NRL News

Much of Kevorkian “Memorabilia” Not Sold at Auction

by | Nov 2, 2011

Ava Janus of Troy, Mich., the sole surviving heir of Jack Kevorkian, poses with his "Thanatron" machine and its carry box, in New York.

By Dave Andrusko

My apologies, I missed this. You may remember I wrote about an exercise in the macabre– the memorabilia of “Dr. Death,” Jack Kevorkian, was to be auctioned off  by his niece, Ava Janus.

Along with his sweater there were some 140 personal items to be offered last Friday. Participants were dubbed by USA Today’s Ann Oldenburg “Morbid fashionista.”

Well some good news (sort of) from the Associated Press:


“A suicide machine belonging to Dr. Jack Kevorkian was withdrawn Friday from an auction of the assisted-suicide advocate’s possessions after failing to draw a high enough bid, while 17 of his paintings tied up in a legal dispute with a suburban Boston museum found no takers.

“The paintings, including one Kevorkian did with a pint of his blood, and about 100 other personal items went on sale at the New York Institute of Technology. The estate had estimated the value of the 17 paintings at $2.5 million to $3.5 million.”

Kevorkian’s suicide machine, which he dubbed a Thanatron, ”delivers intravenous drugs that put the person to sleep and then stops the heart,” the AP reported matter-of-factly. “It was built out of household tools, toy parts, magnets and electrical switches.”


Going in the estimates were that the Thanatron might draw of a bid of between $100,000 and $200,000. But the highest bid was $65,000.

“People just didn’t bid on the big stuff,” Lester Schecter, a colleague of Roger Neal, a spokesman for the Kevorkian estate, told the AP.

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