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eBay: Kevorkian Death Van Violates 'Murderabilia' Policy

DAVID N. GOODMAN   04/26/10 09:31 PM ET   AP

Ebay Kevorkian Van

DETROIT — Online auction site eBay pulled a listing Monday for a van used by Dr. Jack Kevorkian to perform several assisted suicides, saying the sale of the van would violate the company's policy against the sale of "murderabilia."

Jack Finn, a retired used auto parts dealer, put the 1968 Volkswagon van once owned by Kevorkian up for auction on eBay last week. With three days left in the auction, the top bid placed for it was $3,400 at 12:30 p.m. EDT Monday, but the ad had been pulled an hour later.

In an e-mail message, eBay told The Associated Press it "does not allow the sale of items closely associated with notorious murderers within the last 100 years."

"We carefully consider all the details before deciding to remove such listings when they're brought to our attention, looking at the entire posting to determine if eBay policy has been violated," eBay said.

In an e-mail to Finn, eBay said: "The listing was removed because it violated the eBay Murderabilia policy."

"I don't run eBay, Craigslist or the world," Finn said. He said Auburn, Ind.-based Kruse Auctions has agreed to sell the van at its May 13-16 auction.

The 82-year-old Kevorkian has been in the news lately because of Saturday's premiere of the HBO movie "You don't Know Jack." Al Pacino plays Kevorkian in the movie.

A replica of the VW appears in the movie.

Kevorkian used the van while assisting in several deaths, including the poisoning of an Alzheimer's patient that launched his public effort in 1990.

Finn said he bought the van in 1997, when he was in the used auto parts business. He said he since has retired from the Auburn Hills-based company, Recycled Bugs, and put the van up for sale to clear out warehouse space.

Mayer Morganroth, Kevorkian's friend and lawyer, said Kevorkian turned the van in to his own auto shop for scrap in 1997 and that he was upset it had been put up for auction.

"Jack never sold it, never got a dime for it," Morganroth said. "Jack believed it was destroyed."

Morganroth said it was not possible to trace how the van came to be owned by Finn and said Kevorkian wouldn't pursue the matter.

Whoever buys the water-damaged and long-idle van shouldn't expect to get anywhere in it, Finn said.

"We are telling you that this bus is absolutely not safe to drive," Finn wrote in his eBay listing. "All safety systems on the vehicle would have to be completely overhauled. Although the vehicle may actually move and stop under its own power, it's not being sold as a drivable bus."

Nicknamed "Dr. Death," Kevorkian claims to have helped at least 130 people die from 1990 until 1998. He was released from prison in 2007 after serving eight years for a second-degree murder conviction for assisting in the 1998 death of a 52-year-old Michigan man with Lou Gehrig's disease.

Eds: CORRECTS that Kevorkian gave van to his auto shop to be scrapped sted auto dealer; minor edits. Moving on general news, financial and entertainment services.

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Filed by Bianca Bosker  |