Who is buried in John Dillinger’s grave?

By mbrooks on August 3, 2019
American gangster John Dillinger (1903 – 1934) with a group of friends. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

By Matthew Brooks

The family of John Dillinger, the infamous gangster, is preparing to exhume his grave.

The reason for the dig was previously unknown.

There are two relatives who claim that the person lying in Dillinger’s grave is not John Dillinger.

The relatives says they have evidence of a false burial.

According to an affidavit, two relatives of Dillinger say the body in the grave marked John Dillinger does not physically match the 1930s bank robber.

The relatives allege the body in question does not match John Dillinger’s “eye color, the ear shape and protrusion from the head, the fingerprints not matching, the existence of a heart condition, and the apparent non-match of the anterior teeth.”

The FBI disagrees with the theory.

On July 22, 1934, John Dillinger was in Chicago watching Manhattan Melodrama, a crime film starring Clark Gable.

As he exited the theater, FBI agents were waiting.

When a nearby agent positively identified Dillinger, the agent lit a cigarette. This action was a sign for the other agents to target Dillinger.

John Dillinger reached for a gun. FBI agents shot and killed John Dillinger at Biograph Theater in Chicago.

The story of how FBI agents determined Dillinger’s whereabouts, surrounded, and killed him is available on the FBI website.

Twenty-seven persons would eventually face trial in federal court for hiding Dillinger. The courts convicted them on charges of “harboring and aiding and abetting John Dillinger and his cronies during their reign of terror,” according to the FBI.

The family believes, if Dillinger did not die at the Chicago theater in 1934, he may have lived on and had children and grandchildren.

The misidentification of the person who the FBI killed is one of ten common myths surrounding Dillinger’s death.

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