Since I’ve been investigating details on some cemetery markers across town, when the theory that Gene Raymond was not interred with Jeanette MacDonald was brought up, I was drawn to it more than I usually would have been. In the MacEddy “Master’s Class” on Jeanette’s Funeral, which is uploaded on youtube, at about the 44 minute mark, the speaker goes into the conspiracy theory that Gene is not in the Sanctuary of Heritage, space 20364.
I do need to put a disclaimer on here that this may not be for all readers. I will go into minor detail about the process of decay.
First, let’s discuss some basics about mausoleums. In my 8 years working for the Museum Of Funeral Customs, I not only learned my way around the funeral industry, but came to have the utmost respect for the men and women who work to care for our deceased loved ones. The funeral directors and cemetery workers of the world are doing a job that the average mortal couldn’t handle, and they take their profession quite seriously. In a place such as Forest Lawn, Glendale, you would find the mausoleums to have either tandem or companion crypts. From what I was able to gather in my research, back around 2005, Jeanette and Gene have a tandem. It is a straight-through, single wide crypt made to accommodate two people in line. When Jeanette was interred, she would have been in the rear of the crypt and the front would have been sealed. Consider, of course, that even with embalming fluid, the human body will decompose, gases will build up and need to be released. She would have been sealed in, but there is never, ever a guarantee that everything will go as planned, when the front is re-opened. I would say that 99.99% of funeral professionals do not want to scar people for life. Any guesses as to why they wouldn’t have wanted anyone around to see Gene be interred? Jeanette is in that hole in the wall, dudes. She has been in that wall since 1965. That’s some major creep show weirdness to even want to be around for that opening, and I don’t care what side of the “affair fence” you’re on.
Second, the idea that this conspiracy was cooked up by Mary Kipling is so off the wall preposterous that I’m shocked anyone could even have the brass balls to say it out loud and be serious about it. Mary Kipling, Gene’s mom, died in 1963. Even if, in some parallel universe, she had a will and a pre-plan fund set up for Gene, his legal adult wishes must be respected. Any will he had signed and notarized would trump all desires made by a parent, especially if the parent is too DEAD to contest it. *pulls out Miss Sally’s Mirror* DO YOU SEE HOW DONKEY BALLS INSANE YOU ARE BY SAYING THAT GENE’S MOM HAD HIM MOVED?!
Lastly, I’m coming to the defense of the funeral industry. To even insinuate that there were shady goings-on at Forest Lawn, publicly, is a serious matter. A couple of really scandalous events took place, in Illinois, while I worked for the museum. Those are isolated cases of greed, not to mention positively disgusting to both the public and the professionals. Look at Forest Lawn’s track record and tell me where the company has ever given any indication that what they are doing is not out of the utmost respect, for the dead. On their website, they even warn people not to walk over graves, which is something of a respect built more on superstition than anything else. Not only are they looking out for the famous dead, they’re looking out for the families of common folk who might be pulling up to see Aunt Wanda get trampled by some rampaging fans of her neighbor. They do their best to prevent all disrespect, even when they’ve got clowns like my stupid self, doing a run and slide across a marble floor and under a rope to get a picture. SORRY. No one saw me, and Aunt Wanda’s family was spared my moment of ridiculous.
Seriously, wake up, people. You’re really going to place your trust in the folks who came up with zombie Kipling stealing dead Gene so they could live creepily ever after, out in the yard?