Probable Sequence of Events

Source: Preliminary Hearing, except where specified. Preliminary Hearing in the Borden Case before Judge Blaisdell, August 25 through September 1, 1892. Fall River, MA: Fall River Historical Society. Probable Sequence of Events © 2001 Kat Koorey
From the moment Lizzie “holloed so loud” to Bridget to “come down quick,” that her father was dead (Bridget, Prelim., p. 27), there was mass confusion: people coming and going, asking questions, contaminating the crime scene, even to the extent of allowing a reporter into the house that morning (Witness Statements, Off. Doherty, p. 4). By afternoon, there was a convention of doctors in the house all in consultation, and with bloodied hands (W.S., Bridget, Dr. Dedrick, p. 22).
The following Sequence of Events is an attempt to sort through the excited confusion and detail who came when according to their summons, even though there is a natural conflict of statements. The interesting outcome of this research was to find how often Lizzie called for assistance only to send that person away again on some errand. This left her (unusually) alone in the several key moments after the first outcry, alone possibly with a murderer loose in the house she refused to vacate.
Aug. 4, 1892
Lizzie calls out for Bridget, approx. 11:10 a.m. (p. 27)
Lizzie sends Bridget for Dr. Bowen (p. 27)
Bridget returns alone (p. 28)
Lizzie sends Bridget for Alice Russell (p. 28)
Mrs. Churchill comes from next door while Bridget gone (p. 281 – 282)
Lizzie was alone (p. 282)
Mrs. Churchill goes for help (p. 283)
Mrs. Churchill returns (p. 284)
Lizzie was alone (p. 284)
Dr. Bowen comes (p. 28, 273)
Bridget returns (p. 273)
Lizzie, Bridget and Mrs. Churchill go into the kitchen (p. 284)
Lizzie mentions cemetery to Mrs. Churchill (p. 278)
Dr. Bowen goes into sitting room to view Andrew’s body (p. 274)
Alice Russell comes (p.30, p. 274, Inquest, p. 148)
Mrs. Churchill and Bridget go up back stairs to get sheets (p. 274)
Officer Allen comes with private citizen Mr. Sawyer (Witness Statements, p. 1)
Officer Allen leaves (W.S., p. 1)
Mr. Sawyer stays at door (W.S., p. 12)
Dr. Bowen leaves to send telegram to Emma, etc. (p. 274)
Bridget and Mrs. Churchill find Abby’s body up stairs in guest room (p. 29, 30)
Bridget is sent for Mrs. Dr. Bowen (p. 84)
Bridget returns (p. 479)
Lizzie, Alice, Mrs. Churchill and Bridget are all in the kitchen (p. 285)
Mrs. Dr. Bowen comes (p. 479)
Dr. Bowen returns (p. 2 75 & W.S., p. 4)
Lizzie, Alice, Mrs. Churchill, Bridget and Mrs. Dr. Bowen all go into the dining room (p. 480)
Mrs. Dr. Bowen is sent home (p. 480)
Officer Doherty comes (W.S., p. 1)
Officer Allen comes right after (W.S., p. 1)
Officer Allen told about Abby’s body found, leaves again (W.S., p. 1)