NICK BEEF: The Grave Beside Oswald's

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NICK BEEF: The Grave Beside Oswald's

Postby redsock » Sat Aug 10, 2013 6:36 pm ... olved.html

The New York Times
August 9, 2013
Mystery From the Grave Beside Oswald’s, Solved

FORT WORTH — In a corner of the Shannon Rose Hill Cemetery, close to a chain-link fence that separates the living and the dead, a patch of ground has been worn free of grass by all who come to stare at one particular gravestone. With just a surname, the marker says it all: OSWALD.

But in the half-century since a slight, sallow man named Lee Harvey Oswald killed President John F. Kennedy, so much continues to be said about the assassination that the various conspiracy devices and theories are nearly as familiar as the tragic event itself. The Magic Bullet theory. The Zapruder film. The Umbrella Man. The Mafia. Jack Ruby. Fidel Castro.

And, of course, Nick Beef. Or, more accurately, NICK BEEF.

For the last 15 years, this curious name has vexed the obsessive assassination buffs who make regular pilgrimages to the Oswald plot here in Fort Worth. That is because a pinkish granite marker suddenly appeared beside the assassin’s grave sometime in 1997. And all it said was Nick Beef.

In their quest to make sense of a national catastrophe — to find a narrative more acceptable than that of one gunman, acting alone — some theorists have tried to divine meaning in a name that, more than anything else, evokes a private eye who specializes in agricultural intrigue. It added another question to their already exhausting list. Who was Nick Beef?

To begin with, Mr. Beef remains happily above the clay.

Affable, with gray-black hair slicked back, save for a stray curl or two, he sips tea at a cozy table at the Jack bistro in Greenwich Village, not far from his Manhattan apartment. With evident pride in possessing one of the more distinctive conversation starters in American discourse, he confirms that he owns the burial plot beside Lee Harvey Oswald’s.

As for his notoriety among the conspiracy cognoscenti, he says, he came by it innocently, even accidentally. But now, with the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination less than four months away, he has decided to reveal himself, sort of, to The New York Times.

This scoop may not definitively link Castro, the mob, and the Central Intelligence Agency to the Kennedy assassination, but, hey, it’s something. And to prove that he is who he says he is, Mr. Beef reaches into a small satchel and pulls out a contract from 1975 for Burial Plot 258 in the Fairlawn section of Rose Hill ($175), as well as a receipt from 1996 for the purchase and installation of a granite stone to be engraved NICK BEEF ($987.19).

Mr. Beef, 56, is a writer and “nonperforming performance artist” with a penchant for the morbid, he says, who has never done stand-up comedy — an important point. He says that Nick Beef is a long-held persona; his given name is Patric Abedin. Here is his story.

On Nov. 21, 1963, President Kennedy and his wife, Jacqueline, landed at the former Carswell Air Force Base in Fort Worth as part of a two-day Texas tour. Among the many gathered for the arrival — some holding “Welcome to Texas, Jack and Jackie” signs — was young Patric, the 6-year-old asthmatic son of an Air Force navigator. Having gotten lost in the crowd, the boy was sitting on the shoulders of a military police officer when the first couple passed by just a few feet away.

The future Mr. Beef was Mr. Popular the next morning at Waverly Park Elementary School, as he regaled his first-grade classmates with his presidential story. They soon went outside for recess, while his asthma kept him indoors. He was alone, then, when the principal announced over the loudspeaker that the president had been shot; alone, too, when the principal followed up to say that the president was dead.

As his class returned from recess, he told his teacher what he had heard. At first she suspected that he was vying for more attention. But soon, as everyone of a certain age remembers, classes were abruptly dismissed amid the weeping of teachers.

A young boy’s life continued. His father took him to the World’s Fair in New York. His older brother broke his jaw during some horseplay. His parents divorced. At the age of 10, he survived a car crash that killed a 9-year-old friend.

The lesson he was learning: “Things change really quickly.”

