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Andrew's Will (was: Lindbergh)

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  • RevCOAL
    From: Muriel Arnold ... Which doesn t mean that Borden didn t actually have a will, only that he had led his insurance agent to believe that he didn t have one
    Message 1 of 8 , Oct 11, 2002
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      From: Muriel Arnold
      >Maybe this time, pick
      Charles Cook, Andrew Borden's insurance agent,
      >who said Mr. Borden
      did not tell him he had a will or desired to make one.
       
      Which doesn't mean that Borden didn't actually have a will, only that he had led his insurance agent to believe that he didn't have one (did Cook ever indicate just when this discussion took place?)...
       
      Considering how reticent people of the era were to discuss the subject of making a will, either because they felt talk of such matters was in bad taste and/or the superstition that actually making a will doomed one to death soon after, it is perhaps not surprising that Borden would not discuss what he considered an 'apples-and-oranges' issue with Cook -- in other words, insurance was insurance, a separate matter from a will, which Borden would have only discussed with his lawyer and perhaps a family member...
       
      Do we know just WHEN Cook had this discussion with Borden?
       
      An interesting fact to be gleaned from perusing "The Lizzie Borden Sourcebook" is that more than one person who stated that they were friends with Abby Borden (contradicting modern authors who paint her as being alone and virtually friendless) attested that Abby was quite chatty in the months leading up to the murders regarding Andrew's plan to make sure that Abby was well-taken care of financially upon his death...
       
      The fact that Abby would reveal such intimate knowledge to non-relatives is pretty amazing in and of itself; if we also remember that in 1892 she and Andrew had been married approximately 30 years, one has to wonder what was going on that year to suddenly make the subject of what happened to Andrew Borden's assets upon his death a topic of such interest...
       
       
      June
       
       
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    • Muriel Arnold
      Hi June: I just looked it up in my book about Andrew Borden and his will. Charles Cook, on Thursday, August 18th, denied that Mr. Borden said he needed to make
      Message 2 of 8 , Oct 11, 2002
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        Hi June:
        I just looked it up in my book about Andrew Borden and his will.
        Charles Cook, on Thursday, August 18th, denied that Mr. Borden said he needed to make a will, had a will, or desired to make an inventory of his property.
         
        As for Abby:
        The reason I claim Abby did not have many friends is that Andrew got rid of his horse that Spring.  If Abby was one who was so friendly, she would have been going to visit these friends and Andrew would not have gotten rid of the horse.
         
        Abby was a close friend to Phebe Bowen and her stepsister Sarah Whitehead.  With them she was chatty.  The Bordens were not known for entertaining.  I know she wasn't chatty with Mrs. Churchill because Mrs. Churchill sure as hell would have told the world about what she knew, especially about thinking they had been poisoned.  And, reporters hung around the house to question everyone who had called or been allowed to enter.  None of them reported anything about Abby.
         
        This business of the carriage in front of the house to take Abby to the bank so Andrew could sign the Swansea property over to her doesn't make sense either.
        1.  When Andrew returned home, the first thing he would have asked was where was Abby?
        2.  If Lizzie told the truth about Abby saying the dress she had on was good enough and wasn't going to change, shows she had not planned on going to the bank.  Going to Sarah Whitehead's house makes sense.  Years later, Sarah's daughter said Abby was supposed to go to their house that morning (Aug.4th).
        3.  According to the autopsy reports, both Andrew and Abby were in  excellent health, so death was the furthest from their minds.
        4.  I agree with Dr. Bowen's findings.  The Bordens got sick from eating tainted meat, called summer sickness back then.  By Wednesday, it was five days old.  Thursday, mutton broth was on the breakfast menu!!!!!  Even by today's standards, we would have thrown that mutton out.  No wonder Mrs. Borden told Lizzie she was going to stop and buy meat for dinner.  When I was growing up (in Fall River),  it was breakfast, dinner and supper.
        That's it for now.
        Muriel
         
        Muriel Arnold
         
        Author of  Lizzie Borden Hands of Time
        For more information
        muriela@...
        ----- Original Message -----
        From: RevCOAL
        Sent: Friday, October 11, 2002 11:36 AM
        Subject: [40Whacks] Andrew's Will (was: Lindbergh)

        From: Muriel Arnold
        >Maybe this time, pick Charles Cook, Andrew Borden's insurance agent,
        >who said Mr. Borden did not tell him he had a will or desired to make one.
         
        Which doesn't mean that Borden didn't actually have a will, only that he had led his insurance agent to believe that he didn't have one (did Cook ever indicate just when this discussion took place?)...
         
        Considering how reticent people of the era were to discuss the subject of making a will, either because they felt talk of such matters was in bad taste and/or the superstition that actually making a will doomed one to death soon after, it is perhaps not surprising that Borden would not discuss what he considered an 'apples-and-oranges' issue with Cook -- in other words, insurance was insurance, a separate matter from a will, which Borden would have only discussed with his lawyer and perhaps a family member...
         
        Do we know just WHEN Cook had this discussion with Borden?
         
        An interesting fact to be gleaned from perusing "The Lizzie Borden Sourcebook" is that more than one person who stated that they were friends with Abby Borden (contradicting modern authors who paint her as being alone and virtually friendless) attested that Abby was quite chatty in the months leading up to the murders regarding Andrew's plan to make sure that Abby was well-taken care of financially upon his death...
         
