Forum Title: LIZZIE BORDEN SOCIETY Topic Area: Lizzie Andrew Borden Topic Name: Diagnose Lizzie?  

1. "Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by Kat on Sep-21st-03 at 12:29 AM

Lincoln tried, why don't we?
We have created other topics where we've delved into Lizzie's possible mitigating disorders, for those who think she did it, or hired it done, or was an accomplice.
Lately there has been the debate over Lizzie as Sociopath or Narcissistic Personalty Disorder.  I have known NPD's, but doubt I have met a real psychopath.
Here is a quick overview of NPD, which would be my choice if I had to attempt to diagnose Lizzie, other than physical. 

Perspectives - Vol. 6, No. 1 - A Primer on Narcissism - Page 1 of 3
Sam Vaknin, Ph.D.

NARCISSISM (n. sing.)

A pattern of traits and behaviours which signify infatuation and obsession with one's self to the exclusion of all others and the egotistic and ruthless pursuit of one's gratification, dominance and ambition.

Narcissism is named after the ancient Greek myth of Narcissus who was a handsome Greek youth who rejected the desperate advances of the nymph Echo. In punishment of his cruelty, he was doomed to fall in love with his own reflection in a pool of water. Unable to consummate his love, he pined away and changed into the flower that bears his name to this very day.

WHAT IS NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder)?

The Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) has been recognized as a seperate mental health disorder in the third edition of the Diagnostic and Statistics Manual (DSM) in 1980. Its diagnostic criteria and their interpretation have undergone a major revision in the DSM III-R (1987) and were substantially revamped in the DSM IV in 1994. The European ICD-10 basically contains identical language.

An all-pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behaviour), need for admiration or adulation and lack of empathy, usually beginning by early adulthood and present in various contexts. Five (or more) of the following criteria must be met:

1. Feels grandiose and self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents to the point of lying, demands to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)
2. Is obsessed with fantasies of unlimited success, fame, fearsome power or omnipotence, unequalled brilliance (the cerebral narcissist), bodily beauty or sexual performance (the somatic narcissist), or ideal, everlasting, all-conquering love or passion
3. Firmaly convinced that he or she is unique and, being special, can only be understood by, should only be treated by, or associate with, other special or unique, or high-status people (or institutions)
4. Requires excessive admiration, adulation, attention and affirmation -or, failing that, wishes to be feared and to be notorious (narcissistic supply).
5. Feels entitled. Expects unreasonable or special and favourable priority treatment. Demands automatic and full compliance with his or her expectations
6. Is "interpersonally exploitative", i.e., uses others to achieve his or her own ends
7. Devoid of empathy. Is unable or unwilling to identify with or acknowledge the feelings and needs of others
8. Constantly envious of others or believes that they feel the same about him or her
9. Arrogant, haughty behaviours or attitudes coupled with rage when frustrated, contradicted, or confronted.

The language in the criteria above is based on or summarized from:

American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, fourth edition (DSM IV). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association.

Sam Vaknin. (1999). Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited, first edition. Prague and Skopje: Narcissus Publication. ("Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited" )

More Data About Pathological Narcissists

* Most narcissists (75%) are men.
* NPD (=the Narcissistic Personality Disorder) is one of a "family" of personality disorders (formerly known as "Cluster B"). Other members: Borderline PD, Antisocial PD and Histrionic PD.
* NPD is often diagnosed with other mental health disorders ("co-morbidity") - or with substance abuse, or impulsive and reckless behaviours ("dual diagnosis").
* NPD is new (1980) mental health category in the Diagnostic and Statistics Manual (DSM).
* There is only scant research regarding narcissism. But what there is has not demonstrated any ethnic, social, cultural, economic, genetic, or professional predilection to NPD.
* It is estimated that 0.7-1% of the general population suffer from NPD.
* Pathological narcissism was first described in detail by Freud. Other major contributors are: Klein, Horney, Kohut, Kernberg, Millon, Roningstam, Gunderson, Hare.
* The onset of narcissism is in infancy, childhood and early adolescence. It is commonly attributed to childhood abuse and trauma inflicted by parents, authority figures, or even peers.
* There is a whole range of narcissistic reactions - from the mild, reactive and transient to the permanent personality disorder.
* Narcissists are either "Cerebral" (derive their narcissistic supply from their intelligence or academic achievements) - or "Somatic" (derive their narcissistic supply from their physique, exercise, physical or sexual prowess and "conquests").
* Narcissists are either "Classic" - see definition below - or they are "Compensatory", or "Inverted" - see definitions here: "The Inverted Narcissist" -
* NPD is treated in talk therapy (psychodynamic or cognitive-behavioural). The prognosis for an adult narcissist is poor, though his adaptation to life and to others can improve with treatment. Medication is applied to side-effects and behaviours (such as mood or affect disorders and obsession-compulsion) - usually with some success.
-There's more!

"...Moreover, the empathic support of our caretakers (the Primary Objects, the parents) is crucial. In its absence, our sense of self-worth and self-esteem in adulthood tends to fluctuate, to alternate between over-valuation (idealization) and devaluation of both Self and others.

Narcissistic adults are widely thought to be the result of bitter disappointment, of radical disillusionment in the significant others in their infancy."

--Reminds me of Lizzie not only losing her mother at a young age but that mother was probably sickly and needing a lot of attention herself after Lizzie's birth, leaving Lizzie lacking in her parent's attention.  She might be scared, scarred and resentful.

--After we investigate NPD, Susan will probably present the Sociopathic diagnosis as opinion.

2. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by haulover on Sep-21st-03 at 1:24 AM
In response to Message #1.

you've given lincoln the one nodd she deserves if nothing else.  i know, as a rule, you don't like her, but while you're in this mode, you see what i mean?  she's the only author who seriously delves into lizzie's own words for an explanation for what happened.  "intuitively-speaking" i remain of the opinion that if the solution is anywhere to be found, it is in what she herself says (or does not or cannot say, or whatever along that line).  maybe i "dreamed" this and it doesn't really count, but it seems to me her words are a sort of "code" that can possibly be "cracked."

to take one step back:  i know you did not refer to her inquest specifically--but the only one who can be trusted (ironically) for info about the pathological condition of lizzie is lizzie.

thinking now in summation of where i've already been about her attitude and patterns i've observed, i would say she doesn't believe that anyone has a right to question her about the murders, she believes she has a right to illogical statements, she feels no need to explain what does not make sense, and she expects this to be accepted. and this--she doesn't seem to care about the subject.

actually, what disturbed me the most about that 9 criteria you cited is that i work with someone who perfectly fits that description.  i'm not exaggerating either; this is not "news" to me.  until now i had not thought to actually compare her to lizzie.  but the items you listed are exactly why i do not like this person.  (i've wonder how rare these traits are.)

anyway--i'm not talking now about lizzie, but of someone i do know.  i'm also thinking of the term "entitlement."  that's it exactly.  if someone needs to suffer for this person to get their due--that is as it should be, as far as they are concerned.  and that's all they know.  then i'm up to my neck in ethical/moral issues.  a particular point i want to make (and to think about this in terms of lizzie)-- is this phenomenon:  this Narcissist is surrounded and apparently protected by people who feel sorry for her. 

this is a subject so deep that it transcends the case of lizzie borden.  it's a phenomenon of the human condition.  but i don't mean to leap into that.

a more specific question that we might have had mentioned, i don't know, is this:  why would people try to protect lizzie borden when they suspected she was guilty?  i know we don't have "proof" that someone did, but if so, why would they?

3. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by Kat on Sep-21st-03 at 2:53 AM
In response to Message #2.

That is  very insighful post, thanks.
I too have known a couple of people with NPD.  Both had substance abuse problems but would never admit to that..they were *in control* always.
(We had discussed the possibility of addictions with Lizzie).
That is one of the points of a NPD.

Here is a quote from David Kent, in the Preface to The Lizzie Borden Sourcebook, Branden Publishing, Boston, 1992, pg. iii:
"...Particular Two contains the unabridged text of Lizzie's testimony given at the so-called inquest following the murders.  Because the Superior court ruled it inadmissable at her trial, it did not, therefore, become a part of that record.  It is, however, part of the legend.  Many maintain that, had it been admissable, the outcome of the trial would have been different.  Prosecutor Knowlton even referred to it as 'her confession'.  It is left to the reader to determine what, if anything, her testimony revealed that indicated her guilt, other than insignificant instances when her remembrance of events varied from the recollections of Bridget, the servant girl.  Significantly, it provides the only extant study of Lizzie Borden through her own words, and is a fascinating glimpse of her complete competence under stress."...

--I agree that the only real insight we may gain into Lizzie, is Lizzie's own words.  That's why they have affected me more than any other words of any other character of any other case I have studied.
--One site I visited made sure to stress the importance of the phrase "In love with their own reflection".  Not the real person, but the reflection of that person.
That is some kind of obsessive proclivity to project a certain face/a mask...the one they would admire, the one they would want to represent them in the outer world.
--The NPD have been protected by family, now that you mention it.  They harbor it, protect it, and never confront it.  Maybe this is due to close proximity and if they never knew the person to have acted any other way, they have fallen into the trap, and the pattern of behavior and remember this person always has been so.
If you ask why protect that person once their full malfunctioning character becomes known unavoidedly, it might be because the scandal would leach over onto them unless thay did?  Maybe that is ther real reason Emma left.  She could't hide or abide Lizzie's narsassism any longer and realized she would be dragged down as well and that Lizzie wouldn't care.
The diagnosis includes manipulation.

(Just speculating here)

4. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by Kat on Sep-21st-03 at 4:40 AM
In response to Message #1.

There's more:

"This fantasy world, full of falsity and feelings hurt, serves as a springboard. It is from there that the individual can resume his progress towards the next stage of personal growth. Faced with the same obstacle, he feels (falsely) sufficiently potent to ignore it or to attack it. In most cases, success is guaranteed by the very unrealistic assessment of the fortitude and magnitude of the obstacle. The main function of the episodic NPD is this: to encourage the individual to engage in magical thinking, to wish the problem away or to enchant it or to tackle and overcome it from a position of omnipotence.

A structural abnormality of personality arises only when recurrent attacks fail constantly and consistently to eliminate the obstacle, or to overcome the hindrance - especially if this failure happens during the formative years (0-4 years of age). The contrast between the fantastic world (temporarily) occupied by the individual and the real world in which he keeps being frustrated - is too acute to countenance for long. The dissonance gives rise to the unconscious 'decision' to go on living in the world of fantasy, grandiosity and entitlement. It is better to feel special than to feel inadequate. It is better to be omnipotent than psychologically impotent. To (ab)use others is preferable to being (ab)used by them. In short: it is better to remain a pathological Narcissist than to face the harsh unyielding realities. This phase of permanent narcissism is often called 'secondary' narcissism. "....

--This could explain why Lizzie shunned her relatives at times in her own home.
Magically, she is pretending to herself they are not there, because she cannot deal with them at the time.
--"To abuse others is preferable to being used by them", can feel "sufficiently potent to ignore it or to attack it."
--"It is better to feel special than to feel inadequate."...may be why Lizzie stayed in Fall River!  She wouldn't be special anywhere else.

(Message last edited Sep-21st-03  4:40 AM.)

5. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by Kat on Sep-21st-03 at 4:58 AM
In response to Message #4.

"...the narcissist is content to have ANY kind of attention. If fame cannot be had - infamy and notoriety will do.* The narcissist is obsessed with the obtaining of narcissistic supply, he is addicted to it. His behavior in its pursuit is impulsive.

"The hazard is not simply guilt because ideals have not been met. Rather, any loss of a good and coherent self-feeling is associated with intensely experienced emotions such as shame and depression, plus an anguished sense of helplessness and disorientation. To prevent this state, the narcissistic personality slides the meanings of events in order to place the self in a better light. What is good is labeled as being of the self (internalized) Those qualities that are undesirable are excluded from the self by denial of their existence, disavowal of related attitudes, externalization, and negation of recent self-expressions."

--*Why Lizzie shoplifted Tilden-Thurber even after being aquitted of murder, 4 years previously?  Not getting enough attention?
--**Why Lizzie answered those Inquest questions the way she did:  "slides the meanings of events"...sounds like being show herself in a better light.
--"Slides the meanings" sounds like our Lizzie in her own words.

6. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by Tina-Kate on Sep-21st-03 at 12:38 PM
In response to Message #5.

This is fascinating work, Kat.

Not meaning any disrespect, the 1st thought that occurred to me:  "Methinks this is the Hiram Harrington diagnosis."

"...Lizzie is of a repellent disposition and after an unsuccessful passage with her father, would become sulky and refuse to speak to him days at a time.  She moved in the best society in Fall River, was a member of the Central Congregational Church and is a brilliant conversationalist."

Fall River Daily Herald, August 14, 1892

7. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by Susan on Sep-21st-03 at 2:39 PM
In response to Message #5.

This is great stuff, Kat.  Yes, there is quite alot there that applies to our Lizzie.  Lizzie never did anything of the magnitude of the murders again in her life that we know of, would the notoriety from that one act carry her through for the rest of her life?

