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1970s / Charlie Chaplin Grave Robbery
On Christmas Day 1977, Charlie Chaplin died at the age of 88 at his estate in Vevey, Switzerland. He was buried in a local cemetery. Sixty-eight days later, on March 3, 1978, Chaplin's coffin was disinterred by grave robbers. Shortly thereafter Chaplin's family began receiving calls from a man demanding $600,000 for the return of Chaplin's remains. Mrs. Chaplin had no intention of paying any ransom, but she kept in contact with the criminals so the police could hunt them down. Eventually they were nabbed 11 weeks after the crime. The culprits had reburied Chaplin's coffin in a corn field. Chaplin's coffin was reinterred in its original burial place--under six feet of concrete to deter further grave-robbing attempts. The criminals, recent refugees from eastern Europe, were convicted of 'disturbing the peace of the dead.'