The History Channel has wasted far too much…broadcast time to the outlandish theories of John Wilkes Booth surviving April 26, 1865. There were far too many witnesses to his death for the escape stories to be true. The most noteworthy was Booth accomplice, David Herold, who surrendered minutes before Sergeant Boston Corbett shot Booth through the neck. Looking at his hands, Booth’s final words were “Useless, Useless.” A true moment of clarity.
Booth wanted a stage for his infamous act… he did not want the assassination to be a secretive, or unseen performance. He knew the audience would witness the death of Lincoln and his final curtain call was to Booth, the perfect ending to a middling career. A minor celebrity, Booth could have visited the White House and most likely would have received an audience with Lincoln. Booth could have killed Lincoln in a number of different ways, but behind closed doors, away from the eyes of a captive audience. Only fitting that the great actor was killed in an ordinary tobacco barn with only Union soldiers to observe his final moments. His family, all registered Republicans, disowned him for his treachery. Booth died that day, despite what the History Channel purports in its programming.