Far out. Famous star of silent movies, Charlie Chaplin, was abducted and held for ransom. If you’re wondering how a celebrity managed to be taken hostage, and practically no one know about it, well not even he knew about it. The reason being that Charlie Chaplin’s dead body was stolen and held for ransom. Say what?!? As far as unusual acts go, this is by far one of the weirdest things that I have ever encountered. I’d have to say that it is even weirder than this ritual, or even this bizarre practice. The reason I think it is weird is because, who would do something like this?
The odd events all began when Chaplin died on Christmas day in 1977 at the age of 88. While you’d think that passing away would result in the deceased being able to rest in peace, some rather unusual people from Eastern Europe had other ideas. To make matters worse, they could hardly wait for the dust on Chaplin’s grave to settle before raiding it, and disturbing his rest. But these grave robbers weren’t after gems and jewels. They were after a ransom.
Now these idiots who thought that kidnapping a corpse had a higher monetary value than a living human waited only nine weeks before exhuming the remains of good ol’ Charlie. They then took him about ten miles away and buried him again before calling his widow to demand a ransom for its safe return. They actually demanded upwards of $600,000.
Not to be outdone by her husbands morbid kidnappers, Chaplin’s wife refused to pay all the demands. It’s not like he was going to be physically harmed now was it? She used the ample time she had to pretend to bargain with the captors until their calls could be traced by the police. And it worked.
Eventually the call was traced to a pay phone, and a Polish mechanic in it. He and his accomplice were arrested and sentenced to seven and a half years in prison. As for Charlie Chaplin’s stolen body that was held for ransom, it was recovered and returned to rest once again. To this day it remains undisturbed.