Staying in Fall River she was special, and notorious, and the local papers constantly dredging up the murders every year, do you think she got a secret thrill from that?  The whispers, the pointing, the staring, children possibly snatched from her path as she walked by.

I was thinking of that interview Lizzie gave whilst in jail, talk about sliding the meaning of events to place herself in a better light!!! 

8. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by rays on Sep-21st-03 at 4:25 PM
In response to Message #1.

Does this remind you of many managers in large corporations?
Is this an "occupational disease"?
Does the pointy-haired guy in Dilbert have this?
Any other cartoons or TV shows with this?

9. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by rays on Sep-21st-03 at 4:27 PM
In response to Message #4.

WHAT quotes by Lizzie in Trial or Inquest can be used against her? None?

10. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by rays on Sep-21st-03 at 4:28 PM
In response to Message #6.

Is this really uncommon, then or now? What is your experience in real family life? Or marriage?

11. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by haulover on Sep-21st-03 at 9:23 PM
In response to Message #9.

what do you mean exactly?  in terms of her veracity, there is an abundance to use against her.  have you read her inquest testimony?  it's not an easy thing to read.  there are particular sections that really require "study" in order to produce a coherent explanation of "what she means, what she's trying to say, or what she's trying to avoid saying."  as i recall, the transcript is in the brown book, isn't it?  (i don't know why he put it in there, since he chose not to deal with it.)

12. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by Kat on Sep-22nd-03 at 3:53 AM
In response to Message #6.

That's funny.  I wasn't thinking of Hiram, I was thinking of Mrs. Cluny, the distant relative and lady who came to work in the house a week.

It's weird to think of the possibility that instead of feeling sorry for Lizzie in Fall River, as shunned, that maybe she liked the attention, secretly- and wanted more...
I had not entertained that view before.  It's kind of eye-opening with possibilities.

13. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by rays on Sep-22nd-03 at 10:11 AM
In response to Message #11.

Only part of Lizzie's Inquest is in the Brown book, because he notes the parts that most writers left out: they didn't understand it!!!
Q. How many children has your father?
A. Two.
Q. Only two?
A. There was one that died.

AR Brown says Knowlton knew about Wm S Borden, and explains it all. This is one of the reason for his solution. Another is his knowledge of how politics works.

14. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by breezy on Sep-22nd-03 at 11:06 AM
In response to Message #12.

Bad attention is better than no attention?

15. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by breezy on Sep-22nd-03 at 11:09 AM
In response to Message #13.

Since there was a 10 year age gap between Emma and Lizzie could there have been a child born between them that didn't survive?

16. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by Susan on Sep-22nd-03 at 12:18 PM
In response to Message #13.

Could it be that Knowlton is questioning Lizzie along the lines of, "You mean to tell me after all the years of your parents being married and with no birth control readily availabe that there is only you and your sister?"  Thats been my take on that part of the Inquest. 

17. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by harry on Sep-22nd-03 at 12:57 PM
In response to Message #15.

Yes, there was a third child, Alice, born May 3, 1856. She was almost 5 years younger than Emma. Had she lived she would have been 4 years older than Lizzie. She died March 10, 1858 not quite 2 years old.  She is also buried in Oak Grove cemetery.

Cause of death was listed as "brain, dropsy on".

Per Rebello, page 7.

18. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by Benjamin on Sep-22nd-03 at 2:17 PM
In response to Message #17.

"brain, dropsy on" sounds like a technical way of saying that the child was dropped on her head! 

19. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by robert harry on Sep-22nd-03 at 6:07 PM
In response to Message #18.

Kat, I would definitely agree with your "diagnosis" of Lizzie.  From the moment I began reading about her, I got the impression that she thrived on the idea of being singled out--in fact, many people described her as "peculiar," "unusual," etc.  Also, I think she definitely felt "entitled" to fame (or notoriety), fortune, and the good life.  Also, remember (when reading the DSM IV or any other "manual" of disorders) that everybody has some aspects of  people with disorders.  I am a clinical social worker and I remember thinking I had every disorder while I was in school.  Lizzie may have had any or all aspects of the conditions which make up NSP--It takes a skilled therapist to make a true diagnosis.  Also, the behaviors/tendencies described exist in an array of severity, so we may all have aspects of this "disorder" without being diagnosable.  Anyway, great work Kat.  Maybe this is fertile ground for a (good) new book.

20. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by Kat on Sep-23rd-03 at 1:05 AM
In response to Message #13.

First of all, without trying to sound like an old school marm, I suggest quotes from testimony coming from Brown be double checked.
Then we can proceed to discuss the meaning. 

Q. How many children has your father?
A. Only two.
Q. Only you two?
A. Yes sir.
Q. Any others ever?
A. One that died.

--Now this sounds more like what Brown/Ray is getting at.  The quote given, does not.
Yet I don't subscribe to Brown's fiction.
I had interpreted this exchage to be Knowlton establishing, for the record, how many children are of Andrew.
When the answer is two, he knows there is dead Alice and he wants the answer to be correct & for the record, that there had been another child.
I think all this emphasis on "*HAS* your father" is beefed up junk to make things more complex.

BTW:  This is only the second page of testimony.  This is maybe 2-3 minutes into Knowlton's sparring with Lizzie.  I think he is laying down rules here.  I think he is showing Lizzie she can't get away with giving sloppy answers because he knows some answers also.  This tactic may soon become embarrasing to her and we do seem to find her getting a bit testy later on.
Consider the context, Mr. Brown.

(Message last edited Sep-23rd-03  1:10 AM.)

21. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by Kat on Sep-23rd-03 at 1:22 AM
In response to Message #18.

Yes it does.  But it's some kind of brain disease/ Edema.  Like Encephalitis?  Which is infammation probably due to virus.
It's interesting to note that Andrew's sister's only child George also died young of 'brain disease'. (1857-1867)  He died while everyone was living together at Ferry Street.

22. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by Kat on Sep-23rd-03 at 1:47 AM
In response to Message #19.

Thanks Robert Harry.  It was only about my 5th stab at a diagnosis.  Got lucky?
Remember Hypoglycemia, and Sonic Sensitivity?
I understand that these complex sets of patterns are originally wired in the child because it's a coping mechanism?  And I agree that we all regress to magical thinking when we can't understand or solve a new & unique problem which is immediately hurting us.  It's like a way to re-group.  And as functioning healthy adults we eventually find a solution to the problem, rather than ignore it or wait for it to go away.
I think the individual with their own *pattern* of NPD never learns the lesson, never adapts, and forces it's will or enforces it's will.

pg. 2 was specifying that the individual really lacks self-esteem, is not sure they exist, and their depression comes from emptiness:

"Such depressions: '... are interrupted by rages because things are not going their way, because responses are not forthcoming in the way they expected and needed. Some of them may even search for conflict to relieve the pain and intense suffering of the poorly established self, the pain of the discontinuous, fragmenting, undercathected self of the child not seen or responded to as a unit of its own, not recognized as an independent self who wants to feel like somebody, who wants to go its own way (see Lecture 22). They are individuals whose disorders can be understood and treated only by taking into consideration the formative experiences in childhood of the total body-mind-self and its self-object environment - for instance, the experiences of joy of the total self feeling confirmed, which leads to pride, self-esteem, zest, and initiative; or the experiences of shame,loss of vitality, deadness, and depression of the self who does not have the feeling of being included, welcomed, and enjoyed.' (From: The Preface to the 'Chicago Lectures 1972-1976' of H. Kohut, by: Paul and Marian Tolpin) "

--This sounds like the way Lizzie was described at school by her friend.  She was left out and didn't fit in.  She was at times *obnoxious*.  It's claimed that it wasn't until Lizzie joined the church that she began to make friends.  I think that in that social setting and at a more advanced age than schoolgirl, she learned from the others how to *act* to fit in and be accepted.
I also am under the impression that she acted up at home;  not essentially at Abby, her enemy, but at her father whom she professes to love.  There were rumors near the end that Lizzie made his homelife miserable.  I wouldn't bring up rumor like this in an ordinary discussion, but I have always been a proponent of "Where's there's smoke there mght be a teeny-tiny fire".  Since this is a purely speculative topic, I add these things here.
--We also hear of Lizzie's *depression* from Alice Russell who recounts Lizzie's Wednesday night *doom&gloom* conversation.
--The unseen child seems to me Lizzie in that house of death, Ferry Street, where her sister died, mother died and her cousin died.  She was the youngest.  Maybe living amongst 8 or 9 adults, she did get *lost*.

23. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by rays on Sep-23rd-03 at 11:38 AM
In response to Message #16.

That is only your idea, follow the questions asked by Knowlton (about the family). Birth control WAS available since early 19th century, but outlawed by the Constock Laws. But the rich have a way to get around laws. I think that fact does suggest Andy was "having his will" with his female tenants.

24. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by rays on Sep-23rd-03 at 11:40 AM
In response to Message #17.

Could this have been a polite term for some congenital disease?
Could Andy have picked up some disease that turned his wife against him? Until it was cured (and affected his brain)?
There was a very popular medication of that time (calomel) that contained mercury. "It'll cure you if it doesn't kill you."

(Message last edited Sep-25th-03  4:58 PM.)

25. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by rays on Sep-23rd-03 at 11:43 AM
In response to Message #20.

But WHAT is the purpose of this question? Surely everyone knew there were only two sisters that were alive? So what is the purpose?
AR Brown makes the point that it should be "how many children HAD ...", the past tense. "HAS" implies the present. Or just a manner of speaking by DA Knowlton? But the question doesn't occur in a vacuum or no prior history.

(Message last edited Sep-23rd-03  11:45 AM.)

26. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by Kat on Sep-23rd-03 at 11:19 PM
In response to Message #25.

Actually my point is that the question essentially did occur in a vacuum.  You are assuming Knowlton knew this girl and he did not.  2 minutes into his first questioning of her, he finds out facts.  It's like they know the name of the person taking the stand, yet they ask their name, and someimes to spell it.  Knowlton is meeting Lizzie, and getting facts.
What does he know...he can't know, at this point, the girl he will end up prosecuting.  He is on a fishing expedition and also goading her, challenging her to see of what she is made.  He is sizing her up.  This is probably their first meeting, and 2 minutes at that.
I don't think Has or Had is so important to base a whole bastard son on.

27. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by Kat on Sep-23rd-03 at 11:26 PM
In response to Message #24.

We know basically of what the children died.  And we know Andrew's autopsy described him as well-nourished, and  his heart was normal.
Anything denoting disease in his body would probably have been noted.
As to a brain abnormality, the destruction of that in the attack, means we will never know.

28. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by Susan on Sep-24th-03 at 1:18 AM
In response to Message #23.

I thought I made it clear that it was my idea?  Just like your stating that the facts suggest that Andrew was "having his will" with female tenants, its just your idea.  There are no facts to back up that Andrew was the town Casanova.

Anyway, went on a search of birth control available in the 1800s, found some interesting stuff:

"In the English speaking world the birth control movement began with the publication of Essay on the principal of population.  This was written in 1798 by Reverend Thomas Malthus, who calculated that populations grow faster than food production and therefore the world would face a crisis.  He considered the only checks on population growth were war, famine, disease, but in later editions of his work he added 'moral restraint', by which he meant abstaining from sex.

Later writers used his work to support their arguments for birth control.  One of the most influential was an American doctor, Charles Knowlton, who published his first booklet Fruits of philosophy in 1832.  Because birth control was generally considered to be immoral, for many decades it caused contoversy wherever it was republished.

The methods of contraception advocated in the 1800s by writers such as Knowlton included withdrawal, the insertion of sponges, and douching."

From this site:

"Maryland did not pass a state Comstock law, but it prohibited the advertising and trafficking of abortifacients and contraceptives through its obscenity legislation. An 1835 law prohibited the distribution of obscene or licentious articles, and an 1853 amendment prohibited their advertisement. Advertisements for abortifacients did not disappear after the 1853 enactment but became vaguer, referring only to “female irregularities.” In the late 1860s, advertisements became more blatant again. The shift sparked public concern over the prevalence of obscene publications. The lack of prosecutions of providers of birth control information suggests that the law couldn’t be enforced as long as contraceptives and abortifacients had legitimate medical purposes. The first law specifically dealing with birth control was not passed until 1953 and regulated the places in which contraceptives could be sold.

     At common law abortion was only a crime after quickening, the first movement of the fetus felt by the mother. In the early 1800s the practice was common among single women. Between 1821 and 1841, 10 of 26 states passed abortion laws. Five states criminalized it only after quickening. The other five declared abortion illegal at any point during pregnancy. These statutes, however, were largely unenforceable. As a practical matter proof of the existence of a live fetus was thought impossible prior to quickening. During the 1840s, abortion became more visible as newspaper advertisements proliferated. The number of abortions skyrocketed, especially among middle and upper class married women who wished to limit the size of their families."

From this site:

In the mid-1800s, Charles Goodyear developed the first rubber condom, and the 1930s saw the arrival of the latex condom.

