Monday, January 14, 2013

Statement Analysis: Lizzie Borden Took An Ax...

There are many examples where phrases or poems have displaced truth, long before "if it don't fit, you must acquit" appealing to the lazy minded.

The "Columbus, the world, she's a flat!" is a good example of how kids in school have been taught to follow pop phrases or poems, rather than history.  This one missed its target by almost 2,000 years!

"Lizzie Borden took an ax, and gave her mother forty whacks.  When she saw what she had done, she gave her father forty one."

I learned this as a boy.  I believe it was used as a sensational trick to sell newspapers.

                                                       It is also not accurate.

In our Ramsey Poll, 97% of you said that the family was responsible, not an intruder.  One person left this as a comment and I thought it interesting to post here for all.  Although the poem about Lizzie is not correct, this post was fascinating and readership should be able to identify the signals of sensitivity without difficulty.

Here is, first, a Wiki-entry on Lizzie Borden:

Lizzie Andrew Borden[1] (July 19, 1860 – June 1, 1927) was an American woman who was tried and acquitted in the 1892 axe murders of her father and stepmother in Fall River, Massachusetts. The case was a cause célèbre throughout the United States. Following her release from the prison in which she had been held during the trial, Borden chose to remain a resident of Fall River, Massachusetts for the rest of her life, despite facing significant ostracism. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts elected to charge no one else with the murder of Andrew and Abby Borden, and speculation about the crimes continues into the 21st century.

During the inquest family live-in maid Bridget Sullivan testified that Lizzie and her sister rarely ate meals with their parents.[8]Further during questioning by police and during the inquest Lizzie indicated that she did not call her stepmother "Mother" but rather "Mrs. Borden" and demurred on the subject of whether or not they were cordial with each other. In May 1892, there was an incident in which Andrew, believing that pigeons Lizzie kept in the barn were attracting intruders, killed the pigeons with a hatchet. A family argument in July 1892 prompted both sisters to take extended "vacations".[9]
Tension had been growing in the family in the months before the murders, especially over Andrew's gifts to various branches of the family. After Abby's relatives received a house, the sisters demanded and received a rental property—which they later sold back to their father for cash[1][10]—and just before the murders a brother of Andrew's first wife had visited regarding transfer of another property. The night before the murders John Vinnicum Morse, the brother of Lizzie's and Emma's deceased mother, visited the home to speak about business matters with Andrew. Some writers have speculated that their conversation -- particularly as it related to property transfer -- may have aggravated an already tense situation.
For several days before the murders the entire household had been violently ill. The family doctor blamed food left on the stove for use in meals over several days, but Abby had feared poisoning—Andrew Borden had not been a popular man.[11]


Body of Andrew Borden

Body of Abby Borden
On August 4, 1892, Andrew Borden breakfasted with his wife and made his usual rounds of the bank and post office, returning home about 10:45 am. The Bordens' maid, Bridget Sullivan, testified that she was in her third-floor room, resting from cleaning windows, when just before 11:10 am she heard Lizzie call out, "Maggie, come quick! Father's dead. Somebody came in and killed him." (Sullivan was sometimes called "Maggie", the name of an earlier maid).[5][12]
Andrew was slumped on a couch in the downstairs sitting room, struck 10 or 11 times with a hatchet-like weapon.[13] One of his eyeballs had been split cleanly in two,[14] suggesting he had been asleep when attacked.[15] Soon after, as neighbors and doctors tended Lizzie, Sullivan discovered Abby Borden in the upstairs guest bedroom, her skull crushed by 19 blows.
Police found a hatchet in the basement which,[16] though free of blood, was missing most of its handle. Lizzie was arrested on August 11; a grand jury began hearing evidence on November 7 and indicted on December 2.