        The fact that Abby would reveal such intimate knowledge to non-relatives is pretty amazing in and of itself; if we also remember that in 1892 she and Andrew had been married approximately 30 years, one has to wonder what was going on that year to suddenly make the subject of what happened to Andrew Borden's assets upon his death a topic of such interest...
         
         
        June
         
         
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      • RevCOAL
        From: Muriel Arnold ... Which only tells us when Cook made the statement to authorities of his alleged conversation with Andrew Borden, not when the alleged
        Message 3 of 8 , Oct 11, 2002
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          From: Muriel Arnold

          >I just looked
          it up in my book about Andrew Borden and his will.
          >Charles Cook, on
          Thursday, August 18th, denied that Mr. Borden said
          >he needed to
          make a will, had a will, or desired to make an inventory
          >of his
          property.
           
          Which only tells us when Cook made the statement to authorities of his alleged conversation with Andrew Borden, not when the alleged conversation took place.  For all we know, this alleged conversation between Cook and Borden could have occured in 1882, ten years before the murders.  Unless Cook said he had this conversation with Borden within, say, 6 months before the murders, even if Borden had made such a statement and if it indeed was true (a big assumption), it would not necessarily be relevant -- a lot can change in 6 or more months time...
           
          And I pick on the 6 month time frame because that is about the time Abby allegedly started chatting about Andrew's pending plans to make sure she was well-taken care of after his death, which suggests that a will was in the works, if it hadn't already been drafted...
           
          Andrew could have outright lied to Cook, too, figuring that the subject of Andrew's having or not having a will was none of Cook's business; as I said before, to Andrew it could have been an apples-and-oranges subject, namely that the matter of buying life insurance was separate from the matter of having a will...
           
           
          >The reason I claim Abby did not have
          many friends
           
          Actually I wasn't referring to you, but to other authors I have read...  ;-)

          >is that Andrew got rid of his horse that Spring.  If Abby was one who was

          >so friendly, she would
          have been going to visit these friends and Andrew
          >would not have
          gotten rid of the horse.
           
          Another apples-and-oranges issue.  The Bordens lived downtown, within easy walking distance of most of their social acquaintances.  There was also the streetcar of which they could have avail themselves (we know John Morse did), and the stable a few doors down from where they could rent a rig if it was necessary (again, we know that John Morse did).
           
           
          >This business of the carriage in front of
          the house to take Abby to
          >the bank so Andrew could sign the
          Swansea property over to her doesn't
          >make sense either.
           
          First I've heard of that angle; Abby wouldn't have needed to go to the bank, Andrew could take the deed home for her to sign -- but they would have needed a witness and a notary on hand to make it legal, I believe...
           

          >1.  When Andrew returned home, the first thing he would have asked was where was Abby?

          Which apparantly he did -- and was told that Abby had been called out to visit a sick friend...
           
           

          >2.  If Lizzie told the truth
          about Abby saying the dress she had on was
          >good enough and wasn't
          going to change, shows she had not planned on going
          >to the
          bank.  Going to Sarah Whitehead's house makes sense.  Years later,
          >Sarah's daughter said Abby was supposed to go to their
          house that morning (Aug.4th).
           
          I would tend to agree...which perhaps suggests that Sarah was to act as the witness to the transaction...
           
           
          >3.  According to the
          autopsy reports, both Andrew and Abby were in  excellent
          >health, so death was the furthest from their
          minds.
           
          I'd not be so quick in assuming that Andrew was in such good health; remember, the autopsy would have only focused on the obvious cause of death, plus looked for any signs of poisoning; it wouldn't have gone probing for any hidden tumors or signs of heart disease, for example...
           
          "Something" caused the senior Bordens early in 1892 to suddenly become extremely interested in the disposition of Andrew's estate upon his death...and I suspect that whatever that "something" was would go a long reason to providing the motive for their murders...
           
           
          >4.  I agree with Dr. Bowen's
          findings.

          This assumes that Bowen didn't have something to hide, or was covering up for something and/or someone...  ;-)
           
           
          June
           
           

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        • Muriel Arnold
          Hi June: Looks like I got your attention. Here goes: Andrew Borden s will. Charles Cook s telling reporters that Andrew did not tell him he needed to make a
          Message 4 of 8 , Oct 11, 2002
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            Hi June:
            Looks like I got your attention.  Here goes:
            Andrew Borden's will.  Charles Cook's telling reporters that Andrew did not tell him he needed to make a will, had a will, or desired to make an inventory of his property, occurred on Thursday, August 18, 1892.
             
            Please don't tell me this business about Andrew making plans to give the Swansea farms to Abby so she would be well taken care of after he died, came from Victoria Lincoln's book.  It sure didn't show up in the newspapers.
            District Attorney knew nothing about that either, as he dwelled only on the house on 4th Street.  This was probably the first unselfish act Andrew committed in his entire life.  The idea of giving Abby the farms probably never even entered his head because what would Abby want with a farm?
             
            I never knew Andrew had taken out a life insurance policy.  Wonder who dreamed that one up?  To me, Charles Cook took care of the insurance on his office buildings, not his life.
             
            As for Abby not having many friends, this does not come from other authors.  This conclusion I reached on my own by who came to the house after the murders.  Nearly all of them were business acquaintances and Mrs. Whitehead and Mrs. Bowen.  The reporters gathered around, questioned all who went there.
             
            As for the Bordens being withing easy walking distance of most of their social acquaintances, sorry.  Most of that area consisted of business establishments.  Except for Miss Russell and Mrs. Bowen, the Bordens had few visitors.
             
