Killing People

This the place to have frank, but cordial, discussions of the Lizzie Borden case

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Re: Killing People

Postby KGDevil » Tue Jul 11, 2017 7:34 pm

As an aside, does anyone find it strange that the police did not really interview Emma Borden?

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Re: Killing People

Postby KGDevil » Tue Jul 11, 2017 7:35 pm

One possibility?
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Re: Killing People

Postby KGDevil » Tue Jul 11, 2017 7:41 pm

Some listings for possible dress good purchases and druggists.
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Re: Killing People

Postby InterestedReader » Tue Jul 11, 2017 8:59 pm

KGDevil wrote:As an aside, does anyone find it strange that the police did not really interview Emma Borden?


Is it known whether or not the police interviewed the Brownells? I read there were newspaper reports of the police investigating Emma-in-Fairhaven, but no actual records have ever been found. ...I make Rebecca Brownell 75 and Helen about 53. Did police just decide they couldn't be dodgy, an old dear and an old maid..? Do you know who else lived there when Emma stayed in the Green St house?

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Re: Killing People

Postby KGDevil » Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:27 pm

The Pool's at 20 Madison 1892.
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Re: Killing People

Postby KGDevil » Tue Jul 11, 2017 11:46 pm

Fairhaven 1892. No Brownell's at 19 Green.
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Re: Killing People

Postby KGDevil » Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:06 am

Moses Delano 1892. I've found no one else listed.
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Re: Killing People

Postby KGDevil » Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:20 am

1893 Moses at 19 Green. The Brownell's at 66 Union.
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Re: Killing People

Postby KGDevil » Wed Jul 12, 2017 8:06 am

Here are the Brownells in 1894 at 67 Walnut.
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Re: Killing People

Postby KGDevil » Wed Jul 12, 2017 8:19 am

The Brownells in 1895 at 50 Walnut.
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Re: Killing People

Postby KGDevil » Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:02 pm

The residents of 20 Madison in 1892:

Miss Carrie Pool is listed as a clerk at 9 eighth. In 1892, 9 Eighth was the residence of Ephraim C. Ellis, provisioner, Daniel W. Baker, grocer 43 Dartmouth, and John B. Tobey , Master Mariner. At the time of his death in 1910 Ephraim C. Ellis was also listed as a mariner.

Mrs. Nancy H. Pool who was the widow of Edwin R. Pool.

George W. Howland who is listed as being a clerk at 639 So. Water. There was a bakery at 639 So Water called S.P. Richmond & Co.
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Re: Killing People

Postby InterestedReader » Mon Jul 17, 2017 7:44 am

I've had to work quite hard to revise my map, because I'd misunderstood where Purchase St began in 1892! It was different. Apologies. I'm pretty sure this is now correct.

Purchase Street and Pleasant Street were then lined with druggists shops. But this map is so we can visualize the distances between Lizzie's boarding-house at 20 Madison, and the premises of the two New Bedford druggists identified as those ready to testify that Lizzie Borden attempted to buy Prussic acid.

Charles H. Church - with premises at 1 Pleasant and 122 Purchase Streets
Edward E. Wright and The Wright Drug Company - 49 Purchase Street

Dr Ezekiel H. Noble, the New Bedford abortionist - had longtme premises at 92 Purchase Street. In 1891 he began listing himself at the curious '92 and a half Purchase Street'.

The New Bedford Dry Goods Company was at the Union St junction - I wonder if this large emporium would be the most likely for cheap dress-fabric.
Most persuasively it is next door to Hutchinson's Booksellers at 194 Union. It must be the shop Lizzie indicates at the Inquest, whether she did or didn't buy the fabric there.
If she did, then we know she got as far as the Union St junction and the beginning of Purchase. One of Church's druggists is a few steps away at 1 Pleasant.
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Re: Killing People

Postby InterestedReader » Mon Jul 17, 2017 7:48 am

And these are from the 1911 New Bedford map to show the then numbering and how the placing is determined.
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Re: Killing People

Postby InterestedReader » Mon Jul 17, 2017 8:05 am

The New Bedford abortionist Dr Ezekiel H. Noble in the 1895 New Bedford City Directory -

He was still at large and advertising his services, despite being under warrant for arrest for causing three deaths at the least. These were 'criminal malpractice' charges for those abortions which resulted in death.

image.jpg


One such was the death of Ellen H. Hill in Fall River in March 1892. Here is the record of that death:
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Re: Killing People

Postby InterestedReader » Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:22 am

Laura Ann Atwood was 20 when she died as a result of an abortion carried out by Ezekiel H. Noble. This was June 1895:

https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NWHF-CJB

As you can see, the idea that Noble was imprisoned in 1892 is not correct.

It wasn't until 1895 that he was convicted for fatal malpractice but even then, while released on bail, he fled. He was finally caught in Arkansas City in December 1896, and sentenced in 1897.

After serving time in Massachusetts State Prison Dr Ezekiel H. Noble emerged in 1904 to run for Mayor of New Bedford.
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Re: Killing People

Postby InterestedReader » Fri Jul 28, 2017 9:46 pm

It's now one of the commonplaces of the case that Emma had a 'water-tight alibi'.
She had no alibi at all - or at least any we can verify today.
We have no evidence that the police investigated her stay with the Brownells. We find one reporter who went to enquire of Rebecca Brownell - and he, as we know, found the daughter Helen to be 'out of town'.

Spiering was conscious of this anomaly and filled what was wanting by saying that Knowlton simply dropped the ball. That Knowlton was so busy he just forgot no-one had checked where Emma was. I'm not sure that serves to answer why the police failed to pay attention. Arnold Brown goes into fictional over-drive and states the police 'harrassed' the Brownells. No sources. It just suited his overall proposition to imply no doubt can attach itself to Emma.

Now what we do find on Rebecca and Helen Brownell is they change residence with every new City Directory. They don't own a house, they rent. They hop from one lodging to another all around Rebecca's brother Moses Delano, so they probably depend on him for their crust. The 'Brownell House' - so-called today - was Moses Delano's house. And as KG has shown, according to the Directory the Brownells weren't living there in 1892.

