Saturday, August 23, 2014

Statement Analysis: Lizzie Borden Part 5

Part 5:  Geographical Layout of the House

This is now Part 5 and I have it scored thus far:  

Lizzie 3.5
Prosecutor .5

Like a chess match, 1 point is for the win, and 1/2 point for a draw.   Even though there may be contradictions in her answers, this is a Statement Analysis perspective, and not so much commentary.

Thus far, the prosecutor has asked leading questions, and has failed to follow through on weak points.

Lizzie Borden has been, especially evident in parts 1 through 3, remarkably restraint in her answers. Her short reply of "yes, sir" and "no, sir" left little for the prosecutor to work with, yet, the break within this pattern should have been mined for sensitivity.

It wasn't.

It makes for a rather boring read, does it not?

Will he now begin to hone in on her language?

Q. Whereabouts was the sewing machine?
A. In the corner between the north and west side.

Q. Did you hear the sewing machine going?

A. I did not.

Q. Did you see anything to indicate that the sewing machine had been used that morning?

A. I had not. I did not go in there until after everybody had been in there and the room had been overhauled.

"I did not" was the answer to the previous question and she should have repeated it.  Deviating from it, with "had not" is followed with further information, which indicates an increase in sensitivity for Borden.  She reports what she did not do until a certain other activity took place.  Borden is giving more information which is not in her best interest.  This continues with the next question, though it may be argued that she is cutting off the prosecutor's follow up question. 

It is a dangerous and inadvisable game.  

It is something most defense attorneys insist a client refrain from.  

Borden has a strong intellect. Do you, to this point, have an opinion on her personality?

Q. If she had remained downstairs, you would undoubtedly have seen her?

A. If she had remained downstairs, I should have. If she had remained in her room, I should not have.

Q. Where was that?

A. Over the kitchen.

Q. To get to that room she would have to go through the kitchen?

A. To get up the back stairs.

Q. That is the way she was in the habit of going?

A. Yes sir, because the other doors were locked.

That Borden feels the need to explain, geographics of the home, is sensitive. 

Q. If she had remained downstairs or had gone to her own room, you undoubtedly would have seen her?

A. I should have seen her if she had stayed downstairs. If she had gone to her room, I would not have seen her.

Q. She was found a little after 11 in the spare room. If she had gone to her own room, she must have gone through the kitchen and up the back stairs and subsequently have gone down and gone back again?

The prosecutor is setting up a route in which Lizzie Borden must have taken.  

A. Yes sir.

I think that she is now uncomfortable. 

Short sentences usually are logical, whereas long sentences usually are emotional. 


I wonder if she put the brakes on her answers because she recognizes the geographical positioning that the prosecutor has laid out as detrimental to her case.  

Q. Have you any reason to suppose you would not have seen her if she had spent any portion of the time in her room or downstairs?

He is speaking more to the judge/jury than he is to Lizzie Borden.  

A. There is no reason why I should not have seen her if she had been down there, except when I first came downstairs, for two or three minutes, I went down cellar to the water closet.

Q. After that, you were where you practically commanded the view of the first story the rest of the time?

This is specifically strong language and is intended, likely, to both influence judge/jury as well as set back Lizzie Borden.  Her answer shows success: 

A. I think so.

To "think" so is a weak assertion, allowing herself, or others to "think" differently.  This is a strong point for the prosecution. 

Q. When you went upstairs for a short time, as you say you did, you then went in sight of the sewing machine?

"as you say you did" is not only a reminder to Borden, but he is willing to reveal his own disbelief, and cause listeners to also doubt Borden's credibility. 

Remember the horror of the Casey Anthony verdict?

Jurors, reflecting our sad state of intelligence and education, said, "we could tell that she did it, but they just didn't prove it beyond a reasonable doubt" begging the question:

Then, why did you think she did it?

A. No, I did not see the sewing machine because she had shut that room up.

"No, sir" would have been strong.  "No" would have been strong, but the additional words, including "because" show a weakness as she needs to explain.  

Q. What do you mean?

A. I mean the door was closed. She said she wanted it kept closed to keep the dust and everything out.

Borden still refrains from using Mrs. Borden's name.  This continues to reveal her cold personality to the observers.  

Q. Was it a room with a window?

A. It has three windows.

Q. A large room?

A. The size of the parlor; a pretty fair-sized room.

Q. It is the guest room?

A. Yes, the spare room.

This was not a warm, friendly household.  Borden enters the language of the prosecutor, which is expected, but changes "guest" room (via affirmation of "yes") to "spare" room.  A "spare" room is not one to house visitors.  

The prosecutor's own personality (in the element of hospitality) is revealed in that he does not enter her language here ("spare room", as she 'corrected' him), but remains within his own:  "guest" room:  

Q. Where the sewing machine was was the guest room?

A. Yes sir.

Q. I ask again, perhaps you have answered all you care to, what explanation can you give, can you suggest, as to what she was doing from the time she said she had got the work all done in the spare room, until 11 o'clock?

He is directing this towards judge/jury (audience) 

A. I suppose she went up and made her own bed.

"suppose" is weak
Note the avoidance of Mrs. Borden's name continues.  We will now take note that if this changes, there must be an emotional context showing us the reason.  

Q. That would be in the back part?

A. Yes sir.

Q. She would have to go by you twice to do that?

A. Unless she went when I was in my room that few minutes.

Q. That would not be time enough for her to go and make her own bed and come back again.

he is not buying it.  

A. Sometimes she stayed up longer and sometimes shorter. I don't know.

Truthful testimony, in an open statement, tells us what is known, said, heard, seen, and so forth.  

Q. Otherwise than that, she would have to go in your sight?

He is pinning this point to her in a strong manner. 

A. I should have to have seen her once. I don't know that I need to have seen her more than once.

This is a weak denial.  The Prosecutor is making inroads into her testimony.  He is, geographically, in the right spot and has placed Lizzie Borden in the right spot.  

Q. You did not see her at all?

A. No sir, not after the dining room.

Everyone has a subjective, internal and quite personal dictionary.  He needs to explore the words "see her" to find out, perhaps by exploring the distancing language of the pronouns, if "seeing her" is only to see her when alive.  

Murderers can differentiate much like child molesters.  Recall the principle that "no man can molest his own daughter" linguistically.  The molester "changes" his daughter into a "girl" or "person" or some other name, in order to accomplish his sexual perversion upon her.  

Many thieves do not "steal" and can pass a polygraph when asked if they "stole";

they "take."

Q. What explanation can you suggest as to the whereabouts of your mother from the time you saw her in the dining room and she said her work in the spare room was all done, until 11 o'clock?

powerfully loaded question.  He does not let her "answer" but only "suggest" and again, uses "your mother" and not "step mother" or "Mrs. Borden."

The time for leading questions comes when the yes or no, and open ended questions, and follow up questions have been asked, within a given topic.  

Analytical Interviewing:

1.  Open Ended Questions
2.  Questions based upon language subject uses
3.  Questions based upon evidence (including "yes or no")
4.  Finally, direct leading questions (in interrogations, particularly, which include threats and challenges). 

A. I don't know. I think she went back into the spare room and whether she came back again or not, I don't know. That has always been a mystery.

Lizzie Borden is off her game now.  She should have stopped with "I don't know" but instead seeks to turn away the tide.  

She fails.  

The prosecutor continues to show his belief in the incredulity of her responses:

Q. Can you think of anything she could be doing in the spare room?

A. Yes sir. I know what she used to do sometimes. She kept her best cape she wore on the street in there and she used occasionally to go up there to get it and to take it into her room. She kept a great deal in the guest room drawers. She used to go up there and get things and put things. She used those drawers for her own use.

Note the change of language.  Language should change when there is a change of reality.  If none is evident, it is a signal that the subject may not be speaking from experiential memory. 

Note that the expectation is that people only tell us what they know, yet here she feels the need to emphasize. 

I believe that this answer would not pass a polygraph.  

Q. That connects her with her own room again, to reach which she had to go downstairs and come up again.

A. Yes.

Q. Assuming that she did not go into her own room, I understand you to say she could not have gone to her own room without your seeing her.

A. She could while I was down cellar.

The avoidance of the name of the step mother indicates distancing language, via following the pronouns.  The distance is consistent and suggests animosity.  

Will the prosecutor press upon the personal animosity ("distance") exhibited in the language?  He next goes into what was (or wasn't) said, in Part 6.

End of Part 5 with a victory by the prosecution.  

Thus far

Lizzie Borden 3.5
Prosecution    1.5

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Q. You went down immediately you came down, within a few minutes, and you did not see her when you came back.

