The thieves dumped the bodies in a mass site in the rear of the cemetery — caskets and all.UPDATE: Felony charges have been filed against four cemetery workers, including the cemetery manager, for dismembering a human body. At least 100 graves sites are believed to have been descrecated by the employees over a 4-year period. The scattered remains of the unearthed bodies were visible to anyone walking near the rear of the cemetery according to Sheriff Dart.
Dart said he’s seen evidence that the desecration of graves may be widespread.
“There were plenty of concrete vaults that were shattered,” he said. “More than we could count.”
Because I have several close relatives buried at Burr Oak, I will be among those demanding answers.
Frankly, I am outraged.
How could cemetery owners not have a clue until now that this shameful crime against the dead was being committed?
The fact that a group of employees was able to get away with such a diabolical scheme for so long points to gross neglect of this historical cemetery.
“It was well thought out,” Dart said.
The employees apparently freelanced selling grave plots and dealt with cash.
“One person had an inordinate control of records, and a lot of those records have since been destroyed.
“We don’t know the full extent of this yet,” he said.
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
Taking Grave Robbing To A New Level
You can always count on Chicago to deliver some of the most diabolical schemes of public betrayal to shock the conscience. A Sun-Times report today tells us about cemetery workers at one of Chicago's most historic burial places for the City's African-Americans, Burr Oak, desecrating old grave sites to sell new plots for cash. Bodies from old grave sites at the cemetery where a number of prominent African-Americans are buried were found stacked up near the rear of the cemetery. Cook Co. Sheriff Tom Dart described the horrifying scene: