DNA may answer question of Booth's escape
For decades the story has circulated that President Lincoln’s assassin John Wilkes Booth escaped capture and lived for many more years under an assumed name. No one was able to prove it either way and so the story has had a long life.
Now an answer may be in the offing. Descendants of Booth have agreed to have his brother Edwin’s body exhumed from its grave in a Cambridge, Mass., cemetery. Then a DNA comparison can be made with a bone specimen of the man widely believed to be John Wilkes Booth who was killed as he hid in a rural Virginia tobacco barn following the assassination. That specimen is held by the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Washington D.C.
The exact burial site for John Wilkes Booth is unknown so his bones are not available for testing. In 1995, descendants wanted an unmarked grave in Baltimore’s Green Mount Cemetery believed to belong to Booth opened but a judge turned the request down.
Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Edward Colimore has written an extensive story on the family’s attempt to answer the 145-year-old question.
| December 24, 2010; 12:33 PM ET
Categories: News | Tags: john wilkes booth
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