Edwin Bates, who was in the audience at Ford’s when the President Lincoln was shot, was convinced the killer was mad.

Writing to his parents in Derby, Vt., the day after the assassination, Bates said he first thought the fine-looking man dressed in a black suit had jumped to the stage for his own safety after some other person had shot him, or, possibily, knocked hm out of the presidential box.

When Bates and his theater companion realized the dagger-wielding man on stage was the assassin, they agreed on one thing: “We agreed that  the probability was that the man, when found, would be discovered to be some insane person.”

They figured even “a rebel of the worst type” would not commit such a horrible deed in such a bold manner before thousands of people with so little chance of escape.