Capote’s Cremains & Funeral Sorcery | 4M #130

ENJOY Funeral Industry News Morticians' Monday Morning Mashup March 18, 2024
4M 130

Capote’s Cremains & Funeral Sorcery | 4M #130

Welcome to the hundred-and-thirtieth edition of Morticians’ Monday Morning Mashup, 4M #130, where we’ll serve up bite-sized, easily-digestible nuggets of the deathcare news you need to crush conversations in the week ahead. Bon appetit!

It’s not just us … sadly

Recent travesties like Return to Nature and Sunset Mesa have certainly given American deathcare a black eye … and it doesn’t give us any pleasure at all to find that these issues are not exclusive to the US. Earlier this month, authorities in the UK raided a funeral home to find 35 bodies that were supposed to have been sent to cremation weeks ago. Described as a “scene from a horror movie,” the funeral home has been shut down and hundreds of families who were served over the last decade are now questioning if the cremains they received actually belonged to their loved ones. Like Colorado, the UK does not have any licensing requirements for deathcare workers — a fact that families are now calling into question.

Getting Lion King vibes

Arizona is one of more than a dozen states currently considering natural organic reduction legislation, and the process has already been legalized in seven others. However, the nickname of the Arizona bills may be one of the most poetic and oddly fitting: they’ve been dubbed the “Circle of Life” bills. Now, good luck getting the Elton John tune of the same name out of your head now … 

Abracadabra alakazam

Two men have been arrested and another is being sought on charges of “performing witchcraft” at a cremation pyre in India. News sources report that a family found three “tantriks performing sorcery” near the site of a 29-year-old heart attack victim’s burning pyre. Authorities found “various materials and ash from the pyre stuffed in a bottle” at the site. Because “sorcery” itself doesn’t seem to be against the law, the suspects have been charged under “Indian Penal Code sections 297 (trespassing on burial places, etc.) and 34 (common intention).”

You go, Idaho

Thanks to newly-passed legislation, Idaho deathcare professionals now have “the authority to legally and respectfully dispose of cremated human remains that have been unclaimed for more than a year.” Some funeral directors shared with news outlets that they have stored unclaimed remains for decades. The new law will require funeral homes to maintain records of the date and general geographic location of the disposition.

Capote’s cremains

The latest installment of director Ryan Murphy’s Feud docudrama series, Capote vs. The Swans, ended this week with an episode that included the 2016 sale at auction of writer Truman Capote’s cremains — 32 years after his death. The series depicts Capote’s tumultuous relationships with a group of 1960s and 70s socialites, including Joanne Carson, wife of The Tonight Show’s Johnny Carson. Capote died at Carson’s California home in 1984, and she was gifted half of his cremains. Carson considered the cremains one of her most prized possessions, and kept them in a Japanese wooden box which she carried with her as she traveled. The box was even stolen from Carson twice, but was eventually returned. When Carson died in 2015, the auction house liquidating her estate did not overtly publicize that Capote’s cremains were included in the sale, but nevertheless, they did become a hot item, ultimately selling for $43,750 to an anonymous bidder.