Family of ‘massacre’ victim seeks answers
How far would you go to find the remains of a loved one that you have never even met?
After a local Illinois city asked a research team to stop its efforts to locate the victims of the 1922 Herrin Massacre, members of one family say they want answers.
Standing inconspicuously in the middle of the city cemetery, a monument holds the names of 16 men killed during the 1922 Herrin Massacre by union employees.
Researcher Steve DiNaso says he has located the 16 graves, but the family of Ignatz Kubinetz wants more.
"It’s understandable that at this point they want full closure," said DiNaso.
Buried in unmarked graves, it took Dinaso’s team of researchers more than five years using old documents and ground penetrating radar to find the men.
"We were finding plenty,” said DiNaso. “There were wood boxes just about everywhere we were looking of former unmarked graves."
In one of those graves is Ignatz Kubinetz.
"We’ve got overwhelming evidence that he would be in grave space No. 18,” said DiNaso. “Whether or not he is there is our last working hypothesis."
Because he was shot in the leg, identifying Kubinetz would be easy.
However, Herrin Mayor Steve Frattini says the location of that grave near recent burials is too risky.
"It would be intrusive on an adjoining grave site, and we’re not willing to do that without being directed by a regulatory commission or court order," said Frattini.
Kubinetz say that simply knowing his final resting place is enough for them, and that the massacre monument stands as a testament of the 16 men who died here.
Kubinetz’s descendants say they are reaching out to Frattini and the families of those buried near the unmarked grave to try and work out a solution to get the truth without having to take legal action.