I came across an article claiming that experts using facial recognition software have determined that John Wilkes Booth escaped after killing President Lincoln, and lived until 1903 in Texas and Oklahoma. Read it here.
That brought to mind the article below, which appeared in the Cleburne Enterprise in 1909. I came across it several years ago and thought it was interesting, but unprovable. Guess I was wrong.
But the body had not been lying in the “endertaker’s” shop. It had actually been in the possession of Mr. Bates (the grandfather of actress Kathy Bates) for a few years.
He kept it in the garage of his Memphis home while completing his book, The Escape and Suicide of John Wilkes Booth, after which he rented it to carnivals.
Dead Booth - The Early Years
When Bates died in 1923, his widow sold Booth’s mummified remains to a carnival man, who after quitting that business, kept the assassin’s mummy on his Idaho potato farm.
Around 1930 it was purchased by another carny, a tattooed man named John Harkin. The illustrated man and his wife traveled the country with the now leathery Booth, giving him his own bunk in their truck camper.
The mummy was acquired in the late 1930s by the Jay Gould Circus, and was last displayed, as far as anyone seems to know, in the late 1970s.
Where it is now is anyone’s guess. Check your attic.
Looking tanned and rested - c.1935