A case of unregulated greed.

Courtesy Chicago Tribune

Courtesy Chicago Tribune

“Who would say that’s OK? Anybody? Anybody at all?”

Assistant State’s Attorney Nick Trutenko was referring to the removal and desecration of human remains, as well as removal of more than 10 gravestones and markers at Burr Oak Cemetery, charges against codefendant brothers Keith and Terrence Nicks.

The brothers were charged after a 2009 FBI and Cook County Sheriff’s Department investigation revealed 1,500 bones of at least 29 people sprawled across the grounds at the same cemetery where lynching victim Emmett Till is buried (read the full article here).”

This past February, the brothers were convicted of desecration of human remains, removal of human remains and removal of more than 10 gravestones and markers, and face up to 7 years in prison.  On April 17, Keith Nicks was sentenced to six years and Terrence Nicks was sentenced to three years in prison.

Cemeteries today face enough challenges without something like this happening, yet it’s the lack of proper record keeping, lack of licensing requirements in many states, and cemetery ownership by huge corporations like SCI, that generate the temptation for unscrupulous actions.

Here’s hoping the Burr Oaks conviction and this 60 Minutes expose helps change things.





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