A. No sir.
Q. After the time she must have remained in the guest chamber?
A. I don't know.
Q. So far as you can judge?
A. So far as I can judge she might have been out of the house or in the house.
Q. Had you any knowledge of her going out of the house?
A. She told me she had had a note. Somebody was sick and she said, "I am going to get the dinner on the way" and asked me what I wanted for dinner.
Q. Did you tell her?
A. Yes, I told her I did not want anything.
Q. Then why did you not suppose she had gone?
A. I supposed she had gone.
Q. Did you hear her come back?
A. I did not hear her go or come back, but I supposed she went.
Q. When you found your father dead, you supposed your mother had gone?
A. I did not know. I said to the people who came in, "I don't know whether Mrs. Borden is out or in. I wish you would see if she is in her room."
Q. You supposed she was out at the time?
A. I understood so. I did not suppose anything about it.
Q. Did she tell you where she was going?
A. No sir.
Q. Did she tell you who the note was from?
A. No sir.
Q. Did you ever see the note?
A. No sir.
Q. Do you know where it is now?
A. No sir.
Q. She said she was going out that morning?
A. Yes sir.
Q. I shall have to ask you once more about that morning.  Do you know what the family ate for breakfast?
A. No sir.
Q. Had the breakfast all been cleared away when you got down?
A. Yes sir.
Q. I want you to tell me just where you found the people when you got down that you did find there.
A. I found Mrs. Borden in the dinning room I found my father in the sitting room.
Q. And Maggie?
A. Maggie was coming in the back door with her pail and brush.
Q. Tell me what talk you had with your mother at the time?
A. She asked me how I felt.  I said I felt better than I did Tuesday, but I did not want any breakfast.  She asked me what I wanted for dinner I told her nothing.  She said she was going out and would get the dinner. That is the last I saw her.
Q. Where did you go to then?
A. Into the kitchen.
Q. Where then?
A. Down cellar.
Q. Gone perhaps five minutes?
A. Perhaps not more than that. Possibly a little bit more.
Q. When you came back did you see your mother?
A. I did not. I supposed she had gone out.
Q. She did not tell you where she was going?
A. No sir.
Q. When you came back, was your father there? 
A. Yes sir.
Q. What was he doing?
A. Reading the paper.
Q. Did you eat any breakfast?
A. No sir. I don't remember whether I ate a molasses cookie or not.
I did not eat any regularly prepared breakfast.
Q. Was it was usual for your mother to go out?
A. Yes sir, she went out every morning nearly and did the marketing.
Q. Was it was usual for her to go away from dinner.
A. Yes sir sometimes, not very often.
Q. How often, say?
A. Oh I should not think more than---well, I don't know, more than once in three months, perhaps.
Q. Now I call your attention to the fact that twice yesterday you told me, with some explicitness, that when your father came in, you were just coming downstairs.
A. No I did not. I beg your pardon.
Q. That you were on the stairs at the time your father was let in, you said with explicitness.  Do you now say that you did not say so?
A. I said I thought first I was on the stairs; then I remembered I was in the kitchen when he came in.
Q. First you thought you were in the kitchen; afterwards, your remembered you were on the stairs?
A. As I said, I thought I was on the stairs.  Then I remembered I was in the kitchen when he came in. 
Q. Did you go into the front part of the house after your father came in?
A. After he came in from down street, I was in the sitting room with him.
Q. Did you go into the front hall afterwards?
A. No sir.
Q. At no time?
A. No sir.
Q. Excepting the two or three minutes you were down cellar, were you away from the house until your father came in?
A. No sir.
Q. You were always in the kitchen or dining room, excepting when you went upstairs?
A. I went upstairs before he went out.
Q. You mean you went up there to sew a button on?
A. I basted a piece of tape on.
Q. Do you remember you did not say that yesterday?
A. I don't think you asked me. I told you yesterday I went upstairs directly after I came up from down cellar, with the clean clothes.
Q. You now say after your father went out, you did not go upstairs at all?
A. No sir, I did not.
Q. When Maggie came in there washing the windows, you did not appear from the front part of the house?
A. No sir.
Q. When your father was let in, you did not appear from upstairs?
A. No sir, I was in the kitchen.
Q. That is so?
A. Yes sir, to the best of my knowledge.
Q. After your father went out, you remained there, either in the kitchen or dining room all the time?
A. I went into the sitting room long enough to direct some paper wrappers.
Q. One of the three rooms?
A. Yes sir.
Q. So it would have been extremely difficult for anybody to have gone through the kitchen and dining room and front hall without your seeing them?
A. They could have gone from the kitchen into the sitting room while I was in the dining room, if there was anybody to go.
Q. Then into the front hall?
A. Yes sir.
Q. You were in the dining room ironing?
A. Yes sir, part of the time.
Q. You were in all the three rooms?
A. Yes sir.
Q. A large portion of that time the girl was out of doors?
A. I don't know where she was. I did not see her. I supposed she was out of doors, as she had the pail and brush.
Q. You knew she was washing windows?
A. She told me she was going to. I did not see her do it.
Q. For a large portion of the time, you did not see the girl?
A. No sir.
Q. So far as you know, you were alone in the lower part of the house a large portion of the time after your father went away and before he came back?
A. My father did not go away, I think, until somewhere about 10, as near as I can, remember. He was with me downstairs.
Q. A large portion of the time after your father went away and before he came back, so far as you know, you were alone in the house?
A. Maggie had come in and gone upstairs.
Q. After he went out and before he came back, a large portion of the time after your father went out and before he came back, so far as you know, you were the only person in the house?
A So far as I know, I was.
Q. And during that time, so far as you know, the front door was locked?
A So far as I know.
Q. And never was unlocked at all?
A I don't think it was.
Q. Even after your father came home, it was locked up again?
A. I don't know whether she locked it up again after that or not.
Q. It locks itself?
A. The spring lock opens.
Q. It fastens it so it cannot be opened from the outside?
A. Sometimes you can press it open.
Q. Have you any reason to suppose the spring lock was left so it could be pressed open from the outside?
A. I have no reason to suppose so.
Q. Nothing about the lock was changed before the public came?
A. Nothing that I know of.
Q. What were you doing in the kitchen when your father came home?
A. I think I was eating a pear when he came in.
Q. What had you been doing before that?
A. Been reading a magazine.
Q. Were you making preparations to iron again?
A. I had sprinkled my clothes and was waiting for the flat. I sprinkled the clothes before he went out.
Q. Had you built up the fire again?
A. I put in a stick of wood. There was a few sparks. I put in a stick of wood to try to heat the flat.
Q. You had then started the fire?
A. Yes sir.
Q. The fire was burning when he came in?
A. No sir, but it was smoldering and smoking as though it would come up.
Q. Did it come up after he came in?
A. No sir.
Q. Did you do any more ironing?
A. I did not. I went in with him and did not finish.
Q. You did not iron any more after your father came in?
A. No sir.
Q. Was the ironing board put away?
A. No sir, it was on the dining room table.
Q. When was it put away?
A. I don't know. Somebody put it away after the affair happened.
Q. You did not put it away?
A. No sir.
Q. Was it on the dining room table when you found your father killed?
A. I suppose so.
Q. You had not put it away then?
A. I had not touched it.
Q. How soon after your father came in before Maggie went upstairs?
A. I don't know. I did not see her.
Q. Did you see her after your father came in?
A. Not after she let him in.
Q. How long was your father in the house before you found him killed?
A. I don't know exactly because I went out to the barn. I don't know what time he came home. I don't think he had been home more than 15 or 20 minutes. I am not sure.
Q. When you went out to the barn, where did you leave your father?
A. He had laid down on the living room lounge, taken off his shoes and put on his slippers and taken off his coat and put on the reefer. I asked him if he wanted the window left that way.
Q. Where did you leave him?
A. On the sofa.
Q. Was he asleep?
A. No sir.
Q. Was he reading?
A. No sir.
Q. What was the last thing you said to him?
A. I asked him if he wanted the window left that way. Then I went into the kitchen and from there to the barn.
Q. Whereabouts in the barn did you go?
A. Upstairs.
Q. To the second story of the barn?
A. Yes sir.
Q. How long did you remain there?
A. I don't know. Fifteen or 20 minutes.
Q. What doing?
A. Trying to find lead for a sinker.
Q. What made you think there would be lead for a sinker up there?
A. Because there was some there.
Q. Was there not some by the door?
A. Some pieces of lead by the open door, but there was a box full of old things upstairs.
Q. Did you bring any sinker back from the barn?
A. Nothing but a piece of a chip I picked up on the floor.

Q. Where was that box you say was upstairs, containing lead?

A. There was a kind of a work bench.

Q. Is it there now?

A. I don't know sir.

Q. How long since you have seen it there?

A. I have not been out there since that day.

Q. Had you been in the barn before?

A. That day? No sir.

Q. How long since you had been in the barn before?

A. I don't think I had been into it, I don't know as I had, in three months.

Q. When you went out, did you unfasten the screen door?

A. I unhooked it to get out.

Q. It was hooked until you went out?

A. Yes sir.

Q. It had been left hooked by Bridget, if she was the last one in?

A. I suppose so. I don't know.

Q. Do you know when she did get through washing the outside?

A. I don't know.

Q. Did you know she washed the windows inside?

A. I don't know.

Q. Did you see her washing the windows inside?

A. I don't know.

Q. You don't know whether she washed the dining room window and sitting room windows inside?

A. I did not see her.

Q. If she did, would you not have seen her?

A. I don't know. She might be in one room and I in another.

Q. Do you think she might have gone to work and washed all the windows in the dining room and you not know it?

A. I don't know, I am sure, whether I should or not. I might have seen her and not know it.

Q. Miss Borden, I am trying in good faith to get all the doings that morning, of yourself and Miss Sullivan and I have not succeeded in doing it. Do you desire to give me any information or not?

A. I don't know it! I don't know what your name is!

Q. It is certain beyond reasonable doubt she was engaged in washing the windows in the dining room or sitting room when your father came home. Do you mean to say you know nothing of either of those operations?

A. I knew she washed the windows outside; that is, she told me so. She did not wash the windows in the kitchen because I was in the kitchen most of the time.

Q. The dining room and sitting room, I said.

A. I don't know.

Q. It is reasonably certain she washed the windows in the dining room and sitting room inside while your father was out and was engaged in that operation when your father came home. Do you mean to say you know nothing of it?

A. I don't know whether she washed the windows in the sitting room and dining room or not.

Q. Can you give me any information how it happened at that particular time you should go into the chamber of the barn to find a sinker to go to Marion with to fish the next Monday?

A. I was going to finish my ironing. My flats were not hot. I said to myself, "I will go and try and find that sinker. Perhaps by the time I get back, the flats will be hot". That is the only reason.

Q. How long had you been reading an old magazine before you went to the barn at all?

A. Perhaps half an hour.

Q. Had you got a fish line?

A. Not here. We had some at the farm.

Q. Had you got a fish hook?

A. No sir.

Remarkable restraint by the subject who was likely well prepared by her defense.  She continually gives short answers, offering little information, which, by this time, frustrated the prosecutor. 

Q. Had you got any apparatus for fishing at all?

A. Yes, over there.

Q. Had you any sinkers over there?

A. I think there were some. It is so long since I have been there, I think there were some.

Q. You had no reason to suppose you were lacking sinkers?

A. I don't think there were any on my lines.

Q. Where were your lines?

A. My fish lines were at the farm here.

Q. What made you think there were no sinkers at the farm on your lines?

A. Because some time ago when I was there, I had none.

Q. How long since you used the fish lines?

A. Five years, perhaps.

Q. You left them at the farm then?

A. Yes sir.

Q. And you have not seen them since?

A. Yes sir.

In his frustration, he asked leading questions.  What we do not know, from the transcripts, how often he used silence to attempt to elicit more words from her.  She is focused solely on the specific question, and refuses to take the bait and explain anything beyond the scope of the question.  

Q. It occurred to you after your father came in it would be a good time to go to the barn after sinkers and you had no reason to suppose there was not abundance of sinkers at the farm and abundance of lines?

A. The last time I was there, there were some lines.

Q. Did you not say before you presumed there were sinkers at the farm?

A. I don't think I said so.

Q. You did say so exactly. Do you now say you presume there were not sinkers at the farm?

A. I don't think there were any fishing lines suitable to use at the farm. I don't think there were any sinkers on any line that had been mine.

Q. Do you remember telling me you presumed there were lines and sinkers and hooks at the farm?

A. I said there were lines, I thought, and perhaps hooks. I did not say I thought there were sinkers on my lines. There was another box of lines over there beside mine.

Q. You thought there were not sinkers?

A. Not on my lines.

Q. Not sinkers at the farm?

A I don't think there were any sinkers at the farm. I don't know whether there were or not.

Q. Did you then think there were no sinkers at the farm?

A I thought there were no sinkers anywhere or I should not have been trying to find some.

