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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Bob Cassilly's Estate in Turmoil; Widow Says She's Being Squeezed Out of City Museum

Posted By on Wed, Sep 26, 2012 at 11:15 AM

Page 3 of 4

click to enlarge The notoriously media-shy Dave Jump - PHOTO BY JENNIFER SILVERBERG
  • Photo by Jennifer Silverberg
  • The notoriously media-shy Dave Jump

Giovanna says she cannot comment on future plans for Cementland, her husband's 54-acre unfinished playground on the banks of the Mississippi just north of St. Louis. Construction on Cementland halted following Bob's death and the venture has fallen into disrepair.

"So much destruction has happened at Cementland due to Dave Jump withholding Bob's share of profits," Giovanna says, adding that with more financial resources she believes she could have better preserved the project her husband had been tinkering with for over a decade.

"It is so hard to see all of his brickwork pop out of the gravel, all of the stones he spent years carving are crumbling," says Giovanna, choking back tears. "It is so hard to see."

Giovanna adds that she has been fighting a steady stream of break-ins at the site with urban explorers and scrap-metal thieves trespassing onto the grounds.

click to enlarge Giovanna overlooks the main site of Cementland. So involved was Bob in the project that he temporarily moved his family to the site so he could work around the clock.
  • Giovanna overlooks the main site of Cementland. So involved was Bob in the project that he temporarily moved his family to the site so he could work around the clock.

Meanwhile, in probate court, Bob's older children say Giovanna is the one bamboozling them by selling valuable scrap metal that belongs to the estate.

Max, 27, and Daisy, 23, declined to be interviewed for this piece, but in a motion filed in April in probate court they allege their step-mother sold metal "so as to permanently diminish [the estate's] value, all to their detriment."

Giovanna had a strained relationship with her stepchildren long before Bob passed away. In December 2010 she was granted an order of protection against Max, after she alleged he repeatedly threatened to kill her. At the time, she told RFT that she feared substance-abuse problems were to blame for a shooting that nearly killed him in August 2011.

In circuit court, Jump has alleged that the scrap metal sitting on Cementland -- worth tens of thousands of dollars -- technically belongs to City Museum and claimed that "Giovanna intended to scrap, salvage, and sell metal and other materials" prior to a court-ordered inventory.

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