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Lee Harvey Oswald & the mysterious Nick Beef
22-JUN-2002 Keith Robinson

Lee Harvey Oswald & the mysterious Nick Beef

Fort Worth, Texas

Another Kennedy mystery: Who is Nick Beef?

Fort Worth Star-Telegram

FORT WORTH, Texas - The name is etched on a pink granite tombstone only inches from the grave of one of the most notorious killers in American history.

"Nick Beef."

The neighboring gravestone, nearly identical, says merely:


Lee Harvey Oswald was buried Nov. 25, 1963, in east Fort Worth's Rose Hill Cemetery. It was three days after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in downtown Dallas and one day after Oswald was fatally shot by Dallas nightclub owner Jack Ruby.

Oswald's mother, Marguerite, who died Jan. 17, 1981, is buried next to him. The Beef marker is on the other side. It is not clear who placed the Beef tombstone, or exactly when it appeared.

The rectangular tombstones are the same size. Each bears only a name, without the customary inscription of date of birth and death. On holidays, when the cemetery blooms with flowers from loved ones, both plots typically remain barren.

But there is one big difference between the two grave sites:

"Nick Beef's" is empty.

Just about every aspect of Oswald's life and death has been examined and re-examined by reporters, history buffs and conspiracy theorists, all looking for another small clue as to what drove him to kill the president.

But the Beef marker, so close to the infamous grave, is virtually unknown to some of the most veteran scholars of the Kennedy assassination.

"I've just never, ever, run across that name," said Gary Mack, curator of the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, where Oswald fired the shots into Kennedy's motorcade.

Deby Alexander, general manager of Shannon Rose Hill Funeral Chapel & Cemetery, said no "interment card" is on file for the Nick Beef plot.

"A burial," she said, "has not been done there."

Alexander said she cannot reveal who owns the plot, for privacy reasons. She has heard the unsubstantiated accounts, many of them circulated on the Internet, that the marker was placed by a comedian with the stage name Nick Beef.

So where's the humor in placing a fake grave site next to a man who killed a president?

"We've scratched our heads about this for a long time," said Barb Junkkarinen, a self-described JFK researcher who lives in Forest Grove, Ore.

Junkkarinen said she first saw the Beef marker in November 1998, when she visited Rose Hill while attending a Dallas event commemorating the assassination.

Another assassination buff, Arthur Snyder, a scientist and researcher for Stanford University, said he also noticed the Beef stone in 1998. It wasn't there a year earlier, Snyder said, when he and his wife visited Oswald's grave.

"We were shocked to see it there," said Snyder, of Palo Alto, Calif.

Snyder and Junkkarinen said they were among a group of JFK/Oswald enthusiasts who sought out Rose Hill workers to find out about the new marker.

Junkkarinen said several workers told them that "Nick Beef" was the stage name for a comedian from the Northeast who paid $2,000 for the plot.

The comedian bought the plot, the group was told, as part of an act in which he told audiences they could get directions to Oswald's grave by asking Rose Hill employees for the Beef burial site.

The workers are not allowed to divulge the location of Oswald's grave.

"Only thing is, now they won't tell people where Nick Beef's grave is either!" Junkkarinen wrote on a Web site.

Alexander, the general manager at Rose Hill, acknowledged that curiosity-seekers are not told how to find his grave at the sprawling cemetery, out of respect for his relatives.

"The family is very private about it," she said.

Among the veteran journalists, scholars and members of the entertainment world who have studied the assassination, few know about the "Nick Beef" mystery.

It is a piece of an unsolved puzzle that never came up when Oscar-winning director Oliver Stone was doing his research for the 1991 movie "JFK."

"He's never heard of this guy's name before," said Rob Wilson, a spokesman for Stone.

Ian Griggs, a retired British police officer and co-founder of the overseas research group the Dealey Plaza UK, said he has studied the Kennedy assassination for more than 30 years and remains baffled by the Beef marker.

Like Snyder and Junkkarinen, Griggs said he noticed the gravestone while attending a Kennedy conference in Dallas. He said he got this response when he questioned a Rose Hill worker: "Mr. Beef is not dead."

Computerized property records suggest only one possibility - that a "Nick Beef" might have lived in a high-rise apartment complex in New York during the mid to late 1990s. The spot is in Manhattan's trendy West Village, known for its nightspots, and comedy clubs.

But there is no phone number for a "Nick Beef," and several residents of the complex said they do not remember a neighbor by such a name.

Only a block from the complex is the Comedy Cellar, one of New York's most established stage-comedy clubs, whose featured entertainers have included Robin Williams, Jerry Seinfeld and Chris Rock.

But, as with everything else, when it comes to the name "Nick Beef," the trail quickly turns cold.

Estee Adoram, manager and 23-year veteran employee of the Comedy Cellar, said she doubts that a comic has ever tried to make people laugh about the Kennedy assassination.

She added, "I don't think there was a stand-up comedian by this name."

(Knight Ridder Newspapers correspondents Cathy Belcher and Marcia Melton contributed to this report.)

