It might be worth taking a closer look at the cemetery that was supposed to bury her. There was a recent case near Chicago in which bodies were exhumed and dumped so that the cemetery operators could resell the plots; among the evidence found was the coffin that Emmett Till was originally buried in. (Till’s body is still in his grave, in a new coffin.) The poor condition of the cemetery mentioned in this post makes me wonder.
What a stroke of cognitive dissonance to realize that a black cadaver is equivalent to a white one for didactic purposes, but then not realize that it merits the same respect.
That’s something that Washington talks about in the book. She’s got some really mind-blowing quotes from old letters and papers where people try to justify that to themselves and others, too.
WBHM in Birmingham ran a story today on this topic: http://www.wbhm.org/News/2013/collinsgrave. It’s certainly possible that the location of her burial was imprecisely recorded, rather than hypothesizing body snatchers at work. I would think the medical examiner’s autopsy and the national attention on her murder would make her body much less attractive to thieves.
I don’t think the body snatchers were hypothetical. They’re pretty well documented. Whether they snatched this particular body is open to debate and investigation, but I don’t think Collins was getting the celebrity treatment.
In Addie Mae’s case, I mean. Unless known body snatchers were involved in her case, or we’re reasonably certain her body was snatched, I think Addie Mae’s body snatchers remain hypothetical.
It is shockingly irresponsible to repeat such a ridiculous claim that’s based on nothing but racist paranoia… The black owners of a black cemetery lose a black girl’s body – blame the white man! I think the fact that the cemetery was abandoned and not being cared for might be your first clue. There was no mention in the article of cemetery records. I suspect because their were none. If the family had actually tried to visit the grave instead of ignoring it for 30 years, they might have noticed something was amiss. Somebody needs to start probing the ground around that stone, looking for unmarked graves. Hopefully the stone is not too far from the actual grave. If the funeral was newsworthy, perhaps there would be a photograph of the burial with other visible stones nearby. Even the best cemeteries have instances of bad record-keeping… Even Arlington had a scandal a while back. But this nonsense about the body being stolen. It’s a disgrace to give it even half-a-second’s consideration.
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