On the night of April 17, her flat-out denial of recognizing a boy who had eaten at her table, boarded in her home and whom she had earlier visited in his hotel room is what really hanged her. Not Powell's entrance. She knew the boy's voice, I'm sure! She knew his face.
One of the things I thought was incriminating was something I read in Kate Larson's book -- and you'll have to help me here because I returned the book to the library so don't have it in front of me. As I recall, in Mary's interrogation she slipped up at one point by calling Payne/Powell "Wood," the alias he used when he first came to Washington in February and registered as a guest at the boarding house. How did she know that if she didn't recognize him? I didn't get the impression that the interrogators used that name in questioning her about Payne, and I don't know if they even knew at that time it was an alias he had used. Anyone? Anyway, I took from that slip that, despite her vehement denials, she demonstrated that she did, in fact, recognize him. Of course, what
she knew of him--except that he was the Rev. Wood who had stayed there earlier--isn't spelled out. But that begs the question: If she did know him as Rev. Wood who had once been a guest but had no knowledge of his role in the conspiracy, why not acknowledge it instead of insisting she had never laid eyes on him before?
Thanks for the referral to the Atzerodt confession on Roger Norton's great site and for the other info. BTW I did come across Mr. Norton's site when I was doing research for the Countdown to The Conspirator
timeline that I did for our fan forum.
One reason I wanted to read his statement is something I believe Michael Kaufmann (?) said: that Atzerodt basically 'sang like a canary'--hoping to get a deal like Lloyd and Weichmann got and become a witness for the government's case, thereby avoiding prosecution. As such, I was interested in reading what he said about Mary's involvement in the conspiracy.
One question: Which of Ed Steers' books has the transcripts referred to: Blood on the Moon
or The Trial
Again, thanks for all the references!