Q. You thought there were no sinkers at the farm to be had?

A I thought there were no sinkers at the farm to be had.
Q. That is the reason you went into the second story of the barn to look for a sinker?
A. Yes sir.
Q. What made you think you would find sinkers there?
A I heard father say, and I knew there was lead there.
Q. What made you think you would find sinkers there?
A. I went to see because there was lead there.
Q. You thought there might be lead there made into sinkers?
A. I thought there might be lead with a hole in it.
Q. Did you examine the lead that was downstairs near the door?
A. No sir.
Q. Why not?
A. I don't know.
Q. You went straight to the upper story of the barn?
A No, I went under the pear tree and got some pears first.
Q. Then went to the second story of the barn to look for sinkers for lines you had at the farm, as you supposed, as you had seen them there five years before that time?
A I went up to get some sinkers if I could find them. I did not intend to go to the farm for lines. I was going to buy some lines here.
Q. You then had no intention of using your lines at Marion?
A. I could not get them.
Q. You had no intention of using your own line and hooks at the farm?
A. No sir.
Q. What was the use of telling me a while ago you had no sinkers on your line at the farm?
A. I thought I made you understand that those lines at the farm were no good to use.
Q. Did you not mean for me to understand one of the reasons you were searching for sinkers was that the lines you had at the farm, as you remembered then, had no sinkers on them?
A I said the lines at the farm had no sinkers.
Q. I did not ask you what you said. Did you not mean for me to understand that?
A. I meant for you to understand I wanted the sinkers and was going to have new lines.
Q. You had not then bought your lines?
A. No sir, I was going out Thursday noon.
Q. You had not bought any apparatus for fishing?
A. No hooks.
Q. Had bought nothing connected with your fishing trip?
A. No sir.
Q. Was going to go fishing the next Monday, were you?
A. I don't know that we should go fishing Monday.
Q. Going to the place to go fishing Monday?
A. Yes sir.
Q. This was Thursday and you had no idea of using any fishing apparatus before the next Monday?
A. No sir.
Q. You had no fishing apparatus you were proposing to use the next Monday until then?
A. No sir, not until I bought it.
Q. You had not bought anything?
A. No sir.
Q. Had you started to buy anything?
A. No sir.
Q. The first thing in preparation for your fishing trip the next Monday was to go to the loft of that barn to find some old sinkers to put on some hooks and lines that you had not then bought?
A. I thought if I found no sinkers, I would have to buy the sinkers when I bought the lines.
Q. You thought you would be saving something by hunting in the loft of the barn before you went to see whether you should need them or not?
A. I thought I would find out whether there were any sinkers before I bought the lines and if there was, I should not have to buy any sinkers. If there were some, I should only have to buy the lines and the hooks.
Q. You began the collection of your fishing apparatus by searching for the sinkers in the barn?
A. Yes sir.
Q. You were searching in a box of old stuff in the loft of the barn?
A. Yes sir, upstairs.
Q. That you had never looked at before?
A. I had seen them.
Q. Never examined them before?
A. No sir.
Q. All the reason you supposed there was sinkers there was your father had told you there was lead in the barn?
A. Yes, lead. And one day I wanted some old nails. He said there was some in the barn.
Q. All the reason that gave you to think there was sinkers was your father said there was old lead in the barn?
A. Yes sir.
Q. Did he mention the place in the barn?
A. I think he said upstairs. I'm not sure.
Q. Where did you look upstairs?
A. On that work-bench like.
Q. In anything?
A. Yes. In a box---sort of a box. And then some things lying right on the side that was not in the box.
Q. How large a box was it?
A. I could not tell you. It was probably covered up---with lumber, I think.
Q. Give me the best idea of the size of the box you can.
A. Well, I should say I don't know. I have not any idea.
Q. Give me the best idea you have.
A. I have given you the best idea I have.
Q. What is the best idea you have?
A. About that large. (Measuring with her hands)
Q. That long?
A. Yes.
Q. How wide?
A. I don't know.
Q. Give me the best idea you have.
A. Perhaps about as wide as it was long.
Q. How high?
A. It was not very high.
Q. About how high?
A. (Witness measures with her hands).
Q. About twice the length of your forefinger?
A. I should think so. Not quite.
Q. What was in the box?
A. Nails and some old locks and I don't know but there was a doorknob.
Q. Anything else?
A. I don't remember anything else.
Q. Any lead?
A. Yes, some pieces of tea-lead like.
Q. Foil. What we call tinfoil; the same you use on tea chests?
A. I don't remember seeing any tinfoil; not as thin as that.
Q. Tea chest lead?
A. No sir.
Q. What did you see in shape of lead?
A. Flat pieces of lead a little bigger than that. Some of them were doubled together.
Q. How many?
A. I could not tell you.
Q. Where else did you look beside in the box?
A. I did not look anywhere for lead except on the work bench.
Q. How full was the box?
A. It was not nearly as full as it could have been.
Q. You looked on the bench. Beside that, where else?
A. Nowhere except on the bench.
Q. Did you look for anything else beside lead?
A. No sir.
Q. When you got through looking for lead, did you come down?
A. No sir. I went to the west window over the hay, to the west window, and the curtain was slanted a little. I pulled it down.
Q. What else?
A. Nothing.
Q. That is all you did?
A. Yes sir.
Q. That is the second story of the barn.
A. Yes sir.
Q. Was the window open?
A. I think not.
Q. Hot?
A. Very hot.
Q. 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.
Q. You were feeling better than you did in the morning?
A. Better than I did the night before.
Q. You were feeling better than you were in the morning?
A. I felt better in the morning than I did the night before.
Q. That is not what I asked you. You were then, when you were in that hay loft, looking out the window and eating three pears, feeling better, were you not, than you were in the morning when you could not eat any breakfast?
A. I never eat any breakfast.
Q. You did not answer my question and you will, if I have to put it all day. Were you then when you were eating those three pears in that hot loft, looking out that closed window, feeling better than you were in the morning when you ate no breakfast?
A. I was feeling well enough to eat the pears.
Q. Were you feeling better than you were in the morning?
A. I don't think I felt very sick in the morning, only Yes, I don't know but I did feel better. As I say, I don't know whether I ate any breakfast or not or whether I ate a cookie.
Q. Were you then feeling better than you did in the morning?
A. I don't know how to answer you because I told you I felt better in the morning anyway.
Q. Do you understand my question? My question is whether, when you were in the loft of that barn, you were feeling better than you were in the morning when you got up?
A. No, I felt about the same.
Q. Were you feeling better than you were when you told your mother you did not care for any dinner?
A. No sir, I felt about the same.
Q. Well enough to eat pears, but not well enough to eat anything for dinner?
A. She asked me if I wanted any meat.
Q. I ask you why you should select that place, which was the only place which would put you out of sight of the house, to eat those three pears in?
A. I cannot tell you any reason.
Q. You observe that fact, do you not? You have put yourself in the only place perhaps, where it would be impossible for you to see a person going into the house?
A. Yes sir, I should have seen them from the front window.
Q. From anywhere in the yard?
A. No sir, not unless from the end of the barn.
Q. Ordinarily in the yard you could see them and in the kitchen where you had been, you could have seen them?
A. I don't think I understand.
Q. When you were in the kitchen, you could see persons who came in at the back door?
A. Yes sir.
Q. When you were in the yard, unless you went around the corner of the house, you could see them come in at the back door?
A. No sir, not unless I was at the corner of the barn. The minute I turned, I could not.
Q. What was there?
A. A little jog, like. The walk turns.
Q. I ask you again to explain to me why you took those pears from the pear tree?
A. I did not take them from the pear tree.
Q. From the ground, wherever you took them from. I thank you for correcting me. Going into the barn, going upstairs into the hottest place in the barn, in the rear of the barn, the hottest place, and there standing and eating those pears that morning?
A. I beg your pardon. I was not in the rear of the barn. I was in the other end of the barn that faced the street.
Q. Where you could see anyone coming into the house?
A. Yes sir.
Q. Did you not tell me you could not?
A, Before I went into the barn---at the jog on the outside.
Q. You now say when you were eating the pears, you could see the back door?
A. Yes sir.
Q. So nobody could come in at that time without your seeing them?
A. I don't see how they could.
Q. After you got done eating your pears, you began your search?
A. Yes sir.
Q. Then you did not see into the house?
A. No sir, because the bench is at the other end.
Q. Now, I have asked you over and over again, and will continue the inquiry, whether anything you did at the bench would occupy more than three minutes?
A. Yes, I think it would because I pulled over quite a lot of boards in looking.
Q. To get at the box?
A. Yes sir.
Q. Taking all that, what is the amount of time you think you occupied in looking for that piece of lead which you did not find?
A. Well, I should think perhaps I was 10 minutes.
Q. Looking over those old things?
A. Yes sir, on the bench.
Q. Now can you explain why you were 10 minutes doing it?
A. No, only that I can't do anything in a minute.
Q. When you came down from the barn, what did you do then?
A. Came into the kitchen.
Q. What did you do then?
A. I went into the dining room and laid down my hat.
Q. What did you do then?
A. Opened the sitting room door and went into the sitting room; or pushed it open. It was not latched.
Q. What did you do then?
A. I found my father and rushed to the foot of the stairs.
Q. What were you going into the sitting room for?
A. To go upstairs.
Q. What for?
A. To sit down.
Q. What had become of the ironing?
A. The fire had gone out.
Q. I thought you went out because the fire was not hot enough to heat the flats.
A. I thought it would burn, but the fire had not caught from the few sparks.
Q. So you gave up the ironing and was going upstairs?
A. Yes sir, I thought I would wait till Maggie got dinner and heat the flats again.
Q. When you saw your father, where was he?
A. On the sofa.
Q. What was his position?
A. Lying down.
Q Describe anything else you noticed at that time.
A. I did not notice anything else, I was so frightened and horrified. I ran to the foot of the stairs and called Maggie.
Q. Did you notice that he had been cut?
A. Yes, that is what made me afraid.
Q. Did you notice that he was dead?
A. I did not know whether he was or not.
Q. Did you make any search for your mother?
A. No sir.
Q. Why not?
A. I thought she was out of the house. I thought she had gone out. I called Maggie to go to Dr. Bowen's. When they came in, I said, "I don't know where Mrs. Borden is." I thought she had gone out.
Q. Did you tell Maggie you thought your mother had come in?
A. No sir.
Q. That you thought you heard her come in?
A. No sir.
Q. Did you say to anybody that you thought she was killed upstairs?
A. No sir.
Q. To anybody?
A. No sir.
Q. You made no effort to find your mother at all?
A. No sir.
Q. Who did you send Maggie for?
A. Dr. Bowen. She came back and said Dr. Bowen was not there.
Q. What did you tell Maggie?
A. I told her he was hurt.
Q. When you first told her?
A. I says, "Go for Dr. Bowen as soon as you can. I think father is hurt."
Q. Did you then know that he was dead?
A. No sir.
Q. You saw him?
A. Yes sir.
Q. You went into the room?
A. No sir.
Q. Looked in at the door?
A. I opened the door and rushed back.
Q. Saw his face?
A. No, I did not see his face because he was all covered with blood.
Q. You saw where the face was bleeding?
A. Yes sir.
Q. Did you see the blood on the floor?
A. No sir.
Q. You saw his face covered with blood?
A. Yes sir.
Q. Did you see his eye-ball hanging out?
A. No sir.
Q. See the gashes where his face was laid open?
A. No sir.
Q. Nothing of that kind?
Q. Do you know of any employment that would occupy your mother for the two hours between nine and 11 in the front room?
A. Not unless she was sewing.
Q. If she had been sewing you would have heard the machine.
A. She did not always use the machine.
Q. Did you see or were there found anything to indicate that she was sewing up there?
A. I don't know. She had given me a few weeks before some pillow cases to make.
Q. My question is not that. Did you see, or were there found, anything to indicate that she had done any sewing in that room that morning?
A. I don't know. I was not allowed in that room. I did not see it.
Q. Was that the room where she usually sewed?
A. No sir.
Q. Did you ever know of her using that room for sewing?
A. Yes sir.
Q. When?
A. Whenever she wanted to use the machine.
Q. When she did not want to use the machine, did you know she used that room for sewing?
A. Not unless she went up to sew a button on, or something.
Q. She did not use it as a sitting room?
A. No sir.
Q. Leaving out the sewing, do you know of anything else that would occupy her for two hours in that room?
A. No, not if she had made the bed up and she said she had when I went down.
Q. Assuming the bed was made?
A. I don't know anything.
Q. Did she say she had done the work?
A. She said she had made the bed and was going to put on the pillow cases, about 9 o'clock.
Q. I ask you now again, remembering that---.
A. I told you that yesterday.
Q. Never mind about yesterday. Tell me all the talk you had with your mother when she came down in the morning.
A. She asked me how I felt. I said I felt better but did not want any breakfast. She said what kind of meat did I want for dinner. I said I did not want any. She said she was going out; somebody was sick, and she would get the dinner, get the meat, order the meat. And I think she said something about the weather being hotter, or something; and I don't remember that she said anything else. I said to her, 'Won't you change your dress before you go out?" She had on an old one. She said, "No, this is good enough." That is all I can remember.
Q. In this narrative you have not again said anything about her having said that she had made the bed.
A. I told you that she said she made the bed.
Q. In this time saying, you did not put that in. I want that conversation that you had with her that morning. I beg your pardon again. In this time of telling me, you did not say anything about her having received a note.
A. I told you that before.
Q. Miss Borden, I want you now to tell me all the talk you had with your mother when she came down, and all the talk she had with you. Please begin again.
A. She asked me how I felt. I told her. She asked me what I wanted for dinner. I told her not anything. What kind of meat I wanted for dinner. I told her not any. She said she had been up and made the spare bed and was going to take up some linen pillow cases for the small pillows at the foot and then the room was done. She says, "I have had a note from somebody that is sick and I am going out and I will get the dinner at the same time." I think she said something about the weather, I don't know. She also asked me if I would direct some paper wrappers for her, which I did.
