Burr Oak Cemetery Turned Over to Trustee

Tuesday, May 24, 2011  |  Updated 7:05 PM CDT
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History of Burr Oak Cemetery

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Local law enforcement officials guard the entrance of Burr Oak Cemetary during the exhumation of Emmett Till June 1, 2005 in Alsip, Illinois.

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History of Burr Oak Cemetery

The Burr Oak Cemetery was for a time the only cemetery where Black people could be buried in Chicago. Keiana Barrett, with the DuSable Museum of African American History, talks about what the desecration means to the community.
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A suburban Chicago cemetery at the center of a desecration scandal has been turned over to a trustee.

A federal bankruptcy judge approved the plan to transfer Burr Oak Cemetery in Alsip over to Chicago attorney Patricia Holmes on Tuesday.

Holmes led the governor's cemetery oversight task force.

Four former employees of the historic black cemetery are accused of stacking bodies and digging up remains in a money-making scheme uncovered in 2009. They've pleaded not guilty and are awaiting trial.

The cemetery's owner, Perpetua, filed for bankruptcy reorganization after the allegations came to light.

Under the trustee plan, anyone who can prove they have a relative buried at Burr Oak will get $100.

Holmes has $2.6 million from an insurance settlement to operate the cemetery.

Full Coverage: Desecration at Burr Oak Cemetery

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