Booth Relatives Hope DNA Will Settle Grave Mystery

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Relatives of John Wilkes Booth hope to use DNA testing to settle the mystery of whether the presidential assassin is actually the man buried in a Baltimore grave.

The official history says Booth was fatally shot at a Virginia farm 12 days after killing Abraham Lincoln in 1865.

The family believes speculation that he escaped Union soldiers and lived under an alias for 30 more years.

A Maryland judge refused to have the body exhumed in 1995. But family historian Joanne Hulme of Philadelphia tells The Philadelphia Inquirer she now hopes DNA can help settle the issue.

The family hopes to exhume the body of Booth’s brother, the actor Edwin Wilkes Booth, from a grave in Cambridge, Mass., and compare it with a sample believed to be John Wilkes Booth’s.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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