Q. She said she had had a note?
A. Yes sir.
Q. You told me yesterday you never saw the note.
A. No sir, I never did.
Q. You looked for it?
A. No sir, but the rest have.
Q. She did not say where she was going?
A. No sir.
Q. Does she usually tell you where she is going?
A. She does not generally tell me.
Q. Did she say when she was coming back?
A. No sir.
Q. Did you know that Mr. Morse was coming to dinner?
A. No sir, I knew nothing about him.
Q. Was he at dinner the day before?
A. Wednesday noon? I don't know. I didn't see him. I don't think he was.
Q. Were you at dinner?
A. I was in the house. I don't know whether I went down to dinner or not. I was not feeling well.
Q. Whether you ate dinner or not?
A. I don't remember.
Q. Do you remember who was at dinner the day before?
A. No sir, I don't remember because I don't know whether I was down myself or not.
Q. Were you at tea Wednesday night?
A. I went down, but I think---I don't know---whether I had any tea or not.
Q. Did you sit down with the family?
A. I think I did, but I'm not sure.
Q. Was Mr. Morse there?
A. No sir, I did not see him.
Q. Who were there to tea?
A. Nobody.
Q. The family were there, I suppose.
A. Yes sir. I mean nobody but the family.
Q. Did you have an apron on Thursday?
A. Did I what?
Q. Have an apron on Thursday.
A. No sir, I don't think I did.
Q. Do you remember whether you did or not?
A. I don't remember for sure, but I don't think I did.
Q. You had aprons, of course?
A. I had aprons, yes sir.
Q. Will you try and think whether you did or not?
A. I don't think I did.
Q. Will you try and remember?
A. I had no occasion for an apron on that morning.
Q. If you can remember, I wish you would.
A. I don't remember.
Q. That is all the answer you can give me about that?
A. Yes sir.
Q. Did you have any occasion to use the axe or hatchet?
A. No sir.
Q. Did you know where they were?
A. I knew there was an old axe down cellar. That is all I knew.
Q. Did you know anything about a hatchet down cellar?
A. No sir.
Q. Where was the old axe down cellar?
A. The last time I saw it, it was stuck in the old chopping block.
Q. Was that the only axe or hatchet down cellar?
A. It was all I knew about.
Q. When was the last time you knew of it?
A. When our farmer came to chop wood.
Q. When was that?
A. I think a year ago last winter. I think there was so much wood on hand, he did not come last winter.
Q. Do you know of anything that would occasion the use of an axe or hatchet?
A. No sir.
Q. Do you know of anything that would occasion the getting of blood on an axe or hatchet down cellar?
A. No sir.
Q. I do not say there was, but assuming an axe or hatchet was found down cellar with blood on it?
A. No sir.
Q. Do you know whether there was a hatchet down there before this murder?
A. I don't know.
Q. You are not able to say your father did not own a hatchet?
. A. I don't know whether he did or not.
Q. Did you know that there was found at the foot of the stairs a hatchet and axe?
A. No sir, I did not.
Q. Assume that is so, can you give me any explanation of how they came there?
A. No sir.
Q. Assume they had blood on them, can you give any occasion for there being blood on them?
A. No sir.
Q. Can you tell of the killing of any animal? Or any other operation that would lead to their being cast there, with blood on them?
A. No sir. He killed some pigeons in the barn last May or June.
Q. What with?
A. I don't know, but I thought he wrung their necks.
Q. What made you think so?
A. I think he said so.
Q. Did anything else make you think so?
A. All but three or four had their heads on. That is what made me think so.
Q. Did all of them come into the house?
A. I think so.
Q. Those that came into the house were all headless?
A. Two or three had them on.
Q. Were any with their heads off?
A. Yes sir.
Q. Cut off or twisted off?
A. I don't know which.
Q. How did they look?
A. I don't know, their heads were gone, that is all.
Q. Did you tell anybody they looked as though they were twisted off?
A. I don't remember whether I did or not. The skin, I think, was very tender. I said, "Why are these heads off?" I think I remember of telling somebody that he said they twisted off.
Q. Did they look as if they were cut off?
A. I don't know. I did not look at that particularly.
Q. Is there anything else besides that that would lead, in your opinion so far as you can remember, to the finding of instruments in the cellar with blood on them?
A. I know of nothing else that was done.
Q. (By Judge Blaisdell) Was there any effort made by the witness to notify Mrs. Borden of the fact that Mr. Borden was found?
Q. (By Knowlton) Did you make any effort to notify Mrs. Borden of your father being killed?
A. No sir. When I found him, I rushed right to the foot of the stairs for Maggie. I supposed Mrs. Borden was out. I did not think anything about her at the time, I was so---.
Q. At any time, did you say anything about her to anybody?
A. No sir.
Q. To the effect that she was out?
A. I told father when he came in.
Q. After your father was killed?
A. No sir.
Q. Did you say you thought she was upstairs?
A. No sir.
Q. Did you ask them to look upstairs?
A. No sir.
Q. Did you suggest to anybody to search upstairs?
A. I said, "I don't know where Mrs. Borden is." That is all I said.
Q. You did not suggest that any search be made for her?
Q. No sir.
Q. You did not make any yourself?
A. No sir.
Q. I want you to give me all that you did, by way of word or deed, to see whether your mother was dead or not, when you found your father was dead.
A. I did not do anything except what I said to Mrs. Churchill. I said to her, "I don't know where Mrs. Borden is. I think she is out, but I wish you would look"
Q. You did ask her to look?
A. I said that to Mrs. Churchill.
Q. Where did you intend for her to look?
A. In Mrs. Borden's room.
Q. When you went out to the barn, did you leave the door shut, the screen door?
A. I left it shut.
Q. When you came back did you find it shut or open?
A. No sir, I found it open.
Q. Can you tell me anything else that you did that you have not told me, during your absence from the house?
A. No sir.
Q. Can you tell me when it was that you came back from the barn, what time it was?
A. I am not sure, but I think it must have been after 10, because I think he told me he did not think he should go out until 10. When he went out, I did not look at the clock to see what time it was. I think he did not go out until 10, or a little after. He was not gone so very long.
Q. Will you give me the best judgment you can as to the time your father got back? If you have not any, it is sufficient to say so.
A. No sir, I have not any.
Q. Can you give me any judgment as to the length of time that elapsed after he came back and before you went to the barn?
A. I went right out to the barn.
Q. How soon after he came back?
A. I should think not less than five minutes. I saw him taking off his shoes and lying down. It only took him two or three minutes to do it. I went right out.
Q. When he came into the house, did he not go into the dining room first?
A. I don't know.
Q. And there sit down?
A. I don't know.
Q. Why don't you know?
A. Because I was in the kitchen.
Q. It might have happened and you not have known it?
A. Yes sir.
Q. You heard the bell ring?
A. Yes sir.
Q. And you knew when he came in?
A. Yes sir.
Q. You did not see him?
A. No sir.
Q. When did you first see him?
A. I went into the sitting room and he was there. I don't know whether he had been in the dining room before or not.
Q. What made you go into the sitting room?
A. Because I wanted to ask him a question.
Q. What question?
A. Whether there was any mail for me.
Q. Did you not ask him that question in the dining room?
A. No sir, I think not,
Q. Was he not in the dining room sitting down?
A. I don't remember his being in the dining room sitting down.
Q. At that time, was not Maggie washing the windows in the sitting room?
A. I thought I asked him for the mail in the sitting room. I am not sure.
Q. Was not the reason he went into the dining room because she was in the sitting room washing windows?
A. I don't know.
Q. Did he not go upstairs to his room before he sat down in the sitting room?
A. I did not see him go.
Q. He had the key to his room down there?
A. I don't know whether he had it. It was kept on the shelf.
Q. Don't you remember he took the key and went into his own room and then came back?
A. No sir.
Q. You don't remember anything of that kind?
A. No sir. I do not think he did go upstairs either.
Q. You will swear he did not?
A. I did not see him.
Q. You swear you did not see him?
A. Yes sir.
Q. You were either in the kitchen or sitting room all the time?
A. Yes sir.
Q. He could not have gone up without he had gone through the kitchen?
A. No sir.
Q. When you did go into the sitting room to ask him a question, if it was the sitting room, what took place then?
A. I asked him if he had any mail. He said, "None for you." He had a letter in his hand. I supposed it was for himself. I asked him how he felt. He said, "About the same." He said he should lie down. I asked him if he thought he should have a nap. He said he should try to. I asked him if he wanted the window left the way it was or if he felt a draught. He said, "No." That is all.
Q. Did you help him about lying down?
A. No sir.
Q. Fix his pillows or head?
A. No sir. I did not touch the sofa.
Q. Did he lie down before you left the room?
A. Yes sir.
Q. Did anything else take place?
A. Not that I remember of.
Q. Was he then under medical treatment?
A. No sir.
Q. The doctor had not given him any medicine that you know of?
A. No sir. He took some medicine; it was not doctor's medicine. It was what we gave him.
Q. What was it?
A. We gave him castor oil first and then Garfield tea.
Q. When was that?
A. He took the castor oil some time Wednesday. I think some time Wednesday noon and I think the tea Wednesday night. Mrs. Borden gave it to him. She went over to see the doctor.
Q. When did you first consult Mr. Jennings?
A. I can't tell you that. I think my sister sent for him. I don't know.
Q. Was it you or your sister?
A. My sister.
Q. You did not send for him?
A. I did not send for him. She said did we think we should have him. I said do as she thought best. I don't know when he came first.
Q. Now, tell me once more, if you please, the particulars of that trouble that you had with your mother four or five years ago.
A. Her father's house on Ferry Street was for sale-...
Q. Whose father's house?
A Mrs. Borden's father's house. She had a stepmother and a half-sister, Mrs. Borden did, and this house was left to the stepmother and a half-sister, if I understand it right, and the house was for sale. The stepmother, Mrs. Oliver Gray, wanted to sell it and my father bought out the Widow Gray's share. She did not tell me and he did not tell me, but some outsiders said he gave it to her; put it in her name. I said if he gave that to her, he ought to give us something. Told Mrs. Borden so. She did not care anything about the house herself. She wanted it so this half-sister could have a home because she had married a man that was not doing the best he could and she thought her sister was having as very hard time and wanted her to have a home. And we always thought she persuaded father to buy it. At any rate, he did buy it and I am quite sure she did persuade him. I said what he did for her, he ought to do for his own children. So, he gave us grandfather's house. That was all the trouble we ever had.
Q. You have not stated any trouble yet between you and her.
A. I said there was feeling four or five years ago when I stopped calling her mother. I told you that yesterday.
Q. That is all there is to it then?
A. Yes sir.
Q. You had no words with your stepmother then?
A. I talked with her about it and said what he did for her, he ought to do for us. That is all the words we had.
Q. That is the occasion of his giving you the house that you sold back to him?
A Yes sir.
Q. Did your mother leave any property?
A I don't know.
Q. Your own mother?
A No sir, not that I know of.
Q. Did you ever see that thing? (Pointing to a wooden club)
A. Yes, I think I have.
Q. What is it?
A. My father used to keep something similar to this, that looked very much like it, under his bed. He whittled it out himself at the farm one time.
Q. How long since you have seen it?
A. I have not seen it in years.
Q. How many years?
A I could not tell you. I should think 10 or 15 years. Not since I was quite a little girl, if that is the one. I can't swear that it is the one. It was about that size.
Q. (Marks it with a cross) How many years, 10 or 15?
A. I was a little girl. It must have been as much as that.
Q. When was the last time the windows were washed before that day?
A. I don't know.
Q. Why don't you know?
A. Because I had nothing to do with the work downstairs.
Q. When was the last time that you ate with the family that you can swear to before your mother was killed?
A. Well, I ate with them all day Tuesday. That is, what little we ate. We sat down at the table and I think I sat down to the table with them Wednesday night, but I am not sure.
Q. All day Tuesday?
A. I was down at the table.
Q. I understand you to say you did not come down to breakfast.
A. That was Wednesday morning.
Q. I understood you to say that you did not come down to breakfast.
A. I came down but I did not eat breakfast with them. I did not eat any breakfast. Frequently, I would go into the dining room and sit down to the table with them and not eat any breakfast.
Q. Did you give to the officer the same skirt you had on the day of the tragedy?
A. Yes sir.
Q. Do you know whether there was any blood on the skirt?
A. No sir.
Q. Assume that there was, do you know how it came there?
A. No sir.
Q. Have you any explanation of how it might come there?
A. No sir.
Q. Did you know there was any blood on the skirt you gave them?
A. No sir.
Q. Assume that there was. Can you give any explanation of how it came there on the dress skirt?
A. No sir.
Q. Have you offered any?
A. No sir.
Q Have you ever offered any?
A. No sir.
Q. Have you said it came from flea bites?
A. On the petticoats, I said there was a flea bite. I said it might have been. You said you meant the dress skirt.
Q. I did. Have you offered any explanation how that came there?
A. I told those men that were at the house that I had had fleas. That is all.
Q. Did you offer that as an explanation?
A. I said that was the only explanation that I knew of.
Q. Assuming that the blood came from the outside, can you give any explanation of how it came there?
A. No sir.
Q. You cannot now?
A. No sir.
Q. What shoes did you have on that day?
A. A pair of ties.
Q. What color?
A. Black.
Q. Will you give them to the officer?
A. Yes.
Q. Where are they?
A. At home.
Q. What stockings did you have on that day?
A. Black.
Q. Where are they?
A. At home.
Q. Have they been washed?
A. I don't know.
Q. Will you give them to the officer?
A Yes sir.
Q. The window you was at is the window that is nearest the street in the barn?
A Yes sir, the west window.
Q. The pears you ate you got from under the tree in the yard?
A. Yes sir.
Q. How long were you under the pear tree?
A. I think I was under there very nearly four or five minutes. I stood looking around. I looked up at the pigeon house that they have closed up. It was no more than five minutes, perhaps not as long. I can't say sure.
Q. (By Judge Blaisdell) Was this witness on Thursday morning in the front hall of front stairs or front chamber, any part of the house at all?
Q. What do you say to that?
A. I had to come down the front stairs to get into the kitchen.
Q. When you came down first?
A Yes sir.
Q. Were you afterwards?
A. No sir.
Q. Not at all?
A Except the few minutes I went up with the clean clothes and I had to come back again.
Q. That you now say was before Mr. Borden went away?
A Yes sir.

