John Wilkes Booth ‘got away with assassinating Abraham Lincoln by evading capture and living nearly four decades under assumed identities’
- John Wilkes Booth assassinated President Lincoln at Ford’s Theatre in April 1865
- It is widely believed that he was tracked down and killed days later in Virginia
- But new facial recognition technology says he may have lived long after
- Software analyzed faces of Booth, John St. Helen, and David E. George
- It found there is a strong likelihood that these three men are the same person
John Wilkes Booth may have gotten away with the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.
New evidence uncovered by facial recognition technology appears to show that Booth lived for decades under an assumed identity after he shot Lincoln at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C. on April 14, 1865.
The conventional historiography holds that Booth was shot dead by Union soldiers five days after the assassination inside a barn on a farm in Virginia.
But an investigator with the Discovery Channel series Mummies Unwrapped says that modern-day face recognition technology shows that Booth’s face matched with that of two other men – John St. Helen and David E. George.
The researchers ran the images of St. Helen, George, and Booth through a computer and found that there was a strong possibility that these three individuals were the same man.
John Wilkes Booth assassinated President Abraham Lincoln at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, DC, in April 1865
Facial recognition technology used on photos of Booth and two other men – David E. George (right) and John St. Helen – indicate that they are likely the same person
While Booth is purported to have died in 1865, the image of St. Helen was from 1877. The picture used of George was from 1902.
St. Helen was considered a near perfect match.
The facial recognition software analyzes features like the spaces between the eyes, jaw lines, and the shapes of the noses and cheek bones.
Just before St. Helen is purported to have died in 1877, he told Finis L. Bates, an acquaintance of his in Granbury, Texas: ‘I am dying. My name is John Wilkes Booth, and I am the assassin of President Lincoln.’
Conventional history says that Booth was killed by Union soldiers inside a Virginia barn days after the assassination
Bates, the grandfather of Academy Award-winning actress Kathy Bates, said that St. Helen told him that Lincoln’s assassination was masterminded by Vice President Andrew Johnson.
Johnson then allegedly gave him a password allowing him to escape the manhunt that ensued, according to the History Channel.
Finis L. Bates, a Texas lawyer, says John St. Helen confessed to him that he was John Wilkes Booth in 1877
St. Helen said that the man who was killed in the Virginia barn was passed off as the assassin so that the soldiers who tracked him down could claim the reward.
The man who was buried in the Booth family plot in Baltimore is innocent, while the real John Wilkes Booth used aliases to live another 38 years.
In 1903, a man named David E. George committed suicide by ingesting poison in a hotel room in Enid, Oklahoma.
News reports indicated that George botched a suicide attempt nine months earlier.
Believing he was dying, George reportedly told the wife of a local Methodist minister: ‘I am not David Elihu George. I am the one who killed the best man that ever lived. I am J. Wilkes Booth.’
After George’s death, newspapers printed his image alongside that of Booth and people thought there was an uncanny resemblance.
The man killed in the Virginia barn was passed off as Booth so that the soldiers who tracked him down could claim the sizable cash reward, it is now claimed
George’s body was then embalmed and paraded around America, where it was touted as Booth’s mummified corpse.
Bates then gained custody of the cadaver and rented it out to circuses, carnivals, fairs, and midways, where it became a tourist attraction.
The mummy is now believed to be in the hands of a private collector.
The courts have so far denied requests to exhume the body in Booth’s grave and conduct DNA tests to determine if it is really him.