#6. Audrey Jean Knauer's Death Wish
Knauer loved Death Wish. Or Death Wish 2. Or 5. It doesn't really matter. What matters is that Audrey loved Charles Bronson and left almost $300,000 to him even though she'd never met him.
Her family weren't entirely thrilled with that and didn't think the fact that she'd written her will by hand on a list of emergency phone numbers should be entirely legally binding. But nonetheless, she specifically pointed out that she wanted her mother to get nothing, probably because she couldn't kick nearly as many punk asses as Bronson. The best part? When the linked article was filed, Bronson had already taken half of the money. He actually took it!
And though he claimed he was giving it to charity, we're assuming that was code for "to buy huge-ass handguns for bitter crime victims."
#5. David Davis had a Drunk Wife (or Wished He Did)
Presumably not the most happily of married men back in 1788, Davis left the sum of five shillings to his wife, which is around 50 cents. Davis wasn't necessarily a cheap man, just somewhat embittered as the 50 cents came with the explanation that it was to "enable her to get drunk one last time" at his expense.
The most awesome thing we can learn from this is that, back in 1788, you could get drunk for 50 cents. Once we get that flux capacitor working, we know exactly what year we're going to.
#4. Countess Carlotta Liebenstein's Canine Tycoon
Liebenstein's goal was apparently to shame every wingnut who ever left a chunk of change to their pets after they died. Thus, she left her dog Gunther III an $80 million estate. Gunther's heir, Gunther IV, now lives with a personal maid, a chauffeur and a customized pool.
You may ask yourself where the hell a dog needs to go with a chauffeur or how it tells the chauffeur it needs to go there, or who customized the pool. But all you really need to know is that if the mutt ever bit you, it could hire enough lawyers to sue you into oblivion for leaving a bad taste in its mouth.
#3. S. Sanborn, Human Drum Set
Lending some strength to that whole "mad as a hatter" saying, Sanborn was a hatter who died in 1871 and requested that some of his body, specifically his skin, be stretched into a set of drums that could be given to a friend.
Sanborn presumably paused over this part of his will, deciding that it still was not quite batshit enough. So he added a stipulation that his friend would go to Bunker Hill every year on June 17th and play "Yankee Doodle."
Whether insane or just a total asshole, we have to assume he thought getting drums made out of a friend's corpse was such an awesome deal that it needed a catch, to ensure the recipient wasn't just going to be lazy and beat out "Yankee Doodle" on his friends dried and stretched buttocks skin at home.
#2. Sandra West Will Just Drive to Heaven, Damn It
West was a socialite, which Paris Hilton has taught us means "someone who has drunken sex for a living." When she died, one of her last requests was that she be buried behind the wheel of her 1964 Ferrari.
The car and driver had to be placed in a giant wooden box and then covered completely in concrete, to either discourage people from digging it up and stealing it, or possibly to keep a zombified West from driving it up out of the ground and terrorizing the city.
#1. Reverend John Gwyon Wins the Creepy Olympics
Possibly predicting the limitless jokes at the expense of the Catholic Church in years to come and wanting to be a trendsetter, in 1929 Reverend Gwyon left $50,000 with the instructions that every single red cent was to be spent on buying underwear for "worthy boys."
Each "lucky" boy was to have the words "Gwyon's Present" written in capital letters in the lining. In 2001 this town had a population of 3,600 people, so we can only imagine how many boys in need of underwear may have existed back in 1929 or how much a pair of underwear may have cost to necessitate $50,000 being set aside to buy them.
Either way, Gwyon has to go down in history for discovering something that is both perfectly legal, yet somehow so incredibly wrong that it could corrupt the entire species. Good job, Reverend.
More of Ian's stuff can be found at ScenicAnemia.com.
If you feel bad about laughing at those dead folks, check out The 11 Most Badass Last Words Ever Uttered for some dead people who had the last manly, bellowing, ass kicking laugh.