Lizzie Borden during the trial, byBenjamin West Clinedinst

"...with a certain weapon, to wit, a sharp cutting instrument, the name and a more particular description of which is [sic] to the Jurors unknown..."
Lizzie's trial took place in New Bedford the following June.[17] Prosecuting attorneys included future Supreme Court Justice William H. Moody; defending were Andrew V. Jennings,[16] Melvin O. Adams, and former Massachusetts governor George D. Robinson.
Prominent points in the trial (or press coverage of it) included:
  • The hatchet head found in the basement was not convincingly shown to be the murder weapon. Prosecutors argued that the killer had removed the handle because it was bloody, but while one officer testified that a hatchet handle was found near the hatchet head, another officer contradicted this.
  • Though no bloody clothing was found, a few days after the murder Lizzie burned a dress in the stove, saying it had been ruined when she brushed against fresh paint.[16]
  • There was a similar axe murder nearby shortly before the trial, though its perpetrator was shown to have been out of the country when the Bordens were killed.[18]
  • Evidence was excluded that Lizzie had sought to purchase prussic acid (for cleaning a sealskin cloak, she said) from a local druggist on the day before the murders.[19][20]
  • Because of the mysterious illness that had struck the household before the murders the family's milk, and Andrew and Abby's stomachs (removed during autopsies performed in the Borden dining room), were tested for poison;[21] no poison was found.[22]
  • The victims' heads were removed during autopsy.[23] After the skulls were used as evidence during the trial – Borden fainted upon seeing them[24] – the heads were later buried at the foot of each grave.
On June 20, after deliberating an hour and a half, the jury acquitted.[16]
The trial has been compared to the later trials of Bruno HauptmannEthel and Julius Rosenberg, and O.J. Simpson as a landmark in publicity and public interest in American legal proceedings.[25][26][27][28][29][30]

[edit]Other theories

No one else was charged in the murders, and they continue to be the subject of research and speculation. Among those suggested to be the killers by various authors are:
  • Lizzie herself, despite her acquittal—one writer proposing that she killed while in a fugue state.[31]
  • Bridget Sullivan, perhaps in anger at being ordered to clean windows on a hot day—the day of the murders was unusually hot—and while still recovering from the mystery illness that had struck the household.[32]
  • A "William Borden" (who according to this theory was Andrew Borden's illegitimate son) after failing to extort money from his father.[33]
  • Emma Borden, having established an alibi at Fairhaven, Connecticut (about 15 miles away from Fall River, Massachusetts) comes secretly to Fall River to commit the murders and returns to Fairhaven to receive the telegram informing her of the murders.[34]

[edit]Subsequent life

Trial jury
After the trial the sisters moved to a large, modern house in the fashionable "Hill" neighborhood of Fall River. Around this time Lizzie began using the name Lizbeth A. Borden.[17][35]. At their new house, which Lizbeth named "Maplecroft," the sisters had a staff that included live-in maids, a housekeeper and a coachman. Because Abby was ruled to have died before Andrew, her estate went first to Andrew and then, at his death, passed to his daughters as part of his estate; a considerable settlement, however, was paid to settle claims by Abby's family (especially Abby's two sisters).[17][35]
Despite the acquittal, Lizbeth was ostracized by Fall River society.[36] Lizbeth Borden's name was again brought into the public eye when she was accused of shoplifting in 1897 in Providence, Rhode Island.[37]
In 1905, shortly after an argument over a party Lizbeth had given for actress Nance O'Neil,[38] Emma moved out of the house.
Lizbeth was ill in her last year following the removal of her gallbladder; she died of pneumonia on June 1, 1927 in Fall River. Funeral details were not published and few attended.[39] On June 10, 1927, at age 76, nine days later, Emma died from chronicnephritis[40][37] in a nursing home in Newmarket, New Hampshire. Having moved to this location in 1923 both for health reasons, and to get away from the public eye, which had renewed interest in the sisters at the publication of another book about the murders. The sisters, who never married, were buried side by side in the family plot in Oak Grove Cemetery.[37]
Lizbeth left $30,000 to the Fall River Animal Rescue League[41][42] and $500 in trust for perpetual care of her father's grave; her closest friend and a cousin each received $6,000—substantial sums at the estate's distribution in 1933, during the Great Depression.[43] Books from Maplecroft's library, stamped and signed by the sisters, are valuable collectors' items.[citation needed]

[edit]Folk rhyme

The case was memorialized in a popular skipping-rope rhyme:[44]
Lizzie Borden took an axe
And gave her mother forty whacks.
When she saw what she had done
She gave her father forty-one.
Folklore says the rhyme was made up by an anonymous writer as a tune to sell newspapers. Others attribute it to the ubiquitous, but anonymous "Mother Goose".[45] In reality, Lizzie's stepmother suffered 18[46] or 19[36] blows; her father, 11 blows.



