Lincoln Discussion Symposium

Full Version: American Assassins: The Darker Side of Politics
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Just purchased for $2 this thirty-year-old book by James W. Clarke and have read only the section on JWB, which has a few factual errors (one debatable one in particular - Booth committed suicide in Garrett's barn). However, I do appreciate the fact that Dr. Clarke understands the political mindset of Mr. Booth.

Now a purely non-scientific, non-academic comment: The pictorial section features photos of all of the presidential assassins or would-be killers from Booth through Sarah Moore and Squeaky Fromme. I was struck by the fact of how "normal" they all were/are in appearance. I was especially struck by the good-looks of Leon Czolgosz. Charles Guiteau has a somewhat rough appearance despite tie and coat - and looks like he could hold his own on WWE - but his photo is still nice looking.

John Schrank, who made the attempt on Theodore Roosevelt, could pass for a banker; and Sirhan Sirhan's photo makes him look like a scared young man. I was especially caught by James Earl Ray. For some reason, I didn't remember him looking so boyish - and Sarah Jane could be anyone's wife and mother.

Now that I have "matured," even Lee Harvey Oswald does not appear like a cold-blooded murderer to me. Just some rambling thoughts that things - and people - are not always as they appear to be.

Now, even though he was not a presidential assassin, Charles Manson appears the epitome of what a crazy killer should look like...
Interesting observations, Laurie. We really can't go by looks, can we? I don't think so. Serial killer Ted Bundy was considered an attractive man-and was able to lure his victims partly through his looks and personal charm. By the way, Manson has always stated he didn't kill anyone...
I believe that they used the same legal principle on Charlie that they used on Mary Surratt, Arnold, and O'Laughlen -- vicarious liability -- when one enters into a conspiracy, one is responsible for what any member of that conspiracy might do. Manson was not present at the time of the murders, but he masterminded the scheme.

Do you suppose the prosecutors would have used the same principle if Osama bin Laden had been captured and put on trial?
I'm sure they could have. I remember seeing him on video saying that he only expected the buildings to collapse to the point of impact. That proves to me he was in on the planning. He was an architect by profession.
This is somewhat off topic, and I do not know if she was innocent or guilty, but for anyone who is interested in the Lizzie Borden case there is an enormous website on the topic here.
(01-02-2013 04:53 PM)RJNorton Wrote: [ -> ]anyone who is interested in the Lizzie Borden case there is an enormous website on the topic here.

Thanks, Roger! I am very interested in that case, and had never seen that site before. It is most impressive and I look forward to exploring it.

Just for the record: I think Lizzie done it!

Me, too.....
So do I. I've always been intrigued by Lizzie!
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