In 1856, Abraham Lincoln was at a personal crossroads. Often despondent, he had grown bored with his work as a lawyer. He was beginning to see himself as just a former Congressman, without much of a future in politics. Later that year, the gruesome murder of a Springfield blacksmith provided the case that defined Lincoln's legal career. The string of lurid revelations that followed the crime became front page news across the country, putting Lincoln back in the national spotlight. The Anderson case reflected the spirit of the times: an inescapable, dark world, hidden within the optimism and innocence of the young city of Springfield. With the Anderson murder, Lincoln's legal skills as a defender were challenged as never before and he was finally able to prove himself as a man with a great destiny.