The Evening Standard—Thursday, August 11, 1892 Page 3
Note: The beginning of this article is missing. It probably begins on page 2 which is not available.
she was on the south side she was close to another door.
Nobody Entered or Left the House
while she was washing the windows. Just as she had completed her work, she saw Mr. Borden coming across the street and she hurried across the lower floor to let him in. The government has fixed the time at which he entered. The servant then attended to one or two other matters in the kitchen and went upstairs. As she passed through the sitting room she saw Mr. Borden on the lounge, and Miss Lizzie was ironing, according to her testimony. Bridget Sullivan went to the third story where her room was situated to lie down a few moments, as her back ached. The next that she knew Miss Lizzie called her and she went down to gaze on the awful scene which had startled the young woman who had summoned her. John Morse was not in the house. Medical Examiner Dolan has testified that Mrs. Borden was slaughtered some time before Mr. Borden came in. She might have been dead half or three-quarters of an hour. Accordingly, the man who was concealed in the house came in before 9:30, when the servant started to clean the windows on the outside. He did not leave before 10:30, and he could not leave the side door for some minutes after that, as Bridget Sullivan did not go up stairs to her room until after 10:30. In other words, the servant was practically on guard for an hour, and the man who did the deed must have killed both Mr. and Mrs. Borden after he returned from town, or he must have concealed themselves in the house at an early hour and waited.
Prof. Wood has testified that the marks discovered on one of the axes in the possession of the police are blood marks, and he will soon determine
Whether it is Human Blood or Not.
If they are, he can make comparisons which it is thought will be conclusive evidence that this was the weapon used in the double tragedy. No information of importance has been elicited from Miss Lizzie Borden on the witness stand. She tells the same story she told in the first place, and she does not vary it in the telling. She was ironing during the morning, she says, and was in the barn 20 minutes. Much has been made of the dust which covered the top floor of the stable in which an officer’s feet left tracks, but which showed no marks before he examined it. Miss Lizzie has stated that she went to the top floor, but, as has been reported, it is believed that she is mistaken.
A Significant Remark.
The remark of one of the officials, who is conversant with all the details of the government work, is significant. He informed an intimate friend Tuesday night that the government work seems likely to be brought to a satisfactory termination.
It is becoming more and more difficult to obtain any information whatever from the police, and occasionally it is noticed that misleading statements are allowed to leak out apparently without contradiction from those authorities who are conducting the investigation. It is said there is an object in all this, and circumstances connected with the departure of the domestic, Bridget Sullivan, from the District Court room Tuesday would seem to confirm this. It was announced and apparently not without authority, that this woman had been allowed to go upon our own recognizance with the understanding that she was to appear when wanted. As a matter of fact, it was learned yesterday that this is not true, and that with her departure she was placed under a guard. This guard watched the house of her cousin on Division street all night and is still there. The Sullivan woman desired to go to church, but Marshal Hilliard dissuaded her from doing so, and apparently she was very willing to carry out the wishes of the police in this direction. The reason for the story that the domestic was free to go where she pleases without surveillance is unknown, but the fact of its falsity is good evidence that the suspicions of the authorities have not been lulled.
An Expert Opinion.
The criticism of the Fall River police for not acting with greater shrewdness and the condition of the case itself at this moment, makes the opinion of experienced criminal detectives who know something about the murder of Mr. and Mr. Borden of importance. Benjamin Buffington, deputy sheriff and former district officer, and at one time tax assessor of Fall River, was one of the first persons at the Borden house last Thursday, made an examination of the premises, talked with Bridget Sullivan and Miss Lizzie Borden and made inquiries in the houses surrounding the Borden residence concerning what the inmates had seen or heard. Mr. Buffington said yesterday morning:
” I made my examination of the place of the crime about 1 o’clock last Thursday, and I came away with a theory of the cause of it. The theory I am not going to state, but I will say that this is a crime unlike any other crime.
The Motive Was Not Robbery,
Revenge or Spite.
