Curiouser and Curiouser

My husband got a letter in the mail today from a law firm in Chicago.   I asked him if he was in trouble.  As he opened the letter a check fell out.  A check for $66.66.  Not a whopping amount but an unexpected check, nonetheless.

The letter informed him that this was terms of a settlement that he was made aware of on July 4, 2011.  Neither of us has any recollection of that letter but last year was kind of a blur.  Evidentially if he cashes this check he agrees to the terms of the Chapter 11 Bankruptcy plan of liquidation from February 18, 2011 and can make no more claims. And there is mention of cemetery claims without limitation.  Say what????

So I dusted off  my Nancy Drew hat and did some Googling and found out that yes, indeed, as indicated in the memo form of the check there is a Burr Oak cemetery in Chicago.   The story is that cemetery employees dug up graves and did who knows what with the remains so they could sell more plots!!!!  Yikes.  The story is getting creepier and creepier.  This settlement is a result of family members trying to get some settlement because of this event.

I still can’t figure out how Chris fits in.  There is an extensive database with pictures of headstones that they have created to help folks find the graves of their loved ones.  I found one Oliver W Chiles, Sr. who was born in 1907 and died in 1971.  No clue who he is.  None whatsoever.  And Chris has done the family history and nothing is ringing a bell.

One little detail I need to add—-this is an African American cemetery.  Chris is NOT African American.  Me thinks there might be a mystery here.  Anyone want to weigh in???  I would love to hear what you think.  Is my husband who he says he is?  Should we cash the check?  Should we call the lawyers?  Should we enlist in the witness protection program??  All suggestions will be weighed equally!!! 


  1. McGuffyAnn says:

    Beth Ann, I don’t want to ruin your story, but I live in NE Illinois. Burr Oak is not an Afican American cemetery. Though many buried there are, far from all are. Many are still un named, and many are still unsure.
    You need to contact the attorney and ask who the family member is, that the check covers. If there is an error, it needs to be reolved. They are still finding and sorting people buried in multiple situations and incorrectly. It is a large, old, once very well respected cemetery.

    • Hey McGuffy Ann–THanks!!! The article I read said it was an African American cemetery so that was what made it strange to me. It led me to believe that it was all African Americans so thanks for the info. The database of gravestones was really interesting—-I was horrified to read what had happened and of course your course of action is the correct one! But it is an interesting story, no??? Someone you had no clue about and quite honestly it could be anyone ….I did a search for several of his family names and there was only a Chiles that came up. Thanks for the thoughts!

  2. That is interesting. I have no clue what you should do. I received a check yesterday for $20 for being overcharged. I don’t know the company or anything. Not sure what to do with the check.

    Good luck finding out your mystery.

    • Hmm—there seems to be a lot of weird check stuff floating around out there….McGuffy Ann told me it is not just an African American cetetery but still….no clue why / who /etc!!!

  3. What an amazing mystery.. me thinks you have a winning story here.

  4. I like to live on the edge sometimes….I say, take the money and run 🙂
    and this conversation didn’t happen 😉

    • I will detonate my computer after reading your comment…….but seriously—-if someone sends you a check and it is legit why wouldn’t you cash it???? I think it is a gift from heaven….

  5. Helen Brown says:

    Very interesting! I can’t wait to hear what the real story will be. I would be the one that would not be able to cash it until I KNEW it was meant for me.

    • Yep—it is just one of those weird things. We have gotten settlement checks before for products that were involved in a class action suit but a cemetery scandal is a new one. Gonna email the lawyer to see what the dealio is.

  6. Susanna says:

    I say contact the lawyers to get the details.

  7. I always loved Nancy Drew. I think you need to come up with a book title, The Mystery of the ???

  8. pattisj says:

    Interesting, Beth Ann, can’t wait to hear the rest of the story.

  9. Nancy Drew, while you are on the phone with the lawyers, wanna check into the letter I just got about the airline I have a flight with in August declaring bankruptcy?

  10. If it was $6.66 I would have recommended that you didn’t cash it.

  11. Okay, I’m late getting here. Been away from my computer this weekend, but glad I didn’t miss this. How strange! Can’t wait to hear how this all turns out.

    • I will definitely be following up on it—Chris is not really too concerned about it but hey—if someone sends a check I want to know what for!!!

  12. Maybe you can cash the check and then use it for comments for a cause and give it to one of the charities you pick each month! I would try to find out more, too just for the mystery of it. Very strange indeed.

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