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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The History Channel will not move forward with a documentary about gangster John Dillinger, and his body may not be exhumed after all.

A representative for the History Channel told CBS4 the news on Wednesday.

They started working with Dillinger’s family back in July to exhume his body from his grave at Indianapolis’ Crown Hill Cemetery.  Some of his family members want to exhume his body to verify he is the one buried there.

They tell us the body was supposed to be exhumed five days after they received a permit on June 18, but a judge never signed off on the order to allow it.

There is currently no planned exhumation at this point.

Crown Hill Cemetery is opposed to the exhumation. Last month, the cemetery said it has a “duty to ensure the safety and integrity of the cemetery.”

Mike Thompson, Dillinger’s nephew, said he will continue to pursue the exhumation:

At this time I have no plans to postpone my efforts to exhume the casket of my uncle, John Dillinger.

There are major inconsistencies between John Dillinger’s known physical characteristics and the body that was buried in Crown Hill Cemetery. These inconsistencies have been widely reported for decades, but have been confirmed by the recent release of the FBI’s voluminous file on the case that I have in my possession. I simply wish to confirm that the body in the grave is that of my uncle.

If forensic tests confirm the identity, the decades-long speculation will end. If it is not John Dillinger, there is much work to be done to learn the identity of the individual who was shot and killed at the Biograph Theater in 1934. Additionally, my entire family, and the public, will be most eager to discover where Dillinger spent his remaining years, whether he married, and whether he has surviving children and grandchildren who would be our relatives. We deserve the right to know the truth.

Timeline information gathered through,, and Wikipedia (John Dillinger page and the Dillinger Gang page)