Wednesday, April 05, 2006

News of Jerry's missing toilet spreads quickly

Newspapers and Television stations all over the world can't resist the story of the Great Dead-Head Heist. The Associated Press story, which begins with the line "The long, strange trip continues for Jerry Garcia's toilet," is still being carried by papers and online news sources from Canada to South Africa. Presumably, the active search for the stolen objects is just as far-reaching.

The saga began when Henry Koltys, a lawyer in Sonoma, announced that he was going to auction off cabinets and fixtures from Jerry Garcia's Nicasio home. Koltys bought the house in 1997 and stated that the auction was for the benefit of his charity the Sophia foundation. The sale attracted attention from the onset and, fearing negative publicity, the Garcia estate sent letters demanding Koltys "cease and desist." The Garcia estate considered the auction "in bad taste" and was worried that it would negatively affect the memory of Jerry Garcia. "We were concerned about a comment that he had a piece of Jerry to sell. Nobody has a piece of him to sell" said Brooke Oliver, attorney for the Garcia estate.

But in February, the items were back up for auction. "Mr. Koltys didn't mean to offend anybody" said Oliver. Apparently, the Garcia estate was now convinced that would-be bidders were aware that the fixtures were not actually a piece of Jerry.

The winning bids, totaling $2,550.00, were all made by an online gambling site. spokesperson Drew Black announced "We plan to include Mr. Garcia's toilets in our traveling museum, along with our other eccentric items. Expect the museum's long strange trip to be coming to a town near you sometime this year." The Gambling company has other items such as William Shatner's Kidney Stone, Britney Spears Pregnancy Test, and the Virgin Mary Grilled Cheese Sandwich.

But the toilets were stolen from a driveway before they could be shipped to the Canadian casino. The police say they have no leads and no suspects. It seems that nobody witnessed the removal of three toilets and a bidet.

Originally, it was reported that a $250 reward was offered for the return of the items stolen. Now it appears that the reward has been increased to $5,000. This amount, if true, is even more than the original winning bid.

And, as can be expected, there are plenty of jokes. The online gossip site Jossip quipped "We're just impressed that the stoners got their shit together enough to organize stealing Jerry Garcia's toilet in the first place" and a satirical article on reported that Bill Walton is the prime suspect.

How active the police are in investigating the crime is unclear. There have been no comments to indicate they think it is an inside job or an elaborate plot from afar. Expect future speculation and suspicion to include Deborah Koons or Mountain Girl.

You can view all the auction items here

You can view one of the eBay auctions here


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