6 Weird Wills

  • January 09, 2010
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Audrey Jean Knauer

Everyone has a favorite celebrity. In Knauer’s case, she was a big fan of Charles Bronson. OK, so we can’t blame her for liking the tough guy, even if he was responsible for five awful Death Wish films. But Knauer took her fandom a little too far by leaving $300,000 to a man she had never met or even corresponded with, upon her death in 1997. There were questions by her family regarding the legality of the will (in part because it was scribbled on top of a list of phone numbers, but mostly because they received absolutely nothing), but that didn’t stop Bronson from taking half of the money. Yes, Charles Bronson actually took $150,000 dollars that a complete had stranger left to him, apparently not seeing anything wrong with screwing over her family.

To be fair, Bronson planned to donate the money to charity, and Kaneur’s will even said that whatever money Bronson didn’t want, should go to a local library. However, Bronson was starting to suffer from Alzheimer’s, so his idea of charity at this point could have had very well came in the form of firearms for vigilante justice. Isn’t frankly a better way than to buy a few books for some library.

audrey jean knauer



Carlotta Liebenstein

A lot of people own pets, and any responsible pet owner would want to ensure that their animals were cared for after they passed on. There’s nothing weird about that. However, some people, usually the ones with more money than they know what to do with, take that simple concept too far. That explains why, when Liebenstein died in 1991, she left a staggering 139 million Deutschmarks to her dog Gunther III and his heir Gunther IV. Now, no matter how many diamond studded collars and leashes you buy it’s still pretty damn hard to spend that much money to take care of a couple of dogs. Unless, of course, you ensure that your pets are given a private house, a personal maid, a limo with a chauffeur and a custom designed swimming pool.

This raises many, many questions. First and foremost being why the German government allowed a couple of dogs to have a higher standard of living than basically anyone in East Germany. But once you accept that insanity you’re still left with a lot of questions. How do the dogs tell their chauffeur where to go? What exactly does a swimming pool designed for dogs look like? And who would possibly want to admit to having the job of maid for a couple of aristocratic canines?

carlotta liebenstein



John Bowman

All the wills we’ve looked at so far have been weird, but at least the desires behind them were grounded firmly in the real world. John Bowman stands alone as a man whose last wishes were made in order to prepare for what he felt was a supernatural inevitability. He believed that after his death, which came in 1891, he, his wife and their two daughters would be reincarnated together. He was also genuinely concerned that they would return rather hungry and therefore out of the $50,000 that was put towards maintaining his mansion and mausoleum a healthy chunk of it was set aside to ensure that servants prepared a nightly meal in case that was the night the Bowmans returned, reincarnated and starving.

So forget the dog maid mentioned above, because the people in charge of cooking, delivering and then disposing of meals, night after pointless night, have by far been the most embarrassing jobs out there. At least they did so, thankfully, the money for this venture ran out in 1950. Still, that’s over half a century of useless meal preparations. Details are sketchy, but we’d hope that the servants started to eat the meals for themselves when it became obvious Bowman wasn’t coming back to claim them. Or at the very least they hopefully just switched over to tossing bread and water on the table and going for a beer run, with the money saved. Either way, this is a bafflingly weird last request.

john bowman


Written by Mark Hill – Copyrighted © www.weirdworm.com