two had been through everything together. two boyfriends, three jobs... you're like nothing can replace brad. then liberty mutual calls, and you break into your happy dance. if you sign up for better car replacement™,
8:09 pm
we'll pay for a car that's a model year newer with 15,000 fewer miles than your old one. see car insurance in a whole new light. liberty mutual insurance.
8:10 pm
8:11 pm
>> so, what stuffed horse fetched $266,000 at auction? it's "a," trigger, who belonged to roy rogers. >> with the help of his new friend and dog trainer tyson kilmer -- and a year and a half of intense training -- sam simon's rescued 140-pound cane corso is under control. so, you've given columbo a stay of execution. >> nobody else has been bitten, so the first part is amazing. secondly, he's a happier soul. >> but, in 2012, sam's diagnosis of stage-four cancer changes everything. after being told he has only months to live, "the simpsons"
8:12 pm
co-developer launches a campaign to save as many animals as he can before he's gone. he brings tyson along for the ride. >> as his body began to fail him, he would be jumping on a learjet and flying off, so somebody had to watch out for him. >> here was sam simon ready to do all of these things that seem unthinkable. he rescued all of these bears from roadside circuses. he shut down a mink farm. >> so, the money is kind of gone. >> you gave it all to peta. >> no, no, no, no, no, no, no. i put in a trust that will be distributed, in perpetuity, to save the children and peta and other organizations. >> fantastic. >> for two years, sam beats the clock, but his disease never relents. >> i got a call that he was in the hospital, and he hadto comes bedside. he just said, "i'm sorry to burden you with this, but will you please take my dog?" of course, i said "yes."
8:13 pm
>> tyson looked at me and said, "i got to do this for him. if we don't, they're gonna put columbo down." >> tyson also makes sure columbo can stay by sam till the end. >> i was asked to train columbo to climb a set of steps beside sam's bed so that columbo could get up there and sleep with him. columbo was with sam right up until he passed. i was asked to be on the property when he passed to make sure that columbo was taken off the property immediately. >> why immediately? >> well, columbo couldn't be on the property with an influx of people coming in, just because it just wasn't safe. >> arguably even less safe -- bringing this strange inheritance home to your wife and kids. i have to ask you about that. i met him. he's fierce. you let them hang out with columbo? >> supervised. columbo cannot be unsupervised around my children or around anybody. when he's uncomfortable, he's grumpy. you don't want to be anywhere around him.
8:14 pm
and i don't want my kids to be anywhere around him. and stay. >> your kids could get hurt. you're willing to take the risk. >> we make all the precautions. we make sure they're never alone with columbo. we make sure that they train him every day. and us, as a family -- we made a commitment to healing dogs and showing other families how to do it. >> a noble commitment, but who's going to pay for columbo's ongoing $138,000-a-year medical care? was there some sort of verbal agreement between you and sam? >> sam just basically said, "listen, don't worry about this. everything's taken care of." >> ruh-roh! is it possible that sam made a promise to tyson he didn't intend to keep? that's next. >> here's another quiz question for you. santa's little helper, the simpsons' family dog, is what breed? the answer in a moment.
8:15 pm
8:16 pm
8:17 pm
8:18 pm
>> so, santa's little helper, the simpsons' family dog, is what breed? the answer is "b," a greyhound homer rescues from the dog track in "the simpsons'" first episode. [ dog growls ] >> the cane corso, or italian mastiff, is an aggressive breed, sometimes called a "pit bull on steroids." columbo, a 140-pounder who belonged to "simpsons" co-developer sam simon, was actually deemed too vicious for simon's dog-rescue shelter. hollywood dog trainer tyson kilmer says one of simon's last requests was that he take columbo when simon died.
