DALLAS — It's one of the most morbid artifacts in the saga of the Kennedy assassination.
"It's dilapidated and falling apart, and wouldn't even raise any eyebrows unless you knew that's what that casket was used for," said attorney Brett Myers, attorney for Baumgardner Funeral Home. "It looks like a rotten wooden box."
For 18 years, that pine box held the body of JFK assassin Lee Harvey Oswald in a Fort Worth cemetery. But Oswald's brother Robert, now 79, sued to get it back.
The legal fight goes to trial next week.
"It was a gift," Myers said. "He gave it to bury his brother's body. It goes to his brother's estate. To the extent that there's a claim to it, [it’s] his brother's estate that has a claim to it... not Robert Oswald."
The remains of Lee Harvey Oswald were exhumed in 1981, then reburied in another casket. That original casket remained at the funeral home in Fort Worth.
In 2010, the funeral home auctioned the casket for $86,000.
Robert Oswald sued to stop the sale, saying he paid $300 for it in 1963 and still owns it.
Besides, Robert Oswald said in his lawsuit, he thought the casket had been destroyed.
But JFK historian Farris Rookstool will testify for the funeral home that Oswald knew years ago that his brother’s casket was still around.
"March 15, 1993, I personally — telephonically — I called Robert Oswald on the telephone, spoke to Robert Oswald, and told him this funeral home was attempting to sell this casket," Rookstool said.
News 8 could not immediately get in touch with Robert Oswald or his attorney about the fight over the ghoulish relic... or what will happen to it if he wins.