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Re: “Mummy Mystery

As many readers know there was a great deal of publicity about the mummy in recent decades. I was the historian who, along with my colleague from Tennessee, the late Dr. Arthur Ben Chitty brought this controversy to the very gates of the nation's attention as we were featured in 1991 on NBC-TV's highly rated show "Unsolved Mysteries" (the double segment they did was seen by over 30 million people!). Aided by the wonderful Memphis resident Ken Hawkes, Jr., longtime autopsy technician at UT Medical Center, Dr. Chitty, and I succeeded in convincing 22 of 23 Booth descendants that we were probably right and that Booth escaped. The now well-known attorney Mark Zaid led our legal effort. Our attempt to exhume the body of the man killed in the barn was on the verge of success, with the leading scientists in the nation ready to perform the crucial examination, when a group of historians who believe in the government version forced the issue to court in Baltimore. In a sensational trial held in 1995 the judge decided to not allow the exhumation and the matter, therefore, is still up in the air. Obviously, those other historians are afraid of finding out the truth. Otherwise, why did they try to stop the exhumation and examination? Maybe Dr. Chitty and I and the dozens of people on our team are wrong, but maybe we are right. We are not afraid of the truth, whatever it might be. If Booth was killed in 1865 so be it--the science will prove it. But if not--shouldn't we know? Let's finally get the truth out. Nate Orlowek, Silver Spring, Maryland

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Posted by Nate Orlowek on 10/03/2007 at 2:15 PM


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