Home Detention for Park Service Grave Robber
When NAGPRA, the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act, was about to go into effect in 1990, the superintendent of the Effigy Mounds National Monument in eastern Iowa at the time, Thomas Munson, stole the bones of over 40 Native Americans. The monument also has a museum in its visitor’s center that displays Native artifacts found in the same burial mounds as the bones.
According to NAGPRA, if the artifacts could be linked to the bones, they would also be subject to repatriation. In other words, releasing the bones to the tribes for reburial meant also releasing the artifacts. But if the bones went away, the artifacts would remain museum property.