Hired Assassin

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Minions3
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Hired Assassin

Postby Minions3 » Fri Feb 24, 2017 3:59 pm

Hi
I'm just wondering if anyone thinks that Lizzie and Morse hired an Assassin to do it despite Lizzie Burning her Dress.

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Re: Hired Assassin

Postby Minions3 » Sun Feb 26, 2017 4:53 pm

After playing armchair Detective for about
25 years.
I am of the opinion that Lizzie and Morse had William A Davis kill Andrew and Abby and George E Howe was the getaway driver.
Me thinks John Morse was going to get the Borden farm but Andrew changed his mind and decided to put the farm in Abby's name.

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Re: Hired Assassin

Postby mbhenty » Mon Feb 27, 2017 1:51 am

Poor John Morse. Though he is not a very sympathetic character, guilty of weird behavior, etc., I don't really think he had anything to do with the crime. Of course, I think he is guilty as heck for knowing a lot about it but not being a party to it. Staying at the borden house he must have known his nieces and their parents squabbles and family problems. Thus, if he didn't have any direct information or knowledge, deep inside Johnny's heart, he knew what had happened. :grin:

But to think that such a conspiracy could be shared by a modest number of people, and with the same mind set, can only be discerned with reservation if not outright suspicion. But of course, your telling of events are just as valid as mine... or a thousand of other people. This case is like play-doh. You can mold it in many, many ways—except one, that is, the one that solves it with any certitude :!:

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Re: Hired Assassin

Postby NancyDrew » Wed Mar 08, 2017 7:30 am

The longer I study this case, read about it. hear all the different versions, the more I'm inclined to believe Lizzie didn't swing the axe on either of her parents.

I'm staring to warm up to the idea of a conspiracy, possibly a hit man and a driver.

The timeline of the murders is way, way too tight. For Lizzie to have done the dastardly deeds herself would have required such impeccable planning and timing, I just can't fathom it or make it fit.

There simply HAD to be others involved. I believe Lizzie knew what was going to happen, possibly even arranged it herself (and yes, I think Morse could have been one of the architects; he is one STRANGE dude.)

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Re: Hired Assassin

Postby Minions3 » Wed Mar 08, 2017 8:32 am

I find it very Suspicious that Morse went to Swansea the day before for the Eggs and that He told a Reporter that the first He heard of the Murders was by Phone while visiting the Emery's and then later retracted that statement.

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Re: Hired Assassin

Postby Minions3 » Wed Mar 08, 2017 8:34 am

I think The Phone call to Morse was either from Dr. Bowen or the Assassin.

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Re: Hired Assassin

Postby InterestedReader » Wed Mar 08, 2017 9:01 am

"So we're going to do this in broad daylight?"

The more conspirators get together in a room, the more chance some bod at the back puts his hand up during the planning process with this reasonable query.

"If I had done this why would I do it in broad daylight? It would have been so much easier to kill them in their sleep in the dead of night in a house I know down to its every last squeak."

Lizzie said this, to someone... I forget who. This is paraphrase. People will argue it's a tricksy double-bluff but the woman made a good point. Who would plan such a killing for broad daylight on a busy street?

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Re: Hired Assassin

Postby Minions3 » Wed Mar 08, 2017 10:40 am

Lizzie and Morse would in My opinion.

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Re: Hired Assassin

Postby Steveads2004 » Wed Mar 08, 2017 10:46 am

Such great points in all these posts. My views have shifted like crazy over the years. I tend to be on the side of Lizzie being a key conspiritor along with Emma, ( I read that in her entire life she never stayed overnight out of that house until that week.) Morse seems too strange with his airtight alibi and all to NOT have been involved. I read that Lizzie said something along the lines of they were so loud talking the night before she had got up to shut her door. (Fall River Tragedy) Loud talk may mean disagreement? All 3 of them in loud talk makes me like the idea of the farm transfer going bad for Morse that was mentioned here. Itsall too much for one little Lizzie to have pulled off. She seems like a nervous wreck.

