Woman Sentenced for Digging Up Father’s Grave for ‘Real Will’

Apparently the probate court did not satisfy this woman’s belief that she was shorted in her share of the inheritance after her father died in 2004. She dug up her father’s grave in a scene a prosecutor compared to an Edgar Allan Poe story. She wanted to find her father’s “real will” but found only vodka and cigarettes. The woman has been sentenced to 1 ½ to three years in prison.

Details may be found in the Washington Post at http://goo.gl/3aDl2o.

It is a macabre story at best. However, I have to ask one question: why were there vodka and cigarettes in the casket?


I knew a man with two sons who had bought bottles of “really good” something. I’m never sure if it was wine or brandy or whatever. It was bought when each son was born. The daughters didn’t enter into this project at all! He always said that if he didn’t get to drink it in celebration at the son’s weddings, then he wanted to take it with him. When he died with the bottles unused, the two young men asked to be alone with their father in his coffin and each put a bottle into the coffin – hiding them inside the pant legs! That was in case the funeral home people might steal the booze. Then then watched the coffin being latched and at this place there was a key that was turned and handed over to the family! I’ve actually seen the key for whatever use it was for. So the father got to take those expensive bottles “With him”. I’d have thought it would mean more to the living to drink to him at the weddings, but not my decision after all.
Lots of other items are left in the coffins too so not too much of a surprise to have the booze.


pierreclouthier May 6, 2015 at 2:45 pm

I guess for the same reason Egyptians buried their pharaohs with goods for the afterlife.

When we buried my father’s ashes, I inserted a scroll of heavy-gauge aluminum foil in the urn, on which I had embossed a five-page biography, for archeologists to find in the distant future.

When we buried my mother, we poured a dram of whiskey over her ashes.


Kathleen Merkel May 7, 2015 at 7:07 am

One of the pastors I have worked for told the story of the man who wanted to take all his money with him when he died. He wanted cash with him in the afterlife. His wife wrote a check and put it in the coffin! Good for her!


So I guess that means it is illegal to dig up a grave. Even if the grave belongs to a relative.It must have been made illegal when there were grave robbers around.


Delbert Ritchhart May 7, 2015 at 12:35 pm


The answer is obvious–surprised you didn’t know! He liked to smoke and drink Vodka. Who knows if it would be available in the afterlife; thus, he needed to take it with him!


According to my family history, my 4th great grandfather was buried standing up in his grave facing west with his trusty rifle at his side. It is said he haunts the area and people say they have seen a light there. It’s called Bailey’s Prairie in Brazoria, TX. True?. Probably not, but it’s a nice story to tell the kids.


I think there’s a lot more missing besides the will ! ! !


Christine Crawford-Oppenheimer May 8, 2015 at 9:13 am

I wonder what the sentence would have been if she had dug up the grave for something important: a DNA sample!


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