A&A's bedroom door lock/Did they feel safe?

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A&A's bedroom door lock/Did they feel safe?

Postby Aamartin » Fri Aug 15, 2014 10:38 pm

I have been going through testimony and old posts till I can barely see anymore to find if there is any reference to whether or not they kept the door locked when they were in the room sleeping....

Anyone know?
Last edited by Aamartin on Sat Aug 16, 2014 12:37 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: A&A's bedroom door lock

Postby Curryong » Fri Aug 15, 2014 11:19 pm

Poor old Anthony, you shouldn't knock yourself out like this!

Nobody asked that question, as far as I know, so nobody answered it. We have to reflect on the balance of possibilities I suppose, and go with what we have.

One of Andrew's last actions, according to Bridget, was to take his bedroom key from the shelf in the sitting room on which it was usually kept, and go upstairs to his bedroom, where he supposedly deposited the package he was carrying into the safe (perhaps) and put on his cardigan jacket. He then came downstairs again and put the key back on the shelf.

It's clear, I think, that during the day, when Andrew was out or downstairs the key to his and Abby's bedroom resided on the shelf AND THE BEDROOM WAS LOCKED during those times. What occurred during the daytime would surely be replicated at night during the hours of darkness. This man, who kept a club under his bed, would have locked himself and his wife in. Lizzie locked herself in her room. Uncle John didn't, but then, he wasn't a permanent resident of No. 92.

Surely the alternative would have been for him to have, in his mind, left himself open to burglars coming in through a downstairs window then creeping up the back stairs? Or, even worse, a potential burglar hearing somehow, perhaps from some innocent remark of Bridget's to an acquaintance, about his habit of leaving his bedroom door key on a shelf downstairs.

After the daylight robbery it's my opinion Andrew didn't trust anyone and the club was just extra insurance.
So, my vote is Yes, Andrew and Abby were locked in at night. That's only my reading of it, of course.

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Re: A&A's bedroom door lock

Postby Aamartin » Sat Aug 16, 2014 12:36 am

I think he kept that bedroom door locked as a sign to someone inside the house...

The thing I wonder the most about-- did he feel physically safe from those inside the house? He must have-- otherwise would he lay down for a nap?

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Re: A&A's bedroom door lock/Did they feel safe?

Postby Curryong » Sat Aug 16, 2014 1:12 am

It's odd that the only key not found in the house after the murders was the key between Andrew and Abby's room and Lizzie's. The police had to break the door down.

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Re: A&A's bedroom door lock/Did they feel safe?

Postby debbiediablo » Sat Aug 16, 2014 1:30 am

The rest of the locks were to secure doors, but the one between the master suite and Lizzie's room served in lieu of a wall. I'm somewhat serious when musing as to whether Lizzie might've kept a fresh hatchet under her bed should she need it for defense. Or maybe it was Emma before her who started the practice. Children learn what they see their parents do, so Andrew locking up himself and Abby and all the external doors (with up to three locks) would likely give the sisters an uneasy feeling of vulnerability. Especially sleeping along in the front of the house.
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Re: A&A's bedroom door lock/Did they feel safe?

Postby Curryong » Sat Aug 16, 2014 1:58 am

After the daylight robbery the house was physically divided in two. As I said, after that occurrence I don't think Andrew trusted anyone, including Lizzie. He locked and bolted that door, which had previously led into 'Mrs Borden's room' (the room with the safe) so Lizzie could no longer get in there and rifle through the papers on his desk and/or get hold of any more of Abby's possessions. He then got rid of the key in my opinion, or successfully hid it.

He told someone there was 'trouble at home' a little time before the murders, and for such a reserved person to say that to an acquaintance speaks volumes, I think. He knew his daughters did not get on with their stepmother and resented her so-called influence over him, but never in a million years do I think that Andrew felt he and/or Abby were in physical danger from his daughters.

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Re: A&A's bedroom door lock/Did they feel safe?

Postby Aamartin » Sat Aug 16, 2014 2:38 am

I live in a small town-- about 700 people. I know many people who never lock their doors-- even when leaving town for vacation or a weekend, etc. I live 'upstreet' on Main Street-- and I button up my house like Fort Knox at night when we go to bed-- but never during the day or when we leave for groceries, etc. I would only lock it completely if I boarded my dogs while being away-- otherwise I would leave the backdoor unlocked for whoever came to care for them to be able to get in. So there really isn't any consistency. I think some people lock and some people don't-- and it doesn't always mean they have been robbed or are suspicious, etc.

