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brad9798
11-30-2010, 06:55 PM
cemeteries are a great place for kids to grow up, we would play with the frogs and crawdads Posted by LeeG

YES- LeeG ... my grandparents managed the DeSoto, MO City Cemetery. We had a LOT of fun there as kids ...

But one thing I never understood was why so many folks defiled, defaced, destroyed headstones, etc. ...
_______________________

I posted this on the War Toys thread ... but felt it may be deserving of its own thread ...

This stuff kind of disturbs me ...

WHY do folks hurt burial areas?

Phillip Allen
11-30-2010, 07:00 PM
there is an old cemetary behind my house...several acres and lots of graves. Us kids grew up in that overgrown "field" then someone stole most of the head stones. He was a local doctor who used them to build a patio behind his house...others that didn't match aslo disapeared

this cemetary was active between about 1820 and 1920...lots of babies and children

The Bigfella
11-30-2010, 07:08 PM
Its the same with most destructive behaviour. People looking to prove to themselves that they are powerful.

Tom Montgomery
11-30-2010, 07:56 PM
This grave marker was once in Maple Grove Cemetery south of Vermilion, Ohio. My father is buried there.

This is what the angel looked like when I was a kid in the sixties:

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2544/3796453991_529b85551e.jpg

http://www.forgottenoh.com/Counties/Erie/Pictures/mg-deathangel1.jpg



As you can see, the wing tips, and hands had already been broken off. The face shows the paint stains that remained after cleaning. The vandalism continued over the years. I've seen the angel's face covered with black and red paint. Finally, someone broke off and stole the angel's head:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3442/3797272120_d0bb519091.jpg



And here is all that remains today:

http://www.deadohio.com/MapleAngel.jpg



Why would anyone vandalize what was once such a beautiful monument? Ignorance. Read the sad story here: http://www.ghostsofohio.org/lore/ohio_lore_15.html

brad9798
11-30-2010, 08:01 PM
WOW, Tom! :(

I guess this is the same wanton sh*t that I am addressing ...

WHY? Seriously, WHY?

I simply don't get it ... :(

Michael D. Storey
11-30-2010, 08:02 PM
People do this because they can. They are cowardly, and strike out at those who can not defend themselves, in places where they will not have to answer for their actions.

Tom Montgomery
11-30-2010, 08:13 PM
Maple Grove Cemetery has no walls, no razor wire, no fences. It is in a rural area. Anyone can walk in day or night, unrestricted.

All the old cemeteries in Louisville now are surrounded by razor wire and are closed before dark.

Apart from vandalism, I understand that the theft of headstones is a problem in older cemeteries. Evidently there is a market for old and unique small headstones and monuments. Sick.

brad9798
11-30-2010, 08:22 PM
SICK, indeed!

:(

brad9798
11-30-2010, 08:33 PM
Tom- as you know, my wife is from Louisville ... let me check where her parents are buried ... I think it is off Bardstown Road ... but let me check.

She grew up on Molton Lane IIRC ...

Brad

Tom Montgomery
11-30-2010, 08:35 PM
My father was a veteran of both WWII and Korea. After he died, my mother received two beautiful military veteran flag holders, one for his service in WWII and one for his service in the Korean War. My mother put them in front of the headstone just before the first Memorial Day after my father's death. They were stolen the day after Memorial Day.

Tom Montgomery
11-30-2010, 08:38 PM
Tom- as you know, my wife is from Louisville ... let me check where her parents are buried ... I think it is off Bardstown Road ... but let me check.

Let me now and I'll check it out. I live one block away from Cave Hill Cemetery, the final resting place of George Rogers Clark and Colonel Harland Sanders, among others.

brad9798
11-30-2010, 08:44 PM
Rest Haven Cemetery, I believe!

Brad

Tom Montgomery
11-30-2010, 08:55 PM
Ah yes... about six miles SE of me. Resthaven Memorial Park (http://www.resthaven-lou.com/dm20/en_US/locations/02/0285/overview.page?)