"Abortion in the 1800s

When these early feminists (read Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton) were writing, abortion was a very dangerous procedure. The germ theory of disease was just gaining acceptance in the medical community.[2] Because doctors did not realize that disease could be transmitted by dirty hands and unsterilized instruments, women obtaining abortions from doctors frequently died from painful infections. State governments responded to this high mortality rate by banning abortions. By 1880, most abortions were prohibited in the US.[3]

Although abortions were illegal, many women were so desperate that they searched for other ways to end their pregnancies.[4] In the late 1890s, there were two million abortions in the US every year. Desperate women resorted to dangerous, often deadly methods, such as "inserting knitting needles and coat hangers into the uterus, douching with dangerous solutions like lye, and swallowing strong drugs or chemicals."[5]

When the "founders of feminism" criticized the practice of abortion, they were usually protesting the social conditions that led women to such desperate measures as these. Abortion was not a safe choice, but many women felt it was the only choice they had."

From this site: {url][/url]

It sounds like abortion was the main form of birth control in the 1800s, dangerous as it was.  If there was readily available birth control and Andrew procured and made use of it, why would there ever be a Billy Borden in the first place? 


29. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by Kat on Sep-25th-03 at 3:58 AM
In response to Message #23.

I know Virgos, have known Virgos, and have close Virgo relatives, and somehow I would not describe them as *over-sexually* wired.
You describe a man, Andrew-the-landlord, who basically commits rape.  You claim because Andrew has power over these women tenants he can have his way with them.  I think this is a disgusting assumption on your part, or is it Brown?  If Brown invents a bastard son then he has to invent a promiscuous Andrew.
Virgo's are inhibited;  they are not touchers nor are they naturally affectionate.  It's a form of modesty.
Maybe Brown was projecting his own past onto Andrew.  That's certainly been done before.  Maybe his book is more autobiographical than fiction, and I know you, Ray, do believe people put their own truths , disguised, in books.  I wonder if Brown could emerge from such scrutinty of his private behavior as well as you would hope.

BTW:  Sarah Morse Borden was also a Virgo.

(Message last edited Sep-25th-03  4:31 AM.)

30. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by Kat on Sep-25th-03 at 12:17 PM
In response to Message #29.

I'm wondering why the ladies of our Bordens died so young :
Lizzie at 67, her mother Sarah at 39, her grandmother Phebe D. at 64, her sister Alice (May, 1856 - March, 1858) 1 yr., 10 mos.?

31. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by rays on Sep-25th-03 at 4:59 PM
In response to Message #26.

THAT is merely your supposition about Knowlton.
Did he really step into a vacuum w/o any foreknowledge? Were these questions part of the SOP? Surely he must have talked to those from the area and knowledgable about the family.

32. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by rays on Sep-25th-03 at 5:01 PM
In response to Message #27.

"Well nourished" seems like a stock answer, meaning "not starved to death". Again, they often omit details that may embarass the family.
Remember all those stories about someone "who was cleaning his gun and it went off"? Total BullSheet!!!

33. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by haulover on Sep-25th-03 at 8:17 PM
In response to Message #25.

ray, what is your date of birth?

34. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by haulover on Sep-25th-03 at 8:23 PM
In response to Message #25.


i know this is make-believe, etc.  but if you could transport yourself back in time and meet lizzie for some occasion in that house, say just a few weeks before the murders, how would you describe her?  i mean your best guess.  you must have some notion.  we all have impressions of people we haven't met from what we've read or "glimpsed."  you probably don't think such an exercise has any value -- but try it.  at the very least, you're expressing how you have assimilated the info.  i really would like to hear it.  maybe you haven't thought consciously about it, but there is no doubt something in your head about it. 

35. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by Kat on Sep-25th-03 at 8:45 PM
In response to Message #31.

We don't have any knowledge from the family of an illegitimate child.
Knowlton had a private practice as well as his job as district attorney.  This case did not become that important to him the first week.  He can't cram that much info on the case into his plan that quickly. 
He had how many meetings at the Mellon House before meeting Lizzie?
Even authorities didn't know that much about the family the first week.

Knowlton didn't even live in town.

36. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by Kat on Sep-26th-03 at 3:18 AM
In response to Message #35.

When I said "that week" I did mean Thursday til Tuesday, until Knowton ever made it to town.
It shows that the Mayor and the Marshal seem to have had the largest role in convincing Knowlton of Lizzie's guilt, if he was convinced so soon at all.
But that is as it should be as the Marshal is the highest police official and the Mayor is his boss.

Evening Standard:
Looking for the arrival of Knowlton on Monday, Aug. 8th.

On the 9th Bridget Sullivan was locked up with Knowlton, Dolan, Blaisdell & 2 detectives.  (begin Inquest)

Tuesday, Aug. 9th:
"District Attorney Knowlton
Consults with Police.
....At 8 o'clock [p.m.] Marshal Hilliard and State Officer Seaver left the Central station and walked to the Mellen House.  They met the medical examiner, and with the district attorney reviewed the case from beginning to end.  No details, however slight, were omitted, and at 10 o'clock the four men were still talking. "

"...District Attorney Not Ready to Talk.

At 12:30 this morning, the district attorney and the marshal, State Officer Seaver and Medical Examiner Dolan were still in consultation.  Mayor Coughlin was with them.  At a late hour all left the room in the Mellen House except District Attorney Knowlton.  Five press representatives made a dash for him.  He said: 'Gentleman, I have nothing to tell you.  I read my newspaper in the morning, and I want all the news, but I can't help you now.  When I get ready to talk I will talk with all of you, and treat you all alike.'
The marshal took all the evidence which he had collected in the shape of notes, papers, etc., together with other documents bearing on the case, into the room where the five men were closeted and they commenced at the beginning.  At the close of the conference held earlier in the afternoon, the district attorney advised the officers to proceed with the utmost caution, and was extremely conservative in the conclusions which he found.  At that time he had not been made acquainted with all the details.  Last night the same caution was observed.  The quintet were working on one of the most

Remarkable Criminal Records in History,

and were obliged to proceed slowly.  The marshal began at the beginning and continued to the end.  He was assisted in his explanation by the mayor and medical examiner.  Mr. Seaver listened.  There were details almost without end, and all of them were picked to pieces and viewed in every conceivable light.  Considerable new evidence was introduced, and then the testimony of officers not present was submitted, which showed that Miss Lizzie Borden might have been mistaken in one important particular.  The marshal informed the district attorney that the murder had occurred between 10 minutes of 11 o'clock and 13 minutes after 11 on Thursday morning.  The time was as accurate as they could get it.  And they had spared no pains to fix it. ".....

"...No theory other than that Mrs. Borden was murdered first was entertained, and Mayor Coughlin was positive that the murderer had shut the door after the deed had been accomplished.  Miss Borden's demeanor during the many interviews which the police have had with her was described at length, and the story of John W. Morse's whereabouts was retold.
When the marshal and others left the district attorney they went to the central station.  On their return they had another bundle of papers, said to have been warrants, but on that point nobody was positive, as the authorities refused to state what their errand had been. "

(Message last edited Sep-26th-03  3:27 AM.)

37. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by Kat on Sep-26th-03 at 4:21 AM
In response to Message #36.

Can you imagine cramming the life stories of a whole family and it's relatives, as well as suspects and rumors and all things already investigated into your head in 2 to 3 days, at first meeting?

38. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by rays on Sep-26th-03 at 11:18 AM
In response to Message #33.

I'm sorry Hal, but I can't do that. Or any other personal info.

I was told I was born on a Sunday; "fair and full of grace"?

39. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by rays on Sep-26th-03 at 11:21 AM
In response to Message #34.

My understanding of Lizzie, based on what I remember from E Radin's  (and AR Brown's) books is that she was an OK person. She liked to fish, which would make her popular with some men I've known.
I do know of a neigbor whose son was killed in a household accident. They sued the manufacturer, but the marriage was over before they collected. HEAVY guilt feelings. "Why weren't you watching?" etc.

"Another pile of fish to clean and cook? HOORAY!!!"

40. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by rays on Sep-26th-03 at 11:23 AM
In response to Message #36.

I thinkg AR Brown says, and F Spiering or D Kent hints, that the arrest of Lizzie was to quiet the crowd and end the spontaneous general strike that paralyzed the businesses in FR. The plan was to let Lizzie go via a "no bill" from the Grand Jury. Alice's story stopped this.

41. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by rays on Sep-26th-03 at 11:25 AM
In response to Message #35.

But how often was this noised around in past decades? Remember all those olden stories about finding an "abandoned baby" on the doorstep? Some say that was really the recently fired maid's attempt to place the blame on the household. Usually the master, sometimes the son. (Residents from England can perhaps say more.)

42. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by Kat on Sep-26th-03 at 1:11 PM
In response to Message #40.

This doesn't make common sense to me.
This set of Borden's were no big deal.
The State spent something like $2 million in today's money in prosecuting an innocent girl and taking all that bad press to boot?  Who would Do such a thing?  It's not sensible.  There's no point.

43. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by rays on Sep-26th-03 at 3:22 PM
In response to Message #42.

But they are paid to prosecute somebody. You wouldn't want them to just warm their chairs? The point made is that an arrest would quiet the populace and get business moving again. Doesn't that happen today? Somebody gets arrested, then later released. Read your local newspapers.

44. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by haulover on Sep-26th-03 at 8:36 PM
In response to Message #38.

i didn't mean to overstep my bounds.  i was thinking of astrology.  to quote lizzie, "that is all."

45. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by haulover on Sep-26th-03 at 9:29 PM
In response to Message #42.

back to diagnosing lizzie:

let me bring up bence and poison again:

stupid for her to try to buy it wednesday?

less stupid to burn a dress when they are looking for one?
less stupid to sneak back down to cellar when police are on guard?
less stupid to share forebodings of disaster night before the murder?
less stupid to try to get someone to "find" mrs. borden?
less stupid to change lead for window to lead for sinker?

A denial of reality?  a stubborn refusal to admit logic into anything?

it's all the same syndrome, isn't it?

and remember this:  if knowlton had not had some knowledge and had not persisted, lizzie would have never said a word about abby having a note.

then that note would never have existed, but it sure did at the time of the murders.

the barn story is her masterpiece of irrational persistence.

46. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by Kat on Sep-27th-03 at 2:19 AM
In response to Message #45.

I think because Lizzie didn't know if Bridget heard about the note, she had to finally mention it on Thursday.  Once Lizzie mentioned it to someone who came from outside the house, the note then existed.
I think, Mrs. Churchill, in her second statement to the police on August 8, Monday, gave the first mention of a note.
Lizzie probably realized she had to mention it when Knowlton asked her twice.  Then she knew that others knew.  Knowlton would have gotten it out of her. 

I agree with the points you make as to everything except the implied correlation between the attempt to buy poison and the Wednesday night talk with Alice.
I haven't figured that out.  It's certainly not simple, and I don't think it falls into the same catagorey as these other odd things which Lizzie did which you have recounted.

47. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by Kat on Sep-27th-03 at 2:20 AM
In response to Message #44.

I think he is a Taurus, April 20 to May 20.

48. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by rays on Sep-27th-03 at 2:06 PM
In response to Message #47.

That's a lot of bull.

49. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by Kat on Sep-27th-03 at 11:38 PM
In response to Message #48.

I know Taurus stick to their point through thick and thin.
And they try to teach through example.

50. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by rays on Sep-28th-03 at 2:41 PM
In response to Message #49.

Thank you for the kind compliment.

51. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by haulover on Sep-28th-03 at 9:40 PM
In response to Message #47.

i realize you've probably got the exact date.  but you know april 20 is usually aires?

anyway........i can't possibly be as stubborn as rays!

he's demonstrating a point though -- that of deciding that it's "on this line i take my stand and be damned for it."

come to think of it, i've done that -- but not on the lizzie borden case solution.

52. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by haulover on Sep-28th-03 at 11:06 PM
In response to Message #46.

***I think because Lizzie didn't know if Bridget heard about the note, she had to finally mention it on Thursday.  Once Lizzie mentioned it to someone who came from outside the house, the note then existed. ***

let me be sure i understand you on this, because you've said it before and i might have misunderstood.

Bridget from the trial, pg 237:

Q. Did she say anything to you, or you to her, while you were doing that and she was doing what you describe?
A. She said, "Maggie, are you going out this afternoon?"  I said, "I don't know; I might and I might not; I don't feel well."  She says, "If you go out, be sure and lock the door, for Mrs. Borden has gone out on a sick call, and I might go out too."  Says I, "Miss Lizzie, who is sick?"  "I don't know; she had a note this morning; it must be in town."

As i understand it, lizzie tells maggie about the note herself, irregardless of what bridget might have heard between lizzie and her father.  at least "according to bridget."  according to bridget, she knew of a "note" before any outsider came into the house.  or do you think bridget lied or misremembered in terms of the sequence of "facts" that she learned?  i don't mind being found dense; just clarify what you mean when you say lizzie wasn't sure what maggie had heard in regards to a note.


something else in this area i don't understand.  do you have an idea?

from Bridget in prelims:

Q.  Did you hear her say anything to Mr. Borden?
A.  I heard her ask him if he had any mail for her.  I heard her telling her father "VERY SLOWLY" that her mother got a note, that Mrs. Borden had a note that morning, and had gone out.

is there significance to this term "very slowly?"  i've read commentators refer to it as though it were a clue to something, but i've never gotten it.  do you think it means anything?  why would she throw in that particular phrase?

very slowly=reluctance? caution? (trying not to be overheard by bridget?)


53. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by Kat on Sep-29th-03 at 9:39 AM
In response to Message #51.

I got the dates from my e-mail's built-in dictionary so I didn't have to get up.
I have a problem spelling Taurus.  That was a simple answer it gave.

54. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by Kat on Sep-29th-03 at 10:11 AM
In response to Message #52.

You're right, but I was taking a different approach.
I was looking at the source documents to see when was the note first mentioned to an outsider.
I was surprised to find, according to Witness Statements, that it was Mrs. Churchill, on the 8th, at a second interview, who brought it up.
By the Prelim,  later in the month, there is Bridget telling about a note.

Lizzie at Inquest talks about the note.
Morse at Inquest says he heard about it from Lizzie Thursday afternoon.
We don't have Bridget's Inquest testimony.
But it's not in those early Witness Statements which is odd..before the 8th.

It's unexplainable or I may be making a curiosity out of nothing.
The oursider was important to me because I couldn't know if was a fake story of a fake note that really happened Thursday.

--We had discussed *low/& slow* with Augusta, Susan & Edisto a while ago.

Q.  Did you hear her say anything to Mr. Borden?
A.  I heard her ask him if he had any mail for her. I heard her telling her father very slowly that her mother got a note, that Mrs. Borden had a note that morning, and had gone out.
Q.  You heard her telling that very slowly?
A.  Yes Sir, to her father.
Q.  Had got a note?
A.  From some sick person. Of course the conversation was very low, I did not pay any attention to it; but I heard her telling her father that.
Q.  What else did you hear her say to her father?
A.  Not any more.

--I thought it was voiced low and slow so Bridget would not overhear.  Instead it seems to be one of the few things Bridget did hear Lizzie say that day.
--Some interesting comments (and then we/I go off track...)
"Why So Slow?"  Archives:

55. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by rays on Sep-29th-03 at 12:19 PM
In response to Message #51.

I think you meant to type "aries". Greek for goat or ram?
Reputed to be contrary and troublesome?

56. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by rays on Sep-29th-03 at 12:20 PM
In response to Message #53.

Taurus is Latin for "bull". "Bull-headed" also has connotations.

I would thank you all for your compliments, if that was your intent.

57. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by haulover on Sep-29th-03 at 11:23 PM
In response to Message #54.

thanks for clarifying what you were looking at in note reportage. i get it. 

58. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by Kat on Sep-30th-03 at 4:26 PM
In response to Message #57.

Is there an agreement that if Lizzie killed with her own hands, or if she conspired or hired someone, then we might consider the possibility of a personality disorder?  It seems that if she continued living a relatively normal life after the tragedy that there was some serious repressing of memory going on, or else she just didn't feel guilty?

59. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by njwolfe on Sep-30th-03 at 6:55 PM
In response to Message #58.

Good question Kat. I've thought about this a lot, why didn't
she show any guilt? I am one that believes her hands are clean
but she did know/have something to do with the deeds.  I think
that in her mind she simply felt justified. From years of abuse?
From something else we don't know about?  Today we all pretty much
admit our families were dysfunctional in some way, but maybe she
felt her situation was alone and took control to save her life. Talked
to Morse and came up with a plan.  The Cancers I know are planners and
schemers, secretive, and successful.  Also fiercely protective of
their home and security.  I don't believe Lizzie was a drug addict but
I do agree she had personality disorders.  (Don't we all?)  

60. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by Kat on Sep-30th-03 at 8:49 PM
In response to Message #59.

But where does that leave Emma?  Did she know?  Is that why she left?  Could she have saved the folks if she had told?

Another question:  How was Lizzie's *life* in danger?
To save her life, it's possible she planned a murder?
To save her life, to me, sounds like self-defense.
Legally, I don't think pre-meditated murder falls under the category of self-defense - maybe Andrew if he was harming her (like battered wife defense) - but not Abby's death.

61. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by haulover on Sep-30th-03 at 9:32 PM
In response to Message #58.

my answer to your question is yes -- but it is such a pandora's box.  there is so much to try to narrow down.  i read knowlton's closing argument today -- he does a good job; what he says is pretty much the whole content of the legend, which stands up today in spite of the "not guilty" verdict.  because it is compelling--it all fits.

to digress a bit perhaps, maybe not really:  it got me to thinking about why this case IS so compelling.  of course, we've had that thread, but i wasn't satisfied.  it has one archetype we may not consider enough -- the "wicked stepmother." 

what knowlton is saying is that lizzie is basically a monster packaged as a 32-yr-old upstanding lady.  he's saying that for "nothing but a tiny piece of property" this daughter was willing to torture the only mother she ever knew by refusing to call her thus, and then finally to hack her up.  and to prevent her father from knowing -- hack him up too. 

i don't usually go there, because it is to get so bogged down in speculation -- but what if that brutality we see in the murders was some sort of self-defense?  i mean, what if there is  REAL reason lizzie felt menaced -- that has nothing to do with that property or any property? 

on the other hand, how do we describe lizzie's disorder if this hatred of abby really is over nothing but that property?  was it not simply a decent, understandable thing for andrew to do?  to do something for abby's side of the family, being wealthy, she having been his wife for so long -- why does lizzie or emma for that matter consider it outrageous?  not to mention the fact that he compensated the girls. in this light, it does make lizzie a monster of self-centeredness, doesn't it?  then you can't help but notice some of her habits -- like ignoring other people in the house.  you can tell it struck knowlton as odd that lizzie would literally ignore/avoid morse--yet she doesn't seem to think so, that it's natural for her.  you've pointed out lizzie's apparent puzzlement about his questions about the family relations.  they don't seem relevant to her.  the question about this is:  does she just consider it overly "forward" or "improper" for a stranger to ask her such questions -- or is there something in the nature of the questions that genuinely puzzles her?  i wish we had something about abby's reaction to lizzie suddenly calling her mrs. borden.  since lizzie had never known any other mother (unless in some way, emma)-- it is extreme to say to her "you are not my mother" over some stupid insignificant piece of property.  actually, it shows andrew to be a pretty decent man.  it makes lizzie look shallow and petty to an extreme.  her explanation:  "we thought what he did for her people he ought to do for his own." (i may be para-phrasing.)  i understand your narcissism theory.  "i want, i need, i'm entitled."  lizzie actually explains to knowlton that this property thing was because someone in abby's family was not doing well, etc. -- but lizzie does not show in anything she says a recognition of generosity or benevolence on the part of andrew -- i just get the sense that she feels that this means that someone is stealing from her. 

i understand you are trying to diagnose lizzie psychologically, clinically, or pathologically.  there is probably an apt word or term in this sense. 

for me (as i'm sure i've indicated all along) -- lizzie borden opens up the pandora's box on the subject of the moral condition of humankind.  it's something to consider the monsters lurking behind friendly faces and friendly ways.  people who don't have real hearts but act their way along as though they did.  like that movie, "the bad seed" -- the girl did not understand love; she simply wanted things.

now in trying to address what you're working on -- identifying a personality disorder.......if lizzie is guilty (and by one or another "definition" she certainly is) i see her guilt as something far worse than any personality disorder.  i have personality disorders.  i have selfishness and self-centeredness.  i know what they are.  i excuse some of it and some of it challenges me.  and then i could go into things that "contradict" my selfishness, and they are just as true.  but if lizzie is this one-dimensional monster that wants stuff and has no respect for human life -- that is an exceptionally disturbing stain on human nature, isn't it?  (we know it's there anyway, but she emerges as a "poster girl" for it.)

but there was this other local murder case i knew of.  this kid killed his mother's boyfriend.  it came out that he had been abusing the mother and the kid in many ways.  in that case, the kid is not a monster but is acting in self-defense.

but this is always standing in our way to find lizzie a "victim" -- when we hear her talk about abby, what she says, what she doesn't say.  another one of many questions knowlton did not ask is this:  "what was your mother's reaction when you starting calling her mrs. borden after nearly 30 years of calling her mother?"  notice her answer as to why:  "because i wanted to."

i haven't assisted you much in what you're digging for.  let me finish this way:  lizzie a narcissist? yes. a personality disorder anyway? yes.  but if guilty, isn't she much much worse than that?  in the moral world of meanings, i don't know what to call it exactly, except to say that you can't overstate the cruelty of it.  UNLESS THERE IS A WHOLE STORY ABOUT WHICH WE HAVE NO CLUE.


62. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by Kat on Sep-30th-03 at 10:26 PM
In response to Message #61.

Wow a wonderful post.  Insightful with good questions.

Lizzie says in her Inquest:
A. Yes. I had forgotten that a whole week had passed since the affair.

The murder of Mr. & Mrs. Borden is reduced to an "affair."
Sounds like something inconvenient happened.

I doubt the house deal was such a precipitating factor in the murders as we are led to believe.  It's too simple.  I agree that there is probably stuff going on underneath this public acknowledgement by the girls.  Like they are willing for that to be seen as the flimsey motive, so maybe there is something deeper, darker going on.  I think this very suspicion was the catalyst for some authors to become inventive.  They were not satisfied either.

I recently read an opinion that Lizzie was later seen to be kind to children and animals and needy strangers, yet had not a speck of consideration or compassion or empathy for her family members including extended family step-related, and none for her most loyal supporter Emma, who ended up driven away by her antics.

Where there's smoke there's a bit of fire and as hard as I have struggled against a belief in Lizzie as a shoplifter, it would seem part of a syndrome.  I would have to take the whole package if I think she committed / abetted murder.

I don't know about the monster part.  I think the bad seed was a psychopathic youngster and I don't really see Lizzie as such.  I mean, we don't have those kinds of anecdotes about young Lizzie, and her later years were not necessarilly destructive either. aside:
How about Shoplifting as entitlement?
There is in the news a society dame in Texas who was caught shoplifting 2 wallets and another item (scarf?).  Rich lady too.  A defense lawyer talking-head claims it's for the *thrill of the hunt*.  I guess he is regressing her actions to caveman days.
I think it's odd she took what amounted to a felony.  I mean she was just over the limit by something like $200.  I thought that might mean she was ready to be caught.

63. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by robert harry on Oct-1st-03 at 3:22 PM
In response to Message #62.

Excellent stuff, haulover and Kat.  I was the one who pointed out that she referred to her family home as "the place on second street."  Lizzie's referring to the frightful murders as "the affair" has the same (scary) impersonalizing ring to it.  She is using a classic avoidance technique--reducing persons, places to impersonal "things," much as the villain in The Silence of the Lambs referred to the woman he had imprisoned as "it."  Hmmm.......

64. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by robert harry on Oct-1st-03 at 3:24 PM
In response to Message #63.

PS If she is guilty (and I agree that at least in some way she is), then this impersonalizing tactic would be a way to cushion any potential feelings of guilt she may have, or it may continue her own myth that what happened was somehow "justified" in her mind.

65. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by Benjamin on Oct-1st-03 at 4:27 PM
In response to Message #62.

Kat & Haulover, interesting posts!
It's so difficult to avoid speculation when you consider the time when all this happened and the fact that that kind of "secrecy" still goes on in families today.  I definitely believe there was a lot more going on in that house than just a disagreement over property. And sadly, and frustratingly, we'll never know.  I don't even hold very high the opinions of close friends and neighbors that the house was "calm & happy" or whatever.  It's amazing how much can go on that people don't know or won't acknowledge.  My father was a very abusive alcoholic who treated my mother, my brother and I very badly and there are relatives who to this day don't even acknowledge that he had a drinking problem, let alone that he was mean to his wife and children. (he died 20 yrs ago, when I was in high school.) Of course this might mean that they'd have to admit their own alcoholism!   Many of them still say my mother & I are mentally unstable and were imagining things and making up stories. And the couple who've lived next door to my mother for 40+ years are just now realising my dad wasn't so nice.  This is all to explain why I think that Lizzie (& Emma) might have had a lot of reasons for resentments/hostility towards Abby & even her father, that the outside world wouldn't know about. Saying it's about a piece of property is certainly a simpler explanation and is also a way to give vent to some anger & frustration that might really relate to something else! (can you tell my family's been in therapy?) 
  I also don't think it's too strange that Lizzie referred to the House on Second St as "The property..."  That could simply be that that was the way the house was referred to in business deals or discussions she may have been privy to and she called it that out of habit.  Also, it could be that since she hated that house, she didn't ever really consider it her true home, so it was simply "That property on Second Street." Certainly a more polite way of saying, "You mean that crackerbox crap shack my tightwad father forces us to inhabit?"
   My biases show I guess. I grew up in such a repressive and angry household that I feel so much empathy for Lizzie and Emma. That powerlessness, me as a child, them as spinster Victorian women, is so awful. Feeling so trapped can make you want to do desperate things.  After my father died I quit speaking to or staying in touch with any of the relatives from his side of the family, so I don't think it that odd of Lizzie either. She found a new family with some friends and her pets.  I've mentioned my friend Katherine. Her family is totally my family too. I've spent XMases & other holidays with them for 20 years.(Mom too) Lizzie may have cut herself off from relatives because she or Emma might have asked or pleaded for some kind of assistance and they turned a blind eye. And once she and Emma were no longer joined together by the common oppression & anger towards Andrew & Abby, they may have realised just how different they were in age and personality and that could have also led to the eventual split between the two.   Well, That's my Oprah speculation for the day.

66. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by Kat on Oct-1st-03 at 10:23 PM
In response to Message #63.

I think your reference to "the place on Second Street" is what made me more sensitive to this phrase I've read 25 times.
I think your assessments are valuable, thank you.

67. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by Kat on Oct-1st-03 at 11:05 PM
In response to Message #65.

I think it's very interesting to have a personal take on a dysfunctional family and sensitive accounts of how it feels and how these family dynamics function.
It's helpful to others who have not had the experiences, and respectfully thank you for sharing your stories.

I picture the windows open in summer and any loud fighting might be heard by Mrs. Churchill.  Maybe there wasn't loud arguments.  I'm wondering if Lizzie was too refined.
We've read that she would ignore visitors and not even hold a conversation with her stepmother- and that's while there was company!

I think you're possibly right in what bound Emma & Lizzie and how they could have drifted apart.
But I also am entertaining a vision of Lizzie just eventually getting to Emma in Maplecroft, maybe even haranguing her or throwing tantrums, creating dramas when things get too quiet.
Not always.  Just enough to drive away Emma?

68. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by Susan on Oct-2nd-03 at 1:17 AM
In response to Message #65.

Benjamin, I know exactly what you are talking about, I too grew up in such a household though my dad wasn't an alcoholic, just abusive.  We were an upper middle class nice family. Boy, were my friends shocked when after my dad ditched us and I finally felt free enough to share all that had gone on.

So, I too have those feelings of walking in Lizzie and Emma's shoes, the feeling of helplessness where no one will help or rescue you and being stuck in that situation.  I don't know for a fact, but, I don't think Andrew was an abusive father.  He did seem very set in his ways and seemed not to like change a whole lot.  I can see where alot of Lizzie's discontent came from, her father could afford much more for the family and he decided that they should all do without, end of story.  There must be quite a bit more to this story, but, it was either buried or hidden.  I wonder if we will ever get to the bottom of it all? 

69. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by Benjamin on Oct-2nd-03 at 11:10 AM
In response to Message #68.

Hi Susan,
Thanks (& Kat).  I was thinking with Andrew that it might have been more psychological abuse.  Among my father's many talents was an ability to really screw with your mind.  No bruises show that way. And if Lizzie was already someone who had depression or something like that, the constant mental abuse would certainly be a catalyst to snapping. (It's my occasionally black humor showing, but when people would ask about my interest in Lizzie I would usually respond with, "Because she took control of the situation! Instead of turning her rage inside, she focused outwards!    )
  I remember someone mentioning that since Emma was so much older than Lizzie and essentially from another generation, that her leaving might have been due to wanting a quieter life. I bet Lizzie was bursting with energy for quite a while after she was free to do as she pleased. I see some of the older buildings around the Chicago museums, a lot of which were built for the 1893 World's Fair and I think about Lizzie coming here after her aquittal. I bet she was glad to lose herself in an international crowd and not be recognised. I've wondered why Emma didn't come with her? You'd think they'd want to celebrate together?   
  How fun! I've just used the edit button for the first time. I meant to add that it's difficult not to bring personal experiences into the speculations about the behavior of the Bordens. Once you stray from known facts you go with what you know.  Loved the newsletter. I checked if after posting this, so it was funny to see the date mentioning the World's Fair visit.

(Message last edited Oct-2nd-03  12:00 PM.)

70. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by Susan on Oct-2nd-03 at 11:59 AM
In response to Message #69.

Well, if Andrew was physically abusive, who would know really with all those clothes woman wore than, bruises would never show unless he went for the face.  Do you think that Andrew may have psychologically tortured Emma and Lizzie with his estate and money?  Dangled it over their heads and threatened them with cutting them off?

Yes, thats totally possible with Emma, her leaving Lizzie may have gotten blown out of proportion over the years.  Lizzie's home may have been too noisy and too filled with people for her simple ways.  I still have to wonder what this woman did for entertainment or to simply fill her days?  Read racy romance novels?  The Bible?  Play the horses?  Shes even more of an enigma than Lizzie. 

71. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by Benjamin on Oct-2nd-03 at 12:02 PM
In response to Message #70.

Good point about the clothes.  I think dangling the money would have been a great way to torture his daughters.  I bet he regrets it now!

72. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by Benjamin on Oct-2nd-03 at 12:04 PM
In response to Message #70.

re: Emma's time.  They said she had an assumed name, so maybe she WROTE racy novels? 

73. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by Kat on Oct-2nd-03 at 2:24 PM
In response to Message #72.

Interesting exchange you guys.
Maybe we should switch now to *diagnose Emma*?
Do ya'll (anyone?) think she was in on it?  If she was we have to figure her out.
We still don't know who dominated who.

(PS:  Benjamin, I tell you on another thread how to edit.  I see now you say youfigured it out yourself.  Can you tell Jimmy?)

74. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by Benjamin on Oct-2nd-03 at 3:15 PM
In response to Message #73.


75. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by haulover on Oct-2nd-03 at 8:07 PM
In response to Message #63.

the "affair."

yes, i wonder about that one too.

now i remember something in a past thread.  someone claimed (a relative of robinson?) that lizzie sent her victorious lawyers a "scrapbook of the murders," which she called (something like this) -- "our recent interesting affair."  i figured it was apocryphal.

but given her use of that word--now i wonder.  i seem to recall reading that the robinson collection included some albums or scrapbooks.

76. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by haulover on Oct-2nd-03 at 9:21 PM
In response to Message #64.

yes.  the ability to simply separate herself from something she did not want to deal with -- because she had never truly felt a binding tie with the victims?

i think your word "entitlement" is the key.  "selfish neediness" with a blind spot as to the needs/significance of others.

something else struck me the other day when i read knowlton's closing argument.  he picked up on something i did but he expressed it much better.  something that must be telling about her temperament or her character or this "syndrome" we're talking about. and remember there is a witness to it:

how she and alice went down to the cellar that night (and it was alice shaking in the doorway) but lizzie looks like someone just doing a simple matter-of-fact chore.  and on top of that, lizzie comes back down alone.  knowlton points out that he himself and many others would find that a difficult chore, down there in the dark where the victims' clothes were.  this seems a little thing -- but it's very telling, isn't it?  she wasn't "spooked" by it--is his point.  this is much more telling, for example, that when she's up in her room and saying "do you really have to search now?" and "this is making me sick" etc.--though it fits right in with it.  you've got two witnesses to that detached "what's it to me" attitude.  those who commented on it -- isn't this what they are seeing?

when knowlton is trying to pin her down on whether someone could have passed by her with her seeing, at some point she says, "If there was anyone to go."

and about why she did not see bridget:  "i might have seen her and not know it."  and again about where was bridget:  "i know where i was."

when he makes her go over her conversation with abby, i get the sense that she's almost rolling her eyes about it.

she really sounds like she is describing (through an air of detachment) one of the most boring mornings of her life.  i think this is an oddity that most authors have not known what to make of.

it took me a long time to make any sense of her barn story.  in particular the drawn out part about sinkers/lines and if and where, etc.  don't you think the word is "irrelevancy" (how she deals with the pressure is to lead him down a deadend street).  as it turns out, this business about sinkers and lines "at the farm" has nothing whatever to do with this trip she's planning.  isn't this the same tactic she's using when she says "she had given me some pillow cases to make" -- when being asked about what abby might do in the guest room?

oh, here's another.  she likes the statement, "that is all."  no big deal, nothing of import?

i don't mean to find meaning where there isn't, but in looking for attitude, we have to let doors of possibility open, don't you agree?

i've tried some questions that are like exercises to try to get into the reality of this:
such as -- she picks up 3 pears from the ground, does not eat them in the shade, she carries them up to the loft (watch the physical logistics:  she holds 3 in one hand; 2 in one, 1  in the other?.  going up the stairs,  does she touch a bannister?  does she stick the pears down her bosom?  does she put two down on a dusty surface while she eats one?  she may eat them at first or last; if last, she must do something with the things while she goes through the box.  see what i mean?  i'm picking--but only at a for-certain physical reality that must have been noticeably awkward.  yet not a word about it--she doesn't think about this.)  see what i'm doing?  it's not for "evidence-gathering" as we usually think about it -- i'm trying to get AT HER MIND.  my point about the pears is that it is an irritating thing to do as opposed to an easy absent-minded type thing to do.  (this is a way of "proving" she's lying?)  and that chip she says she picked up -- that still bugs me -- i don't care so much "what" the chip is as i am about "why" she says it.  she doesn't say she did not find a suitable sinker.  she says she picked up "nothing" but a piece of a chip.

nothing:  that is all.

that magazine she says she read -- if she did, she must remember something of the subject matter of it -- why not mention it?

i've rambled, but this is my favorite part -- lizzie's own words.

77. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by Susan on Oct-2nd-03 at 10:04 PM
In response to Message #73.

Yes, I'm up for attempting to diagnose Emma, or at least try to figure her out some.  If Emma wasn't in on the original plan, I'm sure she figured it out along the way, she was like Lizzie's true mother.  What mother doesn't know their child that well to tell when they are lying, etc.?

Lizzie may have had Emma wrapped around her little finger being the spoiled baby of the family, but, Emma was Lizzie's mother figure and as that I think she held a certain amount of control and power.  I think Lizzie would have been devastated if Emma witheld her love or gave Lizzie the silent treatment or such.  From Emma's own words, she was the one who had the biggest problem with Abby, can't you just see her poisoning Lizzie's mind against Abby and Andrew?  Sitting with Lizzie in her bed at night and whispering horrible things to her while throwing in the she had promised their mother to look out for Lizzie and that is what she was doing now.  I don't know if Lizzie would have known if she was coming or going with that kind of thing going on?  Lizzie may have been the one that was loudest to contest her rights, but, I think Emma may have been the one to manipulate Lizzie to do so.  I have to wonder if Emma didn't actually in some way create a monster and push Lizzie into murdering their parents only to realize what she had caused at too late a time? 

78. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by Robert Harry on Oct-2nd-03 at 10:33 PM
In response to Message #76.

I definitely think you are asking the right kind of questions, haulover.  Your posts are always "packed"--I remember that you have been persistent in studying Lizzie's own words and trying to make "sense" of them.  So I thank you for getting my own brain in gear. In any case, I have surely fallen prey to the Bordenite syndrome (perhaps that's my own personality disorder!!)-- I have to sneak times at the computer to read each and every post, then I hear my fiancee saying, "Lizzie again?"  Anyhow, I just returned from my weekly course in the post-masters program in advanced clinical social work, and the professor (who is a psychoanalyst)said, "Therapy is not about fixing something; it's about figuring out how someone's mind works. I think that's what we are trying to do--figure out how Lizzie's mind works.  Her "dismissive" impersonal language is a big key ("the affair," "place on Second street.") And I, too, noticed her remark, "If there was anyone to be seen," (roughly paraphrased).  To me that more than suggests she knew Abby was dead by then.  Re: her fantastical account of what she did as an attempt at an alibi (eating pears, going to the barn), I really think she thought that she could say almost anything because she was entitled to be believed.  Also, the absurdity of her alibi to me indicates another way to "distance" herself from the crimes.  Reasoning something like, "Yes, I did these things, surely I did," as a refrain to convince herself for, in her own mind, she surely was no criminal.  To say, "I am a criminal" I think would have destroyed her.

79. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by haulover on Oct-3rd-03 at 12:59 AM
In response to Message #78.

BTW, for the record, my lizzie quotes were paraphrased as well.  i meant to but forgot to say that (i would not have done so except that i knew you knew them.)

do you think, as part-in-parcel with this "syndrome" we're discussing -- that lizzie "comfortably" believed that it was impossible for her to be accused, must less convicted, of these crimes?  i mean, that she knew that the world she lived in would not tolerate her conviction - and knowingly, intelligently -- seized that opportunity?  and that she was a bit wrong -- was surprised at first of the suspicion cast upon her, and was then shocked at being literally accused?  you can't overlook how she modifies her story as the questioning goes on from one day to the next -- you can see how she is thinking it over.  my impression is that, at the beginning anyway, she is unprepared (surprised, offended) for such pointed questions as to her whereabouts and activities that morning. 

i think a turning point is where she asks him if he remembers that winter the river was frozen over, and he tells her he is asking questions, not answering them.  what i hear there is that she is testing as to whether he is trusting and friendly toward her -- in other words, she wants to think that they are two equals having a friendly chat and going "through a formality."  he lets her know that is not the case.  from that point there is a growing hostility between them -- with him suspecting her more, and she more and more determined to maintain her indignation at the very idea that she could possibly know  anything about this.

the second day of questioning, i can see she is working harder at it, taking it more seriously.  but in the beginning, she really is counting on her womanhood/femininity -- to carry her through.  notice how long it takes her to come right out and define it -- that she thought nothing of not seeing abby because of that note and she assumed she has gone out.  before she realizes this necessity, however, she is playing hide-and-seek with abby.  (she had hoped to avoid ever having to mention a note at all.)

your take on "if there was anybody to go" is an interpretation i had not thought of, but as i think about it, you're right.  i was thinking she's just saying there was no one there as far as she knew or cared  -- there's also this, "she could have been in the house or out of the house" -- but to get in her mind, yes she does know then that abby was dead.

she could have been in the house or out of the house:   don't know where she was, what she did, or anything about her.

but it is significant that lizzie did not say right off that she thought abby had gone.  she was forced to say so because it did not make sense otherwise. 

80. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by Benjamin on Oct-3rd-03 at 11:06 AM
In response to Message #77.

I was thinking about your comments about Emma this morning while shaving. (That blade connection, I guess).  I think you've got a good theory.  Emma was almost a teen when Sarah died, so she would definitely have stronger feelings about Abby of "You're trying to replace my mother" than Lizzie would have.  I could see her doing what you said, being loving to Lizzie and poisoning her mind against Abby.  And once the deed was done and Lizzie kept acting the way Emma had trained her, it would make sense that Emma became horrified by her own creation and left Maplecroft.  Maybe Emma was the truly great actress in the family?  She seems almost too far in the background, suggesting intentional effort NOT to be noticed, while pushing Lizzie into the spotlight.  Emma the Puppet Master?

81. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by Susan on Oct-3rd-03 at 11:51 AM
In response to Message #80.

Yes, thats what I'm seeing, Lizzie is Emma's toy and tool.  I like the analogy of Puppet Master, Emma behind the wings pulling Lizzie's strings getting her to do the dirtywork.  My thought originally was that Emma was like Dr. Frankenstein and Lizzie her monster.  All the monster wanted was to be liked, to be loved, but, the doctor made the monster bad and that was how it acted.  I can't recall now, but, didn't the monster come back and kill the doctor?  Perhaps our monster came back and bit Emma in the rear, hence the move away? 

82. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by Kat on Oct-3rd-03 at 1:18 PM
In response to Message #79.

This is all great stuff you guys.  I think a total psychological assessment of each member of the family is a worthy goal.  Also, the victims are not usually blameless.  Somehow they did manage to alienate someone.

My only comment right now is to say that you all might try catching Dr. Phil as often as you can in the next several episodes.
I would only suggest this if it was important.
He is working with a dysfunctional family starting last week or so.  They are not on every day.  He may have a specofic day he has them on, but I don't know, so that's why I suggest you look in on there to see if this family is on.  They will be followed the rest of the year.
I would like your opinion on Martin, I think his name is...the husband.
I think he is either a *socially-acceptable* sociopath or a Narcissus.
He is emotionally flat, he can get his eyes to glisten but he doesn't cry..he wipes at his eyes but there are no tears.  He hates Dr. Phil and at first was almost belligerent toward and dismissive of him..and that is after allowing cameras in his home and agreeing to be on the show.
Dr. Phil was at him in depth yesterday (7:00 p.m. CBS), and he didn't say much but when he did he was making excuses.  He is NOT convincing when he says he loves his wife (who wants to leave him..and she swears he is a pathological liar), and I can't figure out why he would want to be put on television, after you find out the terrible things he's done to the marriage & family.
I can only think he's in it for the attention.
I think he is not capable of deep feelings and I think it would be an interesting exercise if some of us watched him and gave their opinion here.
It's a valuable way of observing someone with this syndrome, in the real world, and we can benefit here from this. 

If some do see him and report back but want more background I will fill you in on what I have seen so far.

I really think this is an important person to watch and see how he develops a strategy on the show to keep Dr. Phil out.  (He has promised to be honest and I don't think he has it in him).
This is kind of exciting seeing this while we are talking about Lizzie possibly having this same *Affect*.

83. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by rays on Oct-3rd-03 at 1:32 PM
In response to Message #75.

Do we have any documentation for this claim of a gift to Knowlton?

That sound like that story about OJ. After the trial, he asked the judge to get back his hat and gloves.

84. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by rays on Oct-3rd-03 at 1:34 PM
In response to Message #77.

Surely this is all a fantasy? Emma manipulating Lizzie by giving up the larger bed room? By not going on the Grand Tour of Europe? By staying alone so Lizzie could join all those organizations?

In some families, notice how one child can be outgoing, and another not.

85. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by harry on Oct-3rd-03 at 1:51 PM
In response to Message #75.

Actually the alleged packet of mementos Lizzie was supposed to have sent was to Moody, not Knowlton.  In Rebello, pg 298 he cites the following:

"In a letter to Mr. Frank W. Knowlton, son of Hosea M. Knowlton, dated October 29, 1930, Pearson wrote: "Did I tell you that Miss Lizbeth sent a collection of photographs of the scene, bodies, &c., as souvenirs, to Mr. Moody. I have this on the authority of the daughter of Senator Lodge, formerly Mrs. Augustus Gardner, who had it from Mr. Moody." On October 31, 1930, Mr. Knowlton replied, "I hope you will pardon me if I was a little skeptical about the alleged souvenirs sent to Mr. Moody. We get some pretty fanciful things from the descendants of Mr. Lodge, particularly in the female line, so that I don't take much stock in what I hear. Mr. Moody was a very good friend of my father's and used to visit us almost every summer. There again I am surprised, if it is true, that I never heard of it. Frankly, it is quite improbable."

Victoria Lincoln printed the story as fact in her book. Same page from Rebello:

".... "She [Lizzie] also made a neat packet of her press-clippings and relevant photographs, including photographs of the bodies, and sent them, with a polite note, to young Mr. William Moody, as a memento of an interesting occasion."

Moody as much as anyone was a believer in Lizzie's guilt.

86. "oops"
Posted by Kat on Oct-3rd-03 at 1:52 PM
In response to Message #83.

(Message last edited Oct-3rd-03  2:00 PM.)

87. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by Kat on Oct-3rd-03 at 1:58 PM
In response to Message #85.

"The Knowlton/Pearson Correspondence, 1923-1930. Fall River, MA: Fall River Historical Society.
Reproduced from the FRHS's archives and are direct copies of correspondence between Edmund Pearson and Frank W. Knowlton, son of the Borden case prosecuting attorney, as Pearson conducted research before writing several essays and his major work, The Trial of Lizzie Borden."...

Cite from:

88. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by robert harry on Oct-3rd-03 at 2:57 PM
In response to Message #79.

Right on, haulover.  You are able to express in words what I, too, have thought about Lizzie all along but could never quite articulate.  To the question(s) you ask, I answer, "Yes."  Lizzie is at first very confident, then taken aback, then testing the waters.  In order to do psychotherapy, we have to keep asking the question, "Why did she say that?"  And I think you do just that, haulover.  I am pondering that comment about the river being frozen over....You have a good take on that, let me ponder it for a while.  I am at work; I will try to get back to this in greater detail when I have more time.  This thread is fascinating!

89. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by Kat on Oct-3rd-03 at 6:32 PM
In response to Message #6.

I've been thinking about this Hiram Harrington notation you posted Tina-Kate.
I was wondering if Lizzie named him as her *suspect* because of the statements he made about her.
He was first quoted in the Witness Statements, pg. 11, and probably Saturday, Aug. 6th (but comments made it sound like Friday) :

"Hiram Harrington. 'When the perpetrator of this foul deed is found, it will be one of the household. I had a long talk with Lizzie yesterday, Thursday, the day of the murder, and I am not at all satisfied with statement or demeanor. She was too solicitous about his comfort, and showed a side of character I never knew or even suspected her to possess. She helped him off with one coat and on with another, and assisted him in an easy incline on the sofa, and desired to place a afghan over him, and also to adjust the shutters so the light would not disturb his slumber. This is something she could not do, even if she felt; and no one who knows her, could be made believe it. She is very strong willed, and will fight for what she considers her rights. She went to the barn, where she stayed twenty minutes, or half an hour, looking for some lead from which to make sinkers for fishing lines, as she was going to Marion next week.' He spoke about the Ferry street estate being given to the girls, and afterwards being returned. He spoke at some length about her telling about the same story as was published in the News and Globe of Friday evening.

(Doherty & Harrington)".


In Lizzie's Inquest the following week she names Hiram.  Maybe since he seemed to see through Lizzie, she retaliated.  She may be playing a dangerous game with him.  *You say things about me and I can name you as a suspect.*

Q. Beside that do you know of anybody that your father had bad feelings toward, or who had bad feelings toward your father?
A. I know of one man that has not been friendly with him; they have not been friendly for years.
Q. Who?
A.  Mr. Hiram C. Harrington.
Q. What relation is he to him?
A. He is my father's brother-in-law.
Q. Your mother's brother?
A. My father's only sister married Mr. Harrington.
Q. Anybody else that was on bad terms with your father, or that your father was on bad terms with?
A. Not that I know of.
Q. You have no reason to suppose that man you speak of a week or two ago, had ever seen your father before, or has since?
A. No sir.
Q. Do you know of anybody that was on bad terms with your stepmother?
A. No sir.
Q. Or that your stepmother was on bad terms with?
A. No sir.

--Would Lizzie consider that Hiram also killed Abby?  Maybe she *forgot* about Abby already.

90. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by Benjamin on Oct-3rd-03 at 7:06 PM
In response to Message #89.

I was noticing that even though Hiram Harrington does dismiss her solicitousness, he basically provides her with an alibi by stating she was in the barn for 20 minutes to a half hour. I wonder why?

91. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by Kat on Oct-3rd-03 at 7:08 PM
In response to Message #82.

Robert Harry, can you try to catch this ongoing segment and diagnose this guy on Dr. Phil?

92. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by njwolfe on Oct-3rd-03 at 7:46 PM
In response to Message #91.

I agree, this is an interesting thread, I've never seen Dr. Phil though.  Diagnosing Emma is a great idea too since I always thought
she was the timid one, although older, I thought Lizzie was the stronger and bolder personality.  And the connection to New Hampshire is still a mystery.  Hiram too...many mysteries in this case still not solved..keeps us coming back. Thanks Haulover for your thoughtful
post, you are the type that will solve this mystery with your rational
and flexible thought process, I am guilty of getting stuck in one

93. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by Susan on Oct-3rd-03 at 9:32 PM
In response to Message #84.

Why is it a fantasy, Ray?  Mr. Dube's son, Mike, told us that Emma's bedroom in Maplecroft was the smallest bedroom in the house, sounds like she liked small rooms.  Maybe Emma let Lizzie think that she twisted her arm into getting the big bedroom because she wanted the smaller bedroom, who knows, no one seems to know for sure how that came about.

Andrew footed the bill for Lizzie to go to Europe, it had nothing to do with Emma.  Perhaps Andrew offered Emma a trip abroad and she didn't want to go and just took the money?  Emma did go to school in Chicago, sounds like it may have been finishing school or perhaps some college?  Lizzie barely finished high school.  Who's money paid for the school in Chicago?  Andrew may have figured that his daughters were cared for evenly.

Thats part of what I posted, Emma stays out of the spotlight, she doesn't do things that get her noticed, why?  Who knows, Emma may have pushed Lizzie to join some of those groups? 

94. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by Robert Harry on Oct-3rd-03 at 10:48 PM
In response to Message #91.

I usually only get home from work about 8:30 pm, so I'm not up on what's happening on TV unless there is something historically interesting on, but I will check the listings to try to catch this most interesting family. Usually I prefer to read and catch up on the Lizzie posts in the evening.  I must check out this Dr. Phil guy, since you recommend him.

95. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by Kat on Oct-4th-03 at 1:00 AM
In response to Message #94.

Actually I don't agree with his technique, but I'm just an amature.
He's been doing his thing for 30 years, one year on the air.

I don't think a person can get fixed without their figuring out the source of their problem which effects their behavior and interactions with loved ones.
Dr. Phil doesn't usually go back in time with them to find the irritation, he just teaches them how to overcome their self-destructibve starting over.
(He may do that behind the scenes but I don't know that).
He tapes them, shows them what they look like arguing (whatever) and then tells them not to do it in front of the children, which is really his best advice always.  He's very much a children's advocate.
This family has been with him in-depth tho.
He also is sponsoring a group of medically overweight people who are challenged to lose the weight in 9 months.  He watches over them.  He doesn't control them but points out how they sabotage themselves.
The thing is, he's always saying he will follow a guest's progress, which to me is like holding their hand.  It's not the real world.  It's artificial help.  Here is a rich production company who back the doctor and so he can do magic.  A person given the info & tools to change should then go and do it, I think.  Sink or swim..and if they need an extra boost or some additional help, get that then from the therapist.
Can a personal character flaw be fixed without digging out the source?

This Martin person tho is someone who, I feel intuitivley, has a bona-fide personality disorder.  We see actors portray that but not often see it for real.

Please don't go out of your way, as I checked listings coming up and as yet not found the date this family comes on again.

96. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by Tina-Kate on Oct-4th-03 at 2:56 AM
In response to Message #89.

I always read Hiram Harrington's comments as heavily-laden with suspicion, accusation & sarcasm.

I think it would be totally in character for Lizzie to retaliate.  I'm sure she never forgave him that.

97. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by rays on Oct-4th-03 at 3:16 PM
In response to Message #93.

My point was that Emma seems shy, retiring (and depressed)? Or just the victim of psychological abuse by her parents?
Can you compare her to anyone you've known?

98. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by Susan on Oct-4th-03 at 3:36 PM
In response to Message #97.

I had occasion to observe an art therapy class given by an old co-worker of mine for abused children.  For the most part they were withdrawn and quiet, they had had the life spark beaten out of them.  If this was the case with Emma, why not with Lizzie too?  I realize that each person's reaction to things is different, but, Lizzie seemed to have blossomed while Emma remained quiet and withdrawn.

I don't tend to think of Emma as shy, I don't think she was ever asked to speak up at the trial, she sounded at ease in front of all those people. 

99. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by haulover on Oct-5th-03 at 8:09 PM
In response to Message #82.

i've seen dr. phil a few times.  i will try to catch what you'll talking about if i can get home in time.  i would like to see this.

100. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by haulover on Oct-5th-03 at 8:15 PM
In response to Message #85.

thankyou.  i always appreciate clarification of something i have some faulty memory of and can't find the source.

101. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by Kat on Oct-6th-03 at 5:24 PM
In response to Message #76.

This rumination about the pears and the logistics involved with Lizzie carrying them, getting upstairs to the loft juggling pears, eating pears in the hot closeness of the barn, dirty hands, I can see the pear juice on her face and hands and the dust clinging to it in that dirty atmosphere.

Lizzie has clean hands, hair and clothes when she is met by neighbors maybe15 minutes later.

I realized from your post that it might be very interesting for someone to try to reproduce everything Lizzie said she did that morning.

(Message last edited Oct-6th-03  5:25 PM.)

102. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by harry on Oct-6th-03 at 5:30 PM
In response to Message #101.

Looks like a slot machine Kat. What do you get for 3 pears?  A big house on a hill?  Father's fortune? 

103. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by Kat on Oct-6th-03 at 5:36 PM
In response to Message #102.

And those are just baby pears.  Imagine Lizzie stuffing big 'ole pears in her pockets.
Didn't they know to wash fruit back then?

104. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by Kat on Oct-6th-03 at 8:04 PM
In response to Message #95.

That family in crisis will be on Thursday at 7 p.m. CBS.
The wife will confront the husband.

This weight loss group, I want you to know, is getting more attention and real in-depth discussions than his usual shows.

Usually he has at least 3 guests per show, tho he does a lot of homework on them.

105. "Re: Diagnose Emma"
Posted by Susan on Oct-6th-03 at 10:40 PM
In response to Message #81.

I am currently rereading Porter's The Fall River Tragedy and came across something interesting in Robinson's closing statement, pg. 250:

"Now, is there anything bad about this case, where a woman like this defendant speaks openly and frankly, and says right out, "She is not my mother: she is my stepmother."  She spoke so about the man who was called a Porteguese.  What did she say?  "He is not a Portuguese.  He is a Swede," in just the same tone of voice.  That is her way of speaking, you will find on this testimony, and she speaks right out.  Now these people are not the ones who do the harm in this world.  The ones who do harm are like the dog that does not make any noises about it.  The dog that comes round your heels and barks is not the one that bites.  It is the one that stays inside and looks serious, you will find.  So it is with individuals.  It is not the outspoken, blunt and hearty that do the injury."

Robinson then goes on to talk about Emma on the stand and what she has to say about the transfer of property, pg. 251:

"They asked for it and got it.  And Emma says she never felt right about it afterward.  She says up to the day of the death of Mrs. Borden she had not overlooked it, but she says as to Lizzie there never was any trouble about it--never was after that time.  There is a difference between the two girls.  One blurts out exactly as she feels, the other bears what she is called upon to endure in SILENCE."

It sounds to me like Emma is his dog that stays inside and looks serious, that one that doesn't bark.  I wonder why she was never really suspected ever? 

106. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by Susan on Oct-6th-03 at 10:50 PM
In response to Message #103.

Maybe thats part of the reason for Lizzie's story about eating the pears in the barn, there was a water faucet there where she could have rinsed them off, especially if she picked them up off the ground.

But, that still is a big amount of pears to juggle going up to the loft in that dust and dirt and heat.  Just had a weird thought, I would imagine that Lizzie carried a hankie in her pocket, do you think its possible that she used that to hold the pear to keep from getting all sticky and dirty?  Or, maybe rinsed off at the faucet in the barn before going in?  I don't really buy the barn story, but, just to be fair and try to look at the case as an innocent Lizzie. 

107. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by Kat on Oct-7th-03 at 2:20 AM
In response to Message #106.

You know, I was envisioning the fawcet in the barn, but Lizzie didn't mention it so I discarded the notion.  I suppose it's still possible, but since she was trying to think up ways to account for 20 minutes to a questioning Knowlton, methinks she would have included that.
The thing about her own hankie is interesting but thinking about Lizzie using one of her newly cleaned and ironed hankies, knowing me and being a Cancer, I would put off using one as long as possible, so I needn't do that chore again soon.  (maybe that's just me).

Maybe an apron enters into the equation after all.  Her own apron maybe, tho donned after Bridget went upstairs.  It would make sense, to go digging in the barn, to wear an apron.  Plus she is asked flat-out by Knowlton if she wore one that day.  That's one of those *repeat-the question-back-to-buy-time" answer's Lizzie gives.

108. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by Susan on Oct-7th-03 at 2:31 AM
In response to Message #107.

Well, part of my thought about Lizzie not mentioning faucets and washing is because of theory of her just swimming with blood, she'd have to wash it off.  So, my thought is she may have been a little leery of mentioning washing right around the time that Andrew was killed.  You know, kind of a self preservation thing, realizing that Knowlton already thinks she is guilty and is not playing games with her.

Those hankies that Lizzie was ironing, weren't they her best hankies?  My thought was that maybe she already had an everyday hankie in her pocket already?  I totally agree, I can't see her taking one of the freshly washed and ironed ones just to get pear juice and filth all over it.

Do you get the impression that whenever Knowlton has found Lizzie out, something that is probably true that she wants to hide, she repeats what he has asked her?  This seems to happen a few times during the inquest. 

109. "Re: Diagnose Emma"
Posted by Kat on Oct-7th-03 at 2:38 AM
In response to Message #105.

I just checked the trial to see how close the Porter version was of those particular points made by Robinson.
They are there all right, the dog analogy, Trial 1685+, and the silent sister, Trial 1688+.
It sounds like he is pointing at Emma!

Very interesting find, Susan!

110. "Re: Diagnose Emma"
Posted by Susan on Oct-7th-03 at 2:56 AM
In response to Message #109.

I thought so too.  Its not such a big thing, but, it sounds like Robinson is innocently implicating Emma, I'm not even sure hes aware of it?

There was a bit before he got to the property transfer:

"when Emma Borden comes on the stand to tell the inside condition of the family they will say to you that Miss Emma Borden, the sister who was away from home on a visit at this time, against whom they have not the slightest suspicion,...."

Not we have not, or I have not, but that ubiquitous they.  Do you think possibly that Robinson had his suspicions?  Or do you think he just caught Lizzieitis? 

111. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by rays on Oct-7th-03 at 2:19 PM
In response to Message #101.

There was a sink in the barn. Maggie drew water from it, and Lizzie could have washed up. Correct?

112. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by rays on Oct-7th-03 at 2:22 PM
In response to Message #106.

I suspect that Lizzie went to the backyard and gathered pears, then ate them. When the secret visitor left, she returned to the house. Maybe she did wash her hands in the barn.

D Kent timed Lizzie's movement "40 Whacks"; it doesn't work out. But it would if she stayed in the backyard, IMO.

113. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by Kat on Oct-7th-03 at 7:38 PM
In response to Message #108.

Yes Lizzie's best handkerchiefs, Inquest 59.

I don't know if she always carried one but it would make sense if she did have an *everyday* hankie.  So was she ironing her best handkerchiefs to take on her fishing trip?  I suppose she was getting those ready because she would want those seen by her friends?  Was she really planning on a trip?
We haven't looked at Why Lizzie was working specifically on her hankies.
I think it was postulated that the ironing of those put her in a central location in the lower part of the house in order to espy the goings-on.

That also makes sense as to why Lizzie may have neglected to tell that she used the fawcet at the barn to clean up.
(I haven't heard of a sink)
If she ate no pears, nor visted the loft, the point is moot, I suppose.
Some think she did neither.

114. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by Susan on Oct-7th-03 at 9:43 PM
In response to Message #113.

My thought is this is a time period before tissue like we know it for blowing your nose, no Kleenex pocket packs either.  So, I would tend to think that people would carry them on their person as they went about their day.  Lizzie's best hankies probably went in her purse for visiting or travel or such.

Yes, that has been my thought that Lizzie decided to iron then and there to be centrally located and could keep an eye on things.  It sounded like such a small ironing and 2 were already done.  I would think the first time around with the flat iron heated up Lizzie possibly could have done around 5 before it started cooling down again.  To me it sounds like she is stalling and drawing the ironing out.

Mrs. Bowen had made that comment about Lizzie's hands looking clean and white, if she just murdered Andrew, where did she wash those hands?  In her washbowl?  That mysterious pot of boiling water?  If she had used the sink in the sink room right at the foot of the back stairs do you think Bridget would have heard it?  Innocent or guilty, she had to clean those hands. 

115. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by haulover on Oct-7th-03 at 10:28 PM
In response to Message #113.

"why hankies?" is a good question.  easy to conceal one on her person.  also gloves would have been easily concealed.

in his closing, knowlton suggests the paper seen in the stove might have been used to catch blood.  i wonder how exactly.  she would have pinned it to her dress?

116. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by haulover on Oct-7th-03 at 10:30 PM
In response to Message #114.

i've been tempted myself to work in that pot of boiling water.  it's a striking image, but we don't have a real source for that, do we? or do we?

117. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by Kat on Oct-7th-03 at 10:50 PM
In response to Message #116.

It was in the thread about the grand jury:

Alluding to The Evening Standard:
"I was reading on to the Nov. 22nd date and the rumors and speculation as to why the grand jury was paid and adjourned are incredible.
Alice was not really involved in those stories.
There was talk of an accomplice to Lizzie in the form of a Portuguese, a 'mysterious axe purchaser' a young man , unidentified  visiting the Borden home several times after the murder; testimony by Bridget more fully explaining the family's problems with each other, and recounting the weird story of the boiling water all gone in 20 minutes when she was called downstairs.
For some reason Pillsbury appeared and gave a talk and the jury apparently agreed to disburse temporarily.  The papers made it out to be because the case was not yet fully investigated."-Kat

118. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by Susan on Oct-8th-03 at 2:25 AM
In response to Message #115.

Bridget had left the clean clothes out in piles for the girls to take upstairs, I think they were on the dining room lounge.  Lizzie took up the piles of clothes the day of the murders and probably came across her clean hankies, I think it was Bridget's testimony that Lizzie usually ironed these herself.  Everything else sounds like it was already ironed by Bridget herself. 

Outside of cleaning her room or ironing those hankies, it doesn't sound like Lizzie had a heck of a lot to do.  I suppose she could have found busy work, like sewing or needlework or something, but, that may not have been Lizzie's usual behaviour and it might cause Bridget some alarm. 

119. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by harry on Oct-8th-03 at 7:43 AM
In response to Message #114.

I think Lizie had to have a reason to be downstairs and the ironing of the hankies offers her that opportunity. Didn't she say that she mostly stayed in her room so I think her being downstairs just sitting around doing nothing would have attracted Bridget's attention. I don't think she chose the day where she had the hankies to do as the murder day but it presented a golden opportunity to remain downstairs.

After drinking her coffee and maybe eating a cookie she really had nothing to do downstairs.  She was stalling, watching and waiting until Bridget was out of the way. She even checked to see if Bridget was safely outside.  Once Bridget gets the window washing underway then it's off to do Abby in.

120. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by Bob Gutowski on Oct-8th-03 at 11:34 AM
In response to Message #119.

Yes, Harry - if that was the case, then her question, "Maggie, are you going to be out there long?" is another of Lizzie's incredibly flat-footed utterings!

I was going over the affair with an interested friend last night and I gave him example after example of Miss Borden's fascinatingly obvious lines and constructions.  

121. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by harry on Oct-8th-03 at 1:03 PM
In response to Message #120.

Another one of her utterings that take me back is her saying she was at the west window in the barn loft.  Of all the places in the barn for her not to be that is the one, yet she positively states it.

Since no one had seen her wanderings in the barn she could have told them anything.

"I may have passed in front of the window once or twice and even stood there for a few seconds."  That would cover her if anyone claimed to have seen her from the street.

"Not having been in the barn in a while I looked all over the bottom floor for lead before going up in the loft. There was a box of lead and other things right at the door as I walked in and I searched that."