And I did have a mower stolen from my rear garage 2 years ago-- and yet I don't padlock it at all. Mower, snowblower, etc--- all in there. I have motion lights-- but I can traverse my back yard without setting any of them off.

I don't leave valuables in my car-- but my dad once told me not to lock it unless it was in long term parking somewhere, because if someone wanted in bad enough they would break the window. So I seldom lock it.

Home security varies drastically in my neighborhood. My neighbors to the north lock up everything and it takes them some time to open all the locks to answer their door-- the south? They holler come in not even knowing who is at the door.... There are probably 2 people who I don't mind barging into my house without knocking, otherwise-- it ticks me off when people come in. My son's girlfriend just came in once-- and I put a stop to it. He on the other hand could just go into their house at will-- even in the middle of the night!

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Re: A&A's bedroom door lock/Did they feel safe?

Postby Curryong » Sat Aug 16, 2014 3:30 am

I lived in a small resort town in Norfolk when I lived in England, and my family only locked the house up at night and when we were all going out for the day or overnight. I settled down in a small town in Australia, which centred, and still does, around the racing industry. So, plenty of visitors to both locations!

Yet, in general, although this town has grown hugely in the decades I've lived here to the extent that it's now almost a dormitory suburb of Melbourne, no-one I know locks their external doors if they are just going to pop round to a neighbours or to the local shop. Almost all lock up if they are going to be a few hours away from their homes (out for the evening or the afternoon) and at night.

ive known only two people in my lifetime who have locked internal doors when leaving the room. One was an academic who always locked his study out of habit when leaving it. The other was a friend from years back who had a son who was a drug addict. She believed he would have done anything to get money for a hit. He didnt live in the home but twice he got inside when her husband was out and threatened her. They lived in a rural area and she took precautions, including the internal locking of doors.

They are the only two, and I do think that the heightened security measures the Bordens took was a sign of something unusual going on, whether family dynamics, paranoid behavior, or whatever!

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Re: A&A's bedroom door lock/Did they feel safe?

Postby BOBO » Sat Aug 16, 2014 9:45 am

Aamartin wrote:I have been going through testimony and old posts till I can barely see anymore to find if there is any reference to whether or not they kept the door locked when they were in the room sleeping....

Anyone know?

Using the search words "bedroom locks" several forum members give their opinions on weather Andrew slept with their door locked. I could find no direct quote from any household member stating this was the case. Some question if Andrew left the key on the mantle when he went to bed. Again all I could find on that subject was opinions.
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Re: A&A's bedroom door lock/Did they feel safe?

Postby debbiediablo » Sat Aug 16, 2014 10:11 am

One thing for sure: Andrew didn't keep the club under the bed for use when he was at the office! Thus the locks.... :smiliecolors:
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Re: A&A's bedroom door lock/Did they feel safe?

Postby BOBO » Sat Aug 16, 2014 10:48 am

This from the Vermont Phoenix., June 16, 1893.... "... it appears that these Borden's kept all their doors locked day and night. The front door was always at least caught with a dead latch. The side door was locked, and nobody ever went out the kitchen door without being required to call someone to hook it. They also kept their own individual bedrooms locked. When anybody came out of his room he always locked the door and put the key in his pocket."
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Re: A&A's bedroom door lock/Did they feel safe?

Postby Curryong » Mon Aug 18, 2014 10:00 pm

Even if that newspaper report isn't accurate I think the fact that there were articles about the unusual nature of security within the Borden household is notable. When did it start? It SEEMS to have begun straight after the daylight robbery when the household was literally divided in half, but was Andrew always a bit paranoid about safety as he was the sole male in the household?

Did Andrew advise Lizzie to lock her door in case burglars should break in at the front of the house? (With Emma's room that wasn't necessary, as there was no separate entry to her room from the tiny upstairs lobby.) It might have been Lizzie's own idea of course, and it did give her a lot of privacy especially when Emma was away.