One would presume that Helen and Rebecca Brownell lived in genteel penury. They had no money. But Emma's stay with them has taken on the colours of a pleasant vacation between people of wealth - rather a top-drawer kind of holiday. Really? To me it sounds somewhat desperate on Emma's behalf. Desperate on both sides, for no doubt she was paying board. She intended to spend the entire summer there. In 1892 Rebecca was in her seventies, the brother Moses Delano was in his seventies, Helen was in her mid-fifties.
It doesn't sound much fun.

I'm surprised to find that no-one has ever discovered precisely where Emma was staying.
LIzzie gave an address for Bowen to send a telegraph. And then a reporter managed to find Rebecca Brownell. If the police ever bothered to identify the address, there's no record of it.

When Emma Borden testifies where she and the Brownells were on the day of the murders, she answers uncomfortably, and she won't give a direct answer. Is that just because of the less than genteel matter of paying for her stay?

The investigation seems to have been remarkably lax on both accounts - where Emma was, and what LIzzie did in New Bedford. If we read the Witness Statements with care we find that no-one 'at the Pooles' would go on record to give Officer Medley his intelligence.
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Re: Killing People

Postby NancyDrew » Sat Jul 29, 2017 8:04 am

Wow; great investigating, IR! This has been mentioned in a couple of other threads, but I will relate it to you now. I was having dental work done several years ago (I live in northern RI; not at all far from SE Massachusetts.) They gave me gas and I was blabbering away to the hygienist about my interest in all things Lizzie. She related to me that her great grandfather had been an attorney, was from Fall River, and had served as one of the legal underlings on Knowlton's team during the Borden trial. She said her grandfather (his son) would occasionally talk about the case at family gatherings.

I was, of course, immediately interested in anything she had to say, and so I asked straight out: Who did her great-grand father think DID it? She responded, with emphasis, "Oh Emma, absolutely. There as no doubt on the prosecution's team that the sister was the murderer." I said "but what about Emma's alibi?" She said she didn't know any details of their theory...but I think she DID say something about Emma sneaking back into town, maybe dressed as a man (?) At that point, the dentist came in and started drilling. So...for what its worth, there is that little tidbit.

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Re: Killing People

Postby mbhenty » Sat Jul 29, 2017 10:30 am

With all sincere respect:

I must add that to quote or supplement one's discussion with anything Frank Spiering has to say is to tarnish an otherwise very plausible argument. Frank Spiering can't be trusted.

To give an example as a personal experience:

Back in the 80s I was at a book show in Boston. There was a very reputable book dealer there from New Jersey who dealt in detective and murder. He had an original copy of Edwin Porter's, "The Fall River Tragedy" on his shelf. We spoke about the rarity of the book. He told me the Frank Spiering had contacted him about Porter's book and had told him that he heard that there were only 3 copies in existence. The book dealer informed Spiering that it was not true, that he had handled more than 3 copies himself, and that there were many others in existence. But lord-and-behold, Spidering still insisted on publishing the untruth in his book that there were only 3 copies in existence. It just sounded much better, more astonishing. (I myself have handled many copies of the original and have had 3 copies on my own shelf at one time)

Spiering is known to take the truth and twist it just enough to make it sound sensational. Like his story, making it sound like Andrew Borden had walked by Globe Mills just before his death when Globe Mills was halfway across town. Or his embellished exaggerated description of the crowd in front of the house when Hilliard had arrived. He's a literary shock-jock. His book is riddled with inaccuracies and this from a man who certainly knew better. To quote him is to stain one's opinion or argument. One must be careful. One may have a very credible and tenable case put forward, but to quote Spiering... well, what can I say except, be careful. :smile:

:study:

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Re: Killing People

Postby KGDevil » Sat Jul 29, 2017 5:37 pm

In the city directories that I posted you can see that the Brownells changed addresses, and were not living with Moses Delano in 1892. I posted the directories to show that they were not in fact living at 20 Madison. But this is where Emma said she was staying with them. This house became the "Brownell House." Which is funny because they didn't live there. You can read through the witness statements and see that neither Emma, nor the Brownells, were properly interviewed by police. Emma's alibi simply becomes implied by her word during the hearings. Spiering had nothing to do with that. It's just a fact that he happened to notice himself. Anyone who took the time to go over all of the evidence would notice it, and mentioning the fact that Spiering noticed it doesn't really weaken any of that argument in my opinion :wink: .

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Re: Killing People

Postby KGDevil » Sat Jul 29, 2017 5:51 pm

Interested, thank you for the maps that you've provided. It put the city in a new perspective for me. The information about Ezekiel Noble was new for me as well. It's always nice to learn new fascinating tidibits that I'd never heard. Dr. Noble was definitely a character that flew in the face of the law wasn't he?

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Re: Killing People

Postby InterestedReader » Sat Jul 29, 2017 6:05 pm

And with an equally sincere respect - :bounce: - Spiering registered that Emma's whereabouts went unverified. My point was merely that. I tried to find evidence of the police doing their job and substantiating Emma's presence in Fairhaven - and establishing just where she stayed - but found none. If the police did interview the Brownells, no record of it seems to exist.

Spiering found none, and ascribed the failing to Knowlton being over-busy. Well that don't seem a satisfactory explanation either. I wasn't quoting Spiering but I was being critical. Goodness knows I haven't even read his book yet :smile: . I just have a bit cut-and-pasted where he deals with the Fairhaven failing. This time I will quote it regardless of all his faults in a book I haven't read, because he does register the anomaly:

'Knowlton, Hilliard and Dolan were so involved in the chaotic details before them that one possibility never entered their minds: Why not check with the Brownell family, who lived in Fairhaven, as to Emma's whereabouts on that morning?'


And elsewhere:

'What seemed equally mysterious was that according to the inquest and trial testimony, on the morning of the murders Emma was visiting Jennie Brownell in Fairhaven, yet no one substantiated Emma's presence there. Even though Emma was never a suspect, it would appear to have been routine procedure for a police officer or a newspaper reporter to have interviewed Jennie Brownell.'


There you are Mb, Spiering gets Helen Brownell's name wrong. But he does see there's a problem. And what surprises me is why these questions aren't asked more often.

We have nothing to indicate that the investigation sought to establish Emma Borden's whereabouts. Immediate suspicion attached itself to Lizzie's stay in New Bedford because within two days of the crime Medley was in the city to establish her doings. But even this is unsatisfactory and bizarrely lax. We assume he was speaking to Nancy and Carrie Poole but neither are willing to be named on the record. We don't really know who told Medley this.

