CEDAR FALLS - When Stephen Koschal handed his red leather-bound Bible to a University of Northern Iowa staff member Tuesday, he didn't know what expect.

The Miami man has been collecting autographs of movers and shakers on the book's front flap for decades, nearly as long as he's admired the Dalai Lama.

But asking a Buddhist monk to sign a Roman Catholic Bible?

"It's not his religion, you know," Koschal, said with a shrug. "But his holiness saw that eight people who have held the office of U.S. president have signed it, and he thought, well, that's a nice group to be with."

A few months back, the Florida man e-mailed his request to Kristi Marchesani, UNI's assistant director of admissions and international relations. She forwarded the note to a member of the Dalai Lama's staff in New York. Before the monk's keynote address, a university employee found Koschal in the crowd and delivered his bible to the spiritual leader.

After the speech, in which the Dalai Lama affirmed his respect for all world religions, Koschal learned the leader had fulfilled his wish. The monk used a blue pen to scrawl out a message in Tibetan alongside John Hancocks from Harry Truman and Gerald Ford.

For Koschal, who traveled to Cedar Falls with his girlfriend Patricia Claren, the autograph stands out from the rest.

"What I like about him is he's not political," he said. "The others, some I like, some I don't."

The Dalai Lama's Tuesday speech revealed the man behind the monk, Koschal said.

"The Dalai Lama's a real person," the retiree said. "He made you laugh. He giggled himself. He connected with everybody."

"How can you not respect that?"

(3) comments

lawmancourt

That this man should be promoted as having anything to do with the Dalai Lama or a Bible borders on criminal. Here is a most recent article on this creep http://blogs.miaminewtimes.com/riptide/2010/04/meet_stephen_koschal_the_most.php . A simple google of his name will show what a bad guy this is!!!! I am surprised that he did not try to get the Dalai Lama to sign a peice of the art work of the child murderer whose art he sells. Disgusting and shame on you WCF courier for not doing your homework!!!

hdarvick

On truetv.com in an article called "Serial Killer Art," your Stephen Koschal is mentioned as child murderer serial killer John Wayne Gacy's agent: "West Palm Beach recently made some noise over an art exhibit that featured nineteen paintings done in prison by John Wayne Gacy. During the 1970s, Gacy lured and killed at least thirty-three boys and young men, burying most of them in the crawl space beneath his house. While in prison awaiting his execution, which occurred in 1994, his artistic output was prodigious. According to Steve Suo in The Oregonian, he amassed over $100,000 from his artwork. (Suo reports that prison officials were going to take the money, but decided against proceedings that might delay Gacy's execution date.) His subjects ranged from Elvis Presley to Pogo the Clown (the persona he'd used to entertain children) to fellow killer Jeffrey Dahmer. In the controversial art show, reported the Associated Press, his painting of a bird was offered for $195, while his depiction of a baseball game between dwarves and the Chicago Cubs, autographed by baseball players, was going for $9,500. (The sketch of Dahmer was reportedly for sale on eBay for $41.) Gacy's agent, Steve Koschal, also an autograph expert, had collected some two hundred of these paintings as part of his three-year correspondence with the condemned killer. It was he who suggested they offer the paintings for sale. It wasn't long before he found a diverse market, ranging from celebrities to professionals to home-makers. "There's a huge demand," he says." Koschal tricked Baseball Hall of Famers into signing the baseball game painting by covering up the signature "J. W. Gacy." Koschal openly admits that "if Joe DiMaggio knew what he was signing, there's no way he would have gone through with it." He says of outraged peers: "They're jealous they didn't think of it first." from http://www.miaminewtimes.com/2010-04-08/news/brickell-resident-stephen-koschal-peddled-serial-killer-john-wayne-gacy-s-creepy-paintings/. Koschal also tricked boxing champs like Muhammad Ali to sign a Gacy boxing painting which Koschal paid Gacy to paint. Koschal is offering it for sale on his website www.stephenkoschal.com/gacy_boxing.html I wonder how long it will take for Koschal to put the Dalai Lama signed book on his website.

ontherunsteve

Wow!!! A clash of two worlds: Good vs Evil. This is like watching "LOST"

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