Lee Harvey Oswald, the man who infamously shot and killed President John F. Kennedy in 1963, has had a mysterious neighbor buried next to him since 1997. The grave inscribed ‘NIck Beef’ has matched Oswald’s in simplicity since it was first put there. Visitors to the Fort Worth, Texas cemetery that is home to one of the most famous murderers of all time, have wondered for years who this Nick Beef was…and now we know: Nick Beef, a.k.a., Patric Abedin, is a happy, healthy, 56-year-old “non-performing performance artist” living in Manhattan. Seriously.
Patric Abedin was an impressionable six-year-old sitting on a policeman’s shoulders, just steps away from President and Mrs. Kennedy as they visited Dallas the day before Kennedy was killed. Years later, often visiting Oswald’s grave with his mother, Patric’s mom told the young boy, “Never forget that you got to see Kennedy the night before he died.”
Apparently Abedin took these words to heart; at age 18, after reading that the plot neighboring Oswald’s was still available, Patric bought the land for a mere $17.50 down, and a small sum of $160 to be paid monthly over the course of the next ten months. In 1997, while visiting Texas for his mother’s funeral, he decided to have a small stone labeled with his nickname placed next to Oswald’s. He says he has never had plans to actually be buried there.
Abedin admits that one of the most pressing questions for people is often, “Why?” The man known as Nick Beef says he has often asked himself the exact same question. Why would anyone want to be remembered as the person so enamored by the infamous monster as to become his neighbor in death? Abedin has a fairly prosaic answer to that question, saying, “It meant something to me in life.” One can’t be sure what, exactly, Patric is referring to in this statement as “it.” Kennedy’s death? Oswald himself? Seeing Kennedy the night before he died? Unless the artist ever decides to elaborate further, those will be questions that he takes to his grave…no pun intended.
Patric Abedin continues to live in New York, where he moved after leaving Texas, married and fathered two children, later divorcing. He sometimes works as a freelance writer using the name Nick Beef.