            You mention a stable a few door down where they could rent a rig if necessary and that Morse did.  Well, there were two stables across the street.  Hall and Chase, yet Morse rented his horse, or a rig, from Kirby's stable.  I believe that one was located on Pleasant Street.
             
            As for Abby not needing to go to the bank is true.  The only one necessary to tansfer property is the owner.  Ask my sister.  Shortly before my mother died, my sister told us that when she went to pay the taxes, she was told that she and not my mother owned that house.  She argued that our mother owned it.  They checked and told her to speak to our mother's lawyer.  That she, my sister, owned it.
            It works the same here in Texas.  My lawyer made out the transfer of deed to the house next door.  I sent it to my son.  He signed it and mailed it back to me.  I called my lawyer.  He came and picked it up and took care of the rest.  That house now belongs to me, so I now own two houses.  I signed nothing.
             
            When Andrew returned home:
            Lizzie claimed he rang the bell.  Bridget let him in.  She went into the kitchen and told Lizzie he had forgotten his key (his keyes were found on him), and went up to her room.
            Lizzie joined him in the sitting room and told him Mrs. Borden had gone out to visit a sick friend.  Andrew had not asked where Mrs. Borden was.
             
            As for the autopsy reports:
            They were complete.  The doctors testified that both were in excellent health except I believe they said one had some small gallstones.
             
            June, Where did you learn the Bordens, in early 1892, were extremely interested in the disposition of Andrew's estate upon his death?  Victoria Lincoln?
            So why, on the night of August 2, 1892, was Andrew holding a meeting with a benevolant society about building a $65,000 building on one of his properties where the rent would be 3% per annum?  He and Abby were sick as dogs that Tuesday night, but Andrew wasn't too sick to wheel and deal.  He had not the least intention of disposing of anything.  Bet that thought never even entered his mind.
             
            Dr. Bowen's findings:
            Take August 15th, when Dr. Bowen asked the reporters why the police had not arrested Bridget.  Might she not been saying things to save herself?  This told me that Dr. Bowen had been reading the newspapers and knew Bridget was lying.
             
            Dr. Bowen covered up for no one.  Blame Knowlton for putting that idea into authors heads.  Lizzie, Dr. and Mrs. Bowen should have sued him for defamation of character.  He is the one who implied at the trial that there was something going on between them.  It was Knowlton's vain attempt to discredit Dr. Bowen's testimony.
             
            I don't remember much of Victoria Lincoln's book and I no longer have the half a dozen pages I'd typed showing where she was wrong.  Man, how I wish I had kept those.
            One thing I remember was her saying she was astonished at the accuracy of the reporting being done, then proceeded to ignore their findings.  Had she read the dozen newspapers accounts that I've read, she would really have been astounded.  People testified at the hearing saying the same thing they had told their readers when certain events occurred.
            I remember Victoria Lincoln also claiming something to the effect that Knowlton tore Emma's testimony to pieces, like a rag?
            I had a copy of Pearson's trial records of the 1930's and one of his footnotes contained the same thing Victoria Lincoln put in her book on Emma.  Read what the reporters had to say and you learn Knowlton failed to shake Emma's testimony and oll important points.
            No matter.  I still love Victoria Lincoln's cure for epilepsy.
            End of book.
            Muriel
             
            Muriel Arnold
             
            Author of  Lizzie Borden Hands of Time
            For more information
            muriela@...
            ----- Original Message -----
            From: RevCOAL
            Sent: Friday, October 11, 2002 7:33 PM
            Subject: [40Whacks] Re: Andrew's Will (was: Lindbergh)

            From: Muriel Arnold
            >I just looked it up in my book about Andrew Borden and his will.
            >Charles Cook, on Thursday, August 18th, denied that Mr. Borden said
            >he needed to make a will, had a will, or desired to make an inventory
            >of his property.
             
            Which only tells us when Cook made the statement to authorities of his alleged conversation with Andrew Borden, not when the alleged conversation took place.  For all we know, this alleged conversation between Cook and Borden could have occured in 1882, ten years before the murders.  Unless Cook said he had this conversation with Borden within, say, 6 months before the murders, even if Borden had made such a statement and if it indeed was true (a big assumption), it would not necessarily be relevant -- a lot can change in 6 or more months time...
             
            And I pick on the 6 month time frame because that is about the time Abby allegedly started chatting about Andrew's pending plans to make sure she was well-taken care of after his death, which suggests that a will was in the works, if it hadn't already been drafted...
             
            Andrew could have outright lied to Cook, too, figuring that the subject of Andrew's having or not having a will was none of Cook's business; as I said before, to Andrew it could have been an apples-and-oranges subject, namely that the matter of buying life insurance was separate from the matter of having a will...
             
             
            >The reason I claim Abby did not have many friends
             
            Actually I wasn't referring to you, but to other authors I have read...  ;-)

            >is that Andrew got rid of his horse that Spring.  If Abby was one who was
            >so friendly, she would have been going to visit these friends and Andrew
            >would not have gotten rid of the horse.
             
            Another apples-and-oranges issue.  The Bordens lived downtown, within easy walking distance of most of their social acquaintances.  There was also the streetcar of which they could have avail themselves (we know John Morse did), and the stable a few doors down from where they could rent a rig if it was necessary (again, we know that John Morse did).
             
