Richard Poncher 1905-1986 RIP
Birth: Apr. 25, 1905
Death: Aug. 30, 1986
American Folk Figure. There is a persistent, though never proven, story that he was so enamored of Marilyn Monroe that he went to great lengths to secure the crypt above hers. After his own death, the story continues, Poncher's close friends waited for everyone else to leave, then turned the body upside down before the crypt was sealed--leaving Poncher face down "on top of" Marilyn for eternity. William Poundstone, in his book "Biggest Secrets," tells the story and adds that he was unable to come up with any information proving or disproving it. The inscription on Poncher's crypt reads, "To the man who gave us everything and more. You're one in a million, 'Freddie.'"
On August 8, 1962, Marilyn Monroe was interred in a crypt at Corridor of Memories #24, at the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Westwood, Los Angeles. Lee Strasberg delivered the eulogy. The crypt space immediately to the left of Monroe's was bought and reserved by Hugh Hefner in 1992.
In August 2009, the crypt space directly above that of Monroe was placed for auction on eBay. Elsie Poncher plans to exhume her husband and move him to an adjacent plot. She advertised the crypt, hoping "to make enough money to pay off the $1.6 million mortgage" on her Beverly Hills mansion.
Poor Marilyn Monroe!
Crypt auction fails yet again
Monday, November 2nd 2009, 9:44 AM
A second attempt to sell a crypt on top of Marilyn Monroe's final resting place has failed, with not a single bid received for the burial spot in a celebrity-filled Los Angeles cemetery.
Widow Elsie Poncher is trying to sell her husband's crypt to pay off the mortgage on her Beverly Hills home. On selling the crypt, Poncher had planned to move her husband, who died in 1986, to an adjacent crypt intended for her.
But a $4.6 million bid submitted through online auctioneer eBay Inc in August fell through when the unidentified bidder pulled out.
A second auction on eBay with a reserve price of $500,000 also failed, with a notice on the online trading website saying it had closed with no bids on the marble mausoleum where Monroe was laid to rest in 1962.
The crypt is located at the Westwood Village Memorial Park cemetery, home to celebrities including Dean Martin, James Coburn, Roy Orbison, Truman Capote, Natalie Wood, Carl Wilson, Minnie Riperton and recent arrival Farrah Fawcett.
The space next to Monroe's vault was sold in 1992 to the publisher of Playboy magazine, Hugh Hefner, for $75,000.
Winning bidder in eBay auction for spot above
Marilyn Monroe's crypt can't afford $4.6M price tag
By Nancy Dillon
DAILY NEWS WEST COAST BUREAU CHIEF
Tuesday, August 25th 2009, 1:16 PM
LOS ANGELES - Someone just jilted Marilyn Monroe.
An eBay bidder from Japan who offered $4.6 million for the chance to spend eternity on top of the sexy screen siren has backed out.
Beverly Hills widow Elsie Poncher, whose dead husband was laid to rest in the crypt directly above Monroe, put her beloved's valuable vault on the block Aug. 14 to help pay off the $1.6 million mortgage on her home.
Bidding started at $500,000 and shot to $4.6 million in three days. Everything seemed to be going so well, until the widow's rep sent an invoice to the winning bidder Monday.
"I am awfully sorry, but I need to cancel this because of the paying problem," the unidentified bidder said in an email, according to the Los Angeles Times.
The widow's rep has since emailed the 11 other bidders who bid at least $4.5 million, giving them 24 hours to submit new offers.
He told the Times that if the right offer isn't made, he and Poncher may try to find another way to sell the crypt.
EBay had been vetting the bidders and cancelled several offers that appeared fraudulent - leaving 21 final bids.
Poncher's late husband was buried face down, looking at Monroe, when he died 23 years ago at age 81, the auction posting revealed.
His 80-year-old widow said her decision to sell the crypt at the Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park was a practical one.
"I can't be more honest than that," she told the Times. "I want to leave my house free and clear for my kids."
Richard Poncher bought the crypt from Yankee great Joe DiMaggio during his divorce from Monroe, the widow said.
Poncher wasn't a huge fan of Marilyn at the time, the widow said, but as he lay dying, he made a startling vow.
"He said, "If I croak and you don't put me upside down over Marilyn, I'll haunt you the rest of my life," Elsie Poncher said.
Monroe died of a drug overdose ruled a "probable suicide" at the age of 36 in 1962. The star of "Some Like it Hot," "How to Marry a Millionaire," and "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" was named the sexiest woman of the 20th century by both Playboy and People magazines.
The stone façade of her above-ground crypt stands out with a darker hue left by the fingerprints and lipstick marks of countless fans.
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