Murderous bank robber and rakish criminal John Dillinger was buried in a family plot in Indiana’s Crown Hill Cemetery but true to his thieving past, the threat of his grave being robbed led to near unheard-of levels of protection surrounding his corpse.
When Dillinger was interred in his Indiana grave the infamous criminal’s service was attended by near 5,000 people. More than just bystanders, Dillinger’s father and brother witnessed shameless souvenir collectors snatching flowers and handfuls of dirt from the fresh grave. Fearing that this rather innocuous, if tasteless, appropriation could spread to straight out grave robbing, Dillinger’s father and brother had the bank robber’s body exhumed and reburied under layers of iron and concrete.
Despite their efforts, souvenir-hungry visitors have still managed to wreak havoc on the site. Dillinger’s headstone is a simple, low block with nothing more than his name and the years his life began and ended, yet vandals continue to chip off chunks and corners from the modest marker. The cemetery claims to have come through at least four of the stones since the original was placed. Despite the obvious moral issues behind desecrating a grave, it seems that stealing from the grave of a notorious thief may be a fitting tribute all its own.
Update April 2021: The gravestone has been moved.