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The Innocent Murderer


In order to escape prosecution and trial for the attempted assassination of Lincoln, John Surratt flees from Canada and makes his way to Liverpool, England.



Air Dates

  • First Run - July 14, 1982
  • Repeat - October 26, 1982





24     3

2 Responses to Episode 1351

Being a history teacher, I thought that this was going to be an episode that suits my taste. Historically, the episode seemed solid. It just didn't make for a good radio drama. 2 stars.


I rate this episode ★★★★☆ for GOOD. James Agate, Jr. wrote one of the best suspenseful stories I have ever heard on CBSRMT. Many have heard stories about Abraham Lincoln & John Wilkes Booth, but how many knew about the conspirators, especially the one that got away? Not only this is a story about a man who ran away from authorities, but he was also running from himself. Another way to Title this is, “The Sole Conspirator.” The music had the right tunes to make this suspenseful. Themes of paranoia in ACT-1, themes of guilt in ACT-2, and the haunting themes of getting closer to death in ACT-3. The sound effects of the train, the conductor’s smack, body fainted, slaps, newspaper, birds chirping, gun fire, seagulls and the buoy by the docks, the boats, the marching of soldiers, keys rattling, leg chains rattling, rifles firing, farm animals, and the judge’s gavel were all essential to feel like you were there on this man’s hunt for survival. Tammy Grimes as Host was good, but not suspenseful good. In her Prologue, she brings up the subject on what people believe in, what people risk, and who do people murder. Then switches over to discuss our main character. In ACT-1, she informs us on what people did to mourn the death of Lincoln while 8 conspirators were accused. 4 were executed, 4 were sentenced to life, 3 were pardoned, and 1 escaped. In ACT-2, the manhunt continues, but the recording of her dialogue gets cut off at the end of the Act. In ACT-3, she tells us that John Wilkes Booth is alive, but his spirit lives inside the main character’s head. Then, she talks about the “seeds of betrayal” at the end of the Act, but doesn’t inform us about the details of the mistrial. Her Epilogue would’ve been great if she informed us on the man’s life after these events because John Harrison Surratt, Jr. got to live for 72 years and died in 1916. The cast in this were excellent. Tony Roberts (as John Harrison Surratt, Jr.), Robert Kaliban (as Henri Beaumont de Sainte-Marie), Robert Dryden (as the Conductor, the Waiter, the Bartender, and the Captain), and Gordon Gould (as John Wilkes Booth & Dr. McMillan). SPECIAL NOTE: Himan Brown plays the role of Father Charles Boucher in this. History Buffs, including Civil War Buffs, should tune in for this epsiode. Until next time…pleasant dreams.


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