What's the bid for a crypt with star attraction?

A STRONG candidate for the title of most bizarre story of the week is one from the USA (surprise, surprise). It concerns the woman who is ready to turf out the earthly remains of her late husband from his supposed final resting place so that she can make

A STRONG candidate for the title of most bizarre story of the week is one from the USA (surprise, surprise).

It concerns the woman who is ready to turf out the earthly remains of her late husband from his supposed final resting place so that she can make herself a fortune.

Sentiment does not play a part in this tale.

Widow Elsie Poncher went along with the dying wish of her 81-year-old husband Richard when he shuffled off this mortal coil 23 years ago and had him buried face down in his crypt at an exclusive cemetery in Los Angeles.


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Why go to all the bother? Why should it matter to a dead man which way he is facing? But to Mr Poncher it must have mattered a lot.

He breathed his last knowing that his unseeing eyes would be lined up with the equally blind ones of screen legend Marilyn Monroe whose crypt is directly beneath his.

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Mr P bought the burial plot - and an adjoining one - from Joe DiMaggio during the baseball legend's divorce from Monroe in 1954.

One presumes that he made the purchase with the sole intention of being as close as he could to the movie star when their times came. Thoughtful Mr P graciously reserved the plot next door for his wife.

Maybe it was comforting to think that he would be spending eternity directly above Marilyn Monroe. But he should have realised nothing lasts for ever.

And it's his other half who is making sure of that.

She is using eBay to auction off her late husband's current abode, enticing bidders with the promise of "spending eternity directly above Marilyn Monroe" - or not, depending on the money needs of the buyer's wife in the future.

Sounds like a crazy idea? A novelty which could raise a few bob? Not in good ol' America.

Bidding opened at $500,000 (that's �330,000 in real money) and by Sunday had reached $700,000. A candid Mrs P said she hoped to make enough money to pay off the $1.6m mortgage on her Beverley Hills mansion.

Once the deal goes through, Mr P's remains will be moved into the crypt intended for his wife. She will be cremated when her time comes.

Some believe that the death knell to Gordon Brown's government is already sounding loud and clear.

There was a little ring of the bell this week with the publication of a snap poll of white van men.

Conducted for Budget Van Insurance, it came up with the statistic that 83 per cent of those that would vote at the next general election said that they would not be voting for Labour.

Motoring issues and the national economy were named as the major factors most influencing their vote.

A company spokesman said the poll showed that "van man's vote was significant".

But then it emerged that the survey really was done on a budget - the number of white van men questioned was just 41. Mr Brown can breathe a sigh of relief.

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