8:19 pm
>> one thing that sam said is that, "every animal's life has value." >> tyson assumes simon's multi-billion-dollar trust will pay for columbo's costly medical treatments, including acupuncture and electromagnetic therapy. >> was there some sort of verbal agreement between you and sam? >> sam took care of everything while he was alive. when sam said, "will you take columbo?", i didn't say, "hey, how much, buddy?" i just said, "of course. i'll take care of it." >> then, in june 2015, three months after sam's death, tyson learns that those vets and therapists will no longer be paid and all those hollywood-style treatments will be discontinued. tyson reaches out to the executor of the simon trust. now, i'm a dog lover -- don't get me wrong -- but tell me how much you were asking, money-wise, to take care of columbo in the style sam had -- >> i didn't ask for money. i was asking for them to send the vets over.
8:20 pm
i wasn't asking for money. >> come on, columbo. >> either way, tyson says he's told there's no money earmarked for columbo. >> i first thought, "it has to be a misunderstanding," but, at some point, you'd think, even if that were the case, they would have an allegiance to what sam would have wanted." >> radio host mark thompson was a longtime friend of simon's. is it possible that sam made a promise to tyson he didn't intend to keep? >> i think the answer is -- of course not, of course not. sam would have wanted money to go for the continued care of columbo. >> the executor of simon's trust doesn't return our phone calls but has ripped tyson in the media. the trustee issued a statement that we got our hands on, and it starts with, "it's truly sad that someone would try to take advantage of sam's generosity to unjustly enrich themselves at the expense of other causes." >> and i'm just an outsider, but the same money that sam was paying for columbo, when sam was
8:21 pm
alive, is all tyson is asking for. and it's about his therapy, not a dollar more. i think that's a reasonable request. >> how much is it costing you a month, besides your daily time, to take care of columbo? >> it costs me approximately $9,000, $9,500 a month to take care of him. tyson has custody of a dog that is considered very dangerous. and we have a trustee unwilling to disperse money for the dog's care. end of case? >> if they're willing to go to court, tyson might be able to assert rights on columbo's behalf and get the court to construe the trust. >> underscore "might," says ken kossoff, an l.a. lawyer specializing in pet inheritances. he says it's telling simon apparently did not set up a trust fund to pay for columbo's care, which is allowed under california law. >> you want your trust or any other document to be very clear that who was ever in charge of
8:22 pm
the money needs to support the pet. >> case in point -- ken's client in palmdale, california, a widow who wanted to provide for her faithful companions when she was gone. hi, yvonne. i'm jamie. >> jamie, hi. how are you? >> nice to meet you. i heard you're the bird lady. >> i am that. would you like to meet my kids? >> i would like to meet your kids. >> come on. >> oh, thank you. look at all these guys. oh, hello there. who's that? >> he says, "i'm bogie bird." and he says, "i'm the senior bird here." >> bogie is a 34 year-old double yellow-head amazon parrot. while he's older than yvonne's two cockatiels, he's still a youngin' among the parrot breed, who can easily live for 60 years. when yvonne first adopts bogie from a bird sanctuary, in 2013, she worries about making a commitment to a pet that could very well outlive her. >> at my age, i thought, "how am
8:23 pm
i gonna make this work out? these guys can live to be 60 years old. i'm not rich." >> so, will bogie become a strange inheritance? yvonne is worried that her cherished parrot will get discarded, like columbo. and what about columbo? >> it must be costing you a fortune. >> columbo's not cheap, and we never, ever, ever, in a million years, thought we'd be here. >> and? >> how can the kilmers get the funds they say they need for his care? >> good boy! you know, i agreed to take sam simon's dog. i didn't agree to take on a billion-dollar estate. >> that's next. what's your strange inheritance story? we'd love to tell it. send me an e-mail or go to our we'd love to tell it. send me an e-mail or go to our website,] you can't have a hero, if you don't have a villain. the world needs villains [tires screeching] and villains need cars.
8:24 pm
♪ it begins from the the second we're because, healthier doesn't happen all by itself. it needs to be earned every day. using wellness to keep away illness. and believing a single life can be made better by millions of others. as a health services and innovation company optum powers modern healthcare by connecting every part of it. so while the world keeps searching for healthier we're here to make healthier happen.