Q. Is there anything you would like to correct in your previous testimony?
A. No sir.
Q. Did you buy a dress pattern in New Bedford?
A. A dress pattern?
Q. Yes.
A. I think I did.
Q. Where is it?
A. It is at home.
Q. Where?
A. Where at home?
Q. Please.
A. It is in a trunk.
Q. In your room?
A. No sir, in the attic.
Q. Not made up?
A. Oh, no sir.
Q. Where did you buy it?
A. I don't know the name of the store.
Q. On the principal street there?
A. I think it was on the street that Hutchinson's book store is on. I am not positive.
Q. What kind of a one was it, please?
A. It was a pink stripe and a white stripe and a blue stripe corded gingham.
Q. Your attention has already been called to the circumstances of going into the drug store of Smith's on the corner of Columbia and Main Streets, by some officer, has it not, on the day before the tragedy?
A. I don't know whether some officer has asked me. Somebody has spoken of it to me. I don't know who it was.
Q. Did that take place?
A. It did not.
Q. Do you know where the drugstore is?
A. I don't.
Q. Did you go into any drugstore and inquire for prussic acid?
A. I did not.
Q. Where were you on Wednesday morning that you remember?
A. At home.
Q. All the time?
A. All day, until Wednesday night.
Q. Nobody there but your parents and yourself and the servant?
A. Why, Mr. Morse came sometime in the afternoon, or at noon time, I suppose. I did not see him.
Q. He did not come to see you?
A. No sir. I did not see him.
Q. He did not come until afternoon anyway, did he?
A. I don't think he did. I'm not sure.
Q. Did you dine with the family that day?
A. I was downstairs, yes sir. I did not eat any breakfast with them.
Q. Did you go into the drugstore for any purpose whatever?
A. I did not.
Q. I think you said yesterday that you did not go into the room where your father lay, after he was killed, on the sofa, but only looked in at the door.
A. I looked in. I did not go in.
Q. You did not step into the room at all?
A. I did not.
Q. Did you ever, after your mother was found killed, any more than go through it to go upstairs?
A. When they took me upstairs, they took me through that room.
Q. Otherwise than that, did you go into it?
A. No sir.
Q. Let me refresh your memory. You came down in the night to get some water with Miss Russell, along towards night, or in the evening, to get some water with Miss Russell?
A. Thursday night? I don't remember it.
Q. Don't you remember coming down some time to get some toilet water?
A. No sir. There was no toilet water downstairs.
Q. Or to empty the slops?
A. I don't know whether I did Thursday evening or not. I am not sure.
Q. You think it may have been some other evening?
A. I don't remember coming down with her to do such a thing. I may have. I can't tell whether it was Thursday evening or any other evening.
Q. Other than that, if it did take place, you don't recollect going into that room for any purpose at any time?
A. No sir.
Q. Was the dress that was given the officers the same dress that you wore that morning?
A. Yes sir.
Q. The India silk?
A. No sir. It is not an India silk. It is silk and linen. Some call it Bengaline silk.
Q. Something like that dress there? (Pongee)
A. No, it was not like that.
Q. Did you give to the officer the same shoes and stockings that you wore?
A. I did, sir.
Q. Do you remember where you took them off?
A. I wore the shoes ever after that, all around the house Friday and all day Thursday and all day Friday and Saturday until I put on my shoes for the street.
Q. That is to say you wore them all that day, Thursday, until you took them off for the night?
A. Yes sir.
Q. Did you tell us yesterday all the errand that you had at the barn?
A. Yes sir.
Q. You have nothing to add to what you said?
A. No sir.
Q. Miss Borden, of course you appreciate the anxiety that everybody has to find the author of this tragedy, and the questions that I put to you have been in that direction. I now ask you if you can furnish any other fact, or give any other, even suspicion, that will assist the officers in any way in this matter.
A. About two weeks ago---.
Q. Was you going to tell the occurrence about the man that called at the house?
A. No sir. It was after my sister went away. I came home from Miss Russell's one night and as I came up, I always glanced towards the side door. As I came along by the carriage-way, I saw a shadow on the side steps. I did not stop walking, but I walked slower. Somebody ran down the steps, around the east end of the house. I thought it was a man because I saw no skirts and I was frightened, and, of course, I did not go around to see. I hurried in the front door as fast as I could and locked it.
Q. What time of the night was that?
A. I think about a quarter of 9. It was not after 9 o'clock, anyway.
Q. Do you remember what night that was?
A. No sir, I don't. I saw somebody run around the house once before last winter.
Q. One thing at a time. Do you recollect about how long that occurrence was?
A. It was after my sister went away. She has been away two weeks today, so it must have been within two weeks.
Q. Two weeks today? Or two weeks at the time of the murder?
A. Is not today Thursday?
A. Yes, but that would be three weeks. I thought you said the day your father was murdered, she had been away just two weeks.
A. Yes, she had.
Q. Then, it would be three weeks today your sister went away. A week has elapsed.
A. Yes, it would be three weeks.
Q. You mean it was some time within the two weeks that your sister was away?
A. Yes. I had forgotten that a whole week had passed since the affair.
Q. Different from that, you cannot state?
A. No sir. I don't know what the date was.
Q. This form, when you first saw it, was on the steps of the backdoor?
A. Yes sir.
Q. Went down the rear steps?
A. Went down toward the barn.
Q. Around the back side of the house?
A. Disappeared in the dark. I don't know where they went.
Q. Have you ever mentioned that before?
A. Yes sir, I told Mr. Jennings.
Q. To any officer?
A. I don't think I have, unless I told Mr. Hanscomb.
Q. What was you going to say about last winter?
A. Last winter when I was coming home from church one Thursday evening, I saw somebody run around the house again. I told my father of that.
Q. Did you tell your father of this last one?
A. No sir.
Q. Of course you could not identify who it was either time?
A. No, I could not identify who it was, but it was not a very tall person.
Q. Have you sealskin sacks?
A. Yes sir.
Q. Where are they?
A. Hanging in a large white bag in the attic, each one separate.
Q. Put away for the summer?
A. Yes sir.
Q. Do you ever use prussic acid on your sacks?
A. Acid? No sir, I don't use anything on them.
Q. Is there anything else you can suggest that even amounts to anything whatever?
A. I know of nothing else, except the man who came and father ordered him out. That is all I know.
Q. That you told about the other day?
A. I think I did, yes sir.
Q. You have not been able to find that man?
A. I have not. I don't know whether anybody else has or not.
Q. Have you caused search to be made for him?
A. Yes sir.
Q. When was the offer of reward made for the detection of the criminals?
A. I think it was made Friday.
Q. Who suggested that?
A. We suggested it ourselves and asked Mr. Buck if he did not think it was a good plan.
Q. Whose suggestion was it, yours or Emma's?
A. I don't remember. I think it was mine.