It was the removal of somebody out of the way. I did not go into the house or think it was necessary. I went into the barn, looked about the fences and went over into the yard surrounding the house. There is nobody who could have told from the condition of the barn that anybody had or had not been in there. There wasn’t enough dust on the floor for anybody’s footsteps to have left marks in it, so whether Lizzie Borden went in there or not can’t be said for certain. The ground on both sides of the fences showed no signs of any person having jumped the fence, although a person might have jumped the highest fence even with a cleaver concealed about him, without much trouble. According to what one of the oldest doctor’s tells me, Mrs. Borden must have been killed about 9:30 o’clock. The weapon it was done with must have been thin edged, something like a cleaver. If it had been an axe or hatchet, the thickness of the blade just above would have caused wounds that opened wider, and blood would have been spattered. Mr. Borden’s death I place at between five minutes of 11 and five minutes past. Bridget Sullivan told me that she heard the clock strike 11 just before Miss Lizzie called her down stairs. Now you have heard people talk about the inactivity of the police. Let me tell you that
The Police Can’t Go Ahead When They
Haven’t Evidence to Convict.
I had a case of murder up between here and Boston, where I was State officer which illustrates. A companion of the man I suspected told me all about it under a promise that I would not use it unless I got other testimony. As hard as I tried I could not get other evidence to convict, and I had to give it up. I had promised and only got my information by the promise, and I never broke my word. I couldn’t ask the companion to turn State’s evidence. The man who committed the crime is now in jail. We pushed him hard enough on other cases to shut him up. In this Borden case they may have been running up against an equally great difficulty in getting evidence. It is hard to break some people down. What can the police do when they cannot get evidence? They can’t do anything in this case unless they get somebody to give a fairly plain clew. But I believe
This Case is Coming to Light
just as sure as fate. It will come inside of 24 hours. There is somebody who can tell you what actually transpired in that house, whether it was a man’s or a woman’s hand which killed Mr. and Mrs. Borden, whether the weapon is in the house now or has been taken away, and whether the person that did it had on gloves and apron and then burned them up.” Mr. Buffington would not say any more at this time, but said that in the future, if any arrest was made, he would be ready to give his theory and a sketch of the family.
Detective Hanscom Still Active.
Though Pinkerton detective Hanscom has received but little newspaper attention during the last few days, that active individual is very much in the case, and from his position views with apparent equanimity the efforts of the officers of the Government. Mr. Hanscom declines to be interviewed regarding his work here, and as far as can be observed limits his consultations to numerous visits to Andrew J. Jennings, the legal adviser of the Borden family and apparently there is some curiosity at police headquarters as to the exact nature of the labors which are being performed by Mr. Hanscom, the general presumption, being, of course, that he is here for the personal protection of Miss Lizzie Borden.
Mr. Hanscom says he has no new theory to advance in the case, nothing in fact beyond what he has already said. He says the ferreting out of the mystery is in very capable hands, and that the police, under Marshal Hilliard, are doing good work. Mr. Hanscom smiles when he says this, for he knows that the local police authorities do not like his presence here in the employ of the Borden family, and have expressed themselves in very strong terms regarding the doubts which the Pinkerton man has cast upon a portion of their accumulated wisdom.
He did speak a few sentences yesterday when a Journal representative asked him if there was any truth in the story advanced by one of the Government officers to the effect that Detective Hanscom had two assistants here who sole duty it was
To Shadow Officer Seaver and
and ascertain the clews upon which they were working, and Mr. Hanscom’s reply to this was that there was some stories the absurdity of which showed that they required no answer. He said he was in Fall River not to ascertain what other people were doing, but to attend to his own affairs.
Talk of Possible Arrest.
The talk of the possible arrest of Lizzie A. Borden is again renewed. It is learned that City Marshal Hilliard will be all ready to act at once whenever the district attorney gives the word. It is Mr. Knowlton, however, who holds the reins, and none who know him believe that he will act without great deliberation and careful forethought. Bristol county is fortunate in this hour of popular excitement in the possession of an officer of such level-headedness and sound common sense. He alone stands between Lizzie A. Borden and the popular clamor, and on both sides there appears the most implicit confidence in Mr. Knowlton that he will see that justice is done. There will be no arrest unless he says so. The talk about an arrest within 24 hours and wagers made upon it throughout the city rests entirely on his action. The general belief now is that the arrest will come Friday, or not at all for some time to come.