Big Bopper's Son Hopes Autopsy Answers Questions About '59 Crash

Knoxville (AP) -- The son of "The Big Bopper" has hired a forensic anthropologist in Knoxville to answer questions about how his father died in a 1959 plane crash along with rock 'n' rollers Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens.

Jay Richardson hopes it will settle rumors about a gun that might have been on the plane, and whether his father could have survived the crash and died later after trying to go for help.

The remains of J.P "The Big Bopper" Richardson will be exhumed from his grave in Beaumont, Texas, and then buried in another section of the cemetery with a life-sized statue.

Doctor Bill Bass, founder of the research facility at the University of Tennessee nicknamed the Body Farm, plans to study the remains in March. He's an expert in determining identities and causes of death.

One of the most famous cases Bass worked on was confirming the identity of the Lindbergh baby who was kidnapped in 1932 and murdered.

The rock 'n' roll stars died when the four-passenger plane crashed after taking off from the Mason City, Iowa, airport. The tragedy was memorialized as "The Day The Music Died" in Don McLean's song "American Pie."

Copyright 2007 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.


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