On October 16, 1974, a man’s bullet-riddled body was discovered on Rainbow Beach in Chicago where East 78th Street meets Lake Michigan. Mrs. Sarah Edwards identified the body as that of her husband, Charles Edwards. She then paid $353 (about $1,800 today) to the Collins Funeral Home to cover the cost of his cremation and burial.
Police became suspicious when fingerprints identified the man as being that of 33-year-old Jerome Baker Ware. After Ware’s wife Ernestine was shown photographs of the body, she confirmed that was that of her husband James, who she had previously reported missing.
So just what was going on here? It turns out that 22-year-old Karl Jones, who had been previously arrested under the pseudonym of Charles Edwards, wanted to basically disappear and get a fresh start in life.
When the body of Jerome Baker Ware turned up, he had his girlfriend, 22-year-old Patricia Moore pretend to be his widow, Mrs. Sarah Edwards, and arrange for the cremation.
Clearly, their plan backfired and Jones was arrested for obstruction of justice. Police stated that Jones had nothing to do with the murder of Ware.