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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2003

    60 visitors locked in cemetery


    About 50 people paying Mother's Day visits to a Forest Park cemetery spent 1-1/2 hours more there than planned when a cemetery worker locked them in.

    Raines said the cemetery's posted closing time was 4:30 p.m. He said he arrived at 4 and an employee locked the gate about 4:15.

    "This is messed up," said Raines, who has visited the grave of his mother, longtime Chicago schoolteacher Ecta Raines, every Mother's Day since her death in 1985.

    Anxiety builds

    Forest Park Police located a cemetery employee who opened the main gate at 6:08 p.m., Sgt. Dan Harder said, adding 10 or 11 cars were waiting to leave.

    Among visitors was 65-year-old James Hester, who complained, "We've got babies out here crying and hollering and needing to use the bathroom. This is ridiculous."

    The cemetery worker "took off" after telling visitors it was closing time, Hester said.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    In heels
    Isn't 4:30pm a unreasonably early time to close? especially on Mother's day?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Quote Originally Posted by Casshew
    Isn't 4:30pm a unreasonably early time to close? especially on Mother's day?
    I sure think so, but this cemetery has a huge history of *problems*.

    Past woes

    Forest Home Cemetery was sued by the state in February 1996 after relatives reported shoddy upkeep of gravesites. One west suburbanite brought his own lawn mower to remove a knee-high overgrowth of grass and dandelions from his relatives' graves.

    In the 1980s and early 1990s, a string of owners plundered the cemetery's trust fund, declared bankruptcy and sold to other parties who repeated the process, authorities said. In all, $9 million was looted, they said.

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