Even in Death, Detroit Career Con Can’t RIP


For much of his adult life, Leonard “Junior” Smith wore only prison garb. But the navy-blue shirt and pants given to celebrate the burglar’s parole in 2002 may have solved half of a morbid mystery that arose after last week’s discovery of two long-abandoned bodies at the defunct Pope Funeral Home Detroit. Family members identified the 48-year-old Detroit man over the weekend at the county morgue, reports the city’s News. Although his body had decayed for more than three years, they had little trouble recognizing the man they called Uncle Junior and police knew as Danny Chaney, Eddie Lee Johnson and six other known aliases.

His funeral was held on July 6, 2002. But a money dispute may have allowed Smith’s body to languish. The family paid $2,300 of the $2,500 bill for cremation and the funeral services. The home’s director, Ellis Pope, promised Smith was cremated but put the family off when it demanded his ashes.

Link: http://www.detnews.com/2005/metro/0508/30/A01-297328.htm

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