8:25 pm
8:26 pm
try align for a non-stop,ive sweet-treat-goodness hold-onto-your-tiara, kind-of-day. live 24/7 with 24/7 digestive support. try align, the undisputed #1 ge recommended probiotic. >> now back to "strange inheritance." >> yvonne eubanks loves her parrot, bogie, who may very well
8:27 pm
outlive her. will bogie get the special care he needs when she's gone? she turns to ken kossoff, who's been creating trusts in los angeles for over 30 years. >> a lot of pet owners do not know that they could plan their estate to include their pets. >> yvonne doesn't just want to make sure her pets always have a caring home. she wants to make sure they have her home. >> the trust provides, immediately, for a caregiver to come in, and this is someone who is familiar with my birds. they will live here in the house, basically rent-free, and they'd take care of the birds. i will take care of the utilities and all on the house. >> that could theoretically last for decades. you understand people will watch this and they'll say, "okay, you're 'the bird lady.'" >> yeah. >> "and you've left this beautiful home to birds." >> yes. i don't care how whacky they think i am. i just want to protect these guys. >> apparently, sam simon wasn't
8:28 pm
so clear or emphatic about columbo, and so the executors of "simpsons" co-developer sam simon's billion-dollar trust reportedly have no intention of providing a penny for his care. where does that leave animal trainer tyson kilmer, to whom sam bequeathed the 140-pound mastiff? >> i've never had much interest in anything outside of just seeing columbo cared for. i really don't want to be in court over the next five, six years. i'd far rather raise funds for him and just move on with my life. >> sam was his mentor and hero. and, sometimes, you don't write the script on how it's gonna come out, but we're doing the best we can and we're gonna handle it. >> i wanted to put a call into you to see if i could rely on some support from you guys. >> today, tyson hopes to raise enough funds through a network of friends and supporters to finance columbo's care.
8:29 pm
you made a promise. >> absolutely. yeah. >> that's a big promise. >> i'm gonna keep that promise. you know, sam was one of -- he was a mentor to me. he was one of my best friends. i'm gonna honor my word to my friend. >> bogie or columbo can only dream of the fortune of the so-called world's richest pet, a german shepherd who's really rolling in the dough. turns out that when a german countess named carlotta liebenstein died, in 1992, she left a $124 million trust for her trusty pooch, gunther iii. well, when gunther iii met an untimely death, carlotta's riches passed to gunther's son, gunther iv, and by then, the trust was worth $372 million and included a villa in the bahamas and a mansion once owned by madonna. and, at that rate, gunther v could be the first canine billionaire. i'm jamie colby for "strange inheritance."
8:30 pm
thanks so much for watching. and remember, you can't take it with you. >>president kennedy has been assassinated. it's official now. the president is dead. >> even the most hated man in america... [gunshot ] >> [groans] >>lee oswald has been shot! >> ...gets his name on a headstone. >> the stone clearly shows oswald's date of birth and death. >> but how did it become their strange inheritance? >> i thought, "what on earth was a tombstone doing under my mother's house?" >> only after it's stolen, recovered, hidden, found, fought over, and more. >> we're going to take it back to texas, back home to the good ol' boys where it can have a lone star beer and make a lot of noise. >> you really wanted it back, dave. why? >> maybe they messed with the wrong tombstone owner. [ door creaks ]
8:31 pm
[ wind howls ] [ thunder rumbles ] [ bird caws ] >> i'm jamie colby, and today i'm driving down the street in dallas where president john f. kennedy was shot on that horrible day in november 1963, and i'm about to meet a man who was left with a dilemma tied to jfk's assassin. >> my name is david card. my family's not related in any way to lee harvey oswald, so i don't know what's stranger -- the story of how we inherited his grave marker, or the story of what happened after. >> hi, dave. i'm jamie. >> jamie, david card. such a pleasure to meet you. >> thank you. same here. >> yeah. >> thanks for having me in. great bar. >> since the late 1970s, dave card has owned and operated poor david's pub, a bare-bones downtown dallas club that provides a stage for up-and-coming
8:32 pm
singer-songwriters. >> is it here? >> if you're talking about the tombstone, yes, it is here. >> dave doesn't usually keep his strange inheritance in his nightclub. he has a secret hiding place for it, but he's taken it out to show me. >> this is the original tombstone of lee harvey oswald. >> whoa. it feels wrong, but i'm just admiring the carving and everything. i mean, somebody went to a lot of trouble to make this headstone. i do want to hear more of the story. >> well, let's go have a seat and talk about it. >> okay. >> dave tells me that in november 1963, he was back in dallas after a tour of duty with the marine corps. ♪ on friday, november 22nd, president john f. kennedy and his wife, jackie, land at dallas love field. >> i was on the parade route at the corner of oak lawn and lemmon avenue as he drove by.
