Big Bopper's Son Hopes Autopsy will Answer Questions

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The son of the "The Big Bopper" says he's hired a famous forensic anthropologist to exhume his father's remains from his Beaumont grave.

Jay Richardson says he's doing it in hopes of answering questions about how his father died in a 1959 plane crash -- one that also claimed the lives of rock 'n' rollers Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens.

Jay Richardson never knew his father, J.P. Richardson, was better known as "The Big Bopper." Jay lives outside Houston.

He says he's doing this in hopes of settling rumors about a gun that might have been on the plane -- and whether his father could have survived the crash and died later after trying to go for help.

The rock stars died on February Third, 1959, when the four-passenger plane crashed after taking off from the Mason City, Iowa, airport. Songwriter Don McLean memorialized the tragedy as "the day the music died" in his hit song, "American Pie."

Tennessee Doctor Bill Bass plans to study the remains in March. He's an expert in determining identities and causes of death.