Bryan Cranston as Walter White in "Breaking Bad."
Walter White's final resting place is not so final after all. The headstone for Bryan Cranston's fictional character from "Breaking Bad," which was placed in Albuquerque's Sunset Memorial Park as part of a funeral on Oct. 19, is being moved after families with loved ones buried in the cemetery expressed concern that the site would become a tourist attraction.
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Instead, the headstone and burial vault will be kept at the Village Shops at Los Ranchos, the home of local restaurant Vernon's Steakhouse, according to the organizers of the funeral and reception to say goodbye to White and "Breaking Bad," which is also part of a charity effort to raise money for Albuquerque Health Care for the Homeless.
The move was prompted in part by an online petition led by Manuel Montano, whose 6-year-old child is buried at the cemetery. During Saturday's funeral, he saw people standing on headstones for real people, according to Albuquerque CBS affiliate KRQE. Montano's petition to keep the headstone out of the cemetery gathered more than 1,000 signatures, KRQE reported.
Event organizers reached out to Montano and apologized on Monday.
"It was never our intention to disrespect those who are buried at Sunset Memorial Park or cause pain to their families," said Michael Baird, owner of Vernon's Steakhouse, in a statement. We created the Walter White Funeral and Final Amends as a way to have a positive impact on the community and help those who are negatively impacted by the terrible effects of drug addiction and homelessness. We greatly apologize to anyone who was offended, and want to ensure that the focus remains on the amazing work that Albuquerque Healthcare for the Homeless does in our community."
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The organizers are working with the cemetery to create a memorial for homeless people who have lost their lives.
So far organizers have reportedly raised more than $17,000 to help Albuquerque's homeless community and will continue to raise money by selling "Walter White" bracelets, a portrait of White and the two SUVs used in a gun battle in one of the series' final episodes.
White's headstone will have its own area at the Village Shops, where people can properly pay their respects to the late (albeit fictional) meth kingpin.
Although a planned live stream of the event was shut down after organizers broadcast a scene from the show, an edited video of the funeral and reception will soon be available at walterwhitefuneral.org.
First published October 23 2013, 4:34 AM