Why did the police just leave it there? What Lizzie did in New Bedford has been the subject of speculation ever since but we're relying on the statement of someone who refused to go on record, and of course was never called as witness. And what Medley is told of Lizzie's movements once she is left in Westport - well it makes no sense.

Medley is told that LIzzie and the Pooles are at Westport on the 26th of July 'leaving time enough for Lizzie to connect with train at New Bedford for Fall River. That was the last time the Pooles saw her' (WS31).
Medley was told Lizzie went back to New Bedford to take a train to Fall River so as to start off again for Marion. But why would she be getting a train in New Bedford, to go the other way?
And most of all how is she simultaneously onboard a sloop at Marion on the 26th of July, on the same day? (As reported in the social columns.)
I imagine by boarding a boat at Westport.
But if she did, the Pooles don't seem to know it.
So if their account of her movements make so little sense, it begs the question - Did the Pooles really know what Lizzie was doing?
Oh, but they can say with confidence that LIzzie did nothing for 4 days except stay indoors and go shopping once for 31 minutes...
As a girl I find that incredible. '31 minutes'. In a bigger town with better shops? 31 minutes?

So anyway, could you embark on a yacht at Westport? The Mabel F. Swift?

To my great disadvantage I don't have an American's mental gazetteer of the landscape. But you'll perhaps appreciate how it is to learn that 'Emma went to Fairhaven' and 'Lizzie went to New Bedford' - securely imagining they go to different places. And then to see the map.
The Borden sisters were either end of a bridge.
Either end of a bridge.
It just strikes me as curious.

As to Lizzie's school-friend she gets to see Augusta for half a day and the rest she spends with said school-friend's mother and a sickly shop-worker.
What the appeal was for Emma at the Brownells is just as hard to make out. Emma and Helen couldn't be school-friends, they were of different ages, I can't immediately see any evidence they were friends, there's just some common ancestry if you go back umpteen generations...

Robin, I'm presently reading The Knowlton Papers. Knowlton was convinced of Lizzie's guilt. I think it's beyond dispute - every letter Knowlton wrote evidences his belief in her guilt. As intriguing as these stories are of the prosecution's secret knowledge that Emma perpetrated the murders, we see no doubt in Knowlton's mind that it was Lizzie.

Knowlton also exhibits a real personal dislike of Lizzie Borden, don't you find?
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Re: Killing People

Postby twinsrwe » Sat Jul 29, 2017 6:41 pm

InterestedReader wrote:
Is it known whether or not the police interviewed the Brownells? I read there were newspaper reports of the police investigating Emma-in-Fairhaven, but no actual records have ever been found. ...I make Rebecca Brownell 75 and Helen about 53. Did police just decide they couldn't be dodgy, an old dear and an old maid..? Do you know who else lived there when Emma stayed in the Green St house?

There is an interesting article in, The Lizzie Borden Quarterly, dated July 2001, that was written by Leonard Rebello, titled, Emma in Fairhaven. In that article, Mr. Rebello stated that newspaper reporters went to Fairhaven, and spoke with police officials, who were satisfied that Emma was in Fairhaven. (New Bedford Evening Standard, August 5, 1892:2 and New Bedford Daily Mercury, August 8, 1892:8)

Also in that article, Mr. Rebello stated that Emma had been visiting with Mrs. Rebecca Delano Brownell and her daughter Miss Helen Mar Brownell, a dressmaker, at 19 Green Street in Fairhaven.

Source: http://tinyurl.com/y7uzrmqt
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Re: Killing People

Postby twinsrwe » Sat Jul 29, 2017 6:46 pm

Nancy: I remember you mentioning the story from your "Borden hygienist".

I don’t mean to be nit-picky, but In the thread titled, Emma mastermind assassin, you stated that your hygienist’s great grandfather was on Lizzie’s “dream team” (Lizzie’s defense team included George Robinson, Andrew Jennings and Melvin Adams, but In your post above, you stated that her great grandfather had been an attorney and had served as one of the legal underlings on Knowlton's team during the Borden trial. (Hosea Knowlton was the chief prosecuting officer against Lizzie Borden.)

So, which team was her great grandfather on?

Also, you stated in the Emma mastermind assassin thread, that they had no hard evidence, and that one of their theories was that Emma snuck back into town, dressed as a man, and another was that she hired someone, which were all speculation.

So really, they were no closer to solving the murders of Andrew and Abby than we are today. Right?

Here is the link to the thread titled, Emma mastermind assassin: http://tinyurl.com/yaaynqm3
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Re: Killing People

Postby KGDevil » Sat Jul 29, 2017 7:47 pm

twinsrwe wrote:
InterestedReader wrote:
Is it known whether or not the police interviewed the Brownells? I read there were newspaper reports of the police investigating Emma-in-Fairhaven, but no actual records have ever been found. ...I make Rebecca Brownell 75 and Helen about 53. Did police just decide they couldn't be dodgy, an old dear and an old maid..? Do you know who else lived there when Emma stayed in the Green St house?

There is an interesting article in, The Lizzie Borden Quarterly, dated July 2001, that was written by Leonard Rebello, titled, Emma in Fairhaven. In that article, Mr. Rebello stated that newspaper reporters went to Fairhaven, and spoke with police officials, who were satisfied that Emma was in Fairhaven. (New Bedford Evening Standard, August 5, 1892:2 and New Bedford Daily Mercury, August 8, 1892:8)

Also in that article, Mr. Rebello stated that Emma had been visiting with Mrs. Rebecca Delano Brownell and her daughter Miss Helen Mar Brownell, a dressmaker, at 19 Green Street in Fairhaven.

Source: http://tinyurl.com/y7uzrmqt


Twins, I had not meant to state that the address was 20 Madison in my last post. That was my mistake I was thinking of the Poole's address in New Bedford. I meant to say that in the 1892 directory, if you scroll up to my prior directory posts that show the listings, the Brownells were not living at 19 Green street in 1892. Or in 1893, 1894, or in 1895. I'm wondering how they established that she was visiting the Brownells at 19 Green if they didn't in fact live at that address.