Peter - tried to find a place to send a seperate request to u with no luck.
But I am curious about the old Lizzie Borden case. Still new to this, but this section of the court trascripts where they asked this woman if the stains on the dress that she burned were her parents blood seemed to be very interesting how she avoids it. Was not the first time she gave anyone the run around, but here is a section from the transcripts. Would love you to do what you do with it.
Statement from court transcripts. The questions were being addressed to Lizzie.

Q: Miss Borden, did you burn the dress in question because you murdered your stepmother, then your father, and the dress was stained with their blood, following your assault?

A: Are you accusing me of murdering Father and Mrs. Borden?

Note that she answers a question with a question, making the specifically asked question, "Sensitive" to Ms. Borden. 
Note next the order of the question:  she mentions the father before the step mother. 
Note the wording she used:  "Father" and "Mrs. Borden"

The lack of title for her step mother indicates a troubled relationship based upon analysis of social introductions. 

Q: That would be correct.

A: Do you realize how insulting that is?

The question is to be seen as very sensitive now, as she has not only answered the question with a question, but piled a second question upon it.  

Q: Miss Borden, you do realize you are present at this proceeding as a suspect in these crimes?

A: Yes, and I believe you are wasting your time, laboring under said delusion.

"Yes" is a good answer:  she knows why she is present. 
She then chides prosecution for wasting time and laboring under delusion.  

Q: Miss Borden, did you or did you not burn the dress because it was stained with the victims' blood?

A: I've told you, it was stained with paint.

She avoided the question again, and due to the internal stress of lying, she does not lie.  She uses a self reference, "I've told you" and then presents an unrelated truth:  it was stained with paint.  This is not to say that it was not also stained with blood, but that it had paint.  This is a good example of how deceptive people are counting on you to interpret their words rather than listen. This is not lost on the prosecutor who then asks the specific question: 

Q: Were there any blood stains on the dress?

A: It would depend on your definition of "stains."

For history buffs:  Lizzie Borden lived long before President Clinton.  "It depends on what the definition of "is" is. " 
Q: As in, visible to the naked eye.

A: Mr. Knowlton, had I known you would be so interested in that paint-stained dress, I never would have burned it.

Note that she uses his name, "Mr. Knowlton" and continued to avoid answering.  
Here would have been good opportunity for Lizzie to issue a reliable denial.  

The transcripts are fascinating and thanks to Shelly,  the original poster!  If more are posted, we can analyze them as well. 


Anonymous said...

Wow! Very interesting!

violet said...

Years ago I read that some thought that Lizzie's father was sexually abusing her and she killed him because of it and she killed her mother because she did not stop the abuse. I don't remember where I read it now though.

Randie said...

Violet, it would not be surprising.

Notice how Lizzie said "that" dress.

BostonLady said...

This is very interesting reading. Growing up in Mass, this was a story we were introduced to by way of folklore. Peter, when you posted they rhyme at the top of the article, I wasn't sure if you made a typo or if you did know the poem ending "gave my father 40". I learned it with "Gave my father 41". :)

I have never seen the transcripts and it changes my perception of Lizzie Borden. For some reason, I pictured her as a quiet, demure woman who went a little crazy and killed them in a rage. But reading her responses to the prosecutor's questions displays a snobby, cold woman who did not feel she needed to answer the questions presented to her as if to say "Do you know who I am?"

Thank you for an interesting lesson today !

Anonymous said...

I found a link with the trial transcripts. Their in .pdf file version. Looks like a lot of reading.

Anonymous said...

