Claim: The mortal remains of Charlie Chaplin were abducted and held for ransom.
Origins: Even in death Charlie Chaplin had little peace. Such was the price of his celebrity that his remains were dug up and ransomed back to the family.
Chaplin died on
According to a 1978 news report on the crime:
Although the family had received many false calls asking for exorbitant sums, this time the demand was backed up with a photograph, sent by the alleged coffin just before its reburial in the cornpatch.
Chaplin's widow, Oona, refused to consider ransom. But in order to cooperate with police, the family, through its lawyer, Jean-Felix
Two earlier traps set for the alleged grave robbers did not succeed but a dragnet of
The two accused men face seven-and-a-half years in prison for extortion and for "disturbing the peace of the dead."
Chaplin's family has not disclosed what it plans to do with his recovered coffin.
Last updated: 27 July 2013
Rollow, Jonathan. "Swiss Police Recover Body of Chaplin." The Washington Post. 18 May 1978 (p. A1).