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Re: Killing People

Postby InterestedReader » Sat Jul 29, 2017 8:30 pm

twinsrwe wrote:
InterestedReader wrote:
Is it known whether or not the police interviewed the Brownells? I read there were newspaper reports of the police investigating Emma-in-Fairhaven, but no actual records have ever been found. ...I make Rebecca Brownell 75 and Helen about 53. Did police just decide they couldn't be dodgy, an old dear and an old maid..? Do you know who else lived there when Emma stayed in the Green St house?

There is an interesting article in, The Lizzie Borden Quarterly, dated July 2001, that was written by Leonard Rebello, titled, Emma in Fairhaven. In that article, Mr. Rebello stated that newspaper reporters went to Fairhaven, and spoke with police officials, who were satisfied that Emma was in Fairhaven. (New Bedford Evening Standard, August 5, 1892:2 and New Bedford Daily Mercury, August 8, 1892:8)

Also in that article, Mr. Rebello stated that Emma had been visiting with Mrs. Rebecca Delano Brownell and her daughter Miss Helen Mar Brownell, a dressmaker, at 19 Green Street in Fairhaven.

Source: http://tinyurl.com/y7uzrmqt


KG and I are not disputing who she was supposed to be staying with, and we did research the Brownell and Delano families. (By the way, Helen Brownell is very exceptionally identified as a dressmaker - once or perhaps twice in the Directories, and never on any Census or Vital record.) The questions are these -

There's no existing record of the Brownells being interviewed by the police.
I've only seen the one newspaper report we all know - LIZZIE BORDEN'S LETTER - Evening Standard August 25th. I must find and read the two which Rebello cites above. Even so, it's peculiarly slender for a major investigation - the authority of two reporters.

And quite simply - where exactly was Emma?
In 1892 Rebecca and Helen Brownell did not live at 19 Green. And once you discover this the picture changes.
Emma wasn't 'staying with the Brownells' - she and the Brownells all went to stay with Delano. At his house, 19 Green, presumably. And it is only 'presumably'.

One expects the Brownells to be well-to-do people and I think this is due to the way the Emma trip is chronicled. But the Brownells weren't well-off. Year by year they shift from one lodging to the next, they own no home and appear to be in difficulties financially. Why is Emma imposing herself on such people?

Perhaps we should look at this afresh. The indications are there that the Pooles and the Brownells considered themselves to have been put in an invidious position. When a reporter turns up at the Brownells' door Helen Brownell is 'out of town'. Rebecca her mother is fairly tight-lipped. In what purports to be a 'Witness Statement' from New Bedford we have no named 'witness' making the 'statement' but instead a departure from the other Witness Statements in that it's not expressed in first-person voice; instead there is a précis of information in the third person, supplied by an unnamed source.

Today we see no statement by Helen Brownell, Rebecca Brownell or Moses Delano.
We can infer the refusal of Nancy and Carrie Poole to be named on the record.
We see only Augusta Tripp going over the parapet - and she's pretty contrary and nervous. When she comes to testify she's retracting what she previously told Medley, by reason of Officer Medley putting her in a flutter when he walked in her home. But one such retraction was on the key issue of how malign LIzzie had been when speaking of her step-mother.

KG, can you remember offhand what remains of the telegram to Fairhaven? We know, I think, the exact time of its dispatch because a record was kept. Was the address ever salvaged?

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Re: Killing People

Postby mbhenty » Sat Jul 29, 2017 8:36 pm

We are so respectful of each other, eh? :lol: :lol: :roll: :oops:

Yes InterestedReader:

My critical appraisal was of Spiering not you, of course. Some of the facts you bring up are very valid. Such as any legal or formal acknowledgement that Emma's alibi was verified. I can't remember any police report that confirms that the police did their job and checked out Emma's defense that she was at the Brownells. Of course they did. There must be something written somewhere about it. Parallel Lives agrees that Emma was at the Brownells. It is very unlikely that Emma's whereabouts were not checked out

We must keep in mind that Spiering's shtick is that Emma committed the crime. This lack of concrete evidence that she was examined by police plays right into the scheme in his book, Lizzie.

I read Spiering's book the year it was published over 30 years ago; 1985, I think.

But remember. Emma was summoned on the day of the crime at the Brownells. So a telegram was sent to her by doctor Bowen and Emma arrived back at Second Street late on the 4th. This alone verifies that she was in Fairhaven and could not have committed the crime... unless the doctor and Lizzie were in on it. And a simple call by the police to the Brownells would have backed up Emma's alibi. Elementary investigation at the very least.

In conclusion, I don't like Spiering. He tried interviewing the lady in New Market, New Hampshire where Emma had lived in the later days of her life. Spiering was told by the new owners of the house, after he had called her on the phone, that she knew nothing about Emma or her life at the house and that she did not want to be interviewed and that he should not come. Well, Spiering went to New Hampshire anyway, in opposition to the owner's wishes. Once there he proceeded to make things up and discover things that were just not so. If I remember, he wrote about it in his book, Lizzie. This was told to me by someone that had visited the owner of the house in New Market.

Don't like writers who are scamming me just so they could write a book. His book may have truths, etc., but his book is written with the essence of fiction. He knew what he was doing. And it was called aggrandizement for the sake of profit and selling books.


:study:

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Re: Killing People

Postby mbhenty » Sat Jul 29, 2017 8:48 pm

Oh yes:

Let me add that InterestedReader does her homework. Very knowledgeable. Her argument warrants a close eye and earnest if not attentive study. After all, is this not what this forum is all about.

Got to go.

My raisin toast is burning and tea kettle's whistling. :shock: :roll: :sad: :oops:

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Re: Killing People

Postby InterestedReader » Sat Jul 29, 2017 9:41 pm

Mb, I take all your points about Spiering - Yes, I gather he's not a good scholar, I've seen many people here bemoaning his methods. He's not top of my list of stuff to read.

I know very little about this case and am just a learner.

But I would say one cannot ever presume 'Of course they did. There must be something written about it somewhere.'
Things will be any way they want to be, beyond what we want them to be, or allow, or reason they must be, or conclude they cannot be. Things can be wildly at variance with our assumptions, so it's best not to get too comfortable in the belief we know too much for anything to surprise us.

