Some people believe that John Wilkes Booth actually survived long-past when he supposedly committed suicide twelve days after assassinating President Abraham Lincoln. Now the Booth family are hoping to use DNA testing on the bones of the man who committed suicide and compare it to the DNA of Edwin Booth, John’s brother.
In 1995, the family tried to exhume the body inside the family plot that contains the man shot in the barn, but a judge denied the request.
“The family was as much interested in disproving [the escape] theory as they were in proving it,’’ Mark Zaid, an attorney for Trebisacci, told the Globe.
So now, the family is going to try the route with Edwin Booth’s body, family members told the media. Though an exhumation request has not been made yet, if and when it is, DNA from Edwin Booth’s body could be tested against vertebrae of the man shot in the barn, which is currently in the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Washington, D.C., and the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia.
But not everyone is keen on doing that.
A spokesman told The Inquirer that the National Museum of Health and Medicine was concerned about damage to the precious piece of history, just for the sake of trying to debunk a myth. But Jan Herman, chief historian for the Navy Medical Department and special assistant to the Navy surgeon general in Washington, said since only a small drill would be used, the sample wouldn’t be damaged.