Amazing coincidence in timing here, but word got out yesterday that there are currently plans to exhume John Dillinger’s grave in Indianapolis!
The details are still thin on the ground, but Indy station WTHR reported yesterday that Dillinger’s nephew, Michael Thompson, officially requested to the state Department of Health that his famous gangster uncle’s body be exhumed. The request was granted, with the exhumation (and reburial) to take place on September 16.
Initially, Thompson, the Indiana Department of Health and Crown Point Cemetery were all tight-lipped about why they were going to dig up the Jackrabbit. Reports today have indicated that the History Channel is somehow involved in this effort, and that they are working on a documentary about Dillinger.
The details are still hazy, but I think there’s a good chance that this is related to the plot of Jackrabbit. [SPOILER ALERT] One of the main ideas of the novel is that it wasn’t really John Dillinger that was killed outside the Biograph, but a low-level criminal named Jimmy Lawrence. This theory has been kicking around for years; Jackrabbit was an exploration of how it might have happened.
One interesting piece of Dillinger lore is that Dillinger’s dad had him re-buried underneath several huge slabs of concrete. This was allegedly so that souvenir hunters wouldn’t be tempted to rob the grave. Conspiracy theorists surmise that John Dillinger Sr. (and other family members) knew that it wasn’t their relative in that grave, and that the concrete was placed there to prevent the FBI from discovering their mistake.
This is a very interesting development, and I will be following the story closely. I think a lot of other people will as well – I’ve already seen stories about this on CNN, Fox News, the Associated Press and the New York Times.
In the meantime, you can still download Jackrabbit for free from Amazon until midnight, July 31, by clicking THIS LINK.