Descendants of the Apache warrior Geronimo are suing the Skull and Bones secret society at Yale University to retrieve the warrior’s skull, which they claim was robbed from his grave in 1918 by Prescott Bush, scion of the Bush family.
The claim is part of a lawsuit filed in late February in federal court in Washington. Geronimo’s heirs are seeking to have all his remains transferred to a new grave at the headwaters of the Gila River in New Mexico, where Geronimo wished to be interred. “I believe strongly from my heart that his spirit was never released,” Geronimo’s great-grandson Harlyn Geronimo, 61, recently told reporters at the National Press Club.
Prescott Bush the Alleged Thief
Geronimo died a prisoner of war at Fort Sill, Okla., in 1909. A longstanding tradition among members of Skull and Bones holds that Prescott S. Bush ~ father of President George Bush and grandfather of President George W. Bush ~ broke into the grave with some classmates in 1918 and made off with the skull, two bones, a bridle and some stirrups, all of which were put on display at the group’s clubhouse in New Haven, known as the Tomb.
“Of all the items rumored to be in the Skull and Bones’s possession, Geronimo’s skull is one of the more plausible ones,” Alexandra Robbins, the author of “Secrets of the Tomb” (Little Brown 2002), a book about the society, told the New York Times. “There is a skull encased in a glass display when you walk in the door of the Tomb, and they call it Geronimo.”
The Skull and Bones is one of America's most famous secret societies, noted for its bizarre rituals and a prestigious list of members, including U.S. presidents and Supreme Court justices. It is a popular topic among some conspiracy theorists.
Though the society is not officially affiliated with the university, many of Yale’s most powerful alumni are members, among them both Bush presidents and Senator John Kerry, Democrat of Massachusetts.
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