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Re: Hired Assassin

Postby Minions3 » Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:18 am

I think I may have found the Livery Stable of Charles T Kirby at 36 Rock St where Morse rented Horse/Buggy for his trip to swansea the day before the Murders.
Screenshot_2017-03-09-09-10-33.png
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Re: Hired Assassin

Postby Minions3 » Thu Mar 09, 2017 9:19 am

Unless this building is more recent.

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Re: Hired Assassin

Postby InterestedReader » Thu Mar 09, 2017 12:51 pm

For almost a year Morse would labour to Taunton Jail with Lizzie's dinner-pail, wait for her to eat the dinner, wait for the pail to be returned, then go home. She refused to see him. There are other examples of his behaviour which suggest he was doltishly, perhaps paternalistically fond of his neice. Did it extend to creepy-fond? I don't know. Lizzie was ashamed of him and shunned him. And the people who see a murder-plot hatched between Lizzie and Morse find it very subtle and clever of her to pretend to dislike him. These same people in nearly every other context find her to be an appallingly unskilled liar. Can they have it both ways? Have Lizzie duplicitous and dissimulating only when it suits them?

There's an interesting dynamic between two individuals who kill as a joint pursuit. So far I'm having trouble seeing any signs of it between these two.

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Re: Hired Assassin

Postby Steveads2004 » Thu Mar 09, 2017 5:20 pm

Now there is something I never heard before! So Morse did that every day! That seems like such a loyal family thing to do. And she never even saw him, or thanked him? Very strange, there is much more to that story!

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Re: Hired Assassin

Postby InterestedReader » Thu Mar 09, 2017 8:05 pm

I read this recently but am deeply ashamed to say, I've forgotten where :-|
I've just looked in my notes but can't see it...
It may well be a contemporary newspaper because I've been reading through them like crazy. Even so, even with the usual reservations about journalism, it impressed me as probably true and showed a man who was genuinely concerned. He did that every day for nearly a year, a steadfast show of support, without any response from her side? It makes him sound rather genuine, don't you think?

Bit of a weird co-incidence but I'm just now working on something about Attleboro. You're not far from Fall River, are you? Would you be ever so kind and help me with a bit of info please? How long would it have taken to get into Fall River from Attleboro, by 1892 means like pony and trap or whatever there was available? I'm having a bit of difficulty visualising it just from Google Maps. Many thanks.

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Re: Hired Assassin

Postby Franz » Sat Mar 11, 2017 5:30 am

Minions3 wrote:Hi
I'm just wondering if anyone thinks that Lizzie and Morse hired an Assassin to do it despite Lizzie Burning her Dress.


Hey Minions3, welcome to the Forum.

In these last years I have been trying my best in the Forum to demonstrate the guilt of Morse, of which I am almost absolutely convinced. To be honest, I am very happy to see someone else including Morse in the suspect list. In your opinion, Lizzie and Morse might have hired someone to kill Abby and Andrew. Well, all is possibile in the Borden case, but if so, it seems to me very difficult to explain why, immediately after the murder, Lizzie and Emma sent a private detective to investigate their uncle. If I were Lizzie and had "collaborated" with my uncle to kill my parents, I would have never done such a thing.
Last edited by Franz on Mon Mar 13, 2017 12:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
"Mr. Morse, when you were told for the THIRD time that Abby and Andrew had been killed, why did you pronounce a "WHAT" to Mrs. Churchill? Why?"

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Re: Hired Assassin

Postby NancyDrew » Sat Mar 11, 2017 11:43 am

Interested Reader: I live in this area...by automobile Fall River and Attleboro would take about 30-40 mins, depending on traffic. In 1892, I would imagine it would take even longer. This is pure speculation...an hour and a half? Two hours maybe?

