The Mystery of Nick Beef, Revealed

For the history buffs and those versed in the John F. Kennedy association, The New York Times has a pithy but fascinating piece on the grave site next to Lee Harvey Oswald. The marker simply reads NICK BEEF. It actually belongs to a man named Patric Abedin, who bought the plot of land for $175.

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.

And one more paragraph of interest:

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.

Amazing story. And what a downer at the end, huh?

Who is The Umbrella Man?

Today is the 48th anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. In the video linked below, the Academy-award winning filmmaker Errol Morris explores the story behind the one man seen standing under an open black umbrella at the site. It’s a fascinating video. Before you watch, read this statement from Errol Morris himself:

For years, I’ve wanted to make a movie about the John F. Kennedy assassination. Not because I thought I could prove that it was a conspiracy, or that I could prove it was a lone gunman, but because I believe that by looking at the assassination, we can learn a lot about the nature of investigation and evidence. Why, after 48 years, are people still quarreling and quibbling about this case? What is it about this case that has led not to a solution, but to the endless proliferation of possible solutions?

Years ago, Josiah Thompson, known as Tink, a young, Yale-educated Kierkegaard scholar, quit his day job as a professor of philosophy at Haverford College to write the definitive book on the Zapruder film — “Six Seconds in Dallas.” Tink became a private detective, and came to work with many of the same private investigators I had also worked with in the 1980s. We had so much in common — philosophy, P.I. work and an obsessive interest in the complexities of reality. But we had never met.

Last year, I finally got to meet and interview Tink Thompson. I hope his interview can become the first part of an extended series on the Kennedy assassination. This film is but a small segment of my six-hour interview with Tink.

Click here to see the video (I don’t think New York Times allows embedding of its videos).


On a related note: how would you feel if I posted more videos on this blog? I’ve only shared a couple videos in more than 200 posts, so I’m curious to know what you think…