March 2 1978 Charlie Chaplin’s body was exhumed from his grave in Switzerland . The reason? A 24 year old Polish man named Roman Wardas had money trouble.



Oona O’Neil 1943

He figured that the best plan would be to Dig up the beloved Chaplin and demanded a ransom from the Family of the late Mr. Chaplin. Wardas recruited his friend Gantscho Ganev to help. The pair demanded £400,000 from Oona O’Neill Chaplin daughter of Eugene O’Neill and widow of Charlie.




Roman Wardas

Roman Wardas


The Chaplin family notified the police. The police staked out 200 public phone booths in pursuit of the suspects.


11 weeks into the case the police arrested Wardas and Ganev. Wardas was convicted and sentenced to 4 and a half years of hard labor. Ganev got off with the lesser sentence of 18 months.

The body was reburied in it’s original place but in a thief proof tomb. Oona who died in 1991 was buried next to Charlie.