I live off Bardstown Road in the Cherokee Triangle neighborhood (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cherokee_Triangle,_Louisville).

http://www.ecentral.com/louisvillemaps/cherokee_triangle.gif

I live on the corner of Glenmary Ave. and Willow Ave. The large empty space on the map is Cave Hill Cemetery. Cherokee Park is to the right where you see a road called Scenic Loop.

Glen Longino
11-30-2010, 09:30 PM
They were either bronze or copper werent they? its going on all over the country- sh-t heals stealing vets flag holders for the scrap value of the metal in them

You're philosophically naive, Black-Jack!
Get a grip before it's too late, Pard!:D

James McMullen
11-30-2010, 09:52 PM
You know, it was ever thus. What about the Great Sphinx of Giza that had its nose shot off by Napoleon's soldiers--not to mention all the other tombs that were ransacked and had bits stolen off them? Did you kow that the Great Pyramids used to be smooth, shiny white marble? All you can see left is traces of it left at the top where it was to hard to get--the rest of it carted away to buiild houses and stuff as if it were just a big ol' quarry. If one of the Seven Wonders of the World gets that kind of treatment, some poor lil angel ain't got a chance. A pity.

Ian McColgin
11-30-2010, 10:00 PM
The Oak Grove Cemetary down the street from MaryEllen's had a time in the news for repeated vandalisms, knocking over head stones and such. It was 100% predictable and predicted when the town decided it was too expensive to have anyone lock up at dusk. Now the town is spending ten times that much on police patrols and investigation. Locking, by the way, had worked all summer, the normal high point of vandalism out there.

Cemetaries are natural targets for vandalism as they tend to have little public traffic, especially at night. Solutions are individual to the cenetary and the town.

Katherine
12-01-2010, 12:40 PM
The only time I ever saw a damaged headstone in the cemetery where my family's plot is when a headstone right by the bend in a drive got bumped into by the caretaker's truck. The location of the cemetery is pretty rural, so I guess we're fortunate to not have a big vandalism problem. It helps that the church and parsonage are right accross the street from it. Also, most of the families that live close to it have other members buried there.

donald branscom
12-01-2010, 12:46 PM
I guess your next headstones will include a welded stainless steel box with video camera, to make SURE they get put in jail. !%@#^^$%^45's

We will have to have video cameras in EVERY spot in the USA. But at least the !@#$%%%'s will pay the price.

Like a Muddy Waters song....The judge says, "You hurt that pretty little angel and now I am giving you 99 years!!!"

Tom Montgomery
12-01-2010, 12:57 PM
Maple Grove Cemetery is also located in a rural area. In fact, the angel monument was only about 30 yards away from the road and about 100 yards away from a home on the other side of the road. As far as I know, no other significant vandalism has occurred at the cemetery. The angel monument has been the sole target.

As for theft... I've told my story. I think Black Jack is correct. The flag holders were bronze, I believe.

But urban cemeteries have absolutely experienced serious vandalism and theft. I just don't understand the market for stolen cemetery headstones and monuments. And vandalism is simply anarchic. It is really depressing.

S.V. Airlie
12-01-2010, 01:24 PM
Kids want to "hang out" and drink beer etc. I think that the damages done by those who have too much time on their hands, no interest in anything other than themselves and alcohol.

When I spent a summer baling hay, I was too tired to stay up late. Have them do some manual labor.

pefjr
12-01-2010, 01:26 PM
Well, it's easier than digging up a grave for the chance of a gold ring or tooth. Grave robbing is as old as that other ladies profession, what is again?

Bobby of Tulsa
12-01-2010, 01:29 PM
Kids want to "hang out" and drink beer etc. I think that the damages done by those who have too much time on their hands, no interest in anything other than themselves and alcohol.

When I spent a summer baling hay, I was too tired to stay up late. Have them do some manual labor.
As a teen I could haul hay all day long and drink at least half the night. Never spent any time in Cemeteries.

