Hey, everyone always likes a good "grave-robber gets his comeuppance" story, right? This one is courtesy of the "Windsor Review," May 19, 1892:
The German Lutheran cemetery is situated in close proximity to Graceland, and in it are buried thousands of what were once good, sensible, jolly Germans of Chicago, both male and female. One of the bodies that lies there is that of a stout hardware dealer who used to keep a prospering store on Milwaukee avenue, near Noble street. He was taken sick one day and died, and his family shortly after got into straitened circumstances. His pretty young daughter, Ida by name, likewise sickened and died.
Her death occurred at the hospital, and some of the features of the disease which carried her off were of unusual interest from a purely scientific standpoint. As nobody had claimed the body for a day or two orders were given to have it taken to the dissecting-room and there explored for the benefit of budding M.D.s. But the mother of the girl all the while had been exerting herself among her friends to raise money enough to afford her poor child a decent burial, and at last she had succeeded. So just in the nick of time the old mother presented herself at the county hospital and claimed and obtained the body of her child. On the same day was the funeral.
What followed is given here on the authority of William Zengg, who at tho time was employed as gravedigger around the German Lutheran cemetery: It appears that a hanger-on at one of the medical colleges took it upon himself to disinter the body of the young girl and turn it over, in exchange for a snug little sum, to the janitor of that college. As this resurrectionist on a moist, foggy night in October, 1887 approached the newly-made grave of his intended victim, he was startled and scared beyond measure by the apparition of a stout, husky man looking straight and threateningly at him. The apparition was that of the recently deceased father of the dead girl, keeping watch at the grave of his daughter to guard it against desecration. The would-be grave robber was so utterly demoralized by the unearthly sight that met his eyes that he threw down his tools--spade and all--and fled.