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Thursday 22 August 2019

Body of 1930s gangster John Dillinger to be exhumed 85 years after FBI shot him

There has been no reason given for the request by Dillinger’s nephew.

John Dillinger (Charlie Nye/AP)
John Dillinger (Charlie Nye/AP)

By Rick Callahan, Associated Press

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 theatre.

The Indiana State Department of Health approved a permit on July 3 sought by Dillinger’s nephew, Michael C Thompson, to have the body exhumed from Crown Hill Cemetery and re-interred there.

The permit does not give a reason for the request.

The Indianapolis-born Dillinger was one of America’s most notorious criminals. He and his gang pulled off a bloody string of bank robberies in the 1930s. The FBI says that Dillinger’s gang killed 10 people, but Dillinger was never convicted of murder.

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John Dillinger is set to be exhumed (AP)

Dillinger was awaiting trial in the killing 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 theatre 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 re-interred on September 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.

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