UPDATE: Workers Charged WIth Digging Up 300 Bodies, Reusing Plots

Relatives of the people buried in a historic cemetery south of Chicago have been flocking there to check on the graves of their loved ones.

Three gravediggers and a manager at the Burr Oak Cemetery are accused of unearthing hundreds of corpses in an elaborate scheme to resell burial plots.

Authorities say some of the corpses were dumped in a weeded area, while others were double-stacked in existing graves.

The Cook County Sheriff's office and other authorities planned to discuss their investigation Friday.

The suspects, 49-year-old Carolyn Towns, 45-year-old Keith Nicks, 39-year-old Terrence Nicks, and 61-year-old Maurice Dailey, have each been charged with one count of dismembering a human body.

All four were being held in lieu of bond Thursday night.

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Authorities say as many as 300 corpses may have been tampered with in a historic black cemetery near Chicago.

They say hundreds of bodies may have been unearthed. Some corpses were strewn in a weeded area and others reburied in existing graves.

The Cook County sheriff says it was all part of a scheme to resell the burial plots. Four cemetery workers have been charged with dismembering a human body.

Burr Oak Cemetery is the burial place of many famous black Americans, including lynching victim Emmett Till and blues legend Dinah Washington. The sheriff says Till's grave was not disturbed, but he isn't sure about Washington's.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson has been there today, along with many angry family members. He says there's "a special place in hell" for the people accused in the alleged scheme.

More than a dozen FBI agents will be helping sort through the evidence and identify remains.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by pete Location: grifton on Jul 10, 2009 at 02:45 PM
    Jesse is just mad because he didn't think about it first or get his cut.
  • by MrT Location: LaNC on Jul 10, 2009 at 12:46 PM
    Lucky they didn't mistake Jackson for a bugeyed Zombie that's been buried for 40,000 years.
  • by Aunt B Location: Greenville on Jul 10, 2009 at 08:54 AM
    How could so mamy bodies have been displaced and no one know about it before now? I suspect that someone knew and covered it up, probably for months if not years.
  • by Lynn Location: Kinston on Jul 10, 2009 at 07:39 AM
    Some folks will do anything for a dollar, and these folks are sick, but I agree with MrT, Jesse Jackson needs to read his Bible again, which states " Judge, and ye shall be judged".
  • by Tad Location: Jamesville on Jul 9, 2009 at 08:41 PM
    Classic. Thuggery in the graveyard.
  • by MrT Location: LaNC on Jul 9, 2009 at 06:47 PM
    I think it's a disgrace that the graves were tampered with.As far as Jesse Jackson saying there's a special place in hell for anyone, I'm sure there's a place reserved for him. Anyone who claims to be a man of God(REVEREND), yet spews hatred and prejudice towards his fellow man the way he does is sure to have a special place down there waiting just for him.Over there in a warm spot.
  • by Cactus Location: Strabane on Jul 9, 2009 at 03:04 PM
    This is the first time in my life that I agree with Jesse Jackson. God Bless the families.
  • by festerDjester Location: Pitt County on Jul 9, 2009 at 02:58 PM
    Some people today have no respect for anything. What a bunch of lowlifes!! These creeps probably took any jewelry or anything of value off the remains also and tried to sell the coffins as scrap metal.
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