INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The body of notorious 1930s gangster John Dillinger is
expected to be exhumed from an Indianapolis cemetery in September more than
85 years after he was killed by FBI agents outside a Chicago theater.
Indiana State Department of Health approved a permit July 3 sought by
Dillinger's nephew, Michael C. Thompson, to have the body exhumed from Crown
Hill Cemetery and reinterred there.
The permit doesn't give a reason for the request, and Thompson couldn't
immediately be reached for comment.
Indianapolis-born Dillinger was one of America's most notorious criminals.
He and his gang pulled off a bloody string of bank robberies across the
Midwest in the 1930s. The FBI says that Dillinger's gang killed 10 people,
but Dillinger was never convicted of murder.
Dillinger was awaiting trial in the slaying of an East Chicago police
officer when he escaped from jail in Crown Point, Indiana, in March 1934
with a gun carved out of wood. While on the run, he underwent plastic
surgery to alter his face and was said to have tried to remove his
fingerprints with acid.
Dillinger, who was portrayed by Johnny Depp in the 2009 movie "Public
Enemies," was fatally shot in July 1934 by FBI agents outside the Biograph
theater in Chicago after he was betrayed by a woman who became known in the
papers as the "Lady in Red."
Indiana health department spokeswoman Jeni O'Malley said that based on the
permit, the agency expects Dillinger's body will be exhumed and reinterred
on Sept. 16 — the date listed on the document.
"In terms of the way the permit reads that's what it signals," she said
Crown Hill Cemetery spokeswoman Crystal King said the cemetery has no
information about the plans to exhume Dillinger, whose grave is an
attraction at the hilltop graveyard on Indianapolis' near north side.
Messages seeking comment were left Tuesday for Jeffery Scalf, whose
grandmother was Dillinger's half-sister, and for Savanah Light, the funeral
director whose name is listed on the permit.