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In Memory of
Jean Birkenstein Washington
1926-2003


Articles (Continued)

A variety of media worldwide have picked up the story, some calling it "news of the weird." What is really bizarre, however, is the way the story has morphed due to poor fact checking by careless journalists. See how many errors you can spot! We're sure Jean is having a good laugh.



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10 August 2003
Sunday Mail
Queensland (Australia) Newspapers Pty Ltd
CHICAGO woman Jean Washington was a lifelong pet lover. When she died last month, she was laid to rest in the pet cemetery, between Smokey the cat and Tippy the dog with its bone-shaped headstone.

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PLEASURE PIT
7 August 2003
Akron Beacon Journal (OH)

Jean Birkenstein's neighbors, for eternity, are Smokey the cat and Tippy the dog, whose headstone was graced with flowers and a rawhide bone. Her son writes: ``All of which proves mother really did know best -- though the pet cemetery wasn't her first choice. Her real preference was to be taken to the zoo. For the lions, specifically.''

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The curious world of David Randall
By David Randall
3 August 2003
Independent On Sunday
Independent Newspapers (UK) Limited

In life, Jean Washington of Chicago was a great animal lover. What, then, could be a more appropriate place for her when she died than the pet cemetery? And so, last month, she was laid to rest between Smokey the cat and Tippy the dog with its bone-shaped headstone.

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Letter from America.
3 August 2003
Wales on Sunday
Western Mail and Echo Ltd

TWO US brothers have fulfilled their animal-loving mother's wishes to be buried in a pet cemetery. Jean Birkenstein told her sons Robin and Glen several times during her life that she wanted to be laid to rest in the unorthodox surroundings. When she died last month aged 77 they decided to complete her request. With a rabbi officiating, their beloved mother was laid to rest in Chicago flanked by Smokey the cat and Tippy the dog, whose headstone is graced with a rawhide bone. But Jack confesses a pet cemetery was not his mother's first choice. 'Her real preference was to be taken to the zoo. For the lions, specifically. We didn't make that call.'

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WHAT IN THE WEIRD
30 July 2003
MX (Australia)
Melbourne
Nationwide News Pty Limited

REMEMBERED BUT NOT LIONISED
AN Illinois mother asked to be used as food for zoo animals after she died but her family buried her in a pet cemetery instead.
Jean Washington, 77, was buried in an animal graveyard in Vernon Hills, Illinois, next to Smokey the cat and Tippy the dog, whose headstone is graced with a rawhide bone. "(It) wasn't her first choice. Her real preference was to be taken to the zoo. For the lions, specifically. We didn't make that call," her daughter Robin said.


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30 July 2003
8:30 - 8:50 a.m.
KLTZ/Mix-93
Glasgow, Montana
The Doggone Show

Pressing On - A late civil rights activist has fulfilled her wish to be buried in a pet cemetery.  Jean Birkenstein Washington now resides beside Smokey the cat and Tippy the dog at the Aarrowood animal cemetery in Vernon Hills, Illinois.  Her children, which include a columnist at The Boston Herald who made the story public, acted on her request because they knew they couldn't fufill her true wish: to be buried at the zoo.

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www.savageradio.com
BIZARRE NEWS BRIEFS

VERNON HILLS, Ill. -- A late civil rights activist has fulfilled her wish to be buried in a pet cemetery. Jean Birkenstein Washington now resides beside Smokey the cat and Tippy the dog at the Aarrowood animal cemetery in Vernon Hills, Illinois. Her children, which include a columnist at the "Boston Herald" who made the story public news, acted on her request because they knew they couldn't fufill her true wish: To be buried at the zoo.

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Irish Examiner.com
30/07/2003

FAMILY IGNORE LAST WISH
An American mother asked to be used as food for zoo animals after she died, but her family buried her in a pet cemetery instead. Jean Washington from Illinois, 77, wanted “to be taken to the zoo. For the lions, specifically,” said her daughter Robin beside her grave in Vernon Hills. “We didn't make that call,” she added.

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Japantoday.com
7/30/2003

An Illinois mom asked to be used as food for zoo animals after she died - but her family buried her in a pet cemetery instead. Jean Washington, 77, was laid to rest in AArrowood (sic), an animal graveyard in Vernon Hills, Ill., next to Smokey the cat and Tippy the dog, whose headstone is graced with a rawhide bone. "[It] wasn't her first choice. Her real preference was to be taken to the zoo. For the lions, specifically. We didn't make that call," her daughter Robin told the Chicago Sun-Times.

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The Obscure Store & Reading Room By Jim Romenesko 28 July, 2003

As she requested, mom is buried in a pet cemetery
Jean Birkenstein's neighbors, for eternity, are Smokey the cat and Tippy the dog, whose headstone was graced with flowers and a rawhide bone. Her son writes: "All of which proves mother really did know best -- though the pet cemetery wasn't her first choice. Her real preference was to be taken to the zoo. For the lions, specifically." (Chicago Sun-Times)

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WEIRD BUT TRUE
Bill Hoffmann, Wire Services
29 July 2003
New York Post

An Illinois mom asked to be used as food for zoo animals after she died - but her family buried her in a pet cemetery instead.
Jean Washington, 77, was laid to rest in Aarrowood, an animal graveyard in Vernon Hills, Ill., next to Smokey the cat and Tippy the dog, whose headstone is graced with a rawhide bone. "[It] wasn't her first choice. Her real preference was to be taken to the zoo. For the lions, specifically. We didn't make that call," her daughter Robin told the Chicago Sun-Times.


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There are, of course, at least an equal number of Web postings of the story, the most notable being the UK's Tiscali Community (http://www.tiscali.co.uk/community), which included it as a question on their weekly quiz:

That was the week that was....
Community Weekly Quiz - Week Ending 1st August

Every week you can prove your worth by answering ten simple questions about what's happened in the world over the last seven days.... Will you get all ten correct?

Q7) Animal lover Jean Washington has been denied her rather unusual dying wish. What was it?

She wanted to be fed to the lions at her local zoo.
She wanted to be entombed in a biodegradable coffin, then placed in an enormous wormery.
She wanted to be carried out to sea by dolphins for a sea burial.

Numerous respondents apparently got it right.


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