HOUSTON (CW39) When eccentric billionaire and native Houstonian Howard Hughes died 45 years ago this week, he set off a frenzied scramble for control of his estate. Then he was laid to rest here in Houston at Glenwood Cemetery.
Hughes didn’t leave a will … Or did he? Mystery Wire’s George Knapp has the story of a likeable delivery driver named Melvin Dummar who claimed he was named in Hughes’ will.
Melvin Dummar says he was on his way to Los Angeles in December 1967, driving across the Nevada desert, just past the cottontail ranch brothel, when he spotted a disheveled old man on the side of the highway.
He gave the man a lift into Las Vegas and chuckled at the passenger’s wild claim that he was billionaire Howard Hughes. Nine years later , on April 5th 1976, Hughes died and left no will. His vast fortune was up for grabs, that is until a mysterious document surfaced, naming Dummar and the Mormon church as beneficiaries.
The so-called Mormon will nearly destroyed Dummar’s life, but he was later able to laugh about it in a song he wrote.
Melvin Dummar claimed he was named in Howard Hughes’ will. “Oh but hear my warning if you’re driving through the desert, never stop and give anyone a ride. Because if they’re rich and they leave you in their will, it’s guaranteed to screw up your life, like mine.“
In what was likely the last on-camera interview Dummar ever gave, he sang and spoke about the how the Hughes’ will came into his possession, and why it turned his life upside down.
Melvin and Howard … the story of the Mormon will, exclusively on MysteryWire.Com
George Knapp reporting.