Digging Up the Dead:
History’s Most Famous Exhumations II
A final resting place is supposed to be just that, final. No one anticipates having to unearth remains interred in graveyards. Yet, it happens from time to time for a variety of reasons, most of them complicated, to say the least.
As mentioned in the previous blog: Famous Exhumations I we looked at the remains of such notable people as Christopher Columbus and Eva Peron. Here are four more:
Lee Harvey Oswald: Many conspiracy theories surrounded Oswald and the death of President John F. Kennedy. The most famous conspiracy was the alleged switching of places between Oswald and a known Soviet spy. One author, Michael Eddowes, suggested the switch took place during Oswald’s trip to the Soviet Union just a few months before the assassination. To test the theory, there was an exhumation of the body as well as dental records. Both disproved the conspiracy.
Simon Bolivar: The South American revolutionary was a hero to many. Bolivar died in Columbia in 1830 due to complications from tuberculosis and was buried in the Santa Marta cathedral shortly after. Twelve years later, Bolivar’s remains were exhumed and moved to Caracas, Venezuela. The late-Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez believed Bolivar was wrongly murdered and wanted forensic evidence to prove the true cause of his death. Bolivar was re-exhumed in 2010 on national television. Sadly, the results came back inconclusive.
Daniel Boone: When Daniel Boone passed away in 1820, he was buried in an unmarked grave in Marthasville, Missouri. Some twenty-five years later, Boone’s remains were supposedly unearthed and reburied in Frankfort, Kentucky. Both Missouri and Kentucky claim to be Boone’s final resting place, however, some claim that the wrong remains were disinterred to begin allowing the Boone mystery to continue.
Abraham Lincoln: In 1876, a gang of Chicago counterfeiters planned to the steal the ex-President’s corpse and hold it for a ransom of $200,000. Luckily, law enforcement officials caught the grave robbers red-handed and quickly moved Lincoln’s body to various unmarked graves to prevent such another attempt. In 1901, Lincoln’s remains were encased in a steel cage and buried under ten feet of concrete to give the late-President and his loved ones, peace.