The man who shot Lincoln


Welcome to kits myths and mysteries stories of strange and unexplained people places assistant events. I'm your host ken. Crumb on the night of april fourteenth eighteen sixty five a single gunshot in ford steeler changed american history. It had been just over a week since the end of the bloodiest war in american history the civil war it ended with the confederacy surrender but now abraham lincoln the man that had seen the war through to its end was dead from an assassin's bullet your history books would have you believe that a single madman john wilkes booth took it upon himself to kill the president you might even have read various area history books how booth recruited two friends one would assassinate the vice president the secretary of war while he booth would cut off the head of the snake assassinating the president. What history books leave out is that booth and his two friends were recruited april tenth by the knights knights of the golden circle powerful pro slave pro south group but every american who lived in d._c. Area knew of the strange actions which panicked government officials the secretary of war was covering details the burial of the captured corpse the congressional congressional committee covering the investigation of the assassination called the head of the secret service a liar. It was still a time of disorder in the country. Many many believe that the south should never surrendered it was imperative that the man who had killed a president be brought to justice as soon as possible history is filled with versions of how booth was cornered in a barn located on the garrett farm and that in the excitement of the moment was shot then dragged from the barn. I want to break into my narrative for just a moment to say that this podcast in no way implies that booth didn't kill president lincoln or that his act of extreme violence can ever be excused simply. What evidence shows is that. John wilkes booth wasn't captured third or shot in the barn on the garrett farm descriptions of the barn range from it having only one door to the reality of it having a door on on each side four doors but despite the eventual questions of whose body was pulled from that barn initially all present at the time agreed that it was booth even those that had no idea what he looked like why because the reward for the apprehension of john wilkes booth was seventy five thousand thousand dollars the equivalent of over one million dollars today that seventy five thousand dollars would have been split between all present who helped capture sure booth more than a dozen soldiers and several civilians were present evidence that it was booth didn't add up booth had jet black hair body pulled from the barn had red hair lieutenant william c allen worked for the united states secret service in eighteen sixty five in august one thousand nine hundred thirty seven his widow. Mrs helen allen told a journalist that her husband had told her that he saw the man at garrett's. It's farm who had been killed and that man had red hair and that the government knew that that man was not booth but they were determined to foist wish this man on the nation as booth booth had a scar on the side of his face from surgery. The body pulled out when examined had burn mark in a exact same place. The body pulled from the barn didn't have injured a broken leg. Chains kenzi was a quartermaster in the union army and was free to go wherever he wanted basically within the military alliance at is and so he went with a companion to garrett's born because he had an interest in what was going to happen to booth in nineteen twenty two when he was seventy seven years old kenzi detail what he saw aw gareth's farm in a sworn affidavit as i wrote up he heard someone call out to say john wilkes booth at all. I could see the color rivers hair. I knew at once it wasn't he. His body was exposed and he had no injured leg. The face had freckles now later later under examination the tattoo that booth was notorious as having on his hand had appeared on his arm for the next few years washington d._c. She was a buzz with the question of what really happened to john. Wilkes booth in eighteen sixty nine booth mother was escorted down into the arsenal channel penitentiary morgue to identify her shun once and for all but she couldn't identify 'em because it wasn't him over the next seventy the years eyewitnesses to the assassination and those that had been present at the barn he was allegedly dragged from passed away but the question of what actually really happened to booth persistent in one thousand nine hundred three in enid oklahoma. A young reporter took a confession of adine man who claimed to be john john wilkes booth shortly after the body of the man claiming to be booth was mummified later in nineteen thirty one six chicago the congo physicians examined the mummified body of a man called john saint helen who was the man in enid who claimed to be booth and recorded their findings in an affidavit. They specifically noted a scarred right eyebrow a crushed right thumb and a broken left leg. John wilkes booth is known to have had all three of these unusual characteristics could he have escaped the barn and live for thirty eight eight years only to die nineteen three and antidote oklahoma over the years. It was made public that the jawbone of john wilkes booth was in the medical science unskilled in walter reed hospital in the late nineteen fifties direct boot descendants through legal channels arrange to be tested against d._n._a. The jawbone mm to determine once and for all if it was removed from john wilkes booth from the body that was dragged from the barn but when they arrived at the military hospital they they were turned away. Could it be that the government of eighteen sixty five recognized the importance of showing strong union after the assassination the nation of president lincoln and felt they could only do so by bringing the assassin to justice within days during the last years of the nineteenth century decades seconds after the assassination testimonies were recanted by witnesses who were soldiers and doctors and directly involved with the identification of the body poll the barn as booths. Some of those involved in the identification of booths body confessed decades later that they were bribed other say they were threatened by the military to change their statements. Could the escape of the man that assassinated president abraham lincoln have been covered up by a government trying to a hold of fragile country together possibly a cover up that has lasted a hundred and fifty six years only a d._n._a. Test will produce loose the truth and it seems today's government would appear to be standing in the way of that test. John wilkes booth was produced here here at night. Owl sound studio. I'm kid chrome. Thanks for listening.

Coming up next