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Re: A&A's bedroom door lock/Did they feel safe?

Postby debbiediablo » Tue Aug 19, 2014 12:00 am

I still entertain the idea that Lizzie might have brought someone into the house when she came home from Alice Russell's the night before. My first thought was "she locked herself 'in' with John Tatro" and Abby found him the following morning, screamed, "Your father will disinherit you if your name ends up in the newspaper like Mary Soucie," and somehow the hatchet comes into play.

I'm only half joking about this, except the source of the hatchet is a huge problem with this scenario...unless everyone in the Borden family kept a weapon for bludgeoning under the bed. (We sleep with a shot gun under the bed, and nothing is threatening us nor have we ever felt threatened...)
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Re: A&A's bedroom door lock/Did they feel safe?

Postby Curryong » Tue Aug 19, 2014 12:25 am

As John Tatro was originally a barber you'd think one of the cut throat razors of the time would have been his weapon of choice. (In Jack the Ripper's case one of the chief suspects of several early Ripperologists and Inspector Aberline was a Polish barber!)

If the hatchet had been one pinched from that carpenter on the Crowe's barn roof then it shows a level of pre-meditation on the part of the thief.

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Re: A&A's bedroom door lock/Did they feel safe?

Postby debbiediablo » Tue Aug 19, 2014 12:56 am

It would've been brand new. Odd that the carpenter didn't make a fuss although maybe he did, and we don't have the records.

Maybe yes to premeditation if she lifted it. She appears to have had a compulsion to shoplift which means she would take things she could both afford or might not even want. Even so, a hatchet seems beyond the norm unless she was planning to use it. So maybe another question is would she have stolen for some other use? Like whacking a fish?

I don't think any of them felt safe. As BOBO points out, locks were everywhere throughout the house. As Possum points out, there were three on the front door. Andrew slept with a club under the bed. There was a lot of locking and unlocking the side door on the day of the murders.

Thing is Andrew could strongly suspect Lizzie of the thefts. But like us when we strongly suspect her of double murder, he never would know for absolute sure if she did or if she didn't.
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Re: A&A's bedroom door lock/Did they feel safe?

Postby irina » Tue Aug 19, 2014 10:17 am

I don't know what a lady might have used for self defense beyond a hat pin in those days. Lizzie went out in the evening alone and unescorted, for example to see Alice Russell. Is it possible she determined on a small hatchet in her bag or a deep pocket because of the man (men) seen creeping around the outside of the house?

Considering the bedroom lock to Andrew & Abby's room, the 'NY Sun' article I found so interesting has Bridget saying the key on the mantle was to the SAFE and that Andrew got it to put the small item in the SAFE. So newspapers get stuff wrong and it might not mean anything except the mantle key was needed for Bridget and Mrs. Churchill to retrieve the sheets from Mrs. Borden's room. The way the various bits come out through testimony it seems to me the actual BED room, the sleeping chamber, was not locked. Thus if Abby wanted to lie down during the day she wouldn't have to unlock her actual BED. Beyond this room there were two rooms/spaces that held the safe, other important things and served as an office. I believe the door to Mrs. Borden's room, where the sheets were in a closet, was opened by the key on the mantle. If so this also makes Bridget's statement very true in that the door key led to the area where was the SAFE. Thus she tells us honestly that Andrew used the mantel key to gain access to the (room) SAFE to put away whatever he brought from downtown. It doesn't mean a lot but perhaps demonstrates the quality of the article in the 'Sun'.

Whether or not Mr. & Mrs. B. locked themselves into their bedroom at night, this could have been accomplished with a bolt, hook, spring lock or perhaps a chair wedged under the knob.

What I find odd about the various locks is that Lizzie said she always locked her bedroom door unless it was too hot, when she had the door open for a cross draft. I understand wanting the breeze but how important was it to have doors locked? In certain areas of certain cities one wouldn't open a door for a cross draft because of the crime in the neighborhood. OK so 92 Second wasn't in the slums and drug gangs hadn't been invented, but was Lizzie afraid, cautious or merely desirous of privacy? Did she ever SLEEP with the door open~or unlocked?
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Re: A&A's bedroom door lock/Did they feel safe?