I think much of what I learned about Lizzie Borden was in a made for tv movie starring Elizabeth Montgomery. To this day I cannot watch Bewitched reruns. LbH

Statement Analysis Blog said...

oops, BL, it must be the return of hockey!



Statement Analysis Blog said...

By the way, pdf of the transcripts won't work for copy and pasting analysis...

Jo said...

I knew the story of Lizzie Borden but didn't realize she was aquitted. Was there any information on why the jury didn't convict her? Or were they just the ancestors of the Casey Anthony jury?

Trigger said...

Interesting that Andrew killed Lizzie's pigeons with an axe when he was a wealthy man who could have paid someone to take away the pigeons or destroy them but did the deed personally.

Lizzie must have been the willful child who never forgot an offense.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to be off topic but....JODI many interviews so many lies! Please do a story on her.

Sus said...

This is interesting. Thank you. I never knew the story on Lizzie early disfunctional family, to say the least.

Anonymous said...

Inquest Testimony of Lizzie Borden
August 9-11, 1892, Fall River Court Building


Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Statement Analysis Blog said...

jodi arias has already been covered here.

Deception indicated.

sidewalk super said...

Lizzie sounds like our current president.

Unknown said...

Thanks Anon 1204 for the link! The Borden inquest papers were fascinating to read! It is strange to read about such a dysfunctional family in that era. Maybe it was the custom of the time to be hush mouthed about ones problems ( as opposed to today's Facebook world where people air their slightest argument with their spouses on Facebook) but I can't recall ever reading anything from that era that revealed a family that wasn't more Ozzie and Harriet then Ozzie and Harriet. Oh, and Lizzie was quite deceiving wasn't she? I do believe she did the deed.
One other thing I noticed - I had just read some of the Ramsey interviews and I couldn't help but notice the distinctly different "interview styles" between attorneys and police investigators. Those attorneys are predators. Maybe investigators should be trained to question people that way.

sidewalk super said...

As: cold, calculating, arrogant, redirects questions, "How dare you impugn ME," on and on.

Anonymous said...

Just the fact that their skulls-ones utilized for shock value in the courtroom-were buried at the foot of the graves lends credence to the "witch hunt" which took place.

Lizzies pigions may have led "intruders" to their home thinking they were carrier pigions sending out messages.

The time, date of arrest, and number of whacks is synomous with Nancy Grace type crime solving.

Being posioned first is the first clue.

In most cases a Brit is nearby to host a witch hunt.

Amaleen6 said...

Trigger, Andrew Borden was known for being so tight with money that he squeaked. Part of the resentment Lizzie and her sister felt was because in spite of his wealth (he was a bank owner, I believe), he refused to move the family up to one of the finer mansions on the hill. In his pockets when he died were things he'd picked up off the street, such as old pieces of string. He started from very little and was determined to hold on to what he got, and make it grow.

You can read the autopsy reports and view photos at

It's always grossed me out that the autopsies weren't performed for a week after Andrew and Abby's deaths. In August. No air conditioning. Ick.

~ABC said...

You're welcome Wreyeter72! I should have added for Peter that it's an easy copy and paste version. :-)

I'd love to see more on Lizzie as well as several other vintage cases.

C5H11ONO said...

The Bordens' maid, Bridget Sullivan, testified that she was in her third-floor room, resting from cleaning windows, when just before 11:10 am she heard Lizzie call out, "Maggie, come quick! Father's dead. Somebody came in and killed him." (Sullivan was sometimes called "Maggie", the name of an earlier maid).[5][12]

How did Lizzie know this was the work of one person? "Somebody" is also gender neutral. If we are looking for the expected, then this statement is unexpected. I would not be saying this if I were to have found my dad in that condition.

mommaklee said...

Could it be the Jury (all male) acquitted Lizzie Borden because they didn't believe such a vicious crime could have been committed by a woman?

C5H11ONO said...

She is caught in a lie...She says she was downstairs when her father came home, then changed it to upstairs.

