Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Lincoln's Grave Robbers

This is the true story of a gang of counterfeiters plotted to steal the body of Abraham Lincoln.  That's right.  I said TRUE!

In 1875 counterfeiting was a major problem in the US, but no one was more talented than Benjamin Boyd.  He could make coney (counterfeit money) so good it would fool the experts.  His arrest caused a stir in the counterfeiting rings of Chicago, and members of his gang come together in a smokey saloon to plot a way to get him out.

They figured they could steal Abraham Lincoln's body and hold it ransom for $200,000 that they would use to get Boyd out of prison.  Thus begins a tale of thieves, undercover informers, and secret service operations.

Read Steve Sheinkin's account of this true story including a special "Body Snatcher Bonus Section" that is pretty gross!

Here are some photos of Lincoln's tomb from my trip to Springfield a couple of years ago.

The cemetery is still fairly isolated like it was in 1875.

Lincoln's remains are sealed inside this marble box.

This is a back window to the monument, now barred to keep potential thieves and vandals away.  

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