             
            >This business of the carriage in front of the house to take Abby to
            >the bank so Andrew could sign the Swansea property over to her doesn't
            >make sense either.
             
            First I've heard of that angle; Abby wouldn't have needed to go to the bank, Andrew could take the deed home for her to sign -- but they would have needed a witness and a notary on hand to make it legal, I believe...
             

            >1.  When Andrew returned home, the first thing he would have asked was where was Abby?

            Which apparantly he did -- and was told that Abby had been called out to visit a sick friend...
             
             
            >2.  If Lizzie told the truth about Abby saying the dress she had on was
            >good enough and wasn't going to change, shows she had not planned on going
            >to the bank.  Going to Sarah Whitehead's house makes sense.  Years later,
            >Sarah's daughter said Abby was supposed to go to their house that morning (Aug.4th).
             
            I would tend to agree...which perhaps suggests that Sarah was to act as the witness to the transaction...
             
             
            >3.  According to the autopsy reports, both Andrew and Abby were in  excellent
            >health, so death was the furthest from their minds.
             
            I'd not be so quick in assuming that Andrew was in such good health; remember, the autopsy would have only focused on the obvious cause of death, plus looked for any signs of poisoning; it wouldn't have gone probing for any hidden tumors or signs of heart disease, for example...
             
            "Something" caused the senior Bordens early in 1892 to suddenly become extremely interested in the disposition of Andrew's estate upon his death...and I suspect that whatever that "something" was would go a long reason to providing the motive for their murders...
             
             
            >4.  I agree with Dr. Bowen's findings.

            This assumes that Bowen didn't have something to hide, or was covering up for something and/or someone...  ;-)
             
             
            June
             
             

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          • RevCOAL
            From: Muriel Arnold ... Fine. That s when Cook told reporters about the alleged conversation with Andrew Borden, who was murdered on Aug. 4, 1892. It doesn t
            Message 5 of 8 , Oct 12, 2002
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              From: Muriel Arnold

              >Andrew
              Borden's will.  Charles Cook's telling reporters that Andrew
              >did not tell him he needed to make a will, had a will, or desired
              to
              >make an inventory of his property, occurred on Thursday, August
              18, 1892.
               
              Fine.  That's when Cook told reporters about the alleged conversation with Andrew Borden, who was murdered on Aug. 4, 1892.  It doesn't tell us WHEN that conversation took place.  For all we know, Borden could have made the statement Cook alleges Borden to have made ten days, ten months, or ten years before the murders took place.  Without knowing exactly when this alleged conversation between Borden and Cook took place, it may or may not have any weight.  Quite frankly, even if Cook said he had this conversation with Borden a week before the murders I would still take it with a grain of salt...we have no reason to believe that even if Andrew DID make such a statement to Cook, that it was a true statement...Andrew could have had his own reasons for not wanting the existence of a will made general knowledge, or he may have just figured that it was no concern of Cook's...
               
               
              >Please don't tell me this business
              about Andrew making plans to give the
              >Swansea farms to Abby so she
              would be well taken care of after he died,
              >came from Victoria
              Lincoln's book.

              I take most of Lincoln's writing with a grain of salt...  ;-)
               
               

              >It sure didn't show
              up in the newspapers.
               
              Contemporary news accounts focused more on Morse's wanting the property, not that Andrew planned to give it to Abby; of course, Morse establishing himself on the property may have just been a cover story Andrew told his daughters....
               
               
              >I never knew Andrew had taken out
              a life insurance policy.  Wonder who
              >dreamed that one
              up?  To me, Charles Cook took care of the insurance on
              >his
              office buildings, not his life.
               
              Perhaps we are jumping to conclusions here...perhaps Cook did NOT sell Borden a LIFE insurance policy, merely mortgage and/or fire insurance on Borden's commercial properties; all the more reason Andrew would have considered the matter of his having or not having a will none of Cook's business...
               
               
              >As for Abby not having many friends, this does not come
              from other authors. 
              >This conclusion I reached on my own by
              who came to the house after the murders.

              I based MY comments on reading other authors, who all paint Abby Borden as being virtually alone and friendless and practically an agorophobic who almost never left the house.  Yet comments made to reporters by those who claimed to be not only acquaintances but friends of Abby contradict this image of Abby as the housebound hausfrau...
               
               

              >Nearly all of them were
              business acquaintances and Mrs. Whitehead and
              >Mrs. Bowen. 
              The reporters gathered around, questioned all who went there.
               
              One can assume that the Borden sisters would not have welcomed any friend of Abby Borden who showed up at the Borden house after the murders; they'd have to admit Abby's sister, but no one else would have been encouraged to come visit, and presumably any friend of Abby's would have known that.  Does anyone know if Mrs. Whitehead had anything at her own house for any friends of Abby's who wished to offer their condolences.

              According to more than one source, relatives of Abby's from as far away as Hartford, Connecticut traveled to Fall River to attend Abby's funeral; presumably these relatives would have stayed at the Whitehead's, if they didn't stay at a hotel.  Abby's friends and relatives may not have been welcomed by Lizzie and Emma to come visiting at the Borden house, but that wouldn't have stopped the friends and relatives of Abby from attending Abby's funeral...
               
               

              >As for the Bordens being withing
              easy walking distance of most of their
              >social acquaintances,
              sorry.  Most of that area consisted of business
              >establishments. 

              Take a look at the contemporary maps -- the area was a mix of businesses and private dwellings.
               
