Late 'Double Indemnity' Scribe Raymond Chandler, Wife Reunited With Valentine's Day Reburial

6:18 PM PST 02/14/2011 by David Ciminelli

The Hollywood screenwriter-novelist and his beloved Cissy were reunited after death 50 years later thanks to literary fans who found clues to the writer's burial wishes.

Late author and screenwriter Raymond Chandler and his deceased wife were reunited on Monday, Valentine's Day, after having spent the past 50 years located a block away from one another in San Diego.

Chandler, who co-wrote with famed director Billy Wilder the screenplay to 1944's Double Indemnity and penned the screenplay for the 1946 classic The Blue Dahlia, was buried at the city's Mount Hope Cemetery in 1959. Meanwhile, the ashes of his wife Cissy, who died five years after the writer, sat in an urn on a mausoleum shelf a block away from her husband's plot. The reason for the post-death separation was because Chandler died with his affairs in disarray, leaving no instruction for what to do with his wife's ashes, reports the Associated Press.

Then, last year, two Chandler fans from Malibu, Loren Latker and his wife, Annie Thiel, found references from the author hinting that he wished to be buried alongside his wife. They successively petitioned San Diego Superior Court for permission to have Cissy's remains buried in the grave of her husband. Seeing no opposition, the judge agreed, and on Monday over 100 people attended the reburial ceremony. A new plaque at the gravesite commemorates their reunification.

"I feel thrilled to be able to honor Chandler's wishes at last," Latker, a self-described Chandler historian, told the San Diego Union Tribune.

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