When we lose a loved one, we always want to grant their final wishes, to honor their memory. This is what one man’s family did when he passed, with quite an unusual request.
Unusual Final Request
When one man passed away, he made quite an unexpected final request before he passed. This strange ask, included one of the world’s greatest icons to have ever lived, and who to this day is still considered the pin up girl of them all. His request also included her place of rest.
Richard Poncher was a clever and successful businessman and entrepreneur, who was born in Chicago, Illinois. In his adult life, he lived his life in Los Angeles, California. There is not a lot of information about the majority of his life or family, but once he passed, his dying wish allowed him to infamously live on…
In 1986, at the age of 81, Richard passed away after living a long and fulfilled life. He left behind his loving wife, Elizabeth Poncher, who made his funeral arrangements at the Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park and Mortuary. They were the best of friends, and when he died, she wanted to make sure that she honored her partner in the way that he had asked for.
For his whole life, his wife was his second favorite woman. She knew that she was in competition with someone else. A blonde bombshell, who went by the name of Marilyn Monroe.
Their whole marriage, he would collect Marilyn memorabilia, and was infatuated by the Hollywood actress, so much so, that by the time he died, she was still a part of him. So what was this request then?
One Last Request
When he died, he was interred directly above Monroe’s in the Corridor of Memories. There was no finer spot! 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.”
Honoring His Wishes
So on the day of his funeral, after the ceremony and procession had finished, Elizabeth asked the funeral director to honor her late husband’s final wish. She knew just how much it meant to the old man and she had to make it come true for him.
So 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? How was this actually possible?
The Plot Thickens
Ok, so this next part of the tale involves another famous person: baseball player, Joe DiMaggio. He and Marilyn Monroe were married for nine months before Monroe decided to end it. Before their divorce, however, DiMaggio had already purchased burial plots for them next to each other…
And in 1954, the Ponchers coincidentally 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! Well what do you know ey?
Richard, being a huge fan of the platinum blonde bombshell, recognized the opportunity and wasted no time at all jumping on this perfect moment. He couldn’t believe that he had purchased the crypt directly over where Monroe would be buried only eight years later.
Resting Places Purchased
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 has not be disclosed. However one would be intrigued to know.
Crypt For Sale
But in 2009, 23 years after Richard passed, Elizabeth placed Richard’s crypt up for auction due to financial strain. She had every intention to move Richard’s remains to her plot once it sold.
This hit headlines all over the news when she listed the crypt on eBay at a starting price of $500,000. The famous sale started to make waves in a huge unexpected way in a matter of days…
Offers Swimming In
More than 20 offers, starting at $500,000, were received for the slot, located in the Westwood Village Memorial Park in Los Angeles, also the final resting place of Dean Martin, Natalie Wood, Truman Capote and Farrah Fawcett. Elsie Poncher’s eBay advert was geniusly headlined: “Spend eternity directly above Marilyn Monroe”.
The Highest Bidder
She quickly attracted in several bidders from around the world, faster than she ever imagined. The highest bidder, was from Japan, and they offered a staggering $4.6 million in a bidding war that escalated quickly. That number was unfathomable, she never thought that someone would be willing to pay that amount.
Issue With The Bid
Strangely enough, or maybe it was fate, 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 oddly fell through in the end. What did this mean?
The remains of Mr Poncher, who died 23 years ago at the age of 81, will now be moved sideways to a neighbouring plot. She was reportedly planning to pay off the mortgage on her Beverly Hills home with the proceeds of the eBay auction.
The crypt was pulled from eBay due to the unforeseen circumstances. It cannot be confirmed 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 nobody really knows what happened. Questions about her mysterious death still circulate because the plaque on her crypt lacks a birth and death date. It is quite cryptic.
In The End
In the end, only a few things are known for sure, and those are: 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.” So what about Richard?
Shelling Out Big
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 the big bucks. The last plot to sell there went for $250,000. Can you believe that is what some folks pay for a plot?