8:33 pm
>> at the time, dave's stepsister, cleo, is a 16-year old sophomore in town. >> did you see it? >> the motorcade drove straight in front of our school on the freeway. >> i was feeling very patriotic at the time. >> though not exactly a jfk fan. >> i waved to him. i don't think he noticed me, but i did whisper under my breath, "i'm still not gonna vote for ya." >> 12:30 p.m. as the motorcade enters dealey plaza, shots ring out. >>it appears as though something has happened in the motorcade route. something, i repeat, has happened. >> how did you learn that the president had been shot? >> it came over the loudspeaker at school. >> what was the reaction? >> silence. nothing but silence. >>it is official now. the president is dead. >> what a horrible thing to happen, an assassination of the president of the united states, and in your city, in your hometown. >> within hours, police arrest
8:34 pm
24-year-old lee harvey oswald, an employee at the texas school book depository building, which overlooks dealey plaza. >> oswald was a suspect almost immediately because people had pointed to him leaving the building, and that's what i remember -- that he was apprehended rather quickly. >> a shocked nation learns he's an ex-marine who defected to the soviet union, married a russian woman, and, then, disillusioned with the soviet system, came home to texas. >> so why do you think he did it? >> i think maybe he thought that this was a point in history where he was doing a great thing and maybe a touch of megalomania. i don't know. >> then, just two days after oswald assassinates jfk... >> i was watching television when it happened. [gunshot] >> [groans] >> i saw this commotion. >>he's been shot! lee oswald has been shot!
8:35 pm
>> no one knew immediately what it was that happened, but jack ruby shot and killed him on national television. >> dallas nightclub owner jack ruby murders oswald in the basement of the dallas police department. >> it's just this person stepping forward, making a lunge like that, and then there was a shot... [gunshot] ...and it was unreal. it was incredible. i do remember my mother calling me from michigan and saying, "what's wrong with those people down there in dallas?" and i said, "well, mom. it's not us. we don't hate the president." >> does that mystery behind the shooting of lee harvey oswald add extra significance to having his tombstone? >> i really can't answer that. i just feel like the story behind it is so much bigger than what actually we know.
8:36 pm
>> ruby claims he killed oswald to spare kennedy's widow the anguish of having to attend a murder trial in texas. and now the assassin's widow, young daughters, brother and mother must attend his funeral -- the same day as jfk's. oswald has no friends to carry his coffin, so seven reporters step up as pallbearers. it's marguerite oswald, the assassin's mother, who orders the headstone to be placed atop her son's grave. >> it happens to be the tombstone of the most famous assassin in the history of western civilization. >> like many notorious figures in history, oswald's grave attracts the grimly curious. and that presents the next big plot point in this "strange inheritance" story. in november 1967, on the fourth anniversary of the jfk
8:37 pm
assassination, oswald's headstone goes missing. the caper is quickly solved when the father of a teenager in bartlesville, oklahoma, turns in his son and a friend. >> they came down as a prank, stole that tombstone, and were showing it off to a bunch of their high school buddies. >> it's returned to marguerite oswald, but never to the cemetery. she substitutes a more austere design. >> on the grave, she put a different headstone that was less attractive and much heavier. >> but what does marguerite do with her son's original, ornate gravestone? and how in the world, decades later, do the heirs in this "strange inheritance" tale end up with it? this is where the stories of two families, the cards and the oswalds, intersect. >> so this was marguerite oswald's house. where did your mom live? >> she lived across the street
8:38 pm
in that second duplex from the corner. >> that's next. >> but first, our "strange inheritance" quiz question -- what was ronald reagan's secret service code name? was it...? the answer after the break. audi pilotless vehicles have conquered highways, mountains, and racetracks. and now much of that same advanced technology is found in the new audi a4. with one notable difference... the all-new audi a4, with available traffic jam assist. don't let dust and allergies get and life's beautiful moments. with flonase allergy relief, they wont. most allergy pills only control one inflammatory substance.