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Re: Hired Assassin

Postby InterestedReader » Sat Mar 11, 2017 6:48 pm

NancyDrew wrote:Interested Reader: I live in this area...by automobile Fall River and Attleboro would take about 30-40 mins, depending on traffic. In 1892, I would imagine it would take even longer. This is pure speculation...an hour and a half? Two hours maybe?


Thanks ever so much!
It would take longer than I was supposing.
Now Reheboth...Reheboth to Fall River...Google Maps says 20 minutes by car, 1 hour 9 minutes by bicycle, and 4 hours by footsteps. I'm thinking double the cycling time might reasonably give pony and trap time (?). It looks like the Route 118 road runs straight down to Fall River. I'm wondering if this little road would be there in the 1890s... it looks likely.

I'm reading there were some serious marshes and 'swamps' round about Attleboro and Reheboth, 'the worst in Massachusetts'. Is that true? They may not be there now, perhaps the land has been developed. But do you think these 'swamps' and overgrown marshlands extended below Reheboth?

Again, many thanks. I try my best with Google Maps, but I'm a long way away. :grin:

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Re: Hired Assassin

Postby Franz » Mon Mar 13, 2017 12:05 pm

And concerning the investigation on the personality of Morse, I would like to open a quick parenthesis here.

The investigation demonstrated that Morse was an honest, respectable man, a person for good, even though somehow eccentric. Positive, in one word. Well, those who never consider Morse as a potential candidate for the murder, are immediately reassured: oh look, Morse was such a good man, it could not have been him!

Well, supposing that the investigation's result corresponded perfectly to the reality. But, please, in which Bible, in which Coran, in which Buddhist sacred text it is said that a murderer MUST, HAVE TO, be a bad person? One who cuts down the head of the tyrant is a hero of the nation!
"Mr. Morse, when you were told for the THIRD time that Abby and Andrew had been killed, why did you pronounce a "WHAT" to Mrs. Churchill? Why?"

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Re: Hired Assassin

Postby Steveads2004 » Mon Mar 13, 2017 1:39 pm

Morse cannot be the assasin since he is not on the property when the murders occur. This seems to be factual unless you have evidence otherwise. I believe he probably had some role in planning something and that it got out of hand.

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Re: Hired Assassin

Postby Steveads2004 » Mon Mar 13, 2017 1:40 pm

Morse cannot be the assasin since he is not on the property when the murders occur. This seems to be factual unless you have evidence otherwise. I believe he probably had some role in planning something and that it got out of hand.

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Re: Hired Assassin

Postby Franz » Tue Mar 14, 2017 5:18 am

Steveads2004 wrote:Morse cannot be the assasin since he is not on the property when the murders occur...


I have never said anything of contrary. I have been always saying that in my opinion Morse architectured the murder plan and one of his accompplices (since IMO there might have been two) physically accomplished the killing.
"Mr. Morse, when you were told for the THIRD time that Abby and Andrew had been killed, why did you pronounce a "WHAT" to Mrs. Churchill? Why?"

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Re: Hired Assassin

Postby InterestedReader » Tue Mar 14, 2017 7:46 am

Franz wrote: I have been always saying that in my opinion Morse architectured the murder plan and one of his accompplices (since IMO there might have been two) physically accomplished the killing.



Supposing the killers were hired to kill - why do they take so long to kill?
Superfluous and time-consuming blows feature in both kills, and as for the wait between, most anyone knew Andrew Borden's habits so it wasn't difficult to pick a time when he and his wife could be bumped off together. Morse himself could probably provide the best time to find Andrew in the house. Nor does it seem optimal to kill with the domestic help in the way so wouldn't you need to include Bridget Sullivan in the plan? Otherwise you've a whole lot of unnecessary risk of being identified and caught.

I'm not being contary. I haven't made up my mind in any direction. But would hired killers agree to kill in this kind of scenario of risk? Crossing a phalanx of maids washing windows and nosy neighbours under the blaze of morning sunshine just to get into the killing venue...