Postby Curryong » Tue Aug 19, 2014 11:35 am

This is how Bridget spoke at the trial of how the household went about its business on that early Thursday morning.

After describing in her testimony how she got up, started the stove, put out the milk jug etc she continued with her testimony
'Mr Borden came down in about five minutes; he went into the sitting room and put THE KEY OF HIS BEDROOM on the shelf. He KEPT it there. He then came into the kitchen ....' Bridget then goes on about the slop pail etc.

(I'm not shouting in the above passage. It's just that my little I-pad can't underline or make letters stand out and I just wanted to emphasis what Bridget said.)

Andrew would have locked his room in my opinion because he came down with the key which he had kept with him all night. There wouldn't be much use in keeping a bedroom open to intruders, burglars or whoever and just hoping a club under the bed would be security enough.

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Re: A&A's bedroom door lock/Did they feel safe?

Postby irina » Tue Aug 19, 2014 11:58 am

Yeah...there is that... Maybe the mantel key unlocked a couple doors~skeleton key perhaps?~and the main bedroom door was locked all night. Perhaps not in the day time. Or maybe it was in the day time. What a confusing mess.

Since I graduated to Chromebook I can use different fonts but it is difficult going back and forth. I tend to write similar to how I would write a speech, emphasizing things the way I would say them. For me all caps means emphasis and nothing else unless I add a dozen exclamation points. I like Kat's style of using ** in place of quotation marks. That's a nice style. I didn't realise all caps meant shouting for a long time. When I Tweet articles I put my comments in all caps to differentiate from the main text. Kind of like yelling: EXTRA! EXTRA! READ ALL ABOUT IT! :wink:
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Re: A&A's bedroom door lock/Did they feel safe?

Postby Curryong » Tue Aug 19, 2014 6:19 pm

My son buys new computers/software quite often and I have now inherited his 'old' ASIS computer, which has all the bells and whistles you would ever need. Although reasonably used to computers (we have ancient ones at the community centre at which I've volunteered for a long time,) I drive my son mad because although I use the ASIS, and it is remarkable, I remain devoted to my i-pad 2, which is so simple a child of six could use it!

He calls it a toy! I agree! It isn't sophisticated at all. It has some main advantages for me. It is simple, it is small and light so it is comfortable to use in bed (useful for somebody who is on a couple of forums and most fellow posters are in an opposite time zone) and my Kindle is on there so I can read it comfortably in bed, chair, or lying on the rug in front of the sitting room heater (a favourite position!)

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Re: A&A's bedroom door lock/Did they feel safe?

Postby irina » Tue Aug 19, 2014 6:40 pm

I use a lap top as a LAP top. Meaning on my knees, in bed, wherever. My left arm is mostly decorative, about 25% useful, and I can't risk trying to catch something heavy if it slips off my lap. I think the Chrome Book is aimed at school kids. Easy to use, tough as heck, not too heavy to cram in a book bag and walk to school. Folks who know more than me find limitations. My main limitation for me is with photography which I just got deeper into in the last few months. Since I'm an artist I'd like to photo-shop but that can't be done on Chrome.
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Re: A&A's bedroom door lock/Did they feel safe?

Postby debbiediablo » Tue Aug 19, 2014 8:28 pm

iPads are commonly used as communication devices for kiddos who are in the severe and profound range of mental retardation including those on the autism spectrum. Not too long ago I watched a little boy (age 8, non-verbal and not toilet trained) have an argument with his Mom via iPad. He kept pressing the NetFlix icon, and she kept saying, "No NetFlix right now." Then he would look right at her an press the NetFlix icon again. :smiliecolors: Non-verbal persons of all ages are prone to severe behaviors when they can't get across what they need or want. I smile when thinking that instead of throwing a tantrum he was having a debate!!! Via iPad.
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Re: A&A's bedroom door lock/Did they feel safe?

Postby Curryong » Tue Aug 19, 2014 8:36 pm

Thank heavens i-pads weren't around in Abby and Lizzie's day! I am using the more sophisticated device, debbie, I promise!

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Re: A&A's bedroom door lock/Did they feel safe?