8:39 pm
flonase controls six. and six is greater than one. flonase changes everything. i built my business with passion. but i keep it growing by making every dollar count. that's why i have the spark cash card from capital one. i earn unlimited 2% cash back on everything i buy for my studio. ♪ and that unlimited 2% cash back from spark means thousands of dollars each year going back into my business... that's huge for my bottom line. what's in your wallet? nearly half of all cancers can be prevented. mostly by making changes in your diet, controlling your weight and of course, by not smoking. visit prevent 50 dot org and get a free 30 day planner filled with tips, recipes, and more.
8:40 pm
>> so, what was reagan's secret service code name?
8:41 pm
the answer is "a," rawhide. "trailblazer" was george w. bush, and "scorecard" was dwight d. eisenhower. >> in the mid 1970s, more than a decade after the jfk assassination, dave card's father and stepmother happen to be living in a one-bedroom flat on this block in fort worth, texas. living across the street, a well-known neighbor -- the mother of lee harvey oswald. >> your stepmom and dad end up living across the street from marguerite. >> yes, and they would talk as neighbors occasionally. i don't think they were very close. >> ida card, however, admires marguerite's home, which is a little bigger and nicer than her duplex. >> well, it's a 2-bedroom. it's got a garage out back, a driveway, small porch out front. >> and when marguerite dies in 1981, donald and ida card purchase it. >> your family bought the house
8:42 pm
that lee harvey oswald's mother lived in? >> yes, they did. >> for real? hi, cleo. i'm jamie! >> it's now home to dave's stepsister, cleo. >> i'd love to see inside. can i? >> yes! >> thank you. it's not haunted or anything? >> not yet. >> after moving in, cleo and dave's parents do some home improvements. >> it required an electrician to go under the house, through the crawlspace, and he came out, and he made a statement like, "there's a tombstone under there." >> well, that explains what marguerite oswald did with the tombstone after the oklahoma teenage thieves returned it back in 1967. >> the tombstone was about midway, centered, under this bar. >> cleo, what did you think when you first saw the tombstone? >> goodness, i thought, "what on earth was a tombstone doing under my mother's house?"
8:43 pm
>> seems marguerite just wanted to secret the stone away, where nobody would think to look. >>the stone was wrapped in heavy plastic, placed behind a brick wall. it clearly shows oswald's date of birth and death. >> the discovery hits dallas tv news. >>the new owner of the residence is mrs. ida card. >> but notice. you only see a photo of the gravestone in this report. there's a reason for that -- ida's dispatched it to a new hiding place. >> in fact, my stepmother was rather paranoid about the publicity that it was generating back then, so she transferred it for safekeeping over to her sister's house. >> that would be ida's sister, billie, and her husband, albert, who also live in fort worth a few miles away. >>it is in a safe location, but they wouldn't tell me, and i didn't ask 'cause i didn't want to know. >> dad never tried to sell it? >> at one point, they did have a family lawyer come over and look at it, and he said,
8:44 pm
"hold on to it for a while. it may increase in value." >> and that's just what they do. so the tombstone remains hidden -- in uncle albert and aunt billie's garage -- for decades. even after ida dies in 1994, donald doesn't remove it from his in-laws' custody. but he doesn't forget about it, either. when he passes away in 2001, along with his will, he leaves this handwritten accounting of assets he hands down to dave and brother clifford. and look. right there -- "lee harvey oswald tombstone stored in cleo's aunt's garage to be shared with cleo." it now falls to cleo and dave to figure out what to do with this strangest of inheritances. >> the oswald's didn't even want it. >> it's a rather morbid piece. >> what did you decide? >> we were just gonna leave it there until we came up
8:45 pm
with a plan for it. >> they're not the first seemingly drawn to the headstone without quite knowing why. what do you do with lee harvey oswald's headstone? >> did aunt billie's end up being a safe place? >> unfortunately, aunt billie started to experience a little senility. at that time, her son, johnny ragan, offered to take it to his house for safekeeping. >> are you following this? let's review. lee harvey oswald's original headstone is placed on his grave in 1963. it's stolen in 1967, then returned to oswald's mother, who hides it under her house. in 1981, it's discovered by the new owners of the home, dave and cleo's parents, who then store it at cleo's aunt and uncle's house for safekeeping. it stays there, even after dave and cleo inherit it in 2001.