You write fiction yourself. Fiction writers probably have the keenest sense of this - just how much of a fictional narrative the 'non-fiction' writers supply, constantly, collectively, unwittingly.

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Re: Killing People

Postby mbhenty » Sat Jul 29, 2017 9:58 pm

Well said InterestedReader.

Now... to bed with you. It's past your bedtime. :lol: :lol: :lol: :roll: :oops:

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Re: Killing People

Postby KGDevil » Sat Jul 29, 2017 10:56 pm

InterestedReader wrote:Mb, I take all your points about Spiering - Yes, I gather he's not a good scholar, I've seen many people here bemoaning his methods. He's not top of my list of stuff to read.

I know very little about this case and am just a learner.

But I would say one cannot ever presume 'Of course they did. There must be something written about it somewhere.'
Things will be any way they want to be, beyond what we want them to be, or allow, or reason they must be, or conclude they cannot be. Things can be wildly at variance with our assumptions, so it's best not to get too comfortable in the belief we know too much for anything to surprise us.

You write fiction yourself. Fiction writers probably have the keenest sense of this - just how much of a fictional narrative the 'non-fiction' writers supply, constantly, collectively, unwittingly.


Yes, Interested, this is true. For instance, in Rebello's book, there is no mention of the fact that the marriage license attributed to John M. Sullivan, Bridget Sullivan's alleged husband, lists his parents as Daniel Sullivan and Julia (Sullivan) Sullivan. But, the death certificate attributed to the same John M. Sullivan lists his parents as James Sullivan and Margaret Leary. Unless someone did their own research and looked at these records for themselves they would never know.

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Re: Killing People

Postby InterestedReader » Sat Jul 29, 2017 11:16 pm

mbhenty wrote:Some of the facts you bring up are very valid. Such as any legal or formal acknowledgement that Emma's alibi was verified. I can't remember any police report that confirms that the police did their job and checked out Emma's defense that she was at the Brownells. Of course they did. There must be something written somewhere about it. Parallel Lives agrees that Emma was at the Brownells. It is very unlikely that Emma's whereabouts were not checked out

We must keep in mind that Spiering's shtick is that Emma committed the crime. This lack of concrete evidence that she was examined by police plays right into the scheme in his book, Lizzie.


I appreciate it suited his agenda. But because he was focusing on Emma, and with much the same blind faith as your 'something written somewhere', I was kind of gladdened to think Spiering would actually look for evidence of the police establishing her whereabouts.

mbhenty wrote:But remember. Emma was summoned on the day of the crime at the Brownells. So a telegram was sent to her by doctor Bowen and Emma arrived back at Second Street late on the 4th. This alone verifies that she was in Fairhaven and could not have committed the crime... unless the doctor and Lizzie were in on it. And a simple call by the police to the Brownells would have backed up Emma's alibi. Elementary investigation at the very least.


So one would hope. Did they have a phone?

There's not one mention of the Brownells in The Knowlton Papers. There's not one mention of the Pooles either although there is that scribble on the back of the prospective witnesses, C. Poole and 'mad.' for Madison St. The prosecution intended to call Carrie?

Although I don't lean to any idea of Emma haring around to kill, like many people I find there's something opaque to her day. A coachman later claimed he was due to 'collect Emma from the depot' that day. Why? Robinson and Adams, busy men, went tearing off to 'help' this black coachman in what looks like a containment exercise.

There's one thing I've found odd from the first but I've never managed to reason out why I find it odd. LIzzie telling Bowen not to mention death in the telegram lest it shock the old people around Emma. Well, for one thing, the elderly get less excitable over death than the rest of us. And Lizzie has just killed two elderly people, according to the majority opinion. So is it that she has the presence of mind to feign humanity? Or is she concerned about these people?

The most likely reason, surely, for withholding any mention of death is that it's Emma's reaction Lizzie fears. And yet her directive on the telegram irritates my brain. I sense there was some other reason for it.
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Re: Killing People

Postby KGDevil » Sun Jul 30, 2017 1:36 am

What bothers me about that statement is that it seems, to me, to imply that Lizzie was not concerned with how her sister would receive the news. Her concerns were for others who might be receiving/reading the news. Which is odd, because telegrams were usually delivered in an envelope addressed to the recipient. So, the wording should not have mattered unless she expected someone else besides Emma to read it. Or for Emma to read it aloud.

Also, there is the matter of sending the telegram.
Imagine the telegraph operator sending the telegram, tapping out via morse code, that Andrew and his wife are dead. The message of a murder or death then received on the other end. And of course Bowen relaying the message in a public place. "Emma, your father and mother had been killed STOP."

Sending a telegram in itself was far from a private matter. Even phone calls involved speaking to a live operator to connect the call.

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Re: Killing People

Postby InterestedReader » Sun Jul 30, 2017 5:20 am

KGDevil wrote:What bothers me about that statement is that it seems, to me, to imply that Lizzie was not concerned with how her sister would receive the news. Her concerns were for others who might be receiving/reading the news. Which is odd, because telegrams were usually delivered in an envelope addressed to the recipient. So, the wording should not have mattered unless she expected someone else besides Emma to read it. Or for Emma to read it aloud.


Yes! There is very much that to it. And I wasn't sure if American telegrams would be the same as they were here and arrive under cover of envelope.

Yes, there was the privacy issue, as you say. What I sometimes find scary in Lizzie and how she behaved that day, is a seemingly shallow concern with appearances.
But I also keep having the sense that in this telegram moment Lizzie was caught out in some way.

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Re: Killing People

Postby InterestedReader » Sun Jul 30, 2017 5:25 am

KGDevil wrote:
InterestedReader wrote:
Fiction writers probably have the keenest sense of this - just how much of a fictional narrative the 'non-fiction' writers supply, constantly, collectively, unwittingly.


Yes, Interested, this is true. For instance, in Rebello's book, there is no mention of the fact that the marriage license attributed to John M. Sullivan, Bridget Sullivan's alleged husband, lists his parents as Daniel Sullivan and Julia (Sullivan) Sullivan. But, the death certificate attributed to the same John M. Sullivan lists his parents as James Sullivan and Margaret Leary. Unless someone did their own research and looked at these records for themselves they would never know.


