“Dr. Death” Jack Kevorkian’s 1968 Volkswagen mini-bus may be rolling again.
Gold told the New York Daily News a Detroit car dealer has purchased the controversial assisted suicide pioneer’s van for $25,000 and plans to display it as his dealership once the payments are made.
Gold said the “Deathmobile,” which Kevorkian drove when he presided over suicides, is the strangest items ever taken in by the Southfield pawn shop.
It’s also controversial.
To many in the Detroit area, the vehicle may be something of a “Christine,” the vintage car in Stephen King’s horror novel of the same name that is supposedly possessed by supernatural forces.
- Do you think the van driven by Dr. Jack Kevorkian should be preserved and displayed, or is that too macabre?
Kevorkian reportedly sold the minibus for scrap in 1997, but the new owner, Jack Finn, held onto it, hoping to get six figures for it, but instead letting it go for $20,000 during a taping of the Hardcore Pawn reality show. Gold said he would like to keep the infamous “Deathmobile,” but it takes up too much room in his shop.
At one point, Kevorkian’s van was for sale on eBay for $10,000, but the listing was yanked after the online auctioneer cited its policy against “murderabilia.”
Gold thinks it’s an important piece of local history and should be preserved.
"With history you have to take the good with the bad," he told The Daily News. "What better piece of Detroit history than something like this?” Kevorkian, who lived in Royal Oak, helped at least 130 terminally ill patients die before his 1999 second-degree murder conviction in the death of a Waterford Township man. That case was profiled on CBS’ “60 Minutes.”
Kevorkian, who served eight years in prison before his release in 2007, died in 2011 at the age of 83. At the time, many residents of Royal Oak mourned the man the world knew as Dr. Death, but they called Jack. They remembered him as quiet and unimposing – “that quirky gentleman.”
Nick Rosebush of Royal Oak said he was well-liked and “a really smart man.”
“Everyone thought he was the nicest guy,” Rosebush told Patch in 2011. “My landlord said one time that if we had another 28 Jack Kevorkians in this place that it would be just fine."