With a little cash in my pocket, I thought I would share a little with one of you lucky readers. How can you be that lucky person? Well, the rules are very simple. I'm going to give a common conspiracy here in the United States. Leave a comment on this post with your thoughts as to why you agree it is or isn't true and you're entered to win a $25 Amazon Gift Certificate! You're only allowed one entry and make sure you include your email address on the comment form (have to know how to reach you if you win. I'm the only one that will see it and promise not to send you any annoying spam). Your entry must be respectful. Any name bashing, obscenities or whatever will win you a disqualification. As Ghost Stories blog God, I reserve the right to kick you out if I feel like you're just being a jerk. Don't like it? Then, don't be rude.
Each comment will be attached with a number. On December 20th, using random.org, one lucky person will be chosen for the virtual bucks and tasteful bragging rights. I also reserve the rights to change the rules at any time if I need to (although my non-existing psychic powers doesn't foresee a reason for such a change but you never know). Now on to the conspiracy...
On a not-so-recent episode of Ghost Lab, Extreme Paranormal tackled the theories of John Wilkes Booth and how he died. A common story has Booth escaping to the Garrett farm. Colonel Everton J. Conger and soldiers caught up with him and David Herold before dawn on April 26, 1865 in the Garrett tobacco barn. Herold surrender but Booth refused Conger's demands. Soldiers set the barn on fire. As he moved about inside, Sergeant Boston Corbett shot Booth in the neck supposedly because he raised his pistol preparing to shoot at them. However, Conger wrote in a report that he shot Booth "without order, pretext or excuse". Either way, Booth was dragged from the barn to the Garrett's farmhouse porch where he died three hours later. Of course, many believe the man shot in that barn was NOT John Wilkes Booth. Eyewitnesses stated the man who died at the Garrett's farmhouse had sandy hair, freckles and his RIGHT ankle was broken. Booth had coal-black hair, clear complexion and broke his LEFT ankle leaping from the Presidential box to the stage at the Ford's Theater.
If that wasn't enough reasonable doubt, a man named John St. Helen turned up in a tiny town named Glen Rose, Texas five years after the assassination. A young man with coal-black hair, clear complexion and was right at home on the theatrical stage. He didn't drink but worked as a bartender and amateur theatrical productions in Glen Rose. He remained in the small town for less than a year. A local politician's daughter was to be married and US Army officers and the United States Marshal for the Eastern District of Texas were on the guest list. Upon learning this, he vanished, turning up a year later in Granbury, Texas.
In this town, he continued to stay sober except for one day. On April 14th, St. Helen drank himself in to a stupor, the anniversary of Lincoln's assassination. He fell ill and was told he would not recover. The man summoned his close friend and lawyer Finis L. Bates to his side. On his deathbed, he made a confession. “My name,” he said, “is not John St. Helen. I am John Wilkes Booth, the assassin of Abraham Lincoln.” For this to be admissible in court, three conditions must be met: The person must believe he is dying, the statement must be made voluntarily and the person making the statement must then die within a reasonable period. St. Helen believed he was dying and the statement was voluntary but he managed to recover. Never retracted the statement. Just disappeared from Granbury. Bates found a Colt single-shot pocket pistol of a type first manufactured in 1866 wrapped in the front page of a Washington, DC newspaper dated April 15, 1865 in St. Helen's rented room.
In 1906 a drunken derelict using the name David George died in Enid, Oklahoma in a room of a building now known as Garfield Furniture. On his deathbed he claimed to be John Wilkes Booth. Bates went straight to Enid to examine the body. Believing it to be his friend John St. Helen he claimed the body and had it embalmed or rather mummified. He unsuccessfully tried to gain the government's interest in it. The body remained in storage for a number of years until the 1920s when it became a sideshow attraction for about forty years. Then, disappeared despite photographs of its existence. The Booth family heirs refuse permission to exhume the body in Booth's official grave for DNA testing. X-rays were taken of the David George body and revealed his left ankle had been broken many years before and not set properly.
Could he have escaped to Texas? Or did he really die April 26, 1865 on the Garrett family porch? Offer your opinion for a chance to win!