               

              >Except for Miss Russell and Mrs.
              Bowen, the Bordens had few visitors.
               
              Perhaps so, but if we accept the statements made to reporters by those who described themselves as friends of Abby's, then it would seem that Abby did more visiting than modern authors would have us believe...
               
              If the Borden family had such few social contacts, then how do we explain the annual vacation Emma and Lizzie took at the shore abode of 'a friend'?  Why was Lizzie, who has always been painted by modern authors as a social outcast, even before the murders, invited along on a European trip by other friends?
               
              Perhaps Andrew didn't encourage visitors to the Borden homestead, but it sounds like both his daughter and his second wife enjoyed a greater social life than modern authors would have us believe...
               
               
              >You mention a stable a few door down
              where they could rent a rig if
              >necessary and that Morse did. 
              Well, there were two stables across the
              >street.  Hall and
              Chase, yet Morse rented his horse, or a rig, from Kirby's
              >stable.  I believe that one was located on Pleasant
              Street.

              Who cares which of the two stables Morse utilized?  The fact of the matter is that the whole Borden clan had two conveniently located stables from which to rent a rig if they absolutely needed to have one...
               
              Even if Andrew's getting rid of the Borden's own horse and carriage limited Abby's ability to go out and socialize, that wouldn't have caused her friends to suddenly stop considering her as being their friend...
               
              And there was always the streetcar...  ;-)
               
               

              >When Andrew
              returned home:
              >Lizzie claimed he rang the bell.  Bridget let
              him in.  She went into the
              >kitchen and told Lizzie he had
              forgotten his key (his keyes were found on
              >him), and went up to
              her room.
               
              I believe the issue with Andrew having problem gaining entrance to his own house was NOT due to his having forgotten his keys, rather that the front door was bolted from the inside; I know I read somewhere that it was attested (probably by Bridget) that the inside lock of the front door was usually not locked during the day, only at night for additional security.  They relied on the outer locks during the day, which the keys would have been sufficient for the owner of the keys to gain entrance with...
               
               
              >As for the autopsy
              reports:
              >They were complete.  The doctors testified that both
              were in excellent
              >health except I believe they said one had some
              small gallstones.
               
              Autopsies done in 1892 were a far cry from modern autopsies, and were nowhere near as comprehensive as autopsies done today; most bodies were NOT routinely autopsied, and when one was called for because of violent death, the autopsy would only concentrate on the obvious cause of death.  In the case of the Bordens, a 'complete' autopsy would have entailed opening the skull to examine the damage done to the brain, and examining the digestive organs to determine if there was any poisoning and to determine the time of death via the stomach contents....
               
              The autopsy would NOT have included anything more than a cursory glance at such organs as the lungs, heart, liver, and especially the sexual/reproductive organs, as detailed examination of those organs would have been considered unnecessary and intrusive.  A cursory glance may have shown that those organs were relatively healthy for the age of the deceased...but a detailed dissection may have revealed a chronic condition.
               
              And doctors of that era were not above fudging their autopsy findings if they felt that revealing a certain medical condition would be both irrelevant to the case and unnecessarily embarassing to the next-of-kin.  Certainly a venereal condition would qualify, but conditions/diseases that we find socially acceptable today, such as cancer, was considered to be quite unacceptable socially in that day and age...indeed, many people back then thought of cancer as a contagious disease...
               
               
              >June, Where did you learn
              the Bordens, in early 1892, were extremely interested
              >in the
              disposition of Andrew's estate upon his death?  Victoria Lincoln?

              What is this fixation with Lincoln?  ;-)
               
              Generally I dismiss most of her theories/conclusions, mainly because she contradicts herself on more than one occasion.  The only angle I think she got right is her assertion that Lizzie was incapable of making up a lie out of nothing, but that Lizzie WAS very talented in twisting existing facts to fit a scenario Lizzie wished to portray...

              No, my opinion/theory/conclusion is based on 'reading-between-the-lines' in most of the books I've read, clinched by the contemporary reports in The Sourcebook...which all point to 'something' seemingly occuring in the 6 to 12 months or so before the murders to have shaken up the static status quo of the Borden household...

              This is a household that due to both temperment and Andrew's tightfisted hold on his pocketbook rarely deviated from a routine that had been well-established for at least two decades; and yet in the course of a year or less we have John Morse mysteriously returning to the Fall River area, ostensibly to stay yet he returned to the midwest after the trial; when Morse arrives on the scene we have at the same time an unusual interest displayed by all parties, including Morse, in the Swansea property, a property that heretofore seemingly was of little interest to all concerned...
               
              We also during this time span have Andrew getting rid of the Borden's horse and carriage, for no discernible valid reason; Lizzie's pet pigeons also mysteriously disappear around this time, for whatever reason....
               
              To this mix we add the fact that this is the same timeframe when Lizzie stopped calling Abby 'mother' and started referring to her as "Mrs. Borden"; this is also the same time Abby, after 30-something years of marriage to Andrew, suddenly starts telling her friends about how Andrew is going to see that she is 'taken care of' upon his death...

              While Andrew was always interested in obtaining and retaining money, for some reason the rest of the household in 1891-92 suddenly had an inordinate interest in money and property, too...and it's my contention that finding out what precipated this change would go a long way to providing the motive for the murders...
               
