Four people have been charged with felonies after excavating and reselling graves in Chicago's historic Burr Oak Cemetery. According to CNN, these cemetery employees dug up about 300 graves in the oldest section of the cemetery and dumped the remains in the far corners so that they could resell the plots. The CNN article doesn't say whether tombstones were removed or destroyed.
This is obviously a terrible situation for the families and the whole community. It's also a good lesson for those of us who spend time in historic cemeteries — if you see something strange, don't be afraid to report it to the local historical society or police.
More details are emerging about this ghoulish crime, including the shocking revelation that a fund set up to erect a monument to Emmett Till was drained. Some news organizations are reporting that Till's coffin was also found in a shed, but it is unclear whether that has anything to do with the scam — Till's body was legally exhumed for an autopsy in 2005 and reburied in a different coffin.
It appears that Emmett Till's gravewas not disturbed — the coffin found in a shed was supposed to be part of the memorial.