Even Rebello papers over the cracks at times. He has one footnote citing 'a contemporary diarist'. Well that sounds terribly fine but unless he identifies the 'diarist' it isn't functioning as a source :smile:

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Re: Killing People

Postby mbhenty » Sun Jul 30, 2017 10:32 am

Naming sources:

The brain is like a closet. Some are very small holding very little, while others are 'walk-ins' with lots of stuff. Anyway you look at it, get old enough and the closet becomes full and very difficult to store new things... new information, details, facts and story. When you do it all falls out when you close the door and later the difficulty is recall. The closet is full. That is my dilemma. My closet is becoming full.

And that is why I did not mention the book dealer in Boston that I mention in one of the threads above. As I was writing the thread I had his name dripping from my bottom lip but it never dropped. This morning I opened the closet door and there it was.

Paterson Smith.

Paterson Smith specialized in murder and true crime. At the time (1980s) the most popular and reputable true crime book dealer in the country was Paterson Smith. Probably still is. He was the dealer that Spiering called to educate himself on Edwin Porter's book. Frank Spiering learned nothing.

From my picture file: Edwin Porter's book at the Fall River Historical Society.

http://www.patterson-smith.com
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Re: Killing People

Postby KGDevil » Sun Jul 30, 2017 10:59 am

City directories are one of the most useful tools in tracking any person for genealogical or geographical purposes. I use them without fail. In many ways, they are superior to census records. Because they are a snapshot of the city at that time. The New Bedford Directory, for instance, lists all of the businesses and residential listings. It also lists the city maps, verbal descriptions of how the streets are situated, the ward boundaries, post office information down to rates of postage, police force information down to where every call box is located, where the cemeteries are located, census information, county officers, city building information, justices of the peace, localities of interest, information about the schools in the area, fire department information down to what engines would respond to what areas in the event of an emergency, information about the different societies in the area such as the Masons, the Wharves Ships and Islands, Library information, etc. etc. It's tells you everything you need to know about New Bedford for any given year. And unlike using a census where you get two records in twenty years, you get the possible twenty records in twenty years. Because, of course, they came out every year. And show where this person was and what they were doing, or in the case of the Brownells where they weren't, every year.

To give an idea of how close New Bedford and Fairhaven are located to one another, the City Directories are combined into one directory with New Bedford at the front and Fairhaven at the back. And New Bedford fire engines could even respond to Fairhaven.

Personal information included name, address, job title, place of employment, marital status, marriage information, death dates, birth records in some cities are listed, and very often if you had moved to another city. Every other person at that address can be tracked from year to year. I've just finished tracking someone, and I have 60 directory listings for her. 60 records of her life from year to year including who she was living with, when, and then able to track that into records of how they might be related.

Instead of looking at the 1900 Census for New Bedford and seeing John Doe at this address, and then seeing him gone ten years late in 1910 and wondering where he's gone, you can look at the directories. John Doe, at so and so street, has been removed to Boston. So, now you know to look in Boston. Many times the only way I found a death date for a certain person was in the directory as well, "John Doe, at so and so street, died August 1, 1936." Because the Massachusetts vital records have only been released up to a certain year, that would be an invaluable way to find a death record besides an obituary. Marriage records the same, I have found them in directories. Marital status "Jane Doe, widow of John, seamstress 555 Smith Street, boards at 100 Jones." "Baby doe, born to John and Jane at 555 Smith Street June 1, 1935" And you can track this from year to year. You can see who lived at that address every single year.

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Re: Killing People

Postby NancyDrew » Mon Jul 31, 2017 6:53 am

Twins (and everyone else): I messed up. I meant to say "Robinson's team" not "Knowlton's team." I was tired when I wrote that post and got the names mixed up. So yes, my dental hygienist told me her great grandfather was on the DEFENSE team. And that, according to family legend (her family) Emma was thought to be the murderer.
Good grief, I'm getting old!

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Re: Killing People

Postby InterestedReader » Mon Jul 31, 2017 8:21 am

Robin, we've all been mistyping and messing up. I think it's difficult stuff, the New Bedford and Fairhaven episode. It's challenging.

But it made a nice break to imagine Knowlton secretly certain Emma did it. In his letters he seems pretty convinced it was Lizzie. I find it weirdly intriguing how much Knowlton disliked Lizzie Borden - a real personal dislike going beyond the issue of her guilt. Knowlton sounds as if he had an animal aversion to the woman.

Talking of negative reactions has anyone noticed what Porter wrote to Frank Knowlton on the subject of 'some photographs of Miss Lizzie ... one of them a sinister looking thing, at the age of sixteen...'
So I wonder if this is the 'sinister looking thing':
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Re: Killing People

Postby KGDevil » Mon Jul 31, 2017 9:24 am

I think that Knowlton expressed his suspicions and genuine dislike about Lizzie in his correspondences. While I don't think this picture could be described as sinister, in the right frame of mind it could cast that emotion on someone with a genuine dislike of Lizzie in general.

I wonder if they were privy to photos of the family that have been completely lost to time. I don't believe that these are all the photos that ever existed. I'm hoping more will somehow come to light.

As for the Fairhaven/ New Bedford visits I've become convinced that the police did not follow up as thoroughly as they might have. I find it strange that they could take the time to note a "very suspicious" banana peel that they had fished on a string from a pond, as if that has any significance, but nothing about Fairhaven.

"Friday 12, 1892. Harrington. At the Borden house all forenoon assisting on the safe. Afternoon. Doherty, Medley and Harrington continue on the Frank Wade clue. Got a boat and rakes, and went all over the pond where he saw the suspicious person. We pulled up much stuff and things, but failed to find the hatchet which he thought might be thrown there. We brought back to the station a paper bag which contained an old banana peel, which was tied up with a very long string. This was very suspicious indeed. We had Mr. Matherson the superintendent of the Chase Mill to see we did our work well. He expressed himself as being satisfied we could do no more in that line."