Postby debbiediablo » Tue Aug 19, 2014 9:01 pm

Lol... :smiliecolors: These iPads are the same as yours except they are set up as communication devices individualized for the child. Kiddo moves through screens with icons to indicate what he wants, like pizza or bed to swingset or Grandma. Then the iPad is placed in a rubberized protector that keeps it from breaking when thrown against the wall. This is kind of amazing because similar devices (DynaVox for one) used to cost up to $7,000 (15-20 years ago) and didn't work nearly so well.

I am a lifelong MacLover although I've owned Windows machines and have one at work that I avoid. This is a MacAir which is a very tiny laptop with a flash drive instead of a hard drive, 1/16th of an inch at the thinnest point. I like it for all the reasons you cite: it's fast and easy and small enough to take anywhere, also sharp looking. We live so far out in the country that highspeed internet isn't even available. I had a dish but the uptake was latent so switched to a modem that connects with the cell phone tower. This keeps me online anywhere that a cell phone works. Now, back to the topic.... :smiliecolors:

If this kind of technology were available in 1892 the crime scene photos taken with an iPhone would've gone viral in 24 hours!
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Re: A&A's bedroom door lock/Did they feel safe?

Postby Curryong » Tue Aug 19, 2014 9:44 pm

Plus we would have known (if it was Lizzie, of course) what she was wearing, paint-stained dress, Abby's raincoat, apron. In fact it would all have been solved when the police got there, even if Lizzie had tried to destroy the hard drive! I rather like the idea of Abby getting some peace and quiet with her computer in the guest room after the necessary fumigation of the room was completed. (John probably slept in his socks, as well!)

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Re: A&A's bedroom door lock/Did they feel safe?

Postby irina » Tue Aug 19, 2014 9:58 pm

Each Borden could have been safe in their individual rooms. Andrew could keep up with business and trade online. Emma could take virtual tours of Scotland online. Abby could research recipes and have friends on Facebook. Lizzie...art, literature, celebrity gossip...Candy Crush Saga...who knows?
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Re: A&A's bedroom door lock/Did they feel safe?

Postby debbiediablo » Tue Aug 19, 2014 10:38 pm

My hard drive would not a forensically pretty picture. I can it now: the accused Googled "death by prussic acid" - "death by guillotine" (I'm reading about the French revolution) - "death by asphyxiation" (Robin Williams) - "dismemberment" (Black Dahlia) - "death by drawing and quartering" (Robert-Francois Damiens who tried to kill Louis XV with a pocket knife) - "death masks" (Mdm Tussaud was required to make death masks from the severed heads of Marie Antoinette, Louis XVI, Robespierre and then she turned it into a business). Etc. No one would bother to mention all the nice stuff like "wrapper Victorian dress" or "trans cranial stimulation device". :smiliecolors: Sometimes I think we over focus on all the potentially incriminating behaviors of Lizzie but fail to view them in full context. Like she changed dresses on the day of the murders. It could be due to possible blood stains or more likely she wanted something still socially acceptable that allowed her to breathe.
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Re: A&A's bedroom door lock/Did they feel safe?

Postby irina » Tue Aug 19, 2014 11:24 pm

I don't get so deep in the gory parts though of course I have read all of that. For me the eternal question is why? And how did people feel and think? I like to look at the little details and see if any of them matter. I too look up all kinds of strange stuff online and have a sideline of studying diseases. My formal education is in biochemistry. Depending on where my writing career leads I want to be tough enough to cover any story. I believe I am but it is good to stay in practice. There are some awful pictures coming out of the Middle East. Some I don't think are real. Considering that I would rather be beheaded than die like Abby and Andrew did.
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Re: A&A's bedroom door lock/Did they feel safe?

Postby Curryong » Wed Aug 20, 2014 3:49 am

I don't think my Kindle would paint a great picture of my personality/interests. Besides detective fiction and three books on Lizzie/the Borden's, I have one on the end of the Romanovs, also an obscure Australian murder which turned out to be a suicide, the 1931 Wallace case, (England), one a poisoned pheasant murder of an army officer in England in the early 1930's, the Villisca murders book, and 'Slash'! Even my history magazine has Richard III on the cover, a possible villain!

I can just imagine Lizzie watching European opera and drama online! Bridget would be able to send e-mails to family and friends at home and post Instagrams. They would all be in seventh heaven!

