Elvis’s empty crypt an $800,000 steal?
Elvis left this building 20 years ago, but you can own it if you have $800,000 to spare.
The “family room” of The Abbey Mausoleum where Elvis Presley first was entombed was put on the market last week.
The mausoleum chamber at Forest Hill Cemetery Midtown, 1661 Elvis Presley Blvd., also briefly contained the remains of Elvis’s mother, Gladys, until both were reinterred at Graceland in September 1977.
The room, which contains eight “couch crypts,” has been empty since Presley’s body was removed after an attempt to break into the crypt and steal the body.
“What makes the crypt special is that Elvis was there and the cemetery hosted the world on the day Elvis died,” said Darrell Dishner, cemetery and sales manager.
Three men were charged Aug. 29, 1977, for criminal trespassing in connection with a plot to steal Presley’s body and hold it for ransom. Police had been notified that there would be an attempt to steal the body. Presley died Aug. 16, 1977.
Presley’s crypt was sealed with two concrete slabs and covered by a sheet of marble. The steel-lined, copper-plated casket weighed about 900 pounds.
Police could not charge the men with attempted burglary because they did not have burglary tools, according to news accounts at the time. The other charges were dropped Oct. 4, 1977.
Gladys Presley, who died Aug. 14, 1958, was moved to The Abbey Mausoleum after her son was placed there. The bodies were moved to the Presley Estate after the attempted break-in.
The Abbey, completed in 1915, is a granite and Italian marble mausoleum, according to Forest Hill’s web site, http://www.lunanet.com /elvishasleftthebuilding
The mausoleum has a chapel patterned after the Parthenon. At the ends of each of four corridors, there are three family rooms. Some of these family rooms are the final resting places of other well-known Mid-South families, said Dishner, who declined to reveal family identities.
The Presley family was notified of the sale and showed no interest in purchasing, he said.
Since the crypt has been for sale, the cemetery has not had a valid bid. Prime Succession, the company that owns the cemetery, will take bids through the end of August. If there are no bids then, the sale will continue, he said.
To reach reporter Chandra M. Hayslett, call 529-2322 or E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
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