Geronimo's Fam: Give Us Back His Skull | NBC New York

Geronimo's Fam: Give Us Back His Skull

Geronimo's family has sued Yale University's secret Skull and Bones Society for his skull

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    Geronimo (Goyathlay), a Chiricahua Apache, kneels with rifle in this 1887 photograph taken by Ben Wittick.

    The relatives of Apache warrior Geronimo, like their famous relative, are fighting to gain back what they feel is rightfully theirs.

    The Geronimo family is contending that the Skull and Bones society at Yale University stole the remains of Geronimo from his grave in either 1918 or 1919. They think the society is concealing his skull inside of their compound.

    Rumor has it that the members of the secret society have a skull and that they call it “Geronimo.”

    The Yale Daily News reports that 20 descendants of Geronimo filed a lawsuit against Yale University, the Skull and Bones society and senior government officials, seeking the remains of Geronimo and punitive damages.

    Geronimo's great-grandson, Harlyn Geronimo, announced the federal lawsuit in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, the 100-year anniversary of Geronimo's death from pneumonia while being held as a prisoner of war.

    According to the Yale Daily News article, it is rumored that Prescott Bush -- father of George H.W. Bush and grandfather to George W. Bush -- was involved in taking the remains from Geronimo’s grave and bringing them back to their society in New Haven. It has been disputed for some time whether or not the secret society actually stole the skull.

    “I believe strongly from my heart that his spirit was never released,” Geronimo’s great-grandson Harlyn Geronimo said, the school newspaper reports. “Presently, he’s still imprisoned. The only way to put this into closure is to relieve the remains and his spirit so that he can be taken back to his homeland, on the Gila Mountains, at the head of the Gila River.”

    Some stalwartly figures who are said to have been members of the secret society include the Bush presidents, former president William Howard Taft, American football pioneer Walter Camp, WWII Secretary of War Henry Stimson, Morgan Stanley founder Harold Stanley, National Review founder William Buckley Jr. and 2004 presidential nominee John Kerry. 

    Members of the society and school officials told the Yale Daily News they knew nothing of the lawsuit.