Spending Eternity Over Marilyn Monroe

by MSO
The crypts of Richard Poncher and Marilyn Monroe in Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park.

Richard Poncher wanted to be entombed face down in his casket in the crypt he purchased above Marilyn Monroe’s.

Richard Poncher was an entrepreneur who sold every thing from army surplus supplies to bullet proof cars for Al Capone. He also bought a lot of things including a mansion in Beverly Hills and the crypt located right above one where the body of Marilyn Monroe lies today.

When Joe DiMaggio divorced Marilyn Monroe in 1954 he put one of the crypts he purchased for himself and Marilyn up for sale. Elsie Poncher, Richard’s wife, doesn’t know how her husband had come to know DiMaggio but  her husband ended up purchasing the crypt and also bought the one beside it for her. He actually beat out Hugh Hefner who also wanted the crypt above Monroe by offering to pay more. Hefner settled for one beside her instead, “Spending eternity next to Marilyn is too sweet to pass up.”

Accordingly, before Richard Poncher died in 1986 at the age of 81 he told his wife, “If I croak, if you don’t put me upside down over Marilyn, I’ll haunt you for the rest of my life.”

After the funeral service was ended, Elsie told the funeral director that her husband had to be turned face down in his casket before being put into the crypt and he was.

Though Pierce Brothers Westwood Village Memorial Park cemetery is the eternal home to Dean Martin, Merv Griffin, Farrah Fawcett and countless other stars, it is Marilyn’s crypt that is still the most visited. Fans continue to leave roses and lipsticked kisses even though it’s been more than 50 years since the actress died.

In 2009, 25 years after her husband passed away, Elsie was in need of about $1.6 million to pay the mortgage off on her Hollywood mansion. So she decided to put the crypt where her husband rested, up for sale on eBay. His remains would be moved to the crypt next to it which was purchased for her and she decided she would be cremated when the time came and her ashes tucked in with her husband’s remains. Bidding started at $500,000 and the crypt was sold for more than $4.6 million. Unfortunately, the winner was unable to pay and so Richard Poncher continues to gaze upon Marilyn Monroe. Elsie Poncher, now in her 70s was able to come up with the money she needed and still resides in her Hollywood home.

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