"Breaking Bad's" Walter White has been off the air since late September, but his legacy is still looming over Albuquerque, New Mexico, where the series was set and filmed.
Fans seeking one last goodbye to the TV character, who transformed from a milquetoast chemistry teacher into a treacherous meth kingpin over the course of five acclaimed seasons on AMC, gathered in Albuquerque on Saturday for a mock funeral. CNN affiliate KOAT said ahead of the service that the plan was to bury a "small vault filled with memorabilia" as fans said their goodbyes.
With a eulogy given by "Breaking Bad" set decorator Michael Flowers and a procession led by a hearse, the show's famous banged-up RV, and a few Bernalillo County Sheriff's Department deputies, the event was attended by roughly 200 people, the Albuquerque Journal reports.
The faux service, held at Albuquerque's Sunset Memorial Park, doubled as a fundraiser for Albuquerque Health Care for the Homeless, as attendees paid to participate. According to the funeral's website, $20 bought entrance to the funeral "and a handful of earth to help bury Walter White."
Yet for some who have laid actual family members to rest at Sunset Memorial Park, the fake grave site is, at the least, a nuisance.
"It's going to be difficult to look up and see something going on over there that really shouldn't," resident Manuel Arellano told KOAT. "This is too much. I bring my family here to visit their grandpa and my wife to visit her dad ... What's going to happen come Christmas, come Thanksgiving on those hard days for me and my family? It's hard to come when we miss my father-in-law so much. It's going to be hard to see people over there decorating something for somebody that wasn't real."
More than 900 people who agree with that sentiment have signed an online petition asking Sunset Memorial Park to remove the grave site, which includes a headstone. Officials at the cemetery told the Albuquerque Journal that the mock burial was in the clear as long as the cemetery could remove the grave if it became a distraction for others.
"We are a cemetery first and foremost," Sunset Memorial Park general manger Vaughn Hendren told the paper. "Our allegiance lies with our families that have allowed us to bury their loved ones here."
The online petition asserts that "the 'officials' should not put the family members through such disrespect during the process of deciding whether or not too many people are visiting the makeshift grave."
For now, it seems the petitioners have won out. According to KOAT, the AMC character's fake grave has been moved, and the headstone is not being kept at the cemetery.
While fans may not always have a physical place to mourn the loss of White, who was played by Bryan Cranston, they can always hold on to the obituary. The Albuquerque Journal ran a notice about White's "death," as constructed by a "Breaking Bad" fan group, in its October 4 paper.