8:46 pm
then around 2004, after aunt billie goes senile, her son, cleo's cousin johnny, hides it at his house. >> so johnny became the custodian, and were you and dave okay with that? >> yes. >> he was a trusted relative. >> underscore "was." >> johnny went incommunicado. holly said, "i haven't seen that tombstone in 20 years, and this is none of your business." >> that's next. >> here's another quiz question for you... the answer in a moment. i appreciate you coming by.
8:47 pm
absolutely. the market's been pretty volatile lately. there is a lot at stake here, you know? look jim, we've been planning for this for a long time. and we'll keep evolving things. so don't worry. knowing what's on your mind and acting accordingly. multiplied by 13,000 financial advisors. it's a big deal. and it's how edward jones makes sense of investing. you're down with crestor. alright! now there's a way you can get crestor for $3. adding crestor, along with diet, lowers bad cholesterol. crestor is not for people with liver disease, or women who are nursing,pregnant, or may become pregnant. tell your doctor all medicines you take. call your doctor if you have muscle pain or weakness; feel unusually tired; have loss of appetite, upper belly pain, dark urine or yellowing of skin or eyes. these could be signs of serious side effects. ask for the crestor $3 card. ask your doctor about crestor.
8:48 pm
8:49 pm
[ wind howls ]
8:50 pm
>> so... it's "b," andrew jackson. in january 1835, a mentally deranged painter named richard lawrence tried to shoot jackson at close range. old hickory responded by beating the would-be assassin with his cane. >> it's 2008 in dallas/fort worth, and, oddly enough, dave card and his siblings have never actually taken possession of the strange object they inherited seven years before -- lee harvey oswald's tombstone. cleo's cousin, johnny ragan, and his wife, holly, are supposedly hiding it for the heirs. then... >> unfortunately, johnny passes away in some form of an industrial accident, which involved a camper extension. >> somehow or another, he got
8:51 pm
caught between the wall in his shop and the expansion that goes out from an rv. >> when they found his body, he was lying there crushed between the camper extension and the wall. >> oh, my gosh. >> now, how that happened is a mystery. >> despite the odd circumstances, the police call johnny's death accidental. we requested an interview with holly, but through her attorney, she declined. >> after a certain amount of respectful time, cleo went and asked holly about the tombstone and where it was. >> was everything okay? >> holly disavowed any knowledge of where it was. >> so you said, "sorry for your loss. by the way, i'd like to pick up our tombstone," and she said? >> she did not know where it was, that she didn't know what johnny had done with it. >> did you believe her? >> i had no reason to distrust her at that time.
8:52 pm
>> holly said, "this is none of your business." we thought maybe johnny had stored it somewhere else and that eventually it would surface. >> did it surface? >> yes, it did. >> and nowhere near dallas. >> my brother, clifford card, was surfing the internet, and up came oswald's tombstone, being displayed on a website in illinois. >> how did it get to illinois? >> well... >> it didn't walk there. >> next, the going price of an assassin's headstone and the cost of getting it back. when we return. what's your "strange inheritance" story? we'd love to tell it. send me an e-mail or go to our website,
8:53 pm
everhas a number.olicy but not every insurance company understands the life behind it. for those who've served and the families that have supported them, we offer our best service in return. usaa. we know what it means to serve. get an insurance quote and see why 92% of our members plan to stay for life. in new york state, we believe tomorrow starts today. all across the state, the economy is growing, with creative new business incentives, the lowest taxes in decades, and new infrastructure for a new generation attracting the talent and companies of tomorrow. like in rochester, with world-class botox. and in buffalo, where medicine meets the future. let us help grow your company's tomorrow - today - at
8:54 pm
struggling with hunger in america. this is a serious problem, but one we can solve. visit to help. together we can solve hunger. together, we're feeding america.