Anonymous said...

You reported that the sister quit speaking to Lizzie and moved away after trial. That is not true. Emma was devoted to Lizzie and believed vehemently in her innocence and even testified for her. They moved into a different home after the trial and lived together until Emma's death.

Statement Analysis Blog said...


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Unknown said...

I've really enjoyed this series on Borden!

Does anyone know if it was common practice at the time to keep all the internal doors locked as Lizzie describes? If so, why?

I notice the Prosecutor didn't question why the doors were kept locked...and according to Lizzie, Mr. Borden even needed a key to enter his own bedroom.

It seems very odd, but maybe it was normal during that era for the sitting/parlor areas to be accessible to all, while the other areas of the home were locked up?

John Mc Gowan said...

Jen Ow said...
I've really enjoyed this series on Borden!

Me too Jen :-)

Child Advocate said...

I'm enjoying this series. I'm looking a Lizzy Borden in a different light now. From everything I've read, I thought she was guilty. This series has reinforced that belief.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jen. I've read that the house was broken into and robbed within the year prior, and that's why the father insisted on keeping all the doors locked at all times. How true it is, I don't know.

Anonymous said...

IMHO, I do not believe Lizzie Borden had anything to do with either of these two ghastly murders. This prosecutor was hell-bent on his witch hunt with every intention of penning these ax murders on Lizzie. No matter how hard he tried he couldn't trap her. Turns out she was smarter than he was.

I wonder what his real interest was, who was he protecting, how much is known about Mr. Prosecutors' own history, personal friends, family and political connections?

Unknown said...

Thank you!

lgjproduct said...

Here is a decent link with lots of information.

Anonymous said...


Anyway, I do have some doubts, so far, since following the transcripts here, even though I've actually always assumed guilt on her part. I don't feel that the prosecution has done a good job thus far. At least up until this point, I could see why a jury (group of peers) could not agree on a group decision.

Anonymous said...

Doubt this will show up, but anyway:

No blood on Lizzie; much paranoia prior to murders; unknown visitor shows up with no luggage (though relative); unknown "tramp" seen two doors down the night prior; and a victim had a penchant for nonworking door locks.

At least they didn't have a computer. It would have been scarier knowing they were to be murdered and having a clue to who it may be.

Anonymous said...

It could have been any number of people who murdered daddy Borden and his wife the missus, least of all likely was scapegoat Lizzie Borden who had little knowledge of the comings and goings around her, seemed to have no clout in that house, and kept mostly to herself and to her own devices. Not guilty.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have any theories on how she could have cleaned herself up so quickly? I know there's the question of why she burned a dress, but I'm wondering about her body. She must have gotten blood on herself, I assume. It seems like there was a short time span from when her father was murdered to the time she alerted the maid.

Anonymous said...

They did not need evidence. Look at the front page of the local newspaper. Her picture is there not long after the homicides. They were running a publicity stunt. Too bad two were murdered but it was too hot to look for evidence-almost 80 that day. However, since the murder was in the morn, it may have been slightly cooler. No one could withstand those harsh elements in a barn loft for a few minutes~

At least she had the presence of mind to grab some tin foil prior to the publicity fix the screen presumably. Or maybe not. Was she aware of the on-goings within the community. Far ahead of her peers?

They took out their organs at the house. Beheaded them there, too. Off to the lab at Harvard to demonstrate how superior science and technology would solve the crime. No poisoning. Only gaping holes in the skull-not unlike modern psychiatry of their time.

Sickened by mutton stewing in the warmth of bacteria. Insecure by the lack of good house door knobs.
No one in the household was suspected or else the bedroom key would not have been left in the open.

The maid would have had to been on a ladder to wash exterior windows. Where was it kept? In the barn?

Why had the mutton not been cool. When was block ice delivery day? Were they murdered with an ice axe?

Anonymous said...

Actually Anon @5:33, I don't see how she could have. Whoever murdered step-mommie dearest was lurking somewhere in the house for approximately one and a half hours waiting for the opportune time to hatchet daddy as well, who was likely his prime candidate; stuck quickly as soon as he got his chance, and fled all while Lizzie was in the barn eating pears and looking for fishing lead-sinkers.

No one was upstairs checking on the whereabouts of the missus, nor would they have had a reason too, as she had announced that she was going out to see a sick person. Obviously she never got that chance, or if she did then the killer snagged her as soon as she returned, unseen by anyone else since she would have reentered the house with her own keys without disturbing anyone.

Also, there is a possibility that the note the missus said she had received could have been a set up by the killer to get her out of the house so he could commit his mayhem, or as a ruse for him to be able to gain entrance into the locked house as she left or in forcing her to allow him in; then, had no other choice than to follow her upstairs and kill her first to keep her quiet while waiting for Mr. Borden to return home around the same time as he normally did.

Or, the killer could have been the so-called male relative who had recently been visiting but suddenly disappeared. Had Lizzie wanted to deliberately point the finger at him she easily could have, but in fact, knew little about the man or what his visit pertained too.

The possibilities are endless as to who could have performed these ghastly murders, or had them performed; possibilities that seems to have gone uninvestigated. Since these were up-close hatchet murders there would have been blood splatters all over the person who committed them and not just on their outer clothing or on one burned dress; explained away as flea bites?

I've had flea bites but they certainly left no blood evidence on my clothing. The burned dress is the only thing that makes me question Lizzies' possible guilt, but there would have been way more blood evidence from two hatchet murders than just on this one garment.

These people (all adults) lived mysterious lives right inside their own home, locking themselves in their respective rooms and with locked doors all over the place. I believe daddy Borden knew he was a threatened and doomed man; unfortunately it included his missus. There's no telling what kind of hatred and evil mischief he had gotten himself into with town officials, including its' prosecutor, who was determined to pen it all on Lizzie for some unexplained treacherous reason.

Lizzie had no history of insanity and violence or of being given to throwing fits of hysteria. She kept mostly to herself and out of the way. IMO, anyone who made it out of that house alive was lucky; and lucky for Lizzie she was out in the barn when the mad killer finished his hacking and fled the premises. MOHO, Lizzie not guilty.

Anonymous said...

Not true, Anon @6:16. It would have been entirely possible for Lizzie to spend 20 minutes out in the hot barn eating pears and looking for lead sinkers. You get used to the heat, hard as it may be, when you have no air conditioning OR refrigeration.

I grew up in the deep south mud-clay of Alabama and we had no air-conditioning, OR electricity when I was a small child; having to tolerate temperatures higher than this one every day and night of every spring, summer and fall. The only difference, we did not wear long dresses or hot stockings. That would have been a real bummer.

trustmeigetit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
trustmeigetit said...

Anon. There were theories she could have been naked. It would make clean up easy. In fact the newest lifetime movie portrayed it that way.

Also of you look at the photos, it was not a blood bath. And some forensic reports I've read said the angles may not have put much blood on the murderer.

I just find it impossible in the small home that she heard nothing and managed to be in another area at both critical murders. Also, the home was surrounded by other homes and it seemed like the neighbors were always watching. I mean there is testimony from one that saw Mr Borden leave and return and the other saw the ruckus going on after the murder and came outside immediately, So you have nosey neighbors all around watching. Yet with that...the maid outside and Lizzie inside when mrs borden is killed and no one sees a thing.

Now she was rumored to be having an affair with DR Bowen. I think he could have been involved. Maybe even ran to the cellar to clean up (if u assume he killed dad) while Lizzie got everyone to the front of the house. There was also other testimony that someone saw the dr speeding thru town earlier. Just speculation. He also burned something while the cops were there and stayed alone with Lizzie in her room for a couple hours afterwards. Also told some cops to ignore the bloody rags in a bucket that it was her time of month. Really bothered by that. Seems odd he would know that was hers and even try to interfere.

Also odd that she stayed in the home after the murders. When she had the financial means to stay elsewhere. To me that's creepy. Especially since the bodies were still in the home the first night. And she went to the cellar alone that night and was bent down by her parents bloody clothes for 15 mins and testified that she does not recall going down at all. But a police testified that she did.

I totally think it was her. And she may have had help.

Plus from the testimony there was no sadness or grief. She acted more entitled and insulted than a victim of something rely horrific. Even if I wasn't close to a parent, the murders were brutal and it would haunt a normal person. Lizzie was just fine,

And as far as Emma, there was another person that testified that worked at the jail where Lizzie was held.

She testified stating this conversation between Lizzie and Emma and Lizzie's attorney tried to get her to deny it happened later.

"Lizzie says, "Emma, you have gave me away, haven't you?" She says, "No, Lizzie, I have not." "You have," she says, "and I will let you see I won't give in one inch,"

Link for that

Anyways, I think Emma always knew. I think she was away cause she could not do it herself.

They were both past marrying age and women didn't work then really. And if dad started giving away their inheritance (he already gave his wives sister property) they would struggle in life. Lizzie wanted and expected more.

And as a note.... Her and Emma didn't stop speaking until about 1906. They actually moved into a house together 5 weeks after the trial.

She was aquitted in 1892 so it was years later they stopped speaking.

It was speculated she had begun a lesbian affair with an actress and that was the cause of the dispute.

The more I read the more I am convinced it was her

Anonymous said...

Thank, trustmeigetit, and thanks for posting the link, I'll definitely check that out.

Anonymous said...

With the lack of forensic science back then, and the lack of a decent initial search and investigation, it actually does leave a lot of possibilities. I do, about 95% think it was Lizzie, but I do have a few doubts due to unanswered questions, that can obviously never be answered at this point. We have her testimony recorded (on paper), but supposedly she was under the influence of prescription morphine. We have the officers testimony that she was "too calm" during the initial questioning, and also contradicting themselves, that they didn't like her attitude - she supposedly got upset when they called Mrs. Borden her mother, she corrected them, with what they deemed as an attitude, that she was not her mother and her mother had died when she was small. It leaves a lot to the imagination I guess. If it happened in exactly the same way, in this day and age, there would probably be at least fewer questions.

I've been wondering about the handle-less axe that was found in the basement. This is a gross question, but would it have just broken off, or would it have gotten lodged in the victims skull. I don't know how an axe works in relation to a tree vs a human/skull.

Anonymous said...

