“Murderer’s Bathtub” Fetches $7,600 on eBay

A year’s delay while eBay pondered whether selling the old flophouse bathtub where James Earl Ray stood when he shot Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. cost Memphis judge D’Army Bailey almost $145,000. In 2004, Bailey – one of the founders of the National Civil Rights Museum — put the battered tub up for auction on eBay, with proceeds going to benefit the Boys and Girls Clubs of Memphis. Bidding reached $152,000 before eBay stopped the auction, while it pondered its policy about selling “offensive” items on the online auction. Ebay finally decided the tub was a “historical artifact,” though too late to sell it to the original bidders. Last week, Bailey listed the tub again, and this time the final bid was only $7,600. The winner was an online auction called the Golden Palace Casino, which has purchased other unusual “historical” items, such as a group of four toilets supposedly used by Grateful Dead leader Jerry Garcia. It’s not clear how the casino plans to make use of its latest purchase, but Bailey has told reporters he is confident the new owners will treat the tub “with sensitivity for its historic significance.” We’re not sure how they treated Jerry’s toilets. For more information, go here.

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