Zinkhan’s body to be cremated, sent to son

George Zinkhan III’s body likely will be cremated today and his remains flown tomorrow to his son in Utah, Clarke County Coroner Sonny Wilson said.


George Zinkhan IV called the coroner this afternoon and gave authorization for his father’s body to be released to Airport Mortuary Shipping Service in Atlanta, near Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Wilson said.

The ashes of the 57-year-old triple murderer will be flown tomorrow to Salt Lake City, where his son lives, Wilson said.

Zinkhan’s body went unclaimed six days after officials found his remains in the woods, dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The former University of Georgia marketing professor shot and killed his wife, Marie Bruce, 47, along with Tom Tanner, 40, and Ben Teague, 63, as they gathered with other members of the Town & Gown Players for lunch last month at the Athens Community Theater on Grady Avenue.

Cadaver dogs found Zinkhan’s body two weeks later in a wooded area near the Clarke-Jackson County border where Athens-Clarke police say Zinkhan buried himself and shot himself in the head.

While Zinkhan’s body remained at a Georgia Bureau of Investigation crime lab, Wilson was speaking with Zinkhan’s sister in Texas about arrangements. But he wasn’t able to release the remains to her because Zinkhan had more immediate relatives — three adult children from a previous marriage, Wilson said.

The children live in different states, and Zinkhan’s sister was the intermediary with the coroner while they decided what should be done with their father’s remains, Wilson said.

A deadline was approaching in which Wilson by law would have had to issue a disposal order for Zinkhan’s remains to be cremated and buried in a local pauper’s grave.



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