Jack Kevorkian assisted suicide van removed from eBay

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Jack Kevorkian at a speaking engagement. Inset: a 1968 Volkswagen van, much like the Jack Kevorkian assisted suicide van.

"Back it out of here, boys. eBay doesn't want it." (Photo from Flickr. Note: vehicle depicted is not Kevorkian's actual 1968 VW van)

Eventually, everything shows up on eBay, including Dr. Jack Kevorkian’s assisted suicide van. But this time, eBay is drawing the line, reports the Associated Press. The online auction site has classified the auction listing as “murderabilia” and canceled the listing. Retired auto parts dealer Jack Finn, who owns the 1968 Volkswagen van, was understandably upset. With three days left for bidding, it had reached a top big of $3,400 before the eBay auction listing was pulled by the company.

Kevorkian assisted suicide van: car of a ‘notorious murderer?’

That is, of course, a topic for a larger forum, but it is clear from eBay’s communication with the AP that the company considers the Jack Kevorkian assisted suicide van to be an item “closely associated” with a “notorious murderer of the last 100 years.” EBay reviewed the listing after it was brought to its attention, possibly by a user, and determined that it violated their policy. They told Finn in no uncertain terms that “The listing was removed because it violated the eBay murderabilia policy.” Finn’s response, while masking shades of disappointment, was ultimately pragmatic: “I don’t run eBay, Craigslist or the world.”

As it turns out, an Auburn, Ind., auction house called Kruse Auctions has agreed to sell the Jack Kevorkian assisted suicide van at a May 13-16 auction.

A replica of the Jack Kevorkian assisted suicide vehicle van in a movie

The new HBO Film “You Don’t Know Jack,” which stars Al Pacino as Dr. Jack Kevorkian, contains a replica of the 1968 VW van he used to travel to his patients. The duplicate is in considerably better condition than the real thing today, as Finn indicates that the real Jack Kevorkian assisted suicide van is water-damaged and unsafe to drive. In the eBay listing, Finn explains that “all safety systems on the vehicle would have to be completely overhauled. Although the vehicle may actually move and stop under its own power, it’s not being sold as a drivable bus.”

How did Finn get his hands on the classic VW project van?

Finn told the AP that he bought the van in 1997 when he was still operating his used auto parts business called Recycled Bugs. Jack Kevorkian had given the vehicle to his own auto body shop for scrap that year, with no money changing hands. Apparently the auto shop put it up for sale and Finn was the buyer, although specific details of the car’s history that year have not been released. What is clear, according to Kevorkian’s lawyer Mayer Morganroth, is that Jack is upset that the Kevorkian assisted suicide van was ever put up for auction. Still, he does not intend to pursue the matter further, Morganroth told the AP.

(Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/24578786@N04/ / CC BY 2.0)

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