8:55 pm
[ wind howls ] >> now back to 'strange inheritance." >> it's 2011, and a family of texans are trying to locate their strange inheritance -- the gravestone of john f. kennedy's
8:56 pm
assassin, lee harvey oswald. it was supposed to be at the home of a cousin in fort worth, but he's dead, and his wife, holly, is telling them to go away. where else can they go but the web? >> my brother, clifford card, was surfing the internet, and up came oswald's tombstone, being displayed on a website in illinois. >> how did it get to illinois? >> well... >> it didn't walk there. >> wondering what the heck happened to his strange inheritance, dave has his attorney call the man in illinois. >> it turned out that holly had sold it to him. my lawyer asked him, "so you bought this from holly ragan, didn't you?," and he says, "well, yes i did." >> directly? >> yeah. >> the man, who runs a small museum, claims to have paid holly $45,000 after holly showed him a document that she said proved she had inherited the stone after her husband,
8:57 pm
johnny's, death in 2008. >> the cards were going to have to take legal action in order to get back what they truly believe, and i believe, was rightfully theirs. >> but before dave's lawyers let him unleash a costly lawsuit, they make one more call just to make sure the oswald family won't now claim the $45,000 headstone really belongs to them. >> the legal representative of the oswald estate was contacted, and there was no expression of interest in making a claim. >> but dave card is ready to press his. >> after a year of trying to resolve the issue, we finally filed a lawsuit. >> you really wanted it back, dave. why? >> i wanted it back, one, because it was ours. secondly, because of what it represents -- a dark time in the history of the united states.
8:58 pm
>> but dave admits there may be one more overriding reason. >> maybe they messed with the wrong tombstone owner. [ chuckles ] >> after a dallas judge orders the two sides into mediation, they settle the case. >> how much money did it cost you to get the tombstone back? >> it was a bundle. >> we're talking six figures? >> we are talking six figures, yes. we have finally recovered the original lee harvey oswald tombstone. >> in august 2015, dave drives up to illinois with a friend to, for the first time, take possession of his strange inheritance. >> we're going to take it back to texas, back home to the good ol' boys where it can have a lone star beer and make a lot of noise. >> after that, well, dave still doesn't know exactly what he's going to do with it. >> justice prevailed. >> maybe he'll sell it. >> so, that's the way it is
8:59 pm
at the moment. >> maybe he'll display it. maybe he'll -- well, that's the dilemma, that as i said at the beginning of this story, dave's inherited. it's the same one faced by marguerite oswald... >> i think we got the state line of texas coming up here soon, don't we? >> ...those oklahoma teenagers... >> yes, we do. >> ...donald and ida card and the rest. >> right now, we're in texas. >> what do you do with lee harvey oswald's tombstone... >> ♪ hallelujah >> say bye now. >> bye now. >> ...except put it back in a secret place until you decide? ♪ if you're wondering about that gold cross on oswald's headstone, he was raised lutheran, but his mother couldn't secure a christian minister for his funeral. after the assassination, oswald, a fervent marxist, told police interrogators, "what religion am i? i have no faith."
9:00 pm
i'm jamie colby. thanks for watching "strange inheritance." >> the heyday of hollywood. >> it was exciting. bette davis, marilyn monroe, joan crawford. >> a star-struck teen bit by the bug. >> before there were paparazzi, there was jack kuster. >> this autograph hound takes names like no other... >> elvis and, oh my gosh, robert rford. >> you name it, all of them. >> it's probably the best collection in the world. >> ...and leaves his stunned heir a lot to sort out. >> what, in your wildest dreams, is this collection worth? [ theme music plays ] ♪


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on