Grave robbing has been around for a long time...perhaps nearly as long as there have been graves.
It was quite a profitable business during the late 18th and early 19th centuries when bodies were needed for medical studies.
The burial vault was invented to protect bodies from grave robbers. Now that grave robbers aren't a concern anymore, the vaults are made to protect graves from sinking in. Over time, caskets deteriorate and with the added weight of backhoes and trucks driving in the cemetery, the graves would collapse if it weren't for the burial vaults.
Here's a link to a great podcast produced by Stuff You Should Know that talks about grave robbing. I think you'll really dig it!
In case you'd rather read about this instead of listening to a podcast, here's a link to an article that talks about a lot of the same material: A Beginner's Guide to Body Snatching
Hello, I'm Jeff Zealley. I worked as a funeral director for over 20 years. Now, I am fortunate to teach those pursuing a career in funeral service. I'm still fascinated with the funeral industry and the ways people choose to memorialize their loved ones.