Former Burr Oak Cemetery worker pleads guilty to desecrating bodies

SHARE Former Burr Oak Cemetery worker pleads guilty to desecrating bodies
SHARE Former Burr Oak Cemetery worker pleads guilty to desecrating bodies

A former backhoe operator at the historic Burr Oak Cemetery pleaded guilty Tuesday to desecrating bodies and removing skeletal remains to sell more graves to unsuspecting, grieving families.

Maurice Dailey, 65, is the fourth and final defendant to be convicted in the scandal at the Alsip site where many prominent African Americans, including Emmett Till, have been buried.

Dailey, of Robbins, will be sentenced on Aug. 28 at the Bridgeview Courthouse.

He pleaded guilty to desecration of human remains, removal of human remains and removal of gravestones or markers.

In April, brothers Keith and Terrence Nicks were put behind bars for their role in the crimes.

Cook County Judge Joan Margaret O’Brien sentenced 51-year-old former grounds foreman Keith Nicks to six years in prison. His younger sibling, who worked as dump-truck driver, was given three years.

During the brothers’ trial, Willie Esper, a seasonal landscaper at Burr Oak, described Dailey as an alcoholic who drank Crown Royal whiskey on the job every day.

Dailey even joked about being arrested for his activities at the cemetery and told Terrence Nicks he had hoped they’d be cellmates so he could throw his “ little ass” on the top bunk so he could watch his legs swing, Esper said.

Ex-Burr Oak cemetery manager Carolyn Towns, 55, is currently serving a 12 year prison sentence for her role in the gruesome plot.

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