[Audio] The Remarkable Postmortem Life of Charles "Speedy" Atkins

Sep 14, 2017

It's not unheard of for someone to become famous AFTER they die; think Emily Dickinson, Vincent Van Gogh, or Franz Kafka.  But unlike these artistic lights, Charles Atkins achieved his notoriety by just hanging around.  

Atkins, better known as "Speedy," the nickname he acquired in life, drowned in the Tennessee River in 1928.  He wouldn't be buried, however, until 1994, thanks to the use of his body in a unique embalming experiment. 

Todd Hatton speaks with retired Madisonville funeral director Steve Ray about serving as an honorary pallbearer at Speedy's funeral, Speedy's postmortem fame, and how young people today react to the history behind the legend.