Geronimo, the last great war chief of the Apache Indians, is not at piece. To be more precise, he may be in pieces. This is the claim from his great grandson, Harlyn Geronimo who launched a lawsuit against the US government this week.
Geronimo famously led an Apache uprising with some success against the US forces during the Indian wars towards the end of the 1880’s. He eluded capture by 5,000 soldiers who set out specifically to track him down and was reputed to have magical power. Geronimo eventually surrendered in 1886.
After being paraded around various Wild West Shows and riding during Roosevelt’s inaugural parade, Geronimo ended his days as a prisoner of war at Fort Sill, Oklahoma dying from pneumonia at the age of 79. According to Fort Sill, the remains of Geronimo are under a stone pyramid monument at Fort Sill where he was buried 100 years ago.
Harlyn believes that some of his ancestor’s bones have in fact gone to university.Bizarrely, he believes that his great grandfather’s skull is currently being fetishized at Yale’s infamous ‘Skull & Bones’ fraternity society. Famous alumni include the current ex-presidents, Bush & Son.
Harlyn is seeking an order to dig up Geronimo’s grave and recover all his ancestor’s relics so that they can be re-buried at the site of his birth in New Mexico. Has this man lost his marbles? Clearly he, like most, has supernatural beliefs about the bones of the deceased and the need to re-unite the remains in death. We had a similar case in Bristol a few years back, where angry parents where horrified to discover that small samples of body tissue removed during the autopsy of their dead children where being kept in storage for analysis. The parents demanded that these various slivers of diseased tissue were buried again with their children as if somehow their children were not complete and could not be laid to rest.
Meanwhile, Harlyn, who is now 81, has been mocked by the authorities but I think there is some merit to the old indian’s concerns. Apparently, a letter from 1918 from one Yale Bonesman to another, was discovered by researchers a few years ago which read, “The skull of the worthy Geronimo the Terrrible, exhumed ffrom Fort Sill by your club…is now safe inside [the clubhouse] together with his well worn femurs, bit & saddle horn.”
And who was alleged to have committed this act of grave-robbing? None other than Prescott Bush, the grandfather of George W.