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Nick Beef 20-Apr-2013 04:21
Im still around, that gravestone is fake
Guest 29-Jan-2013 22:37
I visited the grave site today as I was in the area on business. I was a Philadelphia police detective (23 years of service), and was fascinated by the murder. Not because of conspiracy theories, but due to the inordinate amount of evidence in the case. Physical evidence, eyewitnesses, earwitnesses (folks who heard the shots) and the amount of scientific examination over the years. Truly amazing from a criminal investigation perspective. But, if you have ever stood within the 6th floor museum (albeit the next window over), and looked down on the plaza, your first thought might be - oh my God, not a hard shot to make.
Carmen Rasmussen Kekola 05-Oct-2011 22:43
Abedin is real and from Arlington, Texas. When we were teenagers he drove me and a friend to the burial plot to show it to us. He had a dark blue mustang, if I remember the model car correctly and we were about 16-17 years old at the time. So nice to read about him doing well in his career. I wish him all the best! :-)
Guest 02-Dec-2010 07:47
Arnold Morton, you and guest are exactly right! I can't believe he pulled it off for all these years either.......but he has. And he is a wonderfully talented and intelligent
guy from Arlington, Texas. Way to go!
lancer22 26-Aug-2009 23:53
I was surprised to see a marker next to Oswald's on my 2nd visit to his grave. I was told that is was a man that was executed by the state of Texas??? That was in '98. it was not there in '96 on my first visit...Also did you know there is a John Kennedy buried in that same cemetery? I came across it while searching for Oswald's grave.
Guest 03-Aug-2009 19:54
Oswald didn't shoot the president. He was a US Marine betrayed by his countrymen.
tarkyo 26-Mar-2009 04:46
Well to me it's obvious why someone bought the plot next to Oswald---Look how many people have searched, investigated, speculated, hypothesized, rationalised and visualized.
Guest 13-Feb-2009 15:02
that's kind of wierd.
Guest 19-Dec-2008 03:18
I don't think Oswald did it...I don't think he could if he was on the 6th floor of that building....
Danny Smith 24-Nov-2008 02:20
What does it matter? Mr Kennedy was murdered,Oswald was silenced and Ruby
isn't talking either.Case closed.
guest 16-Aug-2008 16:57
Nick Beef is retiring to Tar Beach
McClenny 08-Aug-2008 12:25
Just a quick add-on--Ruby died in 1967, after he was tried, and had been granted a new trial. He did NOT, Syndia, die 3 months after Oswald did. He's one of many associated with the Kennedy case that died relatively soon after the assassination. As to whether this was coincidence, watch Executeive Action, near the end of the movie, and hear the odds that an actuary did, on the odds of so many people dying mysterious deaths so soon after the assassination.
McClenny 08-Aug-2008 12:18
And for those who still want to find the grave of Oswald, it is in the north-west corner of the cemetary, near a chain link fence. More specific directions, including what house's address lines up with the grave, can be found on line. There is no Nick Beef grave, because there is no body beneath that marker. As for Oswald, we'll assume he's still there.
Guest 02-Jun-2008 18:45
Some comments here make no sense. "Nick Beef" was not there prior to 1997 and certainly not in 1987 or earlier.

Traruh Synred
Sydnia Fuller 29-May-2008 22:44
I really think he deserved what he got from jack ruby... by being shot in the stomach and diying there on the scene and plus jack ruby dying of STOMACH cancer 3 mnths later 2 HELL with both of the S.O.B's
arnoldmorton 01-Apr-2008 13:37
This is too crazy. I went to high school with this guy. Best friends. Best man in my wedding. He has several "stage names." Lives in NYC. Bought the plot when we were in high school.
I can't believe he pulled this off.
chelsey 27-Feb-2008 19:02
oswald deserved what he got. america would truly be different if kennedy would of had his full time in the white house!
guest 22-May-2007 07:11
Patric Scott Abedin, b. 12/29/56 and a 1975 graduate of Arlington High School, gave birth to “Nick Beef” back in the 70’s (his sidekick was “Hash Brown”). He purchased the plot next to LHO and had the “Nick Beef” headstone installed, somewhat to the chagrin of family. Patric was, and still is, one of several actors making appearances as “Ronald McDonald,” as well as other acting gigs and stand up comedy. For the past 25 years, Patric (don’t call him PAT!) has been living in NYC (currently in the West Village). He is a funny, talented guy, does a great impersonation of Tom Waits, writes wonderfully irreverent songs (Cocktails for Christ), has become an awe-inspiring Shakespearean actor and has a lovely ex-wife, Julie and two lovely children, Cooper and Lily.
G.M. Hattrup21-Jan-2006 03:36
Unfortunately, I think the answer to this mystery may have been lost in August of 87
Clara Peller spent a couple of years, 1984 and 1985 looking for the Beef.
I think Clara and Clara alone may have known the answer to this mystery.
She passed away August 11, 1987. She was heard around the country
asking, "Where's the beef?"
Guest 06-Dec-2005 19:21
interesting story, weird too!