Man Buys Elvis Is Alive Collection for $8300.00

MJMANDALAY

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Jan 26, 2005
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ST. LOUIS (AP) -- A collection of photographs, books and FBI files from The Elvis Is Alive Museum sold for $8,300 on eBay, and the 81-year-old proprietor of the roadside attraction hopes the bidder will carry on his theory that the King never died.

A man from Laurel, Miss., must make a $500 deposit by the end of the weekend or lose his right to claim the stuff, the museum owner's son said Friday.

The collection includes a tape recording of what is said to be Elvis Presley's voice made long after the date of his death and piles of documents that are said to be FBI files proving Presley's involvement with federal authorities.

Bill Beeny, a Baptist minister who founded the quirky museum in 1990, said he sold his memorabilia because he wants to refocus his energy on serving the needy in Warren County and raising money for relief efforts in Darfur.

Carpenters will begin this weekend to reconfigure the museum, a transformed coin-operated laundry 55 miles west of St. Louis.

Other items in the collection include replicas of the Cadillac Elvis drove and the casket and gravestone from his 1977 funeral. A poster of the famous photo of President Nixon and Presley from 1970 is also included.

Beeny's son, Steve, declined to put a value on his father's collection.

"Value is in the eye of the beholder," he said diplomatically.

He said Bill Beeny would have liked the museum to stay in the family but all six of his kids "have real life going on."

"I'm sure there's some regret there," Steve Beeny said. "But he's always been one to look forward and not look back. It's bittersweet. It's kept us entertained through the years."