Body of notorious gangster John Dillinger to be exhumed from Indianapolis cemetery

John Dillinger was a major figure in the gangster era of the 1930s.

July 30, 2019, 4:32 PM

The body John Dillinger, who is accused of terrorizing the Midwest in the early 1930s and became a major figure of the U.S. "gangster era," will be exhumed from the Indianapolis cemetery where he has been interred for 85 years.

The Indiana State Department of Health approved a permit earlier this month to exhume Dillinger’s body in September, a copy of the permit shows. It was filed by Dillinger’s nephew, Michael C. Thompson, but did not list a reason for the request.

John Dillinger is shown in this undated file photo.
Dayton Daily News/AP, FILE

Dillinger is currently buried at the Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis. His body will be reinterred on Sept. 16 at 10 a.m., according to the permit.

Jennifer O’Malley, spokeswoman for the state’s department of health, did not say why the request was made and told ABC News the agency’s only role is to issue the permit.

Calls to the Crown Hill Cemetery were not immediately returned, but spokeswoman Crystal King told the Associated Press that she had no information about plans to exhume Dillinger.

This is a 1934 file photo of desperado John Dillinger near Moore, Ind. The body of the 1930s gangster is set to be exhumed from an Indianapolis cemetery more than 85 years after he was killed by FBI agents.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation called Dillinger a “notorious and vicious thief.” He and his gang were accused of killing 10 men, wounding seven others, robbing banks, and staging three jailbreaks from September 1933 to July 1934, according to the agency. Dillinger was never convicted of murder.

Dillinger, who had evaded capture for months, was killed on July 22, 1934, after agents received a tip that he was going to see a movie at the Biograph Theater in Chicago.