In what has got to be one of the most obscene gesture yet in this recession, a Los Angeles woman is proving you're not even safe in death. She's putting her husband's prime crypt real estate, directly above the bombshell blonde, up for sale on eBay, with bids opening at $500,000, reports the LA Times. Is nothing sacred?
The Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park cemetery is home to a slew of celebs including Merv Griffin, Natalie Wood, Dean Martin, Mel Torme, Truman Capote, and now Farrah Fawcett.
But Poncher has perhaps the most coveted position in the Corridor of Memories Mausoleum: lying on top of Marilyn Monroe's crypt. Hie wife Elsie Poncher is putting the space up for auction, for her kids of course, to help pay off the $1.6-million mortgage on her Beverly Hills home. "I want to leave it free and clear for my kids."
Richard Poncher was a legendary entrepreneur who made his fortune through anything from electronics to Army airplanes. He even built bulletproof cars for Al Capone. Allegedly, he knew all the gangsters.
According to Elsie Poncher, her husband bought two crypts from Joe DiMaggio in 1954 during the Yankee star's divorce from Monroe. Elsie plans on moving him to the crypt that was reserved for her, and having her remains cremated when the time comes.
By moving his body, Elsie will be violating her husband's dying wish: "He said, 'If I croak, if you don't put me upside down over Marilyn, I'll haunt you the rest of my life.' " After his funeral Elsie supervised as her husband was turned over.
Playboy's Hugh Hefner bought the crypt adjacent to Monroe's in 1992 for $75,000. "I'm a believer in things symbolic," he said. "Spending eternity next to Marilyn is too sweet to pass up."
The $500,000 price tag for Poncher's crypt might be a tough sell in this economy, especially considering there's an empty spot in the mausoleum, two spots above Monroe and to the left, available for a mere $250,000. And it would take a real die-hard fan to justify the gaucheness of moving someone in death.
Living larger than life, the Ponchers acquired more than just one of the most coveted crypts in existence. Among her many valuables are a Picasso drawing and prints by Chagall. Certainly she could auction some of her artwork before turning over her husband's dying wish and resting place.
Even Julian Schnabel put his beloved Picasso on the auction block to help repay his heavy real estate loans. Picasso may just be the one recession-proof artist, as drawings and watercolors easily pull in six figures. Sotheby's just sold a Picasso crayon drawing for $437,220, well over its $329,980 high estimate.
Regardless, when the Ponchers meet in the afterlife, she's a gonna have some explainin' to do. Meanwhile, Elsie might best prepare for a very angry haunting coming her way.
2009 Forbes' Celebrity 100
You don't need an Oscar nomination to land on the Forbes Celebrity 100 list. What you need is money and clout. Each year Forbes ranks the most powerful celebrities based on a combination of total earnings and an ability to generate buzz.
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