S.V. Airlie
12-01-2010, 01:31 PM
Well, it's easier than digging up a grave for the chance of a gold ring or tooth. Grave robbing is as old as that other ladies profession, what is again? Autopsies were illegal...Grave robbers were paid for bodies. The First autopsy made famous Harvey. (Painting)

Tom Montgomery
12-01-2010, 01:40 PM
You may find this interesting:


CEMETERY THEFT

WE can help stop Cemetery Theft! WE can inform our local dealers to be aware of the situation. WE need to document funerary art, i.e.. gates, fences, plaques, flag holders and the likes as well as our memorial stones.

This documentation is evidence needed to reclaim articles that have been stolen...

• Oct.97 - "Arrested for theft of seven gates from Mt. Auburn Cem. MA., four gates were recovered from antique shops," and "caught in the act of dismantling gates and fences from a pioneer cemetery--they had sold some 2500 lbs. of iron to a welding outfit--iron is often used for patio furniture--several cemeteries are trying to sort the pieces."
• "A woman who, while attending a party, finds her grandfather's gravestone in her host's patio wall.".
• An historic Masonic Monument had metal relief plaques on it in when it was erected in 1882. Since then they have been stolen and replaced by stone engravings done by a local monument company.
• All have surely read about "Shep" the dog statue, a zinc statue of the family pet from 108 years ago. Four years ago it was stolen from the family plot in PA. Last fall the police circulated flyers to antique dealers, and it turned out that a man in New Haven had paid $20,000 for the statue. Resale value was estimated at $50,000. The statue has been returned to family who are hesitant about putting it back in the family plot for fear of it being stolen again.

With such profit to be had, is it a wonder that our cemeteries are such vulnerable targets? How many cemeteries have you been to where you've seen large portions of iron gates and fences - maybe up to 80% - already missing. Statuary urns, lambs and angels are disappearing at alarming rates, and being purchased by garden lovers, unaware that this old statue probably came from someone's gravesite.

http://www.ctgravestones.com/theft.htm

S.V. Airlie
12-01-2010, 01:43 PM
I guess I referring to destruction vs theft. Except regarding autopsies. Original thread was regarding destruction. I ran off the track a bit sorry.

Tom Montgomery
12-01-2010, 01:50 PM
Vandalism and theft blend.

Dismantling a funerary monument to sell the parts falls under both classifications, it seems to me.

S.V. Airlie
12-01-2010, 01:53 PM
Vandalism and theft blend.

Dismantling a funerary monument to sell the parts falls under both classifications, it seems to me. I suppose so but Idon't know why want to separate them. I think vandalism is an irrational act caused by hoodlums who are not thinking and probably don't care
and theft is premeditated

Tom Montgomery
12-01-2010, 01:59 PM
.
Purchasing a stolen funerary object for one's garden or patio "art" seems irrational to me, as well.

I don't swallow the proclaimed "innocence" of the purchasers. I've known people who have purchased "hot" merchandise. They are rarely dupes.

S.V. Airlie
12-01-2010, 02:24 PM
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Purchasing a stolen funerary object for one's garden or patio "art" seems irrational to me, as well.

I don't swallow the proclaimed "innocence" of the purchasers. I've known people who have purchased "hot" merchandise. They are rarely dupes.
It's not irrational really. That is I was comparing the irrationabilty of the hoodlums vandalizing cemeteries is different. The thieves are not acting irrationally per se It is premeditated. To them money is a factor it is not irrational for them to see hard cash for an item/

To steal an item takes thought.... A Stupid thought granted

Tom Montgomery
12-01-2010, 02:34 PM
That is I was comparing the irrationabilty of the hoodlums vandalizing cemeteries.To them Stealing is not irrational acts to them per se. To them money is a factor it is not irrational for them to see hard cash for an item

I do not really disagree with you. Having said that.... ;)

Clearly the defacing and destruction of funerary objects is irrational. We call such irrational acts "vandalism."

But it seems to me that in the theft of funerary objects the irrationality is simply one step removed. The thief has a rational motivation (self-enrichment). But would you consider those who comprise his market "rational?" Would the thievery not end if the market for his stolen goods did not exist?

