Burning Question: I saw the new photos of Whitney's gravestone, and heard that the family is afraid of grave robberies. Is it true? That seems like nonsense. — S. Williams, New Jersey
Sounds like you faced off against the increasingly notorious security team at the Fairview Cemetery in Westfield, New Jersey.
That cemetery may respect the dead, but the living? Not so much. When I called the Fairview offices and identified myself as a reporter asking for guidelines for would-be Houston pilgrims, I was told, "We don't offer any visitations for the Whitney Houston grave and we don't give out any information to the press."
Then they hung up.
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Do bear in mind, though, that you, dear peon, are allowed to gaze upon the trees at Fairview. The cemetery even offers the visiting public a map of its trees in case you need to discern your Flowering Dogwood from your Norway Maple. (FYI: If you happen to accidentally drift anywhere near the Willow Oak near the East Ridge area of Fairview, keep your eyes on that tree. The Houston grave is right nearby, but your eyeballs are so, apparently, not worthy to look upon anything but large plants.)
Maybe this tidbit will make you feel better: You're not alone.
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According to a spy who tried to pay her respects to Houston recently, "There is 24-hour security because the Houston family is afraid of grave robbers stealing the $300,000 worth of jewelry that she's buried with. No one is allowed to get near her by about 50 feet around, so a security man ushered me away."
Speaking of grave robberies: If that is a real concern for the Houston family, it does make some amount of sense.
"We do not get many of these stories," a spokesperson for the Los Angeles Police Department told me.
Michael Jackson's grave site, at the Forest Lawn cemetery in Los Angeles, was vandalized with a fan message in 2010, but admirers are still allowed to place flowers outside his mausoleum on the anniversary of his death.
[RELATED: Whitney Houston Remembered One Year Later]
A few celebrity graves have been robbed over the centuries, but it's not a massive problem ... unless you consider the attempted theft of Elvis Presley's corpse in 1977, or a similarly planned, and failed, jape involving the late Abe Lincoln in 1876.
For the record, Charlie Chaplin's grave was successfully robbed in 1978. His corpse was held for ransom, but his family rather wittily refused to pay up, and the whole plot eventually went pear-shaped.
—Additional reporting by Haley Velasco
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