April 15, 1865
Attempt on the life of President Lincoln
Assassin foiled, First Lady clings to life
Washington D.C. An assassin struck just before 10pm last night, at the Ford Theater where the President and Mrs. Lincoln were attending a production of Our American Cousin. The assassin, believed to be John Wilkes Booth, the actor, crept into the balcony and attempted to shoot the president from behind. The pistol malfunctioned, sending a ball into the head of the First Lady. She is not expected to survive.
Mr. Booth then leapt to the stage and escaped through the back of the theater. Witnesses heard him cry out a phrase, possibly in Latin, though others said they heard him hiss, as a snake might.
A second grisly scene was found behind the theater when police discovered clothing and a flayed human skin—believed to be that of the assassin—near an open sewer pipe. No blood or other remains were found. How such a murder could happen so quickly and with no witnesses is unknown at this time.