Did you spend any time up the front stairs before your father returned?
A. No sir.
Q. Or after he returned?
A. No sir. I did stay in my room long enough when I went up to sew a little piece of tape on a garment.
Q. Was that the time when your father came home?
A. He came home after I came downstairs.
Q. You were not upstairs when he came home?
A. I was not upstairs when he came home, no sir.
Q. What was Maggie doing when your father came home?
A. I don't know whether she was there or whether she had gone upstairs. I can't remember.
Q. Who let your father in?
A. I think he came to the front door and rang the bell and I think Maggie let him in and he said he had forgotten his key. So I think she must have been downstairs.
Q. His key would have done him no good if the locks were left as you left them?
A. But they were always unbolted in the morning.
Q. Who unbolted them that morning?
A. I don't think they had been unbolted. Maggie can tell you.
Q. If he had not forgotten his key, it would have been no good.
A. No, he had his key and could not get in. I understood Maggie to say he said he had forgotten his key.
Q. You did not hear him say anything about it?
A. I heard his voice, but I don't know what he said.
Q. I understood you to say he said he had forgotten his key.
A. No, it was Maggie said he said he had forgotten his key.
Q. Where was Maggie when the bell rang?
A. I don't know, sir.
Q. Where were you when the bell rang?
A. I think in my room upstairs.
Q. Then you were upstairs when your father came home?
A. I don't know sure, but I think so.
Q. What were you doing?
A. As I say, I took up these clean clothes and stopped and basted a little piece of tape on a garment.
Q. Did you come down before your father was let in?
A. I was on the stairs coming down when she let him in.
Q. Then you were upstairs when your father came to the house on his return?
A. I think I was.
Q. How long had you been there?
A. I had only been upstairs long enough to take the clothes up and baste the little loop on the sleeve. I don't think I had been up there over five minutes.
Q. Was Maggie still engaged in washing windows when your father got back?
A. I don't know.
Q. You remember, Miss Borden, I will call to your attention to it so as to see if I have any misunderstanding, not for the purpose of confusing you, you remember that you told me several times that you were downstairs and not upstairs when your father came home? You have forgotten, perhaps?

C5H11ONO said...

Three - the liars number (if you search the transcript you'll find she used it aplenty.)

Here she had said she was up in the barn for 3-4 minutes. Then changed it to 20 minutes because she had eaten pears. (three to be exact)

How long do you think you were up there?
A. Not more than 15 or 20 minutes, I should not think.
Q. Should you think what you have told me would occupy four minutes?
A. Yes, because I ate some pears up there.
Q. Do you think all you have told me would take you four minutes?
A. I ate some pears up there.
Q. I asked you to tell me all you did.
A. I told you all I did.
Q. Do you mean to say you stopped your work and then, additional to that, sat still and ate some pears?
A. While I was looking out of the window, yes sir.
Q. Will you tell me all you did in the second story of the barn?
A. I think I told you all I did that I can remember.
Q. Is there anything else?
A. I told you that I took some pears up from the ground when I went up. I stopped under the pear tree and took some pears up when I went up.
Q. Have you now told me everything you did up in the second story of the barn?
A. Yes sir.
Q. I now call your attention and ask you to say whether all you have told me I don't suppose you stayed there any longer than was necessary?
A. No sir, because it was close.
Q. Can you give me any explanation why all you have told me would occupy more than three minutes?
A. Yes. It would take me more than three minutes.
Q. To look in that box that you have described the size of on the bench and put down the curtain and then get out as soon as you conveniently could; would you say you were occupied in that business 20 minutes?
A. I think so because I did not look at the box when I first went up.
Q. What did you do?
A. I ate my pears.
Q. Stood there eating the pears, doing nothing?
A. I was looking out of the window.
Q. Stood there looking out of the window, eating the pears?
A. I should think so.
Q. How many did you eat?
A. Three, I think.

Unknown said...

Three - the liars number. Ha! I enjoy the "vintage"cases too.

~ABC said...

Lizzie revealed herself immediately. Her shout out to Bridgette was the equivalent of a guilty 911 call.

MizzMarple said...

Everytime I see that picture of Lizzie Borden I "see" Amanda Knox !

