DETROIT (AP) – A 1968 Volkswagen van once owned by assisted suicide advocate Jack Kevorkian is up for sale at a Detroit pawn shop even though the late pathologist once dropped it off for scrap.
The rusting van needs significant repairs. But the pawn shop’s owner, Les Gold, believes the vehicle could sell for about $40,000.
“The car doesn’t run, the interior is in bad shape. But it is the idea that it was Jack Kevorkian’s van,” Gold told television station WJBK.
Kevorkian, a retired Detroit-area pathologist, sparked the national right-to-die debate with a homemade suicide machine that helped end the lives of about 130 ailing people. He helped people die in their homes, motels and in the back of the van that often transported bodies to hospital emergency rooms.
Kevorkian became the target of law enforcement, eventually leading to a 1999 second-degree murder conviction for assisting in the 1998 death of a Michigan man with Lou Gehrig’s disease. Kevorkian was released from prison in 2007, and he died in 2011 at age 83.
The van has turned up before. Jack Finn put the van on eBay in 2010, but the online auction site pulled the listing, saying the sale would violate its policy against the sale of murder-related collectables.
Finn said then that he bought the van in 1997, when he was in the used auto parts business.
Kevorkian thought the van had been turned into a hunk of metal before learning Finn had acquired it, according to Detroit-area attorney and friend Mayer Morganroth.
“Jack actually delivered it to be destroyed,” Morganroth told The Associated Press on Tuesday. “He didn’t sell anything. He never sold anything. He didn’t have any use for the van anymore all those years because he was in prison.”
Gold didn’t return messages from the AP on Tuesday. But he told WJBK-TV that he has the van’s title and registration.
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