40 Whacks Museum
For Immediate Release:
Salemâ€™s Lizzie Borden Museum Closes
Leonard Pickel of the 40 Whacks Museum announced today that the Salem museum will not open for the 2011 season. â€œWe are heartbroken,â€ stated Pickel who has been working on his dream of a Lizzie museum since 1992, after thousands of people descended on Fall River for the 100 year anniversary of the murders to find little more about the famous case than a small display at the historical society and the Borden gravesite. â€œIt was just the struggling economy,â€ explains Pickel who touts two years of economic downturn and lack of investment capital as the reason for the museumâ€™s closure.
The Museum and gift shop opened in August of 2008 to nationwide debate over a Borden museum in Salem. â€œWe chose the Essex street location because we could reach more people with Lizzieâ€™s story than we could have in Fall River, where the murders took place,â€ explains Pickel who was surprised by the controversy. â€œAfter all, Lizzie is part of Massachusetts history and the Borden murder mystery is a fascinating unsolved true crime!â€
The 40 Whacks Museum detailed the life and times of the Lizzie Borden, a Fall River spinster arrested, tried and acquitted for the gruesome murders of her father and stepmother. â€œSo many books on Lizzie Borden try to solve the murders by inventing facts or leaving them out to support their position.â€ explains Pickel who is in the process of writing his own book on Lizzie Borden from research done for the museum. â€œWe cut through the spin, presenting the true story of Lizzie Borden and let the people decide if she did, or she didnâ€™t commit two ghastly murders. What we will miss most is watching people leave the gift shop arguing over Lizzieâ€™s guilt or innocence as they walked down Essex Streetâ€