               

              >So why, on the night of August 2,
              1892, was Andrew holding a meeting with
              >a benevolant society about
              building a $65,000 building on one of his properties
              >where the
              rent would be 3% per annum?  He and Abby were sick as dogs that Tuesday
              >night, but Andrew wasn't too sick to wheel and deal. 
              He had not the least
              >intention of disposing of anything.  Bet
              that thought never even entered his mind.
               
              I'm not saying that Andrew was planning on liquidating all of his assets the first week in August of 1892, only that the matter of the ultimate disposition of his assets upon his death suddenly became important in the 1891-92 time period, and indeed family property/financial matters seem to have become especially important that summer of 1892...

              I don't know when Andrew thought he was going to die, but it seems to have become a matter of interest both to him and his family that year....
               
               

              >Dr. Bowen covered
              up for no one.  Blame Knowlton for putting that idea into
              >authors heads.

              I'm not so sure on that point; according to reports printed in The Sourcebook, the good doctor seems to have been more than a casual medical acquaintance of the Bordens...I for one suspect Bowen of a deeper involvement than most modern authors have reported...
               
               

              >Lizzie, Dr. and Mrs. Bowen should
              have sued him for defamation of character. 
              >He is the one who
              implied at the trial that there was something going on
              >between
              them.  It was Knowlton's vain attempt to discredit Dr. Bowen's testimony.
               
              Perhaps not Lizzie, but there seems to have been a close connection between Dr. Bowen and John Morse....
               
               
              >One thing I remember was her saying
              she was astonished at the accuracy of
              >the reporting being done,
              then proceeded to ignore their findings.

              As I said before, Lincoln perhaps makes some good points, but then later on ignores her previous point and contradicts herself to make another point...  ;-)
               
               
              June
               
               
               

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            • Muriel Arnold
              Hi June: Let s get rid of the will: No will was found. Then an article appeared saying Cook told Officer Medley about needing to make a will, etc. etc. The
              Message 6 of 8 , Oct 13, 2002
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                Hi June:
                Let's get rid of the will:
                No will was found.  Then an article appeared saying Cook told Officer Medley about needing to make a will, etc. etc.  The reporters descended on Cook who denied everything.  Even Andrew Jennings, the family lawyer, said that he knew of no will Andrew had.  You have to watch out for Edwin McHenry.  He was notorious for "selling scoops."
                 
                Swansea farms:
                Why would Abby, born and raised in the city, want to go live on a farm?
                Morse did take his niece, Annie Morse to see the farms.  Someone had it that he wanted it for a horse farm, with Annie and her husband to help him run the place:  I don't believe Annie ever got married.  In his will Morse wrote:  And to my niece, Annie Morse, I leave....
                 
                Abby and her few friends (mine):
                Your saying they could have gone to Mrs. Whitehead's, makes sense.  Those from Hartford, Conn., were her sister Priscilla and her husband, George Fish.  They did not care much for either Emma or Lizzie.
                 
                The area was a mixture of businesses and private dwellings.  (You):
                Take another look at the map.  On their block, on their side of the street was Mrs. Churchill and Mrs. Tripp.  You must discount Dr. Collet and Dr. Kelly, as both were French and Catholic.  Back then, Protestants and Catholics did not mix.  Neither did the French and Irish.
                Across the street, the only residence there belonged to Dr. Bowen and his father-in-law, Southard Miller.
                 
                As for Lizzie's friends, she did most of the visiting.  That annual event was to Dr. Handy's cottage in Marion.  I'm pretty sure some of them are the ones who went with her to Europe in 1890.
                 
                The stables:
                Andrew probably got rid of the horse because it was so seldom used.  Three months later, the hay was still there.  Old skinflint couldn't get anyone to buy it I guess.  He wasn't about to let Mrs. Churchill have it.  Not only that, he figured the girls could afford to pay the nickel it cost to ride the streetcars.  After all, he was giving Emma and Lizzie $2 a week spending money.  He paid Bridget $3 a week.  All he had for himself was $50,000 in cash in his upstairs safe.  He believed in sharing his wealth, didn't he?
                 
                His keyes:
                Lizzie testified at the inquest that she did not believe the front door had been unbolted that morning.  It was Bridget who told Lizzie that her father had forgotten his key.  Dear Bridget even denied hearing the bell ring, yet shortly after the murders, she'd told reporters that Mr. Borden came home, rang the bell, and she rushed across the lower floor to let him in.  Yeah, right.
                 
                Autopsy reports:
                They  were more or less cursory.  They saw little damage to the organs.  All looked normal to them.  Seeing no sign of any poison, they concluded Abby and Andrew were healthy.  Dr. Bowen never said otherwise either.
                 
                My fixation with Victoria Lincoln:
                I just get tired of hearing people talk about her book as though it was the Bible.  She was a good story teller.  It irritated me when she came out with her knowing Bridget because she was raised by Bridgets.  Yeah, right.  I would have liked to have spoken with those maids.
                 
                Lincoln's claiming Lizzie was incapable to making a lie out of nothing, but WAS very talented in twisting the facts:  Remove Lizzie's name and insert Bridget's and it will fit like a glove.  It amused me when she claimed Bridget was overworked.
                With no kids, no duties on the second floor, vacuumed once every two weeks.  Poor thing.
                 
                As for something going on in that household for the six months to a year prior to the murders:  You got me, unless you are referring to Lizzie calling Abby a mean-good-for-nothing old thing.  Oh, John Morse returned to South Dartmouth in April of 1890.  He did return to Hastings, Iowa, sometime after the trial because he owned over 100 acres of  farm land there.
                 
