New permit to exhume John Dillinger’s body approved by health department

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– The Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) approved a new request this week to exhume the body of notorious Indiana gangster John Dillinger as a legal battle over the proposed exhumation continues.

Michael Thompson, Dillinger’s nephew, filed the latest request on Sept. 23. A previous request had been filed on Sept. 9 but had a wrong date, requiring the family to resubmit the application.

ISDH says exhumation and reinterment must occur on the same day. The date listed on the permit is for December 31.

The family had worked over the summer to have Dillinger’s remains exhumed as part of a documentary for the History Channel. However, the cable network announced it had called off the documentary.

Crown Hill Cemetery, where Dillinger is buried, opposes the exhumation. In a previous statement, cemetery officials said they had a “duty to ensure the safety and integrity of the cemetery.”

Thompson believes there is reason to doubt that Dillinger is buried at Crown Hill and hopes to end years of speculation about the gangster’s fate.

The FBI maintains that Dillinger died in a shootout at the Biograph Theatre in 1934.

Timeline information gathered through PBS.org, JohnDillinger.com, and Wikipedia (John Dillinger page and the Dillinger Gang page)

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