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Cemetery head pleads guilty – Not known where some are buried

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The former superintendent of the Congressional Cemetery has pleaded guilty of stealing more than $175,000 during his eight-year tenure, the Washington Post reported July 21.

John S. Hanley confessed to keeping checks from people who purchased plots and headstones, as well as money donated to the nonprofit that runs the 193-year-old cemetery. At the time, managers were struggling to find money just to keep the cemetery’s grass mowed.

Worse than the theft, Hanley never ordered numerous headstones and didn’t keep proper records, meaning that many families do not know where their loved ones are buried.

Congressional Cemetery, in southeast Washington, D.C., is the burial place for more than 60,000 people, including colonial leaders, 76 members of Congress, 10 Washington mayors and numerous Indian chiefs. It is run by the all-volunteer Association for the Preservation of Historic Congressional Cemetery.

For full story, see the Washington Post.

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