The passing of a loved one is always a difficult thing to experience. It’s comforting to know that, in their final days, our loved ones have expressed to us their wishes regarding their final resting place. Whatever it might be, we honor them.
When one man passed away, he made quite an unusual final request in his will. What he asked for involved one of the greatest sex symbols of all time and the place where she was enjoying her eternal rest…
Richard Poncher was a savvy businessman and entrepreneur born in Chicago, Illinois who lived his life in Los Angeles, California.
Little information is known about the entirety of his life or family, but his passing and final resting place have allowed him to infamously live on…
In 1986, at the age of 81, Richard passed away. His wife, Elizabeth Poncher, made his funeral arrangements at the Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park and Mortuary.
Before his passing, he made one final (and strange) request to his wife that involved Marilyn Monroe. You see, for his entire life, Richard was obsessed with the blonde icon.
When he died, he was interred directly above Monroe’s in the Corridor of Memories. Talk about a choice spot!
Mertxe Iturrioz / flickr
Elizabeth recalled Richard telling her, “If I croak, if you don’t put me upside down over Marilyn, I’ll haunt you the rest of my life.”
Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times
So on the day of his funeral, after the ceremony and procession were finished, Elizabeth asked the funeral director to honor her late husband’s final wish.
Wales News Service
Richard Poncher now lays, face-down, in his crypt above Monroe. But how did he manage to obtain a crypt with such close proximity to a legendary icon?
Well, it involves another famous person: baseball player, Joe DiMaggio. He and Marilyn Monroe were married for nine months before Monroe called it quits. Before their divorce, however, DiMaggio had already purchased burial plots for them next to each other…
Alamy / Courtesy Simon & Schuster
And in 1954, the Ponchers just so happened to be staying at the same Regency Hotel in New York City when DiMaggio turned to them and asked if they wanted to buy a crypt!
Richard, being a huge fan of the platinum blonde bombshell, recognized the opportunity and purchased the crypt directly over where Monroe would be buried just eight years later.
The Ponchers also purchased a crypt next to Richard’s future resting place for Elizabeth from DiMaggio that day. The total selling price for both spots is unknown.
But in 2009, 23 years after Richard passed, Elizabeth placed Richard’s crypt up for auction due to financial hardship. She had intended to move Richard’s remains to her plot once it sold.
Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times
This sparked headlines all over the news when she listed the crypt on eBay at a starting price of $500,000. The sale started to make waves in a major way in a matter of days…
She quickly drew in several bidders from around the world. The highest bidder, a party from Japan, offered up $4.6 million in a bidding war that escalated quickly.
Oddly enough, the bid fell through because of an issue with payment just days after close. Elizabeth and her lawyer reached out to the 11 out of 21 other offers which were over $4.5 million. All of them fell through.
The crypt was pulled from eBay. It is unknown exactly when, but Elizabeth eventually passed away and joined her husband…and Marilyn Monroe…in the Corridor of Memories.
There has been a bit of speculation surrounding Elizabeth’s passing, however. Questions about her mysterious death still circulate because the plaque on her crypt lacks a birth and death date.
In the end, there are only a couple of things that are known for sure: Hugh Hefner now rests next to Monroe. He purchased his plot in 1992 for $75,000 and told the L.A. Times, “Spending eternity next to Marilyn is too sweet to pass up.”
And, there still might be another unoccupied crypt in the Corridor of Memories near Monroe and the Ponchers. Whoever wants it should be prepared to shell out big. The last plot to sell there went for $250,000.
This story began in 1954 in a hotel in New York City and ended 32 years later. For now, Richard Poncher lays face-down in his crypt above Marilyn Monroe fulfilling his dying wish.
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