Robert Redford is directing The Conspirator, a movie connected to Lincoln’s assassination. It focuses on Mary Surratt, a Maryland woman who was convicted of aiding John Wilkes Booth and hanged. According to Variety, the film’s release is scheduled for October 2010.
Was Surratt truly guilty? Some have made a case for her innocence. I don’t buy it. Here’s the verdict of Kate Clifford Larson, author of The Assassin’s Accomplice: Mary Surratt and the Plot to Kill Abraham Lincoln, published in 2008:
At the beginning of the 21st century, the evidence cannot be ignored. Mary Surratt did indeed keep “the nest that hatched the egg.” She could have chosen not to help Booth, but she decided to assist him in whatever way she could. In providing a warm home, private encouragement, and material support to Abraham Lincoln’s murderer, she offered more than most of Booth’s other supporters. For that, Mary Surratt lost her life and must forever be remembered as the assassin’s accomplice.
In Washington, D.C., Surratt operated a boarding house that became a meeting place for Booth and his conspirators. The building still stands. The address is 604 H St., NW. Today, it’s a Chinese restaurant called Wok and Roll. It’s also the scene of some activity in The First Assassin.