Relatives Win New Permit to Exhume Gangster

By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 4, 2019 5:35 PM CDT
State Grants New Permit to Exhume John Dillinger
John Dillinger, center, strikes a pose with Lake County prosecutor Robert Estill, left, in the jail at Crown Point, Indiana, in 1934.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – Indiana officials have approved a new permit that relatives of 1930s gangster John Dillinger had sought to exhume his Indianapolis gravesite. The permit approved Thursday by the Indiana State Department of Health calls for the remains to be exhumed on Dec. 31, the AP reports. Dillinger's nephew, Michael C. Thompson, applied for the permit last month after he and another relative obtained an earlier permit calling for a Sept. 16 exhumation. That exhumation did not occur after Crown Hill Cemetery officials objected to the exhumation. Thompson is suing the cemetery, seeking a court order to gain access to the grave.

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Thompson has said he has evidence that Dillinger's body may not be buried there, and that he may not have been the man FBI agents fatally shot outside a Chicago theater in on July 22, 1934. The FBI said in a statement in August that it was a "myth" that its agents didn't kill Dillinger. Courts still could fight the exhumation, per WLS. The state requires that the remains be returned to the grave the same day as the exhumation. (The History Channel dropped its plans to film the exhumation for a documentary.)

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