Look closely at the "eyes" ... and that "look".

Two killers who were acquitted ... shameful !

C5H11ONO said...

Q. What dress did you wear the day they were killed?
A. I had on a navy blue, sort of a Bengaline silk skirt with a navy blue blouse. In the afternoon, they thought I had better change it. I put on a pink wrapper.
Q. Did you change your clothing before the afternoon?
A. No sir.

They thought she had better change it? He should have asked why they thought she should change it. Also, who is "they"? Maybe that was the last straw!

C5H11ONO said...

Not only that she should change it, but she should "better" change it. I don't believe that was a pleasant conversation.

Trigger said...

What strikes me first is that Lizzie, who finds him, never asks for help for her father and starts alibi building right away with an "intruder theory."

Did she sedate or poison her father and step-mother to subdue them before she axed them?

A double axe murder in two different rooms where both the victims were sleeping on a hot day without signs of a struggle, or sounds of distress, seems odd.

Lis said...

Very interesting. It seems that the general public usually calls these things, hence the poem stuck. Similarly, it is common knowledge that O.J. and Casey Anthony are guilty, regardless of what the courts say.

Maybe "40" and "41" rhymed better than 18 and 11 and the hyperbole fit the situation.

Her first words to the housekeeper:
"Maggie, come quick! Father's dead. Somebody came in and killed him."

She did not have the delay in believing that he was dead that one tends to have with someone close. She does not ask for help. She also spells out the scenario: "somebody came in and killed him." "Somebody" seems to come up often in deceptive statements. How would she know that the person "came in" and then killed him?

Shelley said...

Thanks for doing this for me Peter.

I was so excited today when I saw that you did an analysis on that part of the transcript!

Shelley said...


For those of you that have read about this case, there was a Dr. that lived across the street. The Dr too answered in a similiar way when asked about the dress Lizzie was wearing at the time of the murder. He just kept avoiding the direct answer. Very very similiar to Lizzie and about that same dress.

There were rumors in town the 2 were having an affair and the dr not only went immediatly to Lizzies room with her alone after police arrived, but stayed with her for several hours alone in that same room.

Someone also saw him riding his carriage very fast through town shortly before the murder. So before he would have been notified. And no where that I have read stated if his alibi was verified. It just also seemed odd to me that she immediatly asked for him and then all the sudden he just happened to have arrived home.

I think he was involved in the murder.

The police also stated that late that night she went to the cellar with her friend. Then about 15 minutes later returned alone and was stooped down by the bucket where there were bloody clothes were soaking for around 15. The Dr had told the police it was blood from her monthly visitor. But I dont believe that. Just the fact that she was not scared. Just being in that home... Not to mention how creepy a cellar is on its own. But the day your dad and step mother are murdered, at night, alone and their bodies were still in the kitchen of the house on the table at this very time.

Well, some of you may know this.... but hydrogene peroxide.... depending on the material can either remove blood stains or will change the color of the blood stain. I almost think she was trying to remove the blood stains. It may have turned it another color and this allowed her to state that it was paint should anyone have seen the stains on it before she burned it.

Alot of people feel like the only reason Lizzie did go free was because in that time, a juror of all men would have found it hard to believe that a church going woman to commit such a crime.

Just a theory.

Shelley said...

Peter.... Here is where the Dr I mentioned in my post above was asked about the dress Lizzie had on.