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Re: Killing People

Postby KGDevil » Mon Jul 31, 2017 9:43 am

A few newspaper stories that I have read about other crimes, or alleged crimes, that occurred in Fall River lead me to believe that the police were not always concerned with getting the facts right if it didn't suit their narrative of events. I wish I could find the article but I seem to have misplaced it at the moment. I will keep looking. But I've run across a few that left me wondering. One incident reported was about a man who had died as a result of a fall down the steps. The coroner, and other doctors involved in examining the evidence, concluded that the man had fallen because his injuries were consistent with a fall. The police were reported as having none of that, and were out to prove that their theory of murder was the correct one, and that the doctors didn't know what they were talking about. Someone had pushed him and it was a case of murder.

Fall River seems to have had a reputation of some sort as well.
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Re: Killing People

Postby mbhenty » Mon Jul 31, 2017 9:50 am

Yes InterestedReader: Where did you find that quote by Porter? Never heard it before.

I think the photo of Lizzie is a very creative one. The pose became very popular in the 40s and 50s. A side pose. Though not a pretty child, there is nothing sinister about the image at all.

On another note... to mention Porter.

As we all know, Porter was the police reporter for the Fall River Globe at the time of the murders. What he writes in his book is as close to a police examination as one can get, in which he verifies that Emma was in Fairhaven at the time of the crime. Will need further research to discover something more significant.

To pontificate further: The fact that some have suggested that Emma left Fairhaven, undetected, committed the crimes, and returned to Fairhaven is ridiculous. Via buggy, and at a vigorous trot, the average horse drawn carriage travels at around 8 to 10 mph. Fairhaven is 16 miles away from Second Street in Fall River. That would make travel time between the two cities 3 hours. To say nothing about the time taken to commit the two murders. At the very least, Emma would need to be away anywhere between 6 and 7 hours. Nope :!: Nope :?: and Nope :!: :roll: :oops: :oops: :oops:

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Re: Killing People

Postby KGDevil » Mon Jul 31, 2017 10:37 am

So, the only verification we have that the police did their job comes from a bunch of reporters and one author, who if he was a police reporter, would not want to say the police had not followed up on their leads?

To pontificate further: to point out a lack of investigation on the part of the police casts a shadow on how they may have handled the entire investigation. Which was more my point than anything.

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Re: Killing People

Postby InterestedReader » Mon Jul 31, 2017 4:09 pm

mbhenty wrote:Yes InterestedReader: Where did you find that quote by Porter? Never heard it before.


That's me messing up this time. It was Edmund Pearson, writing in 1930.

mbhenty wrote:To pontificate further: The fact that some have suggested that Emma left Fairhaven, undetected, committed the crimes, and returned to Fairhaven is ridiculous.


I'm not among those suggesting it.
I did raise the question about Fairhaven because it's impossible to find any record of a police procedure to explore what Emma was doing there. And because it's unclear precisely where she was lodging. We do know it was about ten minutes' walk from Lizzie at the other end of that bridge and if the Borden sisters felt the need to lodge as close as dammit either end of a bridge then why didn't they just go away together?

I suppose I find the situation odd, as if we're not seeing the real reason they made this trip. Someone on the Forum once suggested Emma left home as a result of a quarrel with the father and step-mother. That's a good notion because the Brownells would be harbouring Emma at short notice and this transfer to Fairhaven can seem scrabbling and ad hoc.

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Re: Killing People

Postby mbhenty » Mon Jul 31, 2017 11:01 pm

Yes, for the record:

I never thought that you were making a case for Emma's guilt, InterestedReader.

Reading between the lines I assumed that you were making a case for the lack of information about Emma's whereabouts and the lack of evidence and any suspicions which may be hidden there. Not suspicion that Emma did it, but questioning the irregularities which could have led to more inconsistencies in other matters concerning the case, especially with the police.

Your inquiry is a valid one and questions asked rational and legitimate. Thus, carry on kiddo.

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Re: Killing People

Postby mbhenty » Mon Jul 31, 2017 11:22 pm

Yes KGDevil:

Good point about the police reporter. He could have been bias. Many were, including some early writers who deemed Lizzie guilty, making a case for culpability and ignoring sound evidence that could have placed Lizzie's guilt in doubt. One such writer was Edmund Pearson and his famous Trial of Lizzie Borden published in 1937, just before his death in the same year.

The lack of information we have about the police and Emma's whereabouts may just be one of those things. Her alibi could have been so strong that not much attention was given to it. Lots of evidence could have been taken but very little made formal or issued to the public. We don't know. I remember reading somewhere that certain named police were dispatched to fairhave, etc., but can't remember where I read it. Forty years of looking at this case has dissolved in the brain and I probably forgot more than I can actually recall.

But good point.

:study:

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Re: Killing People

Postby InterestedReader » Tue Aug 01, 2017 5:50 am

It seems as if everyone assumes it's so - everyone assumes the Emma-checking must be there somewhere or, must have been there somewhere at one time. You must remember I'm a relative newcomer so oddities and disparities which fill everyone else with ennui are the things making me go hmm. I suppose the way my mind was drifting was this - Did the police oblige the Brownells and Pooles and 'keep them out of it'? (I keep meaning to go through the Witness Statements to see how many other people other than the Pooles get to appear in unnamed third-person précis rather than named, on-the-record first-person voice.) Whereas the apparent laxity in establishing Lizzie's movements on her trip is the weirder issue, to my mind. When it comes to the reports of LIzzie being in two places at once - in Westport according to the Pooles and on a sloop nearing Marion according to a newspaper social column - we again run into the 'Well it must be alright somehow' school of inquiry.

So I wondered if the police investigated Lizzie's expedition with the care and interest we'd expect only to discover something which the Government decided would not play out advantageously at trial. This is why in every place we look we find sparse intelligence or the absence of it and we are left arguing that a non-existent thing must be there, we just can't see it.

KGDevil wrote:
I find it strange that they could take the time to note a "very suspicious" banana peel that they had fished on a string from a pond, as if that has any significance, but nothing about Fairhaven.


The old banana peel wasn't just 'very suspicious.' It was 'very suspicious indeed.' It is Officer Harrington reporting and we'd be lucky to have a fraction of that man's perspicacity :smile: .
(Yes, they thought it was a Borden Banana. But the banana was in no fit state to give evidence at the trial.)

