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My first post: thoughts on Booth leg fracture
02-16-2013, 01:36 PM
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My first post: thoughts on Booth leg fracture

Hey everyone. This is my first post to the board having just joined. Like everyone else on here I have begun to study the assassination with great interest. Starting with THE seminal book on the subject, Dr. Steers' "Blood on the Moon", I have read everything concerning the assassination that I can get me hands on and am looking forward to the Surratt Society Booth Escape Tour this April (my wife thinks I am "a nerd" for being so interested in Lincoln's assassination.) Anyway, enough about me.

Although I agree with Laurie that where Booth broke his fibia is inconsequential as to the larger issue, it is a subject that I find interesting. Having read Kauffman's book (which was excellent), I was at first compelled to accept that "horse fall" theory. However, after studying more and conversing with Dr. Steers, I believe the most compelling evidence (I am an attorney so I tend to think in those terms) is that the fracture happened at Fords. My reasons (which I invite discussion and critique of - I'm used to it!)

1. The main premise of Kauffman, et al, is that the only evidence supporting a fracture at Ford's comes from Booth's diary and, since it is incorrect about other issues, is a lie made up by Booth to embellish his act. He points to statements made by Herold, Mudd, and Lloyd that support a horse fall causation, but ignores that the same bias he accuses Booth of also applies to these three, albeit for differing reasons (e.g., Booth's bias to was make him sound more heroic/justified; their bias was to save their necks.) The point being that if you discount Booth's version because he had ulterior motives, you must discount the other three for the same reason.

(a) Mudd - (note: I actually attended law school with a direct descendant of Dr. Mudd and the subject of his involvement in the assassination is still a sore subject among Mark's family.) is almost too elemental to have to say, but ANYTHING Mudd said about how Booth broke his leg must be viewed VERY skeptically as he was trying to save his own life. He obviously could not admit that Booth broke his leg at Ford's because to do this would demonstrate he knew about Booth's murder when he treated him. Dr. Mudd was forced to admit (finally) that he knew Booth prior to the murder because too many people knew this information and he could not rely on word of it being kept from the government for long. However, that was ALL he was going to say unless forced to. If Booth's diary is to be disbelieved because he was a "bragger", then anything Mudd says must be even less believable. We KNOW that Mudd lied about other things (re: knowing who Booth was when he treated him, the December 1864 meeting, etc.) so it is safe to conclude that he lied about how Booth broke his leg.

(b) Herold - if you put any credence into Herold's claim, I invite you to go read his statements contained in the "The Evidence". You will immediate see that practically everything Herold said was a lie. Everything. He even claimed that he just "happened" to run into Booth on the road just outside of Washington on the night of the assassination and that Booth convinced him to go ride with him in the country for a couple of days at 11pm at night. Really, that's what Herold says. Yet, we are supposed to take the word of someone that untruthful for the "truth" about how Booth broke his leg. Just like Mudd, Herold had a VERY good reason to lie about how Booth broke his leg.

© Lloyd - this is the most troubling to me as Lloyd's testimony does indeed say that Herold told him Booth had broken his leg on a horse fall and Booth then admitted to killing the President. On its face, this would seem like good evidence supporting Kauffman's theory. I do not have a certain explanation for it, other that two theories: 1, that the transcript of his trial testimony was a mistake as others have hypothesized seeing that no where else in Lloyd's lengthy statements does he mention the horse fall, or 2, that Herold told Lloyd the horse fall "cover" not expecting that Booth himself would then blurt out that they were murders. One of those is a more reasonable (to me) explanation of why Lloyd said what he did (if he said it.)

2. The April 23, 2865 statement of Officer Wood that John brought up should not be overlooked, as to me is VERY compelling testimony that someone told him about the Ford's break. How could Wood have known this? Mudd damn sure didn't tell him (I can't imagine.) It is quite a mystery to me, but it ruins the theory that the "only" evidence of a Ford's break is from Booth's diary. Even though lots of people did never mention Booth seeming to be injured while running at Ford's, SOMEONE thought he broke his leg a Ford's just 9 days after the assassination - well before Booth's diary was found.

Anyway, those are just my two cents, no more worthy than anyone else's theories. I enjoy the debate, though. I would welcome any comments.

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Messages In This Thread
My first post: thoughts on Booth leg fracture - Rhatkinson - 02-16-2013 01:36 PM
RE: My first post: thoughts on Booth leg fracture - Rhatkinson - 02-16-2013, 03:18 PM
RE: My first post: thoughts on Booth leg fracture - Rhatkinson - 02-16-2013, 05:04 PM
RE: My first post: thoughts on Booth leg fracture - Rhatkinson - 02-17-2013, 12:15 AM
RE: My first post: thoughts on Booth leg fracture - Rhatkinson - 02-17-2013, 10:20 AM

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