I actually got further doubt from reading from that link. It was Lizzy's lawyer, who was poking fun at the DA, by saying that Lizzy would have had to have been naked to not get blood on her clothes. The father got home at 11:00, the police state they were notified at 11:15, which leaves say 10 minutes for the maid to go upstairs after opening the door for him, then for Lizzy to murder her father with an axe, clean it off, hide it (they say dust was over it, or placed over it), clean herself even if there wasn't a lot of blood, there had to be some, hide her clothes, shoes, etc., then call to the maid, which whom she originally sent to fetch the doctor who wasn't there, then sent (I don't remember who, a neighbor I think) someone to the police. It was also testified that 2 workers had been in the barn loft, the previous day I think, contradicting the testimony of there being no footprints in the barn loft dust. Someone also tried to testify that there were no footprints in the grass area outside, where the maid had actually been walking around all morning washing the windows.

I do also see things that point to Lizzy's guilt too though. There's just a lot of contradictions and questions. Whether guilty or innocent, I can see why the jury gave the verdict they did. There wasn't a thorough enough investigation, and the prosecution didn't do a good enough job at presenting the case and evidence, beyond a reasonable doubt.

trustmeigetit said...

I put together a timeline of this case a while back. I also have photos of the home (all 4 levels) and I have a photo of the angle that I think the dad was killed (found a tourists photo that was taking in the house at that location) that I think shows how he could have been killed that would have I think put little blood on the murdered. The photo just give you a different perspective. But would love others thoughts.

Also, I had read (but have not been able to find it again) that right before 11 am someone saw Dr Bowen speeding through town looking scared. Just find that very odd considering the time line. But I can not seem to find that site that I read it on. I don’t think it was stated in court but in an article. But I will keep looking for it.

Anonymous said...

Good job on your blog and timeline!

I have question about the timeframe, as to when the father actually got home, and how long until the murder happened. And I have question about the lack of footprints in the barn loft, as it was stated that there were two seperate workers up there, as recent as the day prior.

I think you did a great job, I'm not trying to be confrontational at all, just throwing around different ideas. If there's a possibility that the doctor was in the house, wouldn't it leave the possibility that someone else, other than him, could have been?

I'd have to go re-read the maids account again, but I think she said after she told Lizzy she could lock the door or leave it open, that she said she had been back in the house.

Here is part of her statement of when she was outside washing the windows, after talking to Lizzy about locking the door:

"Then I got a dipper from the kitchen and clean water from the barn, and commenced to wash the sitting-room windows again by throwing water up on them. When I washed these windows, I did not see anyone in the sitting room, and I did not see anyone in the dining room when I washed those windows. I went round the house rinsing the windows with dippers of water.

Then I put the brush handle away in the barn and got the hand basin and went into the sitting room to wash those windows inside. I hooked the screen door when I came in.

I began to wash the window next to the front door. Had not seen anyone since I saw Lizzie at the screen door."

She also claims that the father took his key and went up to his room and came back down, before laying down. Then she finished 2 windows, Lizzy commenced ironing, then she went up to her room to lay down.

I noticed her dropped pronoun when saying that she hadn't seen anyone since seeing Lizzy at the screen door. I don't notice any other dropped pronouns from her.

Anonymous said...

Also where she says she hooked the door, that makes her statement out of order. She began washing the windows next to the front door, did she not finish?

I'm not that great at SA, I'd love to see her statement analyzed.

Here is her statement

trustmeigetit said...

Anon – in regards to the time dad was killed… there is a window of time.

The neighbor said she saw dad return between 10:30-10:40.

Bridgett said she heard the town clock ring at 11am and was in her room.

So that gives Lizzie a short window. But it is possible. Especially if she had planned this for a while.

So let’s say Bridget went upstairs at 10:50……..
Lizzie yelled for Bridget at 11:10
The cops were notified at 11:15.

There is time. AND…. Lizzie herself said she was in the barn for 15-20 minutes AFTER talking to her dad.

So, I would say this happened between about 10:50-11:00. With 10 minutes to clean up.

If she did this alone…. Assume that as soon as Bridgett headed upstairs, she ran down to the cellar, stripped down, got the ax and came right back up…..come thru that door near where her dads head was …..Killed her dad….She could then go right back down to the cellar (possibly with just limited blood on her hands and arms) cleaned up down there with the bucket of water… got dressed again, and walked right back up to “discover” her dad.

It’s a short window, but it’s possible.

As far as the Dr being in the home…. I think it would be easier to sneak someone in if they had someone helping. But if you were a stranger trying to get in, when you have neighbors on both sides of the home that were paying attention to what was going on, the maid in and out, someone inside the home and well, windows all the way around…..that to me is hard to accept. But again, anything is possible.

But… I tend to think IF she had help… She may have done step mom herself, had more time to clean up. Then the other person killed dad…. He too could go right to the cellar… Then when she raised the alarm….. everyone was then on the side of the home …. And the person cleans up then goes out the cellar door to the backyard and out the back side. And if it was the Dr. The fact that he came around the corner just moments after Lizzie sent for him and he was NOT Home… Could fit.

And…..everyone at this point would be so focused around Lizzie they could then miss someone leaving out the back.

Dr Bowen is just one theory of a helper.

Also…..another story I read but don’t know if it was stated was made by Bridgett on her death bed. It was said she confessed that she had lied for Lizzie. But not sure if it was true and then if it was, what exactly did she lie about for her. It’s almost too vague for a death bed confession. But you never know.

And if the rumors were true that there was some other abuses going on in the home, well, I can see someone looking the other way if the abusers are then killed.

Lizzie wanted many things. If dad died and left most of his money to his wife… Lizzie would not live the life she wanted. Up on the hill with nice things. She never had to work and had a nice home, servants, nice cars etc. With out daddys money, she would have been living in a shack.

She never married.

And it seemed to me that she was very confident and strong willed during the trial. Where I think its more likely that someone who was innocent and just had their dad murdered in such a gruesome way and was then being charged for the murder would be a mess.

One last thing, assume the Dr was either involved or just helped cover for her. The statements he made that he was giving her morphine and that is why she was having a hard time remembering or was changing her testimony… that could also be a lie.

The only thing I am sure of is that Lizze was the mastermind. That I am convinced of. She just seems strong and in control. Now who else may have know or been involved I am just not sure yet.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I appreciate it.

trustmeigetit said...

The other thing that I personally thought added to this murder being an inside job is that front door.

It was said that during the day the inside lock was usually unlocked. So someone with a house key could get in. That it was usually just locked on the inside when everyone was home at night.

In Bridgetts testimony, she didn’t recall another time ever having to unlock that door for Mr. Borden.

Because by that time of the day, it was unlocked.



Q. Let us see if we understand it right. All the time that you lived there did you ever go when he came to the door and couldn't unlock the door?
A. I don't remember.
Q. Don't remember that you did?
A. No sir, I don't.

So, then if you think about Lizzie going to the side door and confirming with Bridgett that she was in fact outside doing the windows…. And Bridget told her she could lock the door if she wanted… That then puts Lizzie inside the home alone. And no one, even someone with a house key could NOT get in that home during the time Abby was murdered..

And also, Bridget stated that she would hear the screen door slam from her room (2 stories up) if someone let it slam shut vs closing softly. So we know the walls are thin.

So now Lizzie expects us to believe that when Mrs Borden hit the floor, as a rather large woman, yet she heard nothing?

I just flat out do not buy it.

Anonymous said...

Four thoughts...

1) Had Lizzie been all that close to her daddy as so many claimed she was, she would not, could not, have killed him. Also, if they'd been all that close, or if he really loved her like its' been said he did, he would not have been cutting her out of the will or making no provisions for her upkeep.

2) In addition to Bridgett/Maggie the hired help, four adults lived in that home. Emma was away, Bridgett/Maggie was intermittently in and out of her room and the first floor off and on while washing outside & inside windows. The missus had been thought to be out making a call on a sick person.

3) This was a relatively large 3-story plus basement home, with plenty of places behind its' many doors for a person coming in off the street to hide.

4) My point: Since the Mr & Missus were already dead by the time Lizzie went calling for Bridgett/Maggie, a suggested timeline allowing papas' murder to have happened within ten minutes of Lizzie cleaning herself up after 'finding' papa dead which likely happened around 11:40; what would have been Lizzie's big rush to go looking for the hired help since there was no one else alive on the premises and no one else expected, but this hired help who supposedly was not anywhere around when either of these two murders occurred?

Lizzie would have had plenty of time to take her time to get cleaned up and dispose of the evidence and find the maid, or not look for her at all and let someone else, or the maid, find the dead folks. See the point?

If Lizzie did it, why would she otherwise need to involve herself by 'finding' papa? Or even if she did do it; why not just stay safely tucked away up in her room or in the barn and let Bridgett/Maggie 'accidentally' find the deceased?

Tim said...

"I might have seen her and not know it."

trustmeigetit said...

My post seems to have disappeared so trying to post again what I can recall.


As far as their relationship... That time especially people put on a front. They didn't air their dirty laundry. So we don't really know what their dad/daughter relationship was like. And if there was abuse, I doubt anyone every would discuss it back then,

And we do know he had given an entire house to his wives sister. Not even one of his. That is odd to me and sure would even anger some today.

And at that time... The girls were really over the hill and were unlikely to marry. This was a different time. So Lizzie who wanted nice things and had high expectations .... If dad started giving others his money/property that affected her future security. And remember a few weeks after being acquitted she moved right to the area she always wanted "the hill", had nice things, servants etc. with out dad's money it would have been a hard life.

Then, many times the murderers call 911 themselves to report a murder. In fact think how often here do we talk about the guilt in the 911 call. Her ringing the alarm does not change my thoughts at all.

And many of them ring that alarm right away. after she did the deed she probably wanted to get that part over with. That would be stressful to put on an act if she did it. The maid was sick...what if she was upstairs for a couple hours. Lizzie would then do what? Get on her smart phone and play angry birds? Lol

It would be pretty stressful to just sit around and wait for someone else to find them.

And to just sit in her room.... The room right next to step moms dead body. And just sit and stair at the walls. And wait.....

I think she had been planning this.

I think she did and went right into action. And I think she was pretty sure she would get off.

The odds of a woman being convicted of a brutal murder in that time was a serious long shot.

Sure is an interesting case that I continue to read about.

Anonymous said...

trustmeigetit; your comments make perfect sense and I agree to all these possibilities; however, let's keep in mind that Lizzie was not a stupid woman. Greedy and obsessed with material things and her needy future? Possibly, but how do we know this to be a fact?

As to the home Mr. Borden bought his wifes' sister, real estate by todays standards didn't cost much back in those days and he was a wealthy man. I doubt this would have made a ding in his finances, which we don't know the circumstances of the purchase or its' value anyway. (My uncle bought a little home for his sister, with his wifes' approval, because she was financially unstable and they wanted her to have a home for the rest of her life. Maybe it was a similar situation to this that he bought his SIL a home?)

Had Lizzie been plotting these murders, or even had she done them on the spur of the moment, isn't it reasonable that she would have allowed herself more time after killing papa than just ten mins to get herself cleaned up and dispose/destroy the evidence prior to calling for the maid, particularly since she wasn't under any time constraints that we are aware of?

