Bacon Funeral Home in the News

3449 14th Street, NW

Thanks to all who sent links to the Vice article:

“thought you’d be interested in reading about what else our favorite Horse’s Ass nominee has been up to with a longstanding city contract.”

This Is What Happens to Unclaimed Bodies in Washington, DC:

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) holds the body for 30 days, after which point any unclaimed bodies are handed over to DC–based W. H. Bacon Funeral Home for cremation and subsequent burial.

W. H. Bacon Funeral Home agreed to place cremains in properly labeled containers that would be interred in permanently marked graves fewer than 50 miles outside of DC.

But that’s not actually what happens to unclaimed bodies in DC. In reality, the cremated remains are buried in an unmarked grave in a Baltimore cemetery; several hundred more from years past are located in a similar unmarked gravesite in Alexandria, Virginia.

You can read the full article here.

23 Comment

  • How is this funeral home still in business let alone have a contract with DC.

  • FYIs, the funeral home shell is still not being taxed at vacant property rates.

    Square 2835, Lot 0124 – search on the DC OTR website:

    Brings it up as Tax Class 2, aka “Commercial and industrial real property, including hotels and motels, for the first $3 million of assessed value”

    So the secret is, own a commercial property and you don’t have to pay vacant/blighted property taxes!

    • epric002

      AND you get a contract with the city!

    • So who should be notified to make this change? I live a block away and would love to see a more engaged business move into that space if Bacon isn’t going to use it.

      • epric002

        i would assume your ANC rep and council member might be a good place to start…but if anyone has any better ideas???

        • I gave up. I tried for years with Jim Graham, and a string of ANCs. It became clear after a couple of years that Graham was somehow connected to Bacon and had no interest in their lawbreaking. ANCs all said “I’ll look into it!” and then never followed up or responded to requests for follow up.
          I think Bacon is VERY liberal with the bribe money, honestly, and that they’re good at finding people who will take it. This contract with the District reinforces that.
          I’d also love to understand what sway they hold, because it’s truly staggering how much chicanery they get away with.

    • Rockandroar

      I walked by this morning and there was someone working inside. They’re building interior walls. I’m the last to defend Bacon, but at least something seems to be getting done. As for them having the contract to handle unclaimed bodies, I really don’t think they deserve it. I mean, really.

  • justinbc

    I don’t know what the point of having an agreed upon location for “unclaimed cremated remains” even is, or why I should be upset that it’s in Baltimore versus Arlington or wherever else…? The whole notion of what we do with a corpse to hang on to its physical manifestation after the life has departed it is silly to me, but I guess you’ll never talk religious people out of those beliefs. These bodies weren’t even claimed, and have already been cremated, which means they couldn’t even be DNA tested for cold cases.

    • It matters because Bacon may be in breach of contract. There’s a contract between Bacon and the city that specifies what Bacon is to do with the bodies. Bacon may not have met those contractual obligations. The other issues are irrelevant.

  • So not only are they destroying the neighborhood, they’re taking tax dollars from the city to burying unclaimed bodies then dumping them in unmarked mass graves? Are these people pure evil?

    • No, they’re just absurdly politically connected.
      Is the Bacon family the political kingmakers of DC? Can someone please explain their clout?

  • Baltimore is less than 50 miles from DC.

  • Councilmember Brianne Nadeau is requested to start an immediate investigation, with the intention of revoking the city contract, suing for breach of contract, back taxes, and finally have this blight closed. That they continue to work on the property – albeit slowly – while squandering taxpayer dollars is a bad sign.
    Brianne: This is now on your watch.
    Of greater concern to the community should be the emissions from a crematorium in a residential community. People with mercury or lead fillings, when cremated, put that into the air. I would not want to live downwind of Beacon.

    • Brianne Nadeau is much more focused on affordable housing. It’s all she talks about. I don’t disagree it’s an issue, but what about crime, retail development and our schools?

  • Would it be possible to “gentrify” this place out of business? Just asking…

  • Ron Reaves, the caretaker from Coleman Cemetery, sounds like a great person. Glad to know there are folks like him out there.

  • Hello,

    I am the author of the VICE piece. Thanks for linking to it.

    Re:some of the other comments on this thread, if anyone would like to contact me regarding their own past dealings with this business or elected/city officials responses my email address is simonknowz[at]gmail


    • Hi Simon, I don’t have anything first hand for you, and I hope others will. But I did want to say thank you for your article. I live in the neighborhood, and these guys are terrible neighbors, leaving that awful cinderblock shell undeveloped for so many years and somehow avoiding paying the vacant building tax (the whole point of which is to force people to develop shells or sell them, instead of leaving the eyesore in place). I have no idea how they managed to evade that tax change for so long and it doesn’t surprise me at all to read about this issue with the government contract. Thanks for shedding some light on this. We have a new council member now and maybe some more progress can be made holding them to account.

  • I’ve thought that place was creepy since I was a child. Not surprised.

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