By the late 1960s, he was living with his remarried mother in Arlington, Tex. Every week they would drive to the Carswell base for his free asthma shot, then occasionally stop at the eclectic cemetery called Rose Hill on their way home. “She’d get out and look at Oswald’s grave,” he recalls, “and tell me, ‘Never forget that you got to see Kennedy the night before he died.’ ”

The years passed. When he was 18, he read a newspaper article’s passing mention that the grave beside Oswald’s had never been purchased. He went to Rose Hill, where a caretaker in a glorified garden shed thumbed through some cards and said, “Yep, that’s available.”

The young man put $17.50 down, and promised to make 16 monthly payments of $10.

Mr. Beef has often asked himself why. “It meant something to me in life,” is the only answer he can come up with. “It was a place I could go and feel comfortable.”

Around the same time, he and a friend were trying to make each other laugh while driving to Dallas from Lubbock. Stopping at a bar and grill, his friend decided to become Hash Brown; he declared himself Nick Beef. A joke.

As for his unmarked burial plot back in Rose Hill, he says: “I just sat on it. Not literally.”

Life followed its unpredictable course. He worked for a local television station, moved to New York, got involved with a sketch-comedy troupe called the Other Leading Brand. He did some freelance humor writing, sometimes using the byline of Nick Beef. He married, had two children, and amicably divorced. Somewhere in there, Oswald’s body was exhumed to address speculation that the buried remains were actually those of a Russian agent; they were not.

In late 1996, Mr. Beef’s mother died, and he returned to Texas to follow the detailed instructions she had left for her own funeral. During his stay, he visited his real estate in Rose Hill and decided, on the spot, to buy a gravestone the exact dimensions as Oswald’s. When the cemetery official asked what he wanted on it, he thought about protecting his two children.

“Well, here we go,” he recalls thinking.

Upon hearing the name, the official put down his pen. But he picked it up again when the customer pulled out a credit card in the name of Nick Beef.

With the gravestone planted, rumors and speculation took root. It was said that since the cemetery refuses to provide directions to Oswald’s grave — at the family’s request, a spokeswoman for the cemetery said — two reporters had bought the plot so that the curious could ask instead for Nick Beef. It was also said that Nick Beef was a New York stand-up comic who used references to the grave in his act. Assassination buffs swapped theories on the Internet.

Meanwhile, Mr. Beef just carried on, not answering e-mails or telephone calls or the doorbell’s persistent buzz. He began creating photographic haikus by using snapshots of tombstones that he had taken; he calls his work “DieKus.” For example:

Bishop. Block. Castle.

Knight. Leap. Castle. Spear. Bishop.

Queen. Downs. King. Chek. Mate.

Yes, he admits again, he has a penchant for the morbid. But this does not mean that he bought the plot next to Oswald’s as a joke, or a piece of installation art, or anything of the kind. It’s personal. It’s about change. The fragility of life. Something.

And no, Nick Beef will not be buried inches from the man who killed Kennedy.

“I’d prefer to be cremated,” he says.
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Re: NICK BEEF: The Grave Beside Oswald's

Postby Belligerent Savant » Sun Aug 11, 2013 9:25 am


But in the half-century since a slight, sallow man named Lee Harvey Oswald killed President John F. Kennedy...

Nick Beef will not be buried inches from the man who killed Kennedy..


Apparently there was a posthumous trial and conviction.

On edit: Perhaps they utilized this DVD as a handy guide:


The above quote came from the lips of Mrs. Ruth Paine in 1986, and can be heard on this first-ever DVD release of "ON TRIAL: LEE HARVEY OSWALD" (which was made available by MPI Home Video on October 28, 2008).

Ruth Paine was one of the very few people in the world who knew Mr. and Mrs. Lee Harvey Oswald fairly well just prior to November 22, 1963, which was the Friday when Lee Oswald took a gun to work and assassinated President John F. Kennedy.

In July of 1986, Mrs. Paine was one of several people who travelled from America to London in order to participate in a TV "docu-trial" ("ON TRIAL: LEE HARVEY OSWALD"), a simulated courtroom trial produced by London Weekend Television.

The mock trial was 21 hours long, but more than 75% of that filmed footage was left on the cutting-room floor, with the 21 hours' worth of trial material being trimmed down to a little more than 5 hours for its original two-part Showtime cable-TV broadcast on November 21 and 22, 1986.