                Oh, Andrew got rid of the horse, not the carriage.  He killed Lizzie's pigeons in June, after someone had stolen some of them.  It was not about this time that Lizzie quit calling Abby "mother".  That occurred in 1887, when her father bought half of the 4th St. house and deeded it to Abby.  This guaranteed Abby would have a roof over her head should he die first, thus there was no reason for Andrew to deed the Swansea farms to her.
                 
                I saw no inordinate interest in money and property in 1892.  Nor did a find any close connection between Bowen and Morse.
                 
                Out of all the speakers at the Three Day Conference on Lizzie back in 1992, I was the only one who spoke in Lizzie's favor.  After the speeches, we held a question and answer session.
                 
                Joyce Williams, who wrote "Lizzie Borden:  A Case Book of Family and Crime in the 1890's", spoke of Lizzie being cool and collected and in complete control of what was going on on Aug. 4th.:  I shook my head.  Some man raised his hand and wanted to know why I disagreed.  To prove my point, I said:
                 
                Miss Russell arrived at the Borden house.  Lizzie was standing at the screen door.  She told Lizzie to go sit down in the kitchen.  Lizzie did.
                They told her to go lie down on the dining room sofa.  Lizzie did.
                Dr. Bowen then told her to go to her room.  Lizzie did.
                Upstairs, they told her to change her dress.  Lizzie did that too, all the while, the police and reporters were rummaging all through the house.
                If any of you have a copy of Lizzie's inquest testimony, please find where Lizzie said "they" told her to change dress and notice how Knowlton changed the subject.  Conclusion:  He knew who "they" were.  COPS.
                 
                A few days after the conference, the TV station interviewed some of the authors, lawyers, and Bernie Sullivan of the Fall River "Herald News".
                All Bernie had to say was:  "If Lizzie didn't do it, she had to have known who did."
                Pretty good for his being the very same man who, in 1982 or 83, told me at the Historical Society, that I couldn't convince him in a million years that Lizzie was innocent.  He read a draft of my book back in 1991, I believe, and he told my friend in New Hampshire that he sure would like to rewrite my book.  Mrs. Brigham, the former Curator, told me I should offer to sell it to him for $2,500.  Over my dead body.
                 
                Oh, he was going to be a guest speaker at the Conference, but when my friend told him I was coming and would be a speaker, he backed out.  CHICKEN.
                Have a great day.  It's bedtime for me.
                Muriel
                 
                Muriel Arnold
                 
                Author of  Lizzie Borden Hands of Time
                For more information
                muriela@...
                ----- Original Message -----
                From: RevCOAL
                Sent: Saturday, October 12, 2002 9:10 PM
                Subject: [40Whacks] Re: Andrew's Will (was: Lindbergh)

                From: Muriel Arnold
                >Andrew Borden's will.  Charles Cook's telling reporters that Andrew
                >did not tell him he needed to make a will, had a will, or desired to
                >make an inventory of his property, occurred on Thursday, August 18, 1892.
                 
                Fine.  That's when Cook told reporters about the alleged conversation with Andrew Borden, who was murdered on Aug. 4, 1892.  It doesn't tell us WHEN that conversation took place.  For all we know, Borden could have made the statement Cook alleges Borden to have made ten days, ten months, or ten years before the murders took place.  Without knowing exactly when this alleged conversation between Borden and Cook took place, it may or may not have any weight.  Quite frankly, even if Cook said he had this conversation with Borden a week before the murders I would still take it with a grain of salt...we have no reason to believe that even if Andrew DID make such a statement to Cook, that it was a true statement...Andrew could have had his own reasons for not wanting the existence of a will made general knowledge, or he may have just figured that it was no concern of Cook's...
                 
                 
                >Please don't tell me this business about Andrew making plans to give the
                >Swansea farms to Abby so she would be well taken care of after he died,
                >came from Victoria Lincoln's book.

                I take most of Lincoln's writing with a grain of salt...  ;-)
                 
                 
                >It sure didn't show up in the newspapers.
                 
                Contemporary news accounts focused more on Morse's wanting the property, not that Andrew planned to give it to Abby; of course, Morse establishing himself on the property may have just been a cover story Andrew told his daughters....
                 
                 
                >I never knew Andrew had taken out a life insurance policy.  Wonder who
                >dreamed that one up?  To me, Charles Cook took care of the insurance on
                >his office buildings, not his life.
                 
                Perhaps we are jumping to conclusions here...perhaps Cook did NOT sell Borden a LIFE insurance policy, merely mortgage and/or fire insurance on Borden's commercial properties; all the more reason Andrew would have considered the matter of his having or not having a will none of Cook's business...
                 
                 
                >As for Abby not having many friends, this does not come from other authors. 
                >This conclusion I reached on my own by who came to the house after the murders.

                I based MY comments on reading other authors, who all paint Abby Borden as being virtually alone and friendless and practically an agorophobic who almost never left the house.  Yet comments made to reporters by those who claimed to be not only acquaintances but friends of Abby contradict this image of Abby as the housebound hausfrau...
                 
                 
                >Nearly all of them were business acquaintances and Mrs. Whitehead and
                >Mrs. Bowen.  The reporters gathered around, questioned all who went there.
                 
                One can assume that the Borden sisters would not have welcomed any friend of Abby Borden who showed up at the Borden house after the murders; they'd have to admit Abby's sister, but no one else would have been encouraged to come visit, and presumably any friend of Abby's would have known that.  Does anyone know if Mrs. Whitehead had anything at her own house for any friends of Abby's who wished to offer their condolences.