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Re: A&A's bedroom door lock/Did they feel safe?

Postby BOBO » Wed Aug 20, 2014 8:29 pm

Aamartin wrote:I have been going through testimony and old posts till I can barely see anymore to find if there is any reference to whether or not they kept the door locked when they were in the room sleeping....

Anyone know?
This from the archives, a partial post by Harry on Oct. 25, 2002..... Bridget being questioned by Robinson, concerning A&A's bedroom door.
Q. Their bedroom door. Going up the back stairs you would reach their bedroom door, and that key was kept on the mantel in the sitting room unless it was in use up there?
A. Yes
Tell the truth, then you don't have to remember anything.... Mark Twain

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Re: A&A's bedroom door lock/Did they feel safe?

Postby Curryong » Thu Aug 21, 2014 3:41 am

Thanks, BOBO! I did post a little bit of Bridget's testimony from early that Thursday morning saying much the same a few posts back, so it appears clear that Andrew and Abby did lock the door at night and during the day, too.

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Re: A&A's bedroom door lock/Did they feel safe?

Postby Aamartin » Thu Aug 21, 2014 1:55 pm

IMO this testimony does not positively indicate they locked themselves in. Of course they had to take the key up when they went to bed-- to get in to the room. It does say 'in use' which would cause one to think they did lock themselves in, but it was not followed up on specifically. Andrew was up a bit later than Abby the night before the murders. If they did routinely lock the doors, either they had 2 keys or she slept in an unlocked room until he went to bed.

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Re: A&A's bedroom door lock/Did they feel safe?

Postby BOBO » Thu Aug 21, 2014 4:15 pm

This from the New York tribune June 8, 1893.... "But it appears from Bridget's testimony, as well as Morse's, that they always locked all their doors; that everybody in that queer household barred himself by all the bolts he could make use of, and at all hours of the day and night, from everybody else."
Again, no direct testimony. Notice the use of the word "bolts".
Tell the truth, then you don't have to remember anything.... Mark Twain

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Re: A&A's bedroom door lock/Did they feel safe?

Postby BOBO » Thu Aug 21, 2014 9:31 pm

Bridget's trial testimony... "Mrs. Borden was the first one I see that morning; she gave me orders about breakfast; it was about half-past six. Mr. Borden came down in about five minutes; he went into the sitting room and put the key of his bedroom on the shelf."
I know he needed the key to get IN, but I can't see him not using it once they were inside. I wonder if Abby had a bedroom key?
Tell the truth, then you don't have to remember anything.... Mark Twain

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Re: A&A's bedroom door lock/Did they feel safe?

Postby Curryong » Fri Aug 22, 2014 8:01 pm

Yes, the only mention that we have of any key belonging to Abby is Phoebe Bowen's curious statement that a little time before the murders she and Abby went to the back/side door of No 92 after they were out, as Abby had said they would have to go round the back as 'they' had taken her front door key.

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Re: A&A's bedroom door lock/Did they feel safe?

Postby ErikaMailman » Wed Jul 05, 2017 5:29 pm

Do we think that Andrew installed the lock to the staircase at the same time as the lock between his chamber and his daughters'? (after the daytime robbery?)

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Re: A&A's bedroom door lock/Did they feel safe?

Postby twinsrwe » Wed Jul 05, 2017 7:28 pm

Hello Erika. Welcome to the forum.

You have a very good question here! I don't recall ever discussing when those locks were installed. :scratch:

I'll do some research and see if I can get an answer for you.
"You can fool some of the people all the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all the people all of the time."~ Abraham Lincoln :grin:

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Re: A&A's bedroom door lock/Did they feel safe?

Postby snokkums » Fri Aug 11, 2017 2:30 pm

I think he kept the door locked because lizzie was caught shop lifting at the local 5 and dime store. He didn't want her stealing from him. From what I understand, she was a real cklpto.
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Re: A&A's bedroom door lock/Did they feel safe?

Postby InterestedReader » Sat Aug 12, 2017 10:18 am

Why was Lizzie keeping her door locked all day?
(She makes a point of saying she did, at the Inquest.)

According to the schematic her bedroom had two doors ordinarily kept locked, to the Bordens' bedroom and the Guest Room, and then she was also locking her door onto the landing!

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