Anything, but standing by the window where she could see the side steps.

I've said before I don't believe she was in the barn but that's her alibi. And even that she screws up.

(Message last edited Oct-8th-03  1:06 PM.)

122. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by Kat on Oct-8th-03 at 2:09 PM
In response to Message #118.

I know you can't get at your files right now, so I did look up where the clean clothes were kept in piles:
[and for those who don't have the Prelim.]
Q.  You said you separated the piles, and Mr. Borden took one, and the girls took their piles; you do not mean that, because Emma was not there?
A.  Miss Lizzie must have taken them then.
Q.  They did not take them until Thursday morning?
A.  No Sir.
Q.  They were not ready to be taken?
A.  They were on the clothes horse.
Q.  They were hung to air as was your habit after finishing ironing?
A.  Yes Sir.
Q.  You folded them up Thursday morning?
A.  Yes Sir.
Q.  You took them off the clothes horse and folded them up?
A.  Yes Sir.
Q.  Perhaps that is one of the things you did after breakfast?
A.  No Sir, while I was getting breakfast.
Q.  There was one pile for Mr. Borden’s room, and one for Lizzie’s and Emma’s room?
A.  Yes Sir.
Q.  They were not ready until Thursday morning?
A.  No Sir.
Q.  Where did you pile them up?
A.  On the kitchen table.
Q.  Where the pears were?
A.  Yes Sir.
Q.  In the kitchen?
A.  Yes Sir.

There was a lot going on in the kitchen.  Lizzie had her cookie and coffee at the table; that was where Andrew dumped out his haul of pears.  That is where Lizzie sat and read a magazine supposedly while Andrew was attempting to get in the house after his trip downtown.  Now the clean clothes piled there.

123. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by Kat on Oct-8th-03 at 2:21 PM
In response to Message #120.

Q.  You said you had some talk with Lizzie at the screen door?
A.  Yes, as I was going out with the pail, she spoke to me.
Q.  You spoke to her as you were going out, and not when you came back?
A.  Yes Sir.
Q.  Tell us about that.
A.  Miss Lizzie asked me if I was going to wash windows. I said yes.
Q.  Where was that?
A.  That was at the back door; I was outside, and she inside.

--This is the only reference I know of as to what was said at the screen door.
It is a ridiculous question, as there was Bridget standing with her pail & brush!

124. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by Susan on Oct-8th-03 at 9:55 PM
In response to Message #122.

Thanks, Kat.  I wonder what Lizzie would have done instead if the clothes weren't ready and her hankies available to iron?  Bring one of her hats down to the kitchen to brush out?  She needed something to do in close proximity to Andrew and Bridget to keep an eye on each.  Do you think Lizzie was just an incredibly lucky individual that day, all the little pieces just kind of fell into place for her? 

125. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by haulover on Oct-8th-03 at 10:57 PM
In response to Message #120.

my favorite is where lizzie wants someone to look for abby, because she thought she heard her come in.  obviously only a dead abby could have failed to hear the commotion by now.  this is after she has hollered up to bridget and people have started coming in.  lizzie herself never called for abby.  and she could not have "heard her come in" for in fact abby never left the house.

126. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by haulover on Oct-8th-03 at 11:02 PM
In response to Message #121.

that is her defiance at knowlton nailing her.  then bit by bit she manages to get herself in the rear for a few minutes where she can't view the yard.

127. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by haulover on Oct-8th-03 at 11:12 PM
In response to Message #121.

i've wondered why she didn't simply lie down under one of the pear trees?  if i understand the condition of that morning, that's something i might have really done.

but in trying to diagnose her -- there is this peculiarity that is so interesting:  that she doesn't "make up" a thing, that she tells it in all its boring details -- with the exception that she "deletes" the murders.

what is this?  the idea that you trust the truth but for the incriminating parts, which are blanks.  and there you take your stand and steadfastly refuse to make sense of the descrepancies.

128. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by harry on Oct-9th-03 at 12:01 AM
In response to Message #127.

This is an interesting bit of testimony by Bridget at the trial:

"Q.  What did you do in the kitchen?
A.  I washed out the cloths that I had washing the windows, and hung them behind the stove. As I got through, Miss Lizzie came out and said, "There is a cheap sale of dress goods at Sargent's this afternoon, at eight cents a yard." I don't know that she said "this afternoon," but "today." And I said, "I am going to have one."

Q.  What did you do then?
A.  I went up stairs to my room."


Q.  Have you a judgment as to how long you were there between the time you reached your bed and the time that the city hall clock struck eleven?
A.  Well, I might be there---of course I can't tell, I didn't notice the time when I went to my room, but by my judgment I think I was there three or four minutes.

If Bridget is telling the truth and she went up to her room just after talking with Lizzie and and was only in her room 10 (?) minutes where does Lizzie squeeze in this 20 minute trip to the barn?

(Message last edited Oct-9th-03  12:46 AM.)

129. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by Kat on Oct-9th-03 at 12:47 AM
In response to Message #128.

That's interesting, Harry.
Lizzie does deny after a while that it wasn't twenty minutes to half an hour, that she was in the barn.  She settles on 20 minutes and sticks to that.  Somehow she goofed and tried to help her case by swearing to that 20 minutes.
And here you say where is the 20 minutes?  If Lizzie spoke to Bridget at 5 minutes of 11 and then cries murder at 11:10, that is not 30 minutes, nor 20 minutes, but 15 minutes, that's right.

(Message last edited Oct-9th-03  12:47 AM.)

130. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by harry on Oct-9th-03 at 1:01 AM
In response to Message #129.

Bridget would have to be in her room at least the twenty minutes Lizzie claims that she was in the barn.  That assumes they left at the same time, Bridget to her room, Lizzie to the barn.

I think Lizzie would have had to call up to Bridget somewhere between 11:05 and 11:10 in order for Mrs. Churchill to come over, hear the story and then go find her man. Then Cunningham has to overhear her talking, find a phone and call Hilliard at 11:15.

So I figure Bridget was in her room 10 to 15 minutes.  Certainly not 20.

Sorry Liz but the time just isn't there for a trip to the barn.

(Message last edited Oct-9th-03  1:15 AM.)

131. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by Susan on Oct-9th-03 at 4:30 AM
In response to Message #130.

Very good find, Harry!  I would think wherever Lizzie was at the moment that she surely would have heard the city hall clock strike eleven, same as Bridget.  Unless she was in a heated frenzy of murdering Andrew and didn't quite notice it at the time? 

132. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by rays on Oct-9th-03 at 11:59 AM
In response to Message #128.

Does Bridget tell "the truth"? Yes, as she sees it.
Bridget is NOT going to appear lazy or tired, so she minimizes the time spent in her room resting. Since Lizzie was seen by Lubovsky (name?) just before 11am, Lizzie must have gone outdoors around 10:40, not long after Dear Dad returned home, and before Bridget was allowed to go upstairs to rest.
Estimates for the time elapsed must take all the facts into account. D Kent's timeline in "40 Whacks" is a good start. Create 3 columns to estimate who was where when.
(I'm too busy for this, and most of all know it will just be guessing from the known fuzzy facts.)
We know when the phone call came to the Police: about 11:15am (?). And Andy returned home about 10:40am. That's about 35 minutes to fill in. Andy's body must have been discovered no later than 11:08?

(Message last edited Oct-9th-03  12:00 PM.)

133. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by harry on Oct-9th-03 at 2:34 PM
In response to Message #132.

No, Rays YOU create the 3 columns.  I'm too busy myself. I am VERY happy with what I just found. 

No trip to the barn for Lizzie.

(Message last edited Oct-9th-03  6:58 PM.)

134. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by rays on Oct-9th-03 at 6:45 PM
In response to Message #133.

Thank you for your advice. D Kent does it for Lizzie in "40 Whacks": she could not have done all she said during that time. And I agree. There is time enough if she is in back yard, with a short trip to the barn to wash up.

The suggestion of a time line for Andy, Lizzie, and Bridget COULD be an article for a publication, if anyone would pay for it.

135. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by rays on Oct-9th-03 at 6:50 PM
In response to Message #130.

But any timeline for the three will be based on assumptions or fuzzy facts. D Kent also warns about trying to find the truth when times vary according to estimates. No stopwatches there.

Taking the testimonies, and some books, it seems that after Andy returned Bridget was relieved of her duties and allowed to rest on the third floor. Lizzie then absented herself to go to the cooler back yard; she wasn't wanted as a witness to anything Andy would say to WSB. When the meeting was done, WSB left by the back yard (climbed a fence?). Then Lizzie returned to find the fresh corpse.

Does this sound reasonable?

136. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by Kat on Oct-9th-03 at 7:10 PM
In response to Message #132.

If we believe Lubinsky, he says he was late that day and Gardner & he put him rolling past the Borden house about 11:10.

Q.  About what time was it?
A.  When he went out with his team?

Q.  Yes.
A.  Between five and ten minutes past eleven.

Q.  When did you look at the clock,---at any time during that day?
A.  I looked at my watch that time when I left the stable.

Q.  When was that?
A.  A few minutes after eleven.

Q.  How many?
A.  I could not tell you whether five or ten minutes, but a few minutes after eleven.

Q.  Didn't you look to see how much after eleven?
A.  It was a little after eleven.

Q.  You didn't look to see?
A.  I could not tell whether it was five or ten minutes after eleven.

--Does Kent say otherwise?

Also, Bridget's first story to Fleet, Witness Statements, pg. 3 was:
"Went up stairs at 10.55 to fix my room. After I had been in the room about ten minutes, Lizzie called me down stairs, saying that her father was dead, some one had killed him, go and get Dr. Bowen."

--Here also in Bridget's words = 15 minutes.

137. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by Kat on Oct-9th-03 at 8:17 PM
In response to Message #134.


138. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by rays on Oct-10th-03 at 5:00 PM
In response to Message #137.

But can anyone pin it down to say 5 minute intervals?
Not enough known to definitely say?

139. "Re: Diagnose Lizzie?"
Posted by Kat on Oct-10th-03 at 6:04 PM
In response to Message #138.

I think 5 minutes either way on any Borden timeline is judicious, yes.

140. "Did Lizzie ever mention Sargents?"
Posted by harry on Oct-10th-03 at 8:43 PM
In response to Message #137.

Here's another conflict between Lizzie & Bridget. 

Lizzie, Inquest, pg 84.:

"Q. Can you give me any judgment as to the length of time that elapsed after he came back, and before you went to the barn?
A. I went right out to the barn.
Q. How soon after he came back?
A. I should think not less than five minutes;
I saw him taking off his shoes and lying down; it only took him two or three minutes to do it. I went right out."

It's pretty certain Andrew came back about 10:40 or 10:45. So according to Lizzie's own words she left at 10:45 to 10:50 for the barn and stayed 20 minutes to about 11:05 or 11:10.

Bridget's statement (I repeat what I posted in thread #128):

"Q.  What did you do in the kitchen?
A.  I washed out the cloths that I had washing the windows, and hung them behind the stove. As I got through, Miss Lizzie came out and said, "There is a cheap sale of dress goods at Sargent's this afternoon, at eight cents a yard." I don't know that she said "this afternoon," but "today." And I said, "I am going to have one."
Q.  What did you do then?
A.  I went up stairs to my room."
  (Approx. 10:55)

So according to Lizzie she was in the barn at 10:55 and this conversation could never have taken place. One of them is not telling the truth.

For the life of me I cannot think of one reason why Bridget would lie and say that Lizzie told her about Sargents just before she went up to her room. She says it at the Preliminary and again at the Trial.

***Thanks for your Lizzie timeline Kat. It saved me some digging.

141. "Re: Did Lizzie ever mention Sargents?"
Posted by haulover on Oct-10th-03 at 9:05 PM
In response to Message #140.

yes.  i think you're right.  and the problem is in lizzie's account, and the reason for it is that lizzie "deletes" bridget during this time period.  it's simple, really.  there is some time here between lizzie and bridget, but lizzie cannot/will not account for it.

and i also agree that it's hard to find a reason why bridget would lie about these verbal exchanges.  but it's also this -- and i noted this some time ago, but now i think of it again -- it is practically impossible that bridget could have "invented" this dialog.  look at this dialog itself and ask yourself if this is the product of imagination/deception.  it just isn't.  it has the character of simple memory --  a memory which can be flawed, of course -- but it isn't "plotted."

142. "Re: Did Lizzie ever mention Sargents?"
Posted by harry on Oct-10th-03 at 9:57 PM
In response to Message #141.

Yes, Bridget's dialog sounds very natural, not contrived.  There was a 10 month time gap between the Prelim and the Trial and Bridget had that time to recall the events of that day and she still repeated the same information at the trial.

If Lizzie was there in the kitchen at 10:55 she was never in the barn for 20 minutes or at all.  I believe the latter.

I think she stopped in the kitchen to see where Bridget was and what she was doing.  Telling Bridget of the sale could have been just a reason for Lizzie to be in the kitchen. Luckily for Lizzie (and probably Bridget) she, Bridget, decided to go upstairs to her room.