Grisly Abraham Lincoln death bed photo is ‘99% genuine’ claims forensic expert

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A much debated photo apparently showing Abraham Lincoln moments after his assassination is "99% likely to be real".

Photography experts claim there is enough evidence to suggest the black and white picture is genuine.

The claim is made as part of a new Discovery Channel documentary, The Lost Lincoln, which aims to determine the authenticity of the century and a half old image.

The photograph in question shows a bearded man laid down while covered with a blanket and is claimed to have been taken hours after the President was shot dead, aged 56, on April 15, 1965.

The President was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth, an actor and spy of the Confederate States, who shot him while he was watching a theatre production in Washington DC.

The then-serving President was watching a production of Our American Cousin with his wife, Mary Todd at Ford’s Theatre, when Booth crept up behind him and shot him in the back of the head.

Lincoln slipped in to a coma for eight hours before passing away the following morning.

The photo is said to have been taken shortly after the shooting, showing a person alleged to be Lincoln blankly staring forward with a wound visible in his eye.

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Analysing the image for the Discovery documentary, investigator Whitny Braun said: “In the world of authenticating, this is like finding the Holy Grail.”

She goes on to claim she is “99%” certain the image is genuine.

Some analysts believe the image was taken by Henry Ulke – who lived in the building where the president was taken after he was shot.

It is suggested the image was captured before Lincoln’s body was transferred to the White House.

But others doubt the authenticity of the image claiming the style of the photograph is not comparable to photography of the mid 1860s.

Ms Braun says she used facial recognition technology to authenticate the image.

But rival analyst Harold Holzer – who published a book titled The Lincoln Image: Abraham Lincoln and the Popular Print in 1984 – argues to the opposite.

The Sun reports him claiming: “I’ve seen enough of these things to know that this is a whole lot of hysteria about something that is not Lincoln.

“Not every man with a heated photographed after 1862 was Abraham Lincoln. It’s going to take a lot more for me to take this seriously. It doesn’t scan”.

Meanwhile, the image is controversial in another way – as a dentist named Jerry Spolar claims he owns the image, and has attempted to block the documentary airing over infringement rights.

But Ms Braun claims the image: “belongs to the American people”.

  • Shooting

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