History Channel Will Let John Dillinger's Grave Be

Relatives want a positive ID of remains
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 11, 2019 5:52 PM CDT

(Newser) – John Dillinger was slippery in life. The gangster broke out of jail three times and was often on the run. But in death, everyone has known where he is. Now, two of his relatives say that isn't really Dillinger's body buried in Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis. They want the body exhumed. The History Channel was going to make a documentary of it, but no more, the AP reports. A spokesman would say only that the network is dropping the project. A niece and nephew of Dillinger's want the body removed for forensic analysis for positive identification that could include DNA testing. A state permit for the exhumation on Sept. 16 was granted, but the cemetery opposes the idea. Dillinger's nephew has sued the cemetery, and now the operation is on hold.

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The FBI's Chicago office has been countering conspiracy theories by tweeting that three sets of fingerprints taken from the body match Dillinger's, per CNN. The gangster, the nation's first Public Enemy No. 1, was shot to death by FBI agents on July 22, 1934, after leaving the Biograph Theater in Chicago. His relatives say they have evidence that the person killed then was somebody else. The FBI called that notion a myth. "A wealth of information supports Dillinger's demise, the Chicago office tweeted. The post included photos of a couple of pieces of 1934 evidence: the Colt .380 agents said Dillinger was reaching for when he was shot, and a death mask. The FBI's account of the killing is here. (Read more John Dillinger stories.)

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