This 2-Disc DVD edition of "On Trial: Lee Harvey Oswald" contains the entire uncut docu-trial as it was originally aired in November 1986 by the Showtime network in the United States (5+ hours of programming).

However, some portions of the original Showtime broadcast featuring host Edwin Newman and other commentators (such as Jack Anderson, Ramsey Clark, and Alan Dershowitz) have not been included on this DVD.

Very brief interview snippets with the two lead attorneys involved in the trial (Vincent Bugliosi and Gerry Spence) that were aired on TV in '86 have also been removed for this DVD presentation. But all of the in-the-courtroom footage from the original '86 Showtime broadcast appears to be intact and included in this MPI Home Video version.

Footnote regarding running time --- Each of the two DVDs in this set has an incorrect (too short) running time shown on it. Based on the printed information on the discs, the total run time is only 4 hours and 8 minutes. But the total time for both DVDs is actually 5 hours and 7 minutes, which almost certainly represents the whole program as it first aired on Showtime (minus some of the wraparound segments with Edwin Newman, et al).

At least one subsequent airing of this docu-trial on a different U.S. network (in 1988), however, does contain additional courtroom footage that is not included in this Showtime/MPI version.

But it's not entirely surprising that alternate versions of this lengthy program were produced, featuring different editing, given the fact that more than three-fourths of the filmed trial was edited out in the first place (including the entire testimony of at least one witness, Jack Tatum).

Another packaging error can be found on the back cover of this MPI DVD, where we find this absurdly-overstated blurb -- "ON TRIAL: LEE HARVEY OSWALD recalls all of the surviving witnesses...".

But quite obviously, as of July 1986 (when the Oswald TV trial took place), more than just the 21+ people who took the witness stand at this mock trial were still among the living (as far as assassination-related witnesses are concerned).

No witnesses were subpoenaed, however. The people who took the witness stand at the mock trial did so voluntarily. They were not being forced to appear. So, that fact certainly must have limited the length of the witness lists for both the defense and the prosecution to a large degree.



"On Trial: Lee Harvey Oswald" has the feel of a real trial (although, of course, it isn't, since the defendant in the case, Lee Harvey Oswald, was himself shot and killed by Dallas nightclub operator Jack Ruby just two days after President Kennedy was murdered).

But "On Trial" has a real judge sitting on the bench in the London courtroom, 12 real Dallas jurors sitting in the jury box, more than 20 real sworn-in witnesses (connected in various ways to the JFK and/or J.D. Tippit murder cases) taking the witness stand to testify on behalf of either the prosecution or the defense, and two prominent U.S. trial attorneys presenting their cases in front of the jury -- Vincent T. Bugliosi for the prosecution (representing the "U.S. Government") and Gerry Spence representing the deceased defendant, Lee Oswald.

Mr. Bugliosi, in 2005, said it was his belief that the 1986 television docu-trial was "the closest thing to a trial that Lee Harvey Oswald ever had or will have". And after having watched the trial many times since '86, I have to fully concur with Vince's assessment as well.

This simulated trial was the springboard that led Bugliosi to write his mammoth and all-encompassing book on the JFK assassination, "Reclaiming History", which took Vince more than 20 years to research and write. The book was finally published in May 2007.

As mentioned previously, Ruth Paine was among the 21+ witnesses who testified in 1986 at the TV docu-trial, and Paine's testimony is among the most riveting and enlightening during the five-hour program. Even after 23 years, the raw emotion of that day back in 1963 still resonates deeply within her. Ruth's testimony is worth the price of this DVD set alone.
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All Roads Lead to Austin...

Postby elfismiles » Sun Sep 29, 2013 11:08 am

All Roads Lead to Austin...

So I just came across this bit in the latest issue of AUSTIN ALL NATURAL ... which is edited by Michael Abedin whom I've met and communicated with a couple of times years ago:

Oswald, Beef, Abedin, and Austin
Image ... 13-web.pdf

A Letter to Our Readers

What do you do when someone in your family is tagged as a shadowy figure, a player in one of the most monumental and conspiracy-ridden events of the last century?

When reporters have called you, and you said you knew – nothing?

