Remains of gangster John Dillinger to be exhumed from heavily protected grave

INDIANAPOLIS – The remains of notorious 1930s gangster John Dillinger — reportedly entombed beneath 5,000 pounds of concrete at an Indianapolis cemetery — are set to be exhumed decades after the infamous killer was gunned down by FBI agents.

The Indiana State Department of Health approved a permit July 3 that was sought by Dillinger’s nephew, Michael C. Thompson, and will result in the body being exhumed from Crown Hill Cemetery and then reinterred there, the Associated Press reported.

It’s not immediately clear why the body is set to be dug up, but Health Department spokeswoman Jeni O’Malley says the agency expects Dillinger’s remains to be exhumed and reinterred Sept. 16, based on the permit. The Crown Hill Cemetery says it has no information regarding the plans.

At the time of his death, the Dillinger family had ordered two and a half tons of concrete placed on the coffin after it was reported attempts might be made by “ghouls” to steal his body, IndyStar reported.

Not surprisingly, there have been theories that it was not John Dillinger who was killed outside the theater, but rather a double. Dillinger had dyed his hair, plucked his eyebrows to a fine line, wore a mustache and a scar on the left side of his face had apparently been removed by plastic surgery. His fingerprints had been removed by acid.

The FBI says Dillinger’s gang killed 10 people during bank robberies and other crimes in the 1930s—and at one point, according to FOX59, he was charged in the murder of an Indiana police officer, but never convicted.

Dillinger was killed by FBI agents in July 1934 outside Chicago’s Biograph Theater, where he had just seen the Clark Gable movie “Manhattan Melodrama.”

When Dillinger’s body was brought back to his birthplace of Mooresville, Ind., a crowd of nearly 10,000 gathered to catch a glimpse, reported the IndyStar.

The gangster, who lived to be 31, was the subject of the 2009 film “Public Enemies,” in which he was portrayed by actor Johnny Depp.


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