You'd have to hide him or them in the house overnight and I suppose the strongest suspicion against Morse is he was there to let them in. But even then... kill the couple in their bed, in the night, and you have Sullivan safely, predictably on the top floor and Lizzie the other side of a divided house, which is surely a better plan?
Last edited by InterestedReader on Tue Mar 14, 2017 10:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Hired Assassin

Postby snokkums » Tue Mar 14, 2017 10:24 am

I think it's a possibly. Both of them had reasons to put Andy out of the picture.
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Re: Hired Assassin

Postby Franz » Tue Mar 14, 2017 12:38 pm

InterestedReader wrote:...
Supposing the killers were hired to kill...
... most anyone knew Andrew Borden's habits so it wasn't difficult to pick a time when he and his wife could be bumped off together...


1. I used the word "accomplice", I didn't say that the one who physically accomplished the murder was a hired killer. There is a difference, I think.

2. I agree with you for the second point. But on the other hand, I think as well that the Borden murder was a very carefully prepared plan, in which Abby and Andrew must be respectively killed with a significant interval of time, so that the wealth of the family would surely go to the Borden sisters. IMO the Borden couple were killed by a third part (Morse in head) in favor of their daughters, who were both absolutely innocent.
Last edited by Franz on Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
"Mr. Morse, when you were told for the THIRD time that Abby and Andrew had been killed, why did you pronounce a "WHAT" to Mrs. Churchill? Why?"

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Re: Hired Assassin

Postby Minions3 » Tue Mar 14, 2017 7:54 pm

Third party =William A Davis.

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Re: Hired Assassin

Postby Franz » Wed Mar 15, 2017 4:31 am

NancyDrew wrote:... The timeline of the murders is way, way too tight. For Lizzie to have done the dastardly deeds herself would have required such impeccable planning and timing, I just can't fathom it or make it fit...


I totally agree.

And if she had really so impeccablly preapared the plan, why didn't she invent a better story for the barn? And for the note? And so on...
"Mr. Morse, when you were told for the THIRD time that Abby and Andrew had been killed, why did you pronounce a "WHAT" to Mrs. Churchill? Why?"

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Re: Hired Assassin

Postby InterestedReader » Wed Mar 15, 2017 7:34 am

Franz wrote:
1. I used the word "accomplice", I didn't say that the one who physically accomplished the murder was a hired killer. There is a difference, I think.

2. I agree with you for the second point. But on the other hand, I think as well that the Borden murder was a very carefully prepared plan, in which Abby and Andrew must be respectively killed with a significant interval of time, so that the wealth of the family would surely go to the Borden sisters. IMO the Borden couple were killed by a third part (Morse in head) in favor of their daughters, who were both absolutely innocent.



Ah, I see what you mean. You believe Morse had the couple murdered on behalf of the Borden daughters but without their cognisance. Was it really the case that their inheritance depended on the sequence of the deaths?

I do have trouble imagining the mentality of a man who vacates a house to allow two messy assassinations, while an unprepared woman drifts from room to room and there's no knowing when Bridget might walk in. But does Morse's departure have some bearing on the first killing? Morse says he leaves about 8.40am and it's as if his leaving releases a potential act into the reality of Mrs Borden's death. Within 50 minutes - perhaps even less.

If Morse's accomplices - Davis, say - are not killing for money then how is it in their interest to kill?

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Re: Hired Assassin

Postby Franz » Thu Mar 16, 2017 7:29 am

InterestedReader wrote:...

Ah, I see what you mean. You believe Morse had the couple murdered on behalf of the Borden daughters but without their cognisance. Was it really the case that their inheritance depended on the sequence of the deaths?

I do have trouble imagining the mentality of a man who vacates a house to allow two messy assassinations, while an unprepared woman drifts from room to room and there's no knowing when Bridget might walk in. But does Morse's departure have some bearing on the first killing? Morse says he leaves about 8.40am and it's as if his leaving releases a potential act into the reality of Mrs Borden's death. Within 50 minutes - perhaps even less.

If Morse's accomplices - Davis, say - are not killing for money then how is it in their interest to kill?


