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Williams' Daughter Skeptical of Note

Jurisprudence: Lawyer for Williams Ferrell says she questions whether hall of famer was able to sign document stating he wanted remains frozen.

July 28, 2002|From Associated Press

INVERNESS, Fla. — A lawyer for Ted Williams' daughter says a note the late hall of famer signed signaling his wishes to be cryonically preserved is suspect.

Bobby-Jo Williams Ferrell is questioning whether her father was capable of making a decision on how his body should be treated after death. Williams had been suffering from congestive heart failure.

He died July 5 at age 83.

John Heer, an attorney for Ferrell, said that Williams was in the hospital undergoing treatment for congestive heart failure in November 2000--when the document purportedly was signed.

"We don't believe Mr. Williams would have been physically capable of signing it at [that] time," Heer told the Associated Press on Saturday.

"There are so many things that jump out at me, not even being an expert.... The date appears to have been changed. We cannot tell when the signatures were placed on there."

Heer's questioning of the document was reported Saturday by the St. Petersburg Times.

Ferrell is fighting Williams' two other children's wishes to keep his body frozen. His body was sent to Alcor Life Extension Foundation, an Arizona laboratory that does cryonic preservation.

Williams' son, John Henry, and daughter, Claudia, have produced a handwritten note in which the aging Williams asks that his body be frozen. It was filed Thursday in Citrus County Probate Court.

The signatures of Williams, John Henry and Claudia are on the note dated Nov. 2, 2000, four years after Williams signed a will calling for his cremation.

"JHW, Claudia and Dad all agree to be put into bio-stasis after we die," reads the pact, which family attorney Bob Goldman said was written in a Gainesville hospital room before the baseball great underwent surgery. Williams had a pacemaker inserted in his chest Nov. 6, 2000.

Heer said he plans to hire handwriting experts to examine the pact, and questioned whether Williams knew what he was signing, if he signed it.

"He always signed his legal documents 'Theodore S. Williams,' and when he was signing memorabilia, he signed 'Ted Williams,' " Heer said. "He signed this document 'Ted Williams.' "

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