A charity funeral for Breaking Bad meth kingpin Walter White in Albuquerque, New Mexico, raised $17,000 for the city’s HealthCare for the Homeless organization on Saturday, according to local TV station KOB. The event took place at Albuquerque’s Sunset Memorial Park cemetery, after a hearse led a procession through the city followed by the RV in which White, the fictional chemistry teacher-turned-drug lord on AMC’s hit drama, first cooked meth. The Breaking Bad series finale aired last month, wrapping up the show after five seasons.
“Mourners” at the funeral lined up to throw dirt on an empty coffin, and the show’s set decorator, Michael Flowers, delivered the eulogy. “We all need closure,” Flowers said, according to the Albuquerque Journal. “The show is over, and what the hell are we going to do on Sunday nights?”
The event was sponsored by Vernon’s Hidden Valley Steakhouse, a self-described “speakeasy,” which founded an endowment to benefit the homeless charity through the Albuquerque Community Foundation. “This is an enormous opportunity for the Albuquerque community to benefit again from the worldwide phenomenon of Breaking Bad,” Vernon’s owner Michael Baird said in the event’s announcement. “With this event . . . Walter White’s legacy and final amends will have a positive impact on Albuquerque for many years to come.” Tickets to the reception, which served drinks with blue ice, cost $100, and donations at the event ranged from $10 to $10,000.
The funeral drew an estimated 200 participants and the procession, which shut down streets and took about 10 minutes to pass through, contained about 80 cars. Mourners reportedly came from as far away as Switzerland, Mexico and Ireland.
Despite the association with charity, the funeral drew objections from people who had real relatives buried near White’s tombstone. “My son is buried about 15 yards from where the makeshift gravesite is,” Albuquerque resident Manuel Montano told KOB. “This is a place of mourning. It’s not a spectacle.” One family launched a petition to remove White’s faux grave.
Officials at the cemetery have said that they would remove the grave if it became an attraction. “We are a cemetery first and foremost,” general manager Vaughn Hendren told the Albuquerque Journal. “Our allegiance lies with our families that have allowed us to bury their loved ones here.”