For Sale In Westport: JFK’s DNA

John Reznikoff has sold George Washington’s hair. He’s auctioned artifacts from Abraham Lincoln, Napoleon Bonaparte and Albert Einstein.

Now up for grabs: a piece of leather from the limousine President Kennedy was riding in when he was killed.

But not just any leather. This one has blood stains — JFK’s actual DNA, Reznikoff says.

He should know. As founder and president of University Archives — the Richmondville Avenue auction house specializing in historical relics and documents — he’s one of the world’s foremost authenticators of this stuff.

Reznikoff’s clients include the U. S. Justice Department, FBI, state law enforcement, and the largest rare book dealers in the world.

So when he says this swatch of leather is the real deal: Believe him.

Of course, you’re not exactly buying the entire seat.

Reznikoff said he bought a small bit of the leather years ago. He cut it into even smaller pieces — less than an inch square.

Most have already been sold. Now he’s putting one more up for bid.

President Kennedy, his wife Jackie and Texas Governor John Connolly, moments before the assassination.

“Any blood relic, by its nature, some people are a little squeamish about it,” Reznikoff told NBC5DFW.com, the TV station and website in Dallas — the city where Kennedy was assassinated.

“Unfortunately, part of our history isn’t necessarily so rosy. There’s a lot of violence in the history of America, and every country for that matter.”

Though this auction is for just a tiny piece of leather, it’s not Reznikoff’s first foray into JFK’s blood-stained death.

In 2003, he sold the white Lincoln Continental convertible that the president rode in the morning of November 22, 1963. The trip was from his Fort Worth hotel, to the airport for Dallas.

It was the last car he got out of alive.

(For the full NBC5DFW story, click here. Hat tips: Bart Shuldman and William Strittmatter.)

24 responses to “For Sale In Westport: JFK’s DNA

  1. Michael Ronemus

    I’ll go with squeamish.

  2. India Penney

    Seriously?!?
    Good grief.

  3. Will Luedke

    This guy is a ghoul.

  4. It’s an interesting company. Nice people. I have seen this photo lots of times, I never noticed how far forward Jackie was. Was she sitting next to the governor or her husband. Is it an optical illusion?

    • She was next to her husband. Otherwise she would not have been able to scramble out onto the trunk. Governor Connolly was in a middle jump seat.

  5. Eric William Buchroeder SHS ‘70

    Disgusting

  6. Jack Backiel

    It’s a part of history. In DC you can go to the room they brought Lincoln to, across from Fords theater, and still see faint blood stains on the pillow. Personally I wouldn’t spend any money on something like this. If I’m going to spend money on something historical, I’d rather pay $15,000.00 for Dan Woog’s autograph!

  7. Richard Fogel

    have you been to the Vatican ? Talk about grusome relics. They have fingers.

  8. Caroll Lupo-Simek

    Frankly, I don’t get it. Perhaps because the Kennedy assassination occurred during the lifetime of so many of us, it isn’t as easy to distance ourselves from as Lincoln’s bloodstains or century old relics. It hits a little too close to home.

  9. J. Wandres

    I have a lock of hair from the current White House incumbent. Offers, anyone?

  10. Bill Dedman

    Canceled in Dallas, but still for sale in Westport.

    from News 12:

    “The piece was listed on an auction site until this afternoon but has been withdrawn.

    “Out of concern for the sensitivity of the subject matter, Heritage Auctions decided to withdraw the lot from this weekend’s Americana and Political Auction,” said Eric Bradley, a spokesman for Heritage Auctions.

    Reznikoff still plans to sell the artifact on his own site.

    “There are rosy things that occur in history, and there are more macabre things that occur in history, but they’re both part of history,” says Reznikoff. “And history needs to be preserved.”

  11. Dave Eason

    Blood money..And I’m not trying to be funny.

  12. A. David Wunsch

    If Karl Marx were alive today and had just read this posting he would have observed , “Any tragedy can be commodified.”

    ADW Staples 1956

  13. The repulsive thing is not that this opportunist is SELLING the blood stained leather, it’s that he acquired it with the sole intention of profiting from an American tragedy. Since he has not shame, let folks of good will be ashamed for him.

    • Jim Lawson

      Incredibly and ironically hypocritical of you Dan! Didn’t you run a saloon for awhile and don’t you also collect guns and glorify the bloody days of the old west where Native Americans were brutalized at the hands of those you idolize ?Easy to be a troll online

  14. Brian Taylor

    Extremely poor taste, that’s evidence from a crime scene. Secret service should be contacted.

  15. Eric William Buchroeder SHS ‘70

    I’m thinking that while they’re at it they should run a comparison test and then send Beto on his way. Great President meets empty suit wannabe.

  16. Jack Whittle

    ghastly. there are certainly other, more respectful ways to own a piece of history – or in this case, make a buck.