By John Ostapkovich
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The remains of five Irish immigrants unearthed a decade ago near Paoli, Pa. were today transported to a cemetery for burial this coming Friday.READ MORE: Stella The Pit Bull, Gloucester County Animal Shelter's Longest Resident, Adopted
But the story of what happened to these unfortunate souls in 1832 has taken a very nasty turn.
Only six of the 57 bodies from Duffy’s Cut have ever been recovered. Nothing was left of a seventh but a coffin-shaped outline.
Physical anthropologist Janet Monge of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology has been studying the remains, and will continue to study samples. She says the early theory that they died of cholera is only half true.READ MORE: 'This Is Do Or Die': Congressman Dwight Evans' Urgent Message For President Biden, Philadelphia Mayor Kenney On Gun Violence
They died, she says, because nearby townspeople had cholera and didn’t understand it.
“Can you imagine being hit by a cholera epidemic, where you know somewhere between about 50 and 60 percent of the people that are alive at the moment will be dead, and in just a couple of days?”
And her theory is: the cholera epidemic hits, so you blame the immigrants (see related story).
“You make a posse and you go get them,” Monge surmises.MORE NEWS: Candidate For Pennsylvania Governor Says He Did Not Cause Fatal Accident
The remaining bodies appear to be under or close to train tracks to Harrisburg — ironically the very rail line the immigrants were building.