1. If Andrew died first, the wealth went to his wife Abby.

2. Lizzie drifted from room to room, right. But in comparison with her bedroom, kitchen, living room, dining room and parlor, the guest room, where Abby was killed, should have the remotest chance to see Lizzie coming in. Bridget never went into that room. I think Morse knew the risk, but he decided to run the risk (as all murderers in all murder cases), and fortunately he (and his accomplices) succeeded. Their luck made the Borden case unsolved.

3. How is it in Morse and his accomplices' interest to kill? Good question!
"Mr. Morse, when you were told for the THIRD time that Abby and Andrew had been killed, why did you pronounce a "WHAT" to Mrs. Churchill? Why?"

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Re: Hired Assassin

Postby Minions3 » Thu Mar 16, 2017 8:22 am

According to Victoria Lincoln Andrew was going to sell his Swansea farm to Morse and changed his mind and decided to give it to Abby.

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Re: Hired Assassin

Postby Minions3 » Thu Mar 16, 2017 8:35 am

I am %100 positive that Lizzie did NOT kill her father.
Lizzie was right handed.
Andrew's assassin was left handed, According to this newspaper article.
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Re: Hired Assassin

Postby InterestedReader » Thu Mar 16, 2017 9:00 am

Franz wrote:
3. How is it in Morse and his accomplices' interest to kill? Good question!



Well I know far too little to answer it! :smile:

Morse made his wealth by his 'twenties, we are told. By 1892 he was wealthy enough to live off his property - or so he said at the inquest. I read that Morse was rather given to philosophy and later in life liked to discuss the likelihood of an afterlife, that some found him an independent thinker or even an agnostic. Killing two people just for a farm, doesn't that sound too brutish? He breaks bread with a couple then kills them for a farm?

He's a Fall River man originally and I'd be more disposed to believe his presence at the house might attract someone there, a crazy someone... On the day of the murders it was Morse who started wondering aloud before police-officers if a killer hadn't hid in the house overnight... He seems to be contributing with this idea almost as soon as he arrives. He returns between 11.35 and 11.45 and is talking to Sawyer at the side-door at 11.45. So before he even enters the house and sees a body he's speculating on a killer hidden there overnight..(?)

Morse was best-equipped to know. He got up before six, before Bridget, before anyone.
Last edited by InterestedReader on Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:03 am, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Hired Assassin

Postby InterestedReader » Thu Mar 16, 2017 9:26 am

Minions3 wrote:I am %100 positive that Lizzie did NOT kill her father.
Lizzie was right handed.
Andrew's assassin was left handed, According to this newspaper article.



I've read and re-read the testimony trying to understand which they thought it was, a left or right handed killer. And searched through Forum posts. And I still don't understand which they thought it was!

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Re: Hired Assassin

Postby Nevermore » Sun Mar 19, 2017 2:05 pm

In reading this thread, was intrigued by the calls that might have been made to Morse.

I well -- in fact all too well -- remember the era before cell phones. Morse was out and about that morning; how would any callers know where to reach him? Seems to me it might be more likely Morse himself placed the call. Phones were not prevalent then at all but he could have found one. Whoever he called would of course be in on the plot. I don't know for sure but I heavily doubt the Borden residence had a phone; so to me this suggests that Lizzie and Bridget might be off the hook.

I remember having been registered here several years back but a computer crash sort of ended that registration, although I have read the forum often ever since. I don't remember whether I ever posted or not.

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Re: Hired Assassin

Postby InterestedReader » Sun Mar 19, 2017 7:49 pm

There was some research done which suggested the Emerys had a 'phone. It's referred to here -

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=5211&p=82004&hilit=Davis+phone#p82004

and just stuck in my mind, as I'm sure it has done with others.

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Re: Hired Assassin

Postby Minions3 » Mon Mar 20, 2017 4:42 am

The Emery's had a Phone
I was told this by the curator of some sort of Telephone museum in Boston.

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