How in the world does a person justify purchasing a headstone for his backyard decoration? How about the marketing of wrought-iron fencing? Are antique stores as closely regulated as pawn shops? I do not know. But I doubt it.

skuthorp
12-01-2010, 02:39 PM
Hmm, that's human beings............... Nasty lot when you come down to it. Happens here too, sometimes for racial and political reasons. Once, in my blackest periods I had a theory that statistically neuclear warfare could be a good thing in that 95% of those wiped out weren't worth having anyway.

S.V. Airlie
12-01-2010, 02:41 PM
I do not really disagree with you. Having said that.... ;)

Clearly the defacing and destruction of funerary objects is irrational. We call such irrational acts "vandalism."

But it seems to me that in the theft of funerary objects the irrationality is simply one step removed. The thief has a rational motivation (self-enrichment). But would you consider those who comprise his market "rational?" Would the thievery not end if the market for his stolen goods dis not exist?

It is and it can be considered vandalism and a subset of same. About 110 yrs. ago someone tried to steal Lincoln. Now financially stealing a well know figure could bring in big bucks. So depends. An urn well it is priced by the market value. Some of my relatives are fairly well knowm.. I would suspect that thieves might hit them just because of who they were.

Regarding whoreceives the items I don't think they care really unless they are caught dealing with stolen goods.

Tom Montgomery
12-01-2010, 02:43 PM
Hmm, that's human beings............... Nasty lot when you come down to it. Happens here too, sometimes for racial and political reasons. Once, in my blackest periods I had a theory that statistically neuclear warfare could be a good thing in that 95% of those wiped out weren't worth having anyway.

And it REALLY makes you wonder about the "populist" politicians who target their message at the "common man." Of course, the "common man" tends to be convinced that he is not common at all....

Tom Montgomery
12-01-2010, 02:53 PM
It is and it can be considered vandalism and a subset of same. About 110 yrs. ago someone tried to steal Lincoln. Now financially stealing a well know figure could bring in big bucks. So depends. An urn well it is priced by the market value. Some of my relatives are fairly well knowm.. I would suspect that thieves might hit them just because of who they were.

Regarding who receives the items I don't think they care really unless they are caught dealing with stolen goods.

Agreed. Those who knowingly receive stolen property are committing a criminal act.

Having said that... I cared.

And now I'll confess to my sole crime.... I once, in the foolishness of my youth, purchased a stolen item. I purchased the item for a fraction of its cost... but it still amounted to a lot of money to me. However, I was consequently tortured by my conscience. I could not bring myself to use it. I tossed it into the Vermilion River.

That was over 30 years ago. Yet I still feel guilt when I think about it.
.

pefjr
12-01-2010, 02:58 PM
This is a grave subject.

S.V. Airlie
12-01-2010, 02:59 PM
Agreed. Those who knowingly receive stolen property are committing a criminal act.

And now I'll confess to my sole crime....

I once, in the foolishness of my youth, purchased a stolen item. I purchased the item for a fraction of its cost... but it still amounted to a lot of money to me. However, I was consequently tortured by my conscience. I could not bring myself to use it. I tossed it into the Vermilion River.
.

The difference is your conscience spoke and those who steal whether it be at a cemetery don't have the same conscience/ I'm still looking for a gold watch that went somewhere. Stolen item. Engraved etc. U doubt whether I will see it ever again. How or where it was pawned no idea. And there isa set of bagpipes out there that would not have done anyone any good.

Tom Montgomery
12-01-2010, 03:04 PM
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Seriously, are antique shops subject to the same level of regulatory scrutiny as pawn shops?

If not, why not? They can just as easily traffic in stolen merchandise.
.

S.V. Airlie
12-01-2010, 03:06 PM
.
Seriously, are antique shops subject to the same level of regulatory scrutiny as pawn shops?

If not, why not? They can just as easily traffic in stolen merchandise.
.

One would thinks so but I really don't know. Just the number of small mom and pop establishments probably make it impossible to monitor

brad9798
12-02-2010, 07:41 PM
GREAT question, Tom ... but I doubt antique shops are subject to the same rules, etc. Seems they don't cater to the dark side the SOME pawn shops do ... not MOST but SOME pawn shops.