You know that old saying, “truth is stranger than fiction”? Well, there’s a reason why people say that.

There are few better examples of that phrase in its full power than the strange run-in between Edwin Booth, one of the most famous actors in American history and older brother of future presidential assassin John Wilkes Booth, and Robert Todd Lincoln.

It’s an intriguing mix of politics and the arts;  more importantly, it highlights how basic human decency can collide head-on with tragedy. The serendipitous nature of this entire ordeal is something the Greeks or Shakespeare could never have imagined.