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John Dillinger exhumation: FBI says it killed the notorious gangster

Discussion in 'Cold Cases' started by Blue G 3, Aug 1, 2019.

  1. Blue G 3

    Blue G 3 Well-Known Member

    More than 85 years after his death, the FBI in a rare statement said Thursday that its agents did indeed fatally shoot notorious gangster John Dillinger.
    The statement from the bureau's Chicago office comes after relatives of Dillinger expressed in documents skepticism about whether or not Dillinger was in fact the man FBI agents shot outside a Chicago theater in 1934. The relatives obtained a permit in June to exhume his body from his grave at Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis.

    The FBI's statement says agents shot and killed Dillinger on July 22, 1934, "as he reached for a pistol from his trouser pocket" outside Biograph Theater. He was pronounced dead at a Chicago hospital and "a wealth of information supports Dillinger's demise," including fingerprint matches, the FBI said.
    Historians and enthusiasts have long debated whether it was Dillinger or a doppelganger who was shot that day, citing inconsistencies between Dillinger's physical appearance and the body in the morgue.
    The FBI said it's a "common myth" that "a stand-in," and not Dillinger, was the man killed, saying that such claims "have been advanced with only circumstantial evidence."

    An affidavit one of Dillinger's relatives filed with the Indiana Department of Health cites some theorists' evidence. IndyStar obtained the affidavit Thursday.

    "This evidence includes the non-match of his eye color, the (scar) shape and protrusion from the head, the fingerprints not matching, the existence of a heart condition, and the apparent non-match of the anterior teeth," the relative wrote.
    A spokesperson with the History Channel told IndyStar this week that the exhumation of Dillinger's body is part of an upcoming project. No further details, including the date of exhumation or the production timeline, have been released.

    Aaron Seaman, general manager of Crown Hill Cemetery, said Tuesday they have not been contacted by the funeral home regarding the exhumation, and a date has not been set.
    KareBear likes this.
  2. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member

    Oh my gosh. Well, let's do it so nobody tries to rewrite history again.
  3. wenn9366

    wenn9366 Active Member

    Super interesting.... my husband's family is loosely connected to his family by a marriage of some 3rd cousin or another, but apparently the two families went to church together and knew each other well, way back in the day. :detective:
    KareBear likes this.
  4. Blue G 3

    Blue G 3 Well-Known Member

    John Dillinger grave: Crown Hill Cemetery objects to exhumation proposal

    Crown Hill Cemetery said Wednesday that it objects to the proposed exhumation of notorious Hoosier bank robber John Dillinger, saying it has a duty to protect the integrity of the cemetery.

    Cemetery management announced its reservations in a statement Wednesday afternoon, in response to questions from IndyStar.

    "We also have concerns that the complex and commercial nature of this exhumation could cause disruption to the peaceful tranquility of the Cemetery and those who are visiting to remember their loved ones," the statement reads.

    The statement didn't say whether the cemetery plans to try to halt the undertaking, which the History Channel confirmed would be for a forthcoming documentary. IndyStar has reached back out to cemetery management for more information.

    IndyStar has reached out to a spokesperson for the History Channel for comment, as well as Dillinger's nephew, Michael C. Thompson, who applied for the permit to exhume the body. Dillinger's great-nephew, Travis Thompson, declined to comment.
    A permit to exhume the body, which has been interred at the cemetery since 1934, was issued to family members by the Indiana State Department of Health in June. The History Channel has declined to specify the scope or production timeline.

    Although the permit issued by the Department of Health lists a re-interment date of 10 a.m. on Sept. 16, there has been no indication of when the exhumation might occur.
    However, affidavits filed by two of Dillinger's family members indicate the goal of the exhumation is to conduct testing on the body to definitively answer decades-old questions about the identity of the man buried in that grave.

    "It is my belief and opinion that it is critical to learn whether Dillinger lived beyond his reported date of death of July 22, 1934," Dillinger's nephew, Michael C. Thompson, affirmed in the affidavit.

    "If he was not killed on that date, I am interested in discovering what happened to him, where he lived, whether he had children, and whether any such children or grandchildren are living today."

    But exhuming the body would likely take time and effort — it's said Dillinger's grave contains two and a half tons of concrete, requested by his family to prevent body-snatching.
    Here is the full statement from Crown Hill Cemetery management:

    “Crown Hill objects to the exhumation of John Dillinger. We have a duty to the families we serve to ensure the safety and integrity of the Cemetery which is threatened by the proposed exhumation. We also have concerns that the complex and commercial nature of this exhumation could cause disruption to the peaceful tranquility of the Cemetery and those who are visiting to remember their loved ones. Additionally, we received notice that not all of Mr. Dillinger’s next of kin agree with the exhumation. We honor the trust placed in us to protect all individuals in our care, and to protect the interests of those who cannot speak for themselves.”

  5. wenn9366

    wenn9366 Active Member

    Blue G 3 and KareBear like this.

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