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By Cybergeek | THE JOURNAL RECORD, October 3, 1996 | Go to article overview

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Cybergeek, THE JOURNAL RECORD


Hounded to the grave?

http://www.ca-probate.com/wills.htm

http://www.courttv.com/library/newsmakers/wills/ Who knew that Elvis Presley named his father as executor of his estate? That Babe Ruth's will set up a trust fund for his wife and daughters? That Richard Nixon did the same for his grandchildren? That Jerry Garcia remembered friends in his will while leaving many of them musical instruments? Well, not the Cybergeek. Not until he ran across these two Web sites containing the full text of last wills and testaments of famous people. The "probate" site was built by Mark J. Welch, a California attorney who specializes in estate planning. The site has about three dozen wills. It also hyperlinks to the Court T.V. Web site, which contains another dozen or so wills. So whose wills do you find here? An interesting mix: Ben Franklin, Richard Nixon, Walt Disney, Jerry Garcia, Elvis Presley, Jackie Onassis, statesman Henry Clay, attorney Melvin Belli, Chief Justice Warren Burger, Beatle John Lennon, billionaire Doris Duke, Shoeless Joe Jackson, plus lots of lesser-known historical figures from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. Plus one will from a dog. Sometimes the mind goes first http://www.teleport.com/~stanton/ Kathy Lee Gifford called this "the most disgusting page on the Internet," so depending on your view of Kathy Lee this is either worth seeking or worth avoiding. It is, essentially, a central graves registry for the rich and famous. It was assembled by Scott Stanton, also known as The Tombstone Tourist, who is making a name for himself with this strange hobby. He's soon to publish a hardcover book derived from this oddball pastime. It isn't just graves, either. Stanton has a thing for cemeteries, so he "reviews" cemeteries from far off places (Paris), from places known for unusual graves (New Orleans), and from places with unusual histories (Graceland). There's a "Gravesite of the Day" feature plus a list of fresh obituaries from the day's news. Despite the odd theme, these pages contain mostly respectful obituaries plus detailed accounts of funerals, with lots of photos. …

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