When, after a series of events set in motion several decades ago comes to its ultimate conclusion, when it lands on the front page of the New York Times and on CNN, and when rumors have swirled for years about involvement by the CIA, the KGB, and maybe even the Illuminati, the Trilateral Commission, and – who knows – maybe even the Masons...

Whaddaya do?

You man up, that’s what. Tell the truth. You knew all along your own brother was – dare it be said?

Nick Beef.

Whew. Feels better – but now what?

Go underground. You grew up in the Sixties – you know the drill. Change your identity. Get a new photograph for the magazine.

No one will suspect a thing.

Nick who?

–Michael Abedin

Who’s the Beef?

November 21, 1963. A VIP lands at Carswell Air Force Base in Fort Worth, and a six-year-old kid wanders away from his mom and brother in the welcoming crowd and is hoisted to the shoulders of an air policeman to look for them. He gets a birds-eye view of the VIP and his lovely wife.

November 22, 1963. The VIP, President John Kennedy, is assassinated in downtown Dallas. The alleged assassin is shot in the basement of the Dallas jail days later, and the stories begin.

One of them becomes the story of the grave next to the assassin’s, in a small cemetery in Fort Worth.

Seems no one wanted to go to what funeral homes like to call their Eternal Rest next to Oswald’s grave, but someone does indeed buy the plot – and in 1997, a gravestone appears overnight. No services, no evidence of a grave being dug, just a marker with two words on it.

Nick Beef.

Online rumors swirled – KGB agent, a CIA guy who knew too much? How did they do it, without any digging? The plot thickened, as plots will do, when word spread that renegade artwork posted in public places in New York City was signed by – Nick Beef. The artwork was (listen carefully) photographs of cemetery headstones, with the names arranged in the five, seven, five syllable count of Japanese haiku.

Beef, still unlocated, called ‘em Diekus – and Austin All Natural became the first publication to print them, in October 2010 and 2011. Plain brown wrapper, not at liberty to reveal sources, something like that.

Not quite true. It’s been a carefully guarded family secret that Nick Beef is (dramatic organ chords) – Patric Abedin. Yep.

The six-year-old, grown up. (Guess who his older brother is?) Secret’s out, Nick’s in the news, no one’s in the grave.

Feels good to come clean, have a laugh at conspiracy theorists’ expense, get it off your chest and – hey, what’s that red dot on my chest?

Read the inside story of Nick Beef in October. See Diekus at

Image ... d-beef.jpg

Image ... abedin.jpg

Image ... ld-cnn.jpg
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Re: NICK BEEF: The Grave Beside Oswald's

Postby elfismiles » Sat Aug 27, 2016 1:59 pm

Art and Oswald ...

Mural of assassin Oswald on Dallas building draws scrutiny
Aug. 26, 2016 5:42 PM EDT

Christian Avanti, owner of the Members Only barbershop, poses in front of a mural of Lee Harvey Oswald painted on an exterior wall outside his business, Friday, Aug. 26, 2016, in Dallas. A nearly two-story mural of assassin Lee Harvey Oswald recently painted on a Dallas building is drawing criticism for being insensitive. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

DALLAS (AP) — A nearly two-story mural of assassin Lee Harvey Oswald recently painted on a Dallas building is drawing criticism for being insensitive.

The mural outside a barbershop features Oswald's black-and-white portrait. He lived in the neighborhood and the owner of the barbershop, Christian Avanti, says the mural is meant only to reflect the neighborhood's history and isn't an homage. Avanti says it wasn't meant to upset people.

The area is part of an arts district featuring a variety of murals. The Bishop Arts District Merchants Association says what property owners choose to paint on their buildings is up to them.

Neighbor Jeanie DeLeon tells KXAS-TV that the mural hurts efforts to promote the district.

Oswald shot President John F. Kennedy in 1963 as the president traveled through Dallas in a motorcade. ... s-scrutiny
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Re: NICK BEEF: The Grave Beside Oswald's

Postby Grizzly » Sat Aug 27, 2016 8:53 pm

If Barthes can forgive me, “What the public wants is the image of passion Justice, not passion Justice itself.”
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