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Re: Killing People

Postby InterestedReader » Sun Aug 06, 2017 4:45 am

twinsrwe wrote:There is an interesting article in, The Lizzie Borden Quarterly, dated July 2001, that was written by Leonard Rebello, titled, Emma in Fairhaven. In that article, Mr. Rebello stated that newspaper reporters went to Fairhaven, and spoke with police officials, who were satisfied that Emma was in Fairhaven. (New Bedford Evening Standard, August 5, 1892:2 and New Bedford Daily Mercury, August 8, 1892:8)

Also in that article, Mr. Rebello stated that Emma had been visiting with Mrs. Rebecca Delano Brownell and her daughter Miss Helen Mar Brownell, a dressmaker, at 19 Green Street in Fairhaven.

Source: http://tinyurl.com/y7uzrmqt



It's not really an 'article', is it. It's a note on Brownell and Delano genealogy.

Rebello's source to warrant his statement Emma was 'living' with the Brownells who were 'living' with Moses Delano is - Emma's testimony. (Footnote 4.)
By that logic Emma would be providing her own alibi.
'We know Emma was there because she says she was.'

Yes 19 Green Street was Moses Delano's house - but the rest is inference.
There's no actual record of the Brownells living there or of Emma staying at 19 Green Street. All we know is that within a day of the crime a reporter has found his way to Rebecca Brownell. And that, surely, is where we were before citing Rebello.

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Re: Killing People

Postby dalcanton » Tue Aug 08, 2017 3:21 pm

NancyDrew wrote:No one answered me so I think I'll pose the question again: If it was indeed Lizzie who tried to buy prussic acid from Bence (and I believe it was) and furthermore, if the reason she was going to purchase this poison was to use it to murder Abby and Andrew then why did she abandon the 'poisoning plan' and decide instead to kill them violently with a hatchet?

This doesn't make a lot of sense.

Killing one person in the house with poison might have worked. Especially if that person were old (and in 1892, Abby and Andrew were definitely considered quite elderly)...and if they had been ill previously. But killing 2 people with poison? Let's think about this poison plan:

1. How would she had gotten them to TAKE the poison? (Food or drink, obviously, right?)

2. What would she have done once the poison took affect? If one or both of them became violently ill, would she have called Dr. Bowen? Or any doctor? Bridget would have seen what was going on as well. Would it be out of place for Bridge to call someone?

3. Again, assuming she succeeded in getting the poison into both of their bodies, how would she know who would die first? What if Andrew succumbed (being older, and more frail, this is not unreasonable) first? Wouldn't that foil the supposed 'timing of deaths' which ensured the Borden estate went to Lizzie and Emma and not Abby and her relatives?

4. Is it possible Lizzie planned on giving a big, hefty dose of the stuff to Abby, to ensure she keeled over first, and not the other way around?

Okay, I'll stop, but I hope I've made my point. Poisoning the Bordens seems tricky. And so I am compelled, by my own curiosity, to ask:

DOES ANYONE THINK LIZZIE WAS GOING TO KILL HERSELF WITH THE PRUSSIC ACID?


Wow! You brought up some very interesting questions! Here are my thoughts:

1) she would've put it in the food

2) she would've either faked concern & call on the good doctor Bowen or she would've left the house after poisoning the food, hoping Abby would've literally dropped dead in her absence

3 & 4) very good point re: timing of deaths. Abby would've been her main (perhaps only) target at first because in order to inherit the money, the stepmother had to die first. So, Abby dies. Would Lizzie have been satisfied with that, patiently biding her time until her father keeled over? Or had she been so desperate for the money that she would've (in time) been determined to make her father her second victim?

As for Lizzie planning to commit suicide, that possibility never entered my mind. So, no, I don't believe she had planned to take her own life. Intriguing speculation, however.

On a side note: during a visit to Fall River last year, I pretended I was Lizzie & walked to where Bence's drug store had been located on the corner of Columbia & South Main. The leisurely stroll took me about 10 minutes. The distance was not far at all.

It made me think how Lizzie had said she didn't know where the store despite it being so close to her home. As I walked to the location, I tried to picture how it might've looked like back in 1892...the store, the street. To have been a fly on the wall that day...just to see if Miss Lizzie Borden really did try to buy 10 cents' worth of prussic acid.

p.s. I'll answer your hatchet query in a separate post. Let me mull it over some more.

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Re: Killing People

Postby KGDevil » Fri Aug 11, 2017 1:49 am

I think that the poison was so fast acting that establishing any time of death, as in who died first, would've been pretty close to impossible anyway if administer at the same time to Abby and Andrew. The symptoms are close to those of a person suffering cardiac arrest. It suffocates the person because it deprives the body of oxygen. Which is maybe why she went to the hatchet. How to establish a time of death with poison if administered together, and too risky to administer the doses at intervals, because how do you get someone to ingest a poison unless they are eating or drinking it?

Prussic acid, cyanide, or hydrocyanic acid are all names for the same poison. Cyanide is one of the fastest acting poisons known to man. This is why it was, and is, so often used for suicide. The person doesn't linger because it's relatively quick. And once taken, if immediate aid isn't rendered it's fatal.

Prussic acid was actually used at one time on Whaling Harpoons. The practice had to be abandoned because the whalers realized the dangers of the poison. A few crewmembers died after handling the blubber of the whale that had been poisoned. Others were worried about the effect on the wild life and human life.

The Whalemen's Shipping List, and Merchants' Transcript, January 27, 1867.

"But if an ounce of the poison will kill a whale in a few minutes, it would be adequate to the destruction of a whole shoal of small fish, which themselves would be devoured by others, and so on indefinitely. ... Such a destruction of fish would be deplorable in itself, but as the quantity of the poison would be continually diminishing according to the number of fish through which it passed, the dose at last might become so small as not to kill for hours, or even days, and the fish might be caught while yet alive, and brought to market. The method appears adequate to diminish the risk of human life incidental to whaling, and to be humane as regards the whale itself, which it kills so rapidly; but even these advantages would be purchased at too dear a rate if all the other fish in the sea are liable to be poisoned as well as the whale."

Cyanide and sadness: Man commits suicide in court after guilty verdict
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4mAB669qi4

Man found guilty commits suicide in courtroom! death may have taken cyanide 7/10/2012
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9Mez1NqLMM

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Re: Killing People

Postby Steveads2004 » Thu Aug 24, 2017 8:15 am

Wow fascinating stuff....seems like new clues in this old mystery...great research

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