History Channel drops out of planned Dillinger documentary

AP photo - John Dillinger

The History Channel has dropped out of a planned documentary on 1930s gangster John Dillinger that would have featured the proposed exhumation of his grave in Indianapolis sought by two relatives of the notorious criminal who question whether he's truly buried there.

Posted: Sep 12, 2019 8:52 AM
Updated: Sep 12, 2019 8:53 AM

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The History Channel has dropped out of a planned documentary on 1930s gangster John Dillinger that would have featured the proposed exhumation of his grave in Indianapolis sought by two relatives of the notorious criminal who question whether he's truly buried there.

A&E Networks spokesman Dan Silberman said Wednesday that The History Channel is no longer involved in the documentary, but declined further comment, saying network officials "do not comment on why we aren't moving forward with a project."

Silberman said in early August that the Dillinger project had not gone into production.

Dillinger is well known in north Iowa for robbing First National Bank in Mason City. A reenactment of the crime, known as Dillinger Days, occurred for years in downtown Mason City. He also had a bar in Mason City named after him.

Dillinger's nephew, Michael C. Thompson, filed a lawsuit Aug. 14 against Crown Hill Cemetery, after cemetery officials objected to the proposed exhumation.

Thompson is one of two Dillinger relatives who sought a state permit to exhume the gravesite, saying they have evidence that Dillinger's body may not be buried there and that he may not have been the man FBI agents fatally shot outside a Chicago theater on July 22, 1934. That permit was approved in July.

The FBI said in a statement in August that it was a "myth" that its agents didn't kill Dillinger and that "a wealth of information supports Dillinger's demise" including fingerprint matches.

Thompson and Carol Thompson Griffith said in their permit applications to the Indiana State Department of Health that they want the body exhumed and subjected to a forensic analysis and possibly DNA testing "in order to make a positive identification." They said in their identical applications that Dillinger was their uncle.

An Oct. 1 status hearing is scheduled in Thompson's lawsuit against the cemetery. The Associated Press on Wednesday left a message seeking comment from Thompson's attorney.

The state permit issued for Dillinger's grave lists a Sept. 16 exhumation — and under that permit the grave would have to exhumed and reinterred on that date, said agency spokeswoman Megan Wade-Taxter.

If Dillinger's grave is not exhumed on that date, another state permit would have to be obtained, Wade-Taxter said Wednesday. No applications for another exhumation date have been filed, she said.

"Just because a permit for disinterment has been issued, the exhumation doesn't have to occur. We have no involvement in whether the applicant follows through with the exhumation," she said.

Crown Hill Cemetery management said in a statement in August that it objected to the exhumation of Dillinger's grave, in part because it was concerned that "the complex and commercial nature of this exhumation could cause disruption to the peaceful tranquility of the cemetery" and people visiting the graves of loved ones.

A few days after his 1934 burial, Dillinger's father had his casket covered with a protective cap of concrete and scrap iron topped by four reinforced-concrete slabs to prevent vandals from trying to dig him up, according to Susan Sutton, a historian with the Indiana Historical Society.

Dillinger's great-nephew, Jeff Scalf, has opposed the grave's exhumation, saying he's certain Dillinger is buried in the grave marked with his name.

Scalf said Wednesday that he hopes the exhumation does not proceed and that no additional permit is sought. He said his grandmother, Doris, who was Dillinger's half-sister, "would have been shocked and appalled" by the efforts to exhume him.

"She would have found this reprehensible. She would have been shocked at even the idea of doing this," he said.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 37624

Reported Deaths: 1503
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin12150785
Ramsey4805226
Stearns234519
Dakota228690
Anoka2180107
Nobles16626
Olmsted110115
Washington106940
Mower9452
Rice8357
Scott7004
Clay58538
Kandiyohi5701
Wright4565
Blue Earth4532
Todd4002
Carver3641
Lyon3092
Sherburne3075
Freeborn2900
Steele2281
Watonwan2160
Benton2143
St. Louis17715
Martin1635
Nicollet15912
Cottonwood1340
Goodhue1298
Winona12215
Crow Wing10612
Pine1030
Le Sueur981
Chisago971
Otter Tail931
McLeod880
Carlton850
Dodge840
Polk812
Chippewa781
Unassigned7637
Isanti720
Itasca6412
Waseca640
Douglas620
Meeker611
Morrison591
Murray580
Becker550
Faribault550
Jackson550
Sibley542
Pennington500
Pipestone371
Mille Lacs342
Renville322
Wabasha310
Brown302
Rock300
Yellow Medicine300
Beltrami290
Fillmore280
Houston250
Swift211
Norman200
Wilkin203
Redwood180
Cass152
Wadena150
Aitkin140
Big Stone140
Kanabec141
Koochiching141
Roseau130
Marshall120
Grant100
Lincoln100
Pope100
Mahnomen81
Clearwater70
Hubbard60
Lake60
Traverse50
Lac qui Parle40
Stevens40
Red Lake30
Kittson20
Cook10
Lake of the Woods00

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 30975

Reported Deaths: 720
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk6464179
Woodbury321544
Black Hawk225258
Buena Vista171111
Johnson12648
Dallas126329
Linn126282
Marshall104319
Scott77810
Story7623
Pottawattamie72111
Wapello70630
Dubuque68322
Crawford6772
Muscatine62944
Sioux4630
Tama46229
Wright3801
Louisa36013
Jasper32317
Plymouth3165
Warren2731
Dickinson2642
Washington2369
Webster2132
Hamilton1871
Cerro Gordo1561
Boone1481
Clay1330
Clarke1312
Allamakee1284
Mahaska11517
Shelby1140
Clinton1071
Poweshiek1048
Carroll961
Pocahontas941
Bremer926
Franklin890
Des Moines882
Henry863
Emmet850
Cedar821
Taylor790
Monona760
Cherokee751
Floyd722
Hardin700
Marion700
Guthrie664
Benton651
Sac630
Jefferson590
Osceola590
Jones560
Humboldt541
Butler532
Harrison530
Lee532
Hancock510
Iowa510
Buchanan501
Monroe506
Calhoun492
Delaware491
Fayette480
Madison452
Clayton433
Lyon410
Palo Alto410
Davis391
Winneshiek380
Grundy370
Mitchell370
Mills360
Howard350
Kossuth340
Lucas304
Greene290
Jackson290
Chickasaw280
Winnebago280
Union270
Ida230
Cass220
Appanoose203
Keokuk201
Page200
Van Buren200
Worth190
Audubon161
Unassigned160
Adair150
Ringgold150
Decatur110
Montgomery102
Wayne100
Adams80
Fremont70
Rochester
Clear
76° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 76°
Mason City
Clear
76° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 76°
Albert Lea
Clear
79° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 81°
Austin
Clear
81° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 69°
Feels Like: 84°
Charles City
Clear
77° wxIcon
Hi: 89° Lo: 68°
Feels Like: 79°
Hot and sticky fourth of July weekend
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Alternative baseball hopes to come to the Med City in 2021

Image

FOURTH OF JULY IN AUSTIN AND STEWARTVILLE

Image

Seans 6pm Weather 7/4

Image

Fans excited for Honkers return

Image

Honkers fall to St. Cloud in home opener

Image

Baseball returns to the Med City

Image

Seans 10pm Weather 7/3

Image

Leaders advocate for the homeless

Image

Fireworks Show During the Pandemic

Image

Pillars of the City Unveiled

Community Events