However, 1-1/2 hrs difference between the time Mrs. Borden was hacked to death before Mr. Borden is hacked to death, is no spur of the moment decision. Waiting it out, the second murder was carefully planned this way.

There is the (non-scientific) fact that step-mommie had been killed approx 1-1/2 hrs earlier, during which all of this time the maid could have gone upstairs and found her, particularly since the maid claimed she was sick, was in and out of the house several times, yet she was well enough to wash windows.

I wonder, how well was Bridgett/Maggie the maid investigated? She had every opportunity herself to murder Mr & Mrs. Borden, or to allow the murderer to enter the house; or to plot and scheme with Lizzie, even help her quickly clean up the evidence.

How was she treated by the Bordens, were they kind to her or did they treat her like a low-class servant under their feet, forcing her to be their perpetual personal slave 24/7? How do we know? Wasn't Mr. Borden known for treating his employees like slaves, wringing the last ounce out of them? Why wouldn't he treat his house maid the same way? Maybe she snapped. What became of the maid after Lizzie & Emma moved out of the house? Did she continue to have a relationship with Lizzie?

Your analysis of guilt, while it has a ring of truth to it, seems to cast the spotlight on only a few remarks and questions/answers made at the trial, and possible circumstantial evidence; but IMO, there were many questions left unanswered, while many questions were asked that weren't really pertinent. Heck, I don't know one way or the other.

Lizzie would be the first and the most likely suspect but that doesn't mean that she is the one who did it; however, I DO wonder why Emma walked out on her, abandoned her and the new home on the hill, and never returned. Strange, they died just nine days apart and were buried side by side.

Anonymous said...

I'm wondering about the maid also. I was hoping her statements could be analyzed. I'm not saying she's guilty of anything, but I'd like to see how her statements stand up to SA.

trustmeigetit said...

Not sure how Bridget was treated by the parents....but Lizzie and Emma called her Maggie. Which was the prior maids name. She was asked if it pissed her off during the trial.....she just replied "no sir". So not much for SA to look at.
But when Abby was killed, the time they have linked it to anyways, Bridget was outside. The neighbor spoke with her and saw her. Now sure we could have the timeline off....but you have the neighbor who saw her outside and Lizzie never once seemed to have a different story than the maid as far as her being outside.....Again you never know. Just seems like she had even less time.

After the murders Bridgett got another job (I think it was for a police officer) and moved into that home. Later married and moved to another state.

She may have been involved. But they do say typically these kind of over kill murders are really personal. Not sure being treated bad by your employer would be enough.... But you never know. I just have not read anything that seemed off about her or has she contradicted anything she has said.

Then Emma moving away was rumored to be about Lizzie's too close relationship with another female. We will likely never know but the rumor was she was having a relationship with the woman and Emma didn't approve. That has cut family ties so not hard to believe. Especially back then. But Lizzie and her I would assume were close. Their dad was described by many as very rigid. Their mom died and they didn't like their step mom. So I believe they had a close bond even if they were not speaking.

I do think Emma always knew it was Lizzie. The woman that worked at the police station testified she heard Lizzie say (while she was in jail) "you have gave me away". Then Lizzie's attorney later tried to get her to say it didn't happen. Now she could be lying... But seems more likely Lizzie lied. But I sure would love to know what it was Emma did that made Lizzie say that. That could fill in some gaps I'm sure.

I also still believe the shop clerks who said she tried to buy prussic acid. I think she planned to kill them that way initally. And like Justin Diprieto who told His ex before he was scared someone was going to kidnap Ayla then it happened. To me I feel like Lizzie was setting the stage. Also while we know they found no poison in the bodies, I think it's still possible she had given them
Something already. But I also read that arsenic doesn't show up on a typically screening. Back in that day, especially considering the autopsy was done in the home on the kitchen table...I would say it would be easy to have many things undetected. Doesn't seem like that was smart by any standards.

And back on Lizzie. There were lots of rumors that Lizzie shop lifted all around town. Sure no hard facts but often when there are repeated rumors...there is some truth. So I think at the least we know Lizzie is not the most honest person. Far cry from murder but when you see how many times she contradicted herself even where she was at during critical times, to me that added to her being the guilty party. She is already a liar.

Now I have also heard many said she was actually kind.

I don't think she was a danger to society, I think she just felt her future was on the line.

And I still have to wonder if there was a will that was limiting her and Emma's inheritance. The dr did burn something with Emmas name on it and the police said when they looked in the fire.. There were several other papers in there. The fact that the dr said it was about his own daughter yet the cops saw the name Emma on it sure does look incriminating.

And again, these women were totally dependent on dad's money. They had a lifetime left to live and needed as much of it as possible.

Women rarely worked back then and the job options were limited. So the motive is there.

trustmeigetit said...

I also think Alice, who was by all accounts Lizzie's closet friend came to think she did it. I think the dress burning incident was the beginning of that.

And I've read they never spoke again after the trial.

Anonymous said...

trustmeigetit; some of the best minds of the day and for approx. 140 years since the Borden hatchet murders have tried to ascertain Lizzies' guilt, or lack thereof; with many and varied well-thought-out and intelligent opinions and sharp analysis of what they thought to be evidence against her and/or several others who might have been involved, and what they knew or what they didn't know, or covered up, either for Lizzie or for themselves.

I don't think there is anyone alive today who could change any of the foregoing conclusions from the 1890s or subsequently with any more accuracy than has already been attempted. The thing is, we'll never know which ones were right and which ones were wrong. It's a tie, more or less.

People were much the same then as they are now, and always have been, regardless of our changing lifestyles. Always; the human mind is gullible, is given to fancy, and above all is deceitful and easily misled. Even going back to Biblical times; things, times, places, people and events are made to appear to be what they could have been, would have been, should have been, believed to have been, AND ARE NOT. Or were they?

Things are almost NEVER what they are appear to be, not when one considers all the frailties of the human mind and the inability to decipher black from white, right from wrong, and truth from honesty. We'll never know the truth.

Doubtful said...

I'm still curious as to why Andrew never married off either of his two daughters. They were not hideous ogres, I'd think they might've even been considered a "catch" at one time. He basically sentenced them to spinsterhood, guaranteeing they'd be dependent on him for life. He seems very controlling.

Anonymous said...

Doubtful; unless I'm wrong in this, and I don't think I am, women were used in those days as breeders of large broods of children, with no choice of their own; typically married into dirt-poor-shanty farm work, having come off the dirt farm themselves after their youth having been spent doing heavy drudge farm and dairy chores. Draw and pump the water, chop the wood, milk the cows, cure the meat for hanging in the smoke house, work by the sweat of their brow all day in the fields and mind the younger babies all at the same time; frequently married off while young girls still in their early to mid-teens; one less mouth to feed.

Worn out to the bone, it wasn't unusual back in those days for a wife to die in childbirth, leaving the destitute father of his many babes to run off and quickly find himself another young wife to bed, raise his brood and keep his farm and dairy up and running. Women, young girls and children had a very hard life in those days and no way out.

The Borden girls with their lily white hands, and those of their 'finer' ilk would have not known anything about this hard kind of hard life and would have had more limited choices in their social circles, according to their proper upbringing, with many left to become 'old maid' spinsters as early as 30 years of age.

If Mr. Borden was as stern as folks said he was, their choices of suitable men not being driven away by him would have been less, and even lesser as they went past 25 and through their 20s and beyond. It was unfortunate that they were labeled as old-maid spinsters and them barely out of their 20s with many good years still left, but that's the way it was back then.

So there you have it, with Lizzie losing her mother around the age of two, and with Emma being eleven yrs older than she was, and who likely felt that she could never leave her to the stern step-mother their father had given charge over them, that apparently they both disliked. As time went on, one sister couldn't leave the other so neither one could marry as their chances of marriage became slimmer and slimmer to none. Sad, really.

Doubtful said...

I don't know. Being the tightwad Andrew Borden was purported to be, you'd think he'd marry those girls off and reduce his overhead costs. The fact that he didn't makes the sexual abuse claims more believable (as for the reason he wanted to keep them home). If that's the case, it makes the murders more understandable. Maybe Abby was aware of it, but since they weren't HER daughters, didn't do anything about it? Maybe that's the reason for the animosity?

Anonymous said...

Doubtful; as it stands, I'd be hard pressed to flat out accuse Lizzie of being the culprit who committed these ghastly murders, even though she may have made some inconsistencies at the trial and there was substantial (questionable?) circumstantial evidence.

Andrew Borden had many enemies caused by his hard and apparently unjust/unethical dealings with his employees, tenants and in his business dealings. If true, he was a despised man by many, and for all we know Abby Borden may have been as well; and that would include the doctor and the maid who also may have despised them.

Andrew was not only hard on his family members and kept them living in miserable conditions such as making them dump their excrement from slop buckets into the backyard every day for years, refused to install proper lighting & refrigeration and other inconveniences that he could have afforded to alleviate; but he also was setting up his will to leave everything to Abby, was selling off valuable farmland, a family summer home and had already purchased 1/2 interest in a residence for Abbys' sister.

There was also the question of future ownership of his businesses and other real estate holdings. I can see how anger would have been constantly brewing in that household as well as in other areas of his dealings. Sorry to speak ill of the dead but apparently he was a miserable jerk and Abby likely was too.

There was a lot of dysfunction in that family, all caused by Andrews tryany & Abbys' contemptible greed; however, it appears that Andrew created enemies in everything he did and not just in the home.

If true, he also had an illegitimate son, William Borden, the last child born to the wife of his brother Charles who became the bastard of the Borden families; with Andrew refusing to acknowledge his mentally unstable son or support him. Reputedly, this son harassed and stalked Andrew and the Borden home for recognition and support all of his adult life until the Bordens deaths, eventually being committed to an insane asylum and later hanging himself.

It appears there would have been several others who could have slaughtered the Bordens and not just Lizzie.

Anonymous said...

Trustmeigetit & Doubtful, you both make many excellent points and I tend to agree with you. SO many mysteries surrounding these two murders.

I don't know why I keep coming back to this as we are never going to get it untangled. I just find it intriguing that we have so much info yet so little is known about most of these people and their daily lives.

I just wish we had some in-depth journalists articles and well-known authors of the day who had done major research on all of the people involved and not just Lizzie. There were 29 Borden families throughout the area, all related, plus the many employees and tenants.

One thing I have concluded for sure and that is that Andrew Borden was a major b'stard. This man was the president of three banks, owned and operated several factories and/or manufacturing businesses and owned various rental properties; a tight-fisted wealthy tyrant who ruled with an iron fist.

What a b'stard! There was no reason on this earth for old Borden to forbid indoor toilets and plumbing in the Borden residence. Imagine the humiliation of it. He forced his women to dump their stinking daily & nightly collection of bodily sewage waste into the back yard for all the neighborhood to see and smell with flies and vermin all over the place. The low-life b'stard wouldn't even have an outdoor toilet out-house set up to collect their waste in a hole in the ground. THAT RIGHT THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN ENOUGH TO MAKE SOMEONE WANT TO KILL.

And there's no telling how his ole lady treated Lizzie & Emma either, with them at her mercy since their childhood. Not justifying that they were slaughtered in such an evil way, just wish we knew more.