Today's column from John Armstrong where he reports on the black humour surrounding Muldoon's death is very close to the truth. As Armstrong wrote:
Asked if he was going to Sir Robert Muldoon's funeral, a National Party Cabinet minister, who must remain nameless, confided at the time that he would be there if only to satisfy himself that the lid of the coffin had been nailed down properly. It was a statement made only partly in jest.
A colleague who did attend the funeral of Sir Robert and then the interment (at Purewa I think) has often described his horror to attend the interment and as the casket was being lowered, the lid caught on the sides of the hole, popping the screws. With visions of the ghoul arising from the casket and echoes of that well known cackle accompanying it, he and his wife about turned and ran swiftly from the scene. Not taking any chances!