part 1 of 2
Q. Doctor, did you at any time in the course of the morning notice anything with reference to the dress that Miss Borden had on?
A. Yes sir.
Q. Will you describe it as well as you can?
A. The only time I noticed anything was when she changed it after she went up to her room. I noticed she had on a different dress when she went to her room.
Q. What did you notice in reference to that dress?
A. I noticed the color of it.
Q. What was it?
A. A pink wrapper, morning dress.
Q. Did you notice anything with reference to the dress that she had on prior to that time?
A. No sir.
Q. Did you testify on this subject at the inquest?
A. I presume I was asked questions on it.
Q. At that time was your memory as good as it is now or better?
A. Well, about the same, I should judge.
Q. Do you recall making this reply to the question that I am about to read?
"Q. Do you recall how Lizzie was dressed that morning?
A. It is pretty hard work for me. Probably if I could see a dress something like it I could guess, but I could not describe it; it was a sort of drab, not much color to it to attract my attention—a sort of morning calico dress, I should judge."
A. Yes sir.
Q. What do you say as to the color?
A. That is very indefinite there.
Q. What do you say as to the drab?
A. I should say the color is very indefinite.
Q. I did not ask you to criticize your answer, sir.
A. I made the best answer at the time that I could.
Q. Do you assent at the present time to that statement of the color of the dress?
A. With the modification I make now.
Q. What modification do you desire to make?
A. I don't remember distinctly anything about the color.
Q. Do you desire to say that the dress appeared to you to be a drab dress or not?
A. I merely mean to say that the dress is a common—
Q. Answer my question.
A. Wait—
Q. No, answer my question, and this is the question: Did it appear to you to be a drab-colored dress?
A. It was an ordinary, unattractive, common dress that I did not notice specially.
Q. Will you answer my question?
The CHIEF JUSTICE. Answer the question if you can; if you cannot, say so.

Shelley said...

part 2 of 2

A. I don't think I can answer it better than I did. I don't know.
Q. I would like to try it once more, Doctor. Did it appear to you to be a drab dress?
A. I did not pretend to describe a woman's dress and I do not intend to now.
Q. Did you intend to describe a woman's dress when you testified a few days after this at the inquest?
A. No sir, I did not. I told my impression of the dress.
Q. Did you in point of fact say that it was a sort of drab, or "not much color to it to attract my attention-sort of morning calico dress, I should judge." Did you say that?
A. I should judge I did.
Q. Do you desire to modify that at all?
A. Merely by saying that the drab-there are very many shades of drab to a woman's dress, I should judge.
Q. Would a faded light-blue dress appear to be drab to you?
Q. [Exhibiting blue dress] Does that appear to you, Doctor, to be a sort of a drab, or not much color to it, sort of a morning calico dress?
MR. ADAMS. Wait a minute, Doctor. We object.
The CHIEF JUSTICE. Excluded.
Q. Is that the dress that she had on that morning?
A. I don't know,
Q. Does it appear to be to you the dress that you described at the inquest?
MR. ADAMS. One moment. I object to that.
MR. MOODY. I will waive the question.
Q. Give us your best judgment as to whether that is the dress she had on or not?
A. I have told you once.
Q. And what is it?
A. That I didn't know.
Q. Have you any judgment upon the question?
A. I have answered your question.
Q. I understood you to say that you didn't know. I ask you if you have any judgment upon whether that is the dress she had on or not that morning?
MR. ROBINSON. I suppose, your Honors, this is the government's own witness. We desire to concede all reasonable latitude, and perhaps a little more than that. I submit the limit is passed already, and I object to the line of examination.
MR. MOODY. I will withdraw that particular question and ask another one.
Q. What color do you call that dress, Doctor?
MR. ROBINSON. One moment. I object to that. [Question admitted]
The WITNESS. Your question again.
Q. What color do you call that dress?
A. I should call it dark blue.

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Bill Jordan said...

I think this conversation never took place but was a fantasy of a poster on the page given below. I cannot find it in either the Inquest or trial transcripts (Lizzie remained silent at the trial).
Actually, I believe Alice did Lizzie an unfathomable favor by battling with her troubled conscience for three months, instead of three days, because I believe the dress-burning bomb would have been highly-- inflammatory-- at the Inquest, when Lizzie was trying to speak for herself, instead of allowing her attorneys to do so.

However, Inquest testimony could have gown down as follows:

(followed by invented conversion).
So unless you can prove otherwise, the statement analysis is of a fictitious conversation.

Anonymous said...

She uses the number 3 MULTIPLE times! The number of minutes she was in the barn (changes), the number of pairs she ate, the number of rooms she "didn't" see her stepmother go through, the number of months she "hadn't" been in the!