Geronimo’s Descendants Sue to Get His Skull Back

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"We're tired of waiting and we're coming after them," said Harlyn Geronimo, a great-grandson of the famous Apache leader.  Specifically, they're tired of waiting to get Great-Grandpa's skull back from the creeps at Yale who allegedly stole it almost a century ago.

The story is that members of the Skull and Bones society, a group that has included both presidents Bush and many other men who for some reason later become important, went a-grave-robbin' while they were stationed at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, during World War I.  Geronimo died at Fort Sill of pneumonia in 1909.

Skull and Bones members are highly secretive about the society, and so there is no way to know whether there is a skull (or bones) in their "crypt," let alone whether it belongs to Geronimo.  A historian recently found a 1918 letter that seems to refer to such a theft, but he has said he is still skeptical.

The lawsuit, filed in Washington on the 100th anniversary of Geronimo's death, names the university and federal government as well as Skull and Bones.  The plaintiffs say that under a 1990 act, they are legally entitled to ownership of their ancestor's remains and anything that was buried with him.

On Tuesday, none of the defendants were willing to comment on the lawsuit.  That included the President and Secretary of Defense (named because Geronimo was buried on a U.S. military base).  A spokesperson for Yale noted that the society is not directly affiliated with the university.  As for Skull and Bones, the Yale Daily News reported that "[r]epeated knocks on the front door of the society's tomb were not answered Tuesday evening."