                According to more than one source, relatives of Abby's from as far away as Hartford, Connecticut traveled to Fall River to attend Abby's funeral; presumably these relatives would have stayed at the Whitehead's, if they didn't stay at a hotel.  Abby's friends and relatives may not have been welcomed by Lizzie and Emma to come visiting at the Borden house, but that wouldn't have stopped the friends and relatives of Abby from attending Abby's funeral...
                 
                 
                >As for the Bordens being withing easy walking distance of most of their
                >social acquaintances, sorry.  Most of that area consisted of business
                >establishments. 

                Take a look at the contemporary maps -- the area was a mix of businesses and private dwellings.
                 
                 
                >Except for Miss Russell and Mrs. Bowen, the Bordens had few visitors.
                 
                Perhaps so, but if we accept the statements made to reporters by those who described themselves as friends of Abby's, then it would seem that Abby did more visiting than modern authors would have us believe...
                 
                If the Borden family had such few social contacts, then how do we explain the annual vacation Emma and Lizzie took at the shore abode of 'a friend'?  Why was Lizzie, who has always been painted by modern authors as a social outcast, even before the murders, invited along on a European trip by other friends?
                 
                Perhaps Andrew didn't encourage visitors to the Borden homestead, but it sounds like both his daughter and his second wife enjoyed a greater social life than modern authors would have us believe...
                 
                 
                >You mention a stable a few door down where they could rent a rig if
                >necessary and that Morse did.  Well, there were two stables across the
                >street.  Hall and Chase, yet Morse rented his horse, or a rig, from Kirby's
                >stable.  I believe that one was located on Pleasant Street.

                Who cares which of the two stables Morse utilized?  The fact of the matter is that the whole Borden clan had two conveniently located stables from which to rent a rig if they absolutely needed to have one...
                 
                Even if Andrew's getting rid of the Borden's own horse and carriage limited Abby's ability to go out and socialize, that wouldn't have caused her friends to suddenly stop considering her as being their friend...
                 
                And there was always the streetcar...  ;-)
                 
                 
                >When Andrew returned home:
                >Lizzie claimed he rang the bell.  Bridget let him in.  She went into the
                >kitchen and told Lizzie he had forgotten his key (his keyes were found on
                >him), and went up to her room.
                 
                I believe the issue with Andrew having problem gaining entrance to his own house was NOT due to his having forgotten his keys, rather that the front door was bolted from the inside; I know I read somewhere that it was attested (probably by Bridget) that the inside lock of the front door was usually not locked during the day, only at night for additional security.  They relied on the outer locks during the day, which the keys would have been sufficient for the owner of the keys to gain entrance with...
                 
                 
                >As for the autopsy reports:
                >They were complete.  The doctors testified that both were in excellent
                >health except I believe they said one had some small gallstones.
                 
                Autopsies done in 1892 were a far cry from modern autopsies, and were nowhere near as comprehensive as autopsies done today; most bodies were NOT routinely autopsied, and when one was called for because of violent death, the autopsy would only concentrate on the obvious cause of death.  In the case of the Bordens, a 'complete' autopsy would have entailed opening the skull to examine the damage done to the brain, and examining the digestive organs to determine if there was any poisoning and to determine the time of death via the stomach contents....
                 
                The autopsy would NOT have included anything more than a cursory glance at such organs as the lungs, heart, liver, and especially the sexual/reproductive organs, as detailed examination of those organs would have been considered unnecessary and intrusive.  A cursory glance may have shown that those organs were relatively healthy for the age of the deceased...but a detailed dissection may have revealed a chronic condition.
                 
                And doctors of that era were not above fudging their autopsy findings if they felt that revealing a certain medical condition would be both irrelevant to the case and unnecessarily embarassing to the next-of-kin.  Certainly a venereal condition would qualify, but conditions/diseases that we find socially acceptable today, such as cancer, was considered to be quite unacceptable socially in that day and age...indeed, many people back then thought of cancer as a contagious disease...
                 
                 
                >June, Where did you learn the Bordens, in early 1892, were extremely interested
                >in the disposition of Andrew's estate upon his death?  Victoria Lincoln?

                What is this fixation with Lincoln?  ;-)
                 
                Generally I dismiss most of her theories/conclusions, mainly because she contradicts herself on more than one occasion.  The only angle I think she got right is her assertion that Lizzie was incapable of making up a lie out of nothing, but that Lizzie WAS very talented in twisting existing facts to fit a scenario Lizzie wished to portray...

                No, my opinion/theory/conclusion is based on 'reading-between-the-lines' in most of the books I've read, clinched by the contemporary reports in The Sourcebook...which all point to 'something' seemingly occuring in the 6 to 12 months or so before the murders to have shaken up the static status quo of the Borden household...

                This is a household that due to both temperment and Andrew's tightfisted hold on his pocketbook rarely deviated from a routine that had been well-established for at least two decades; and yet in the course of a year or less we have John Morse mysteriously returning to the Fall River area, ostensibly to stay yet he returned to the midwest after the trial; when Morse arrives on the scene we have at the same time an unusual interest displayed by all parties, including Morse, in the Swansea property, a property that heretofore seemingly was of little interest to all concerned...
                 
                We also during this time span have Andrew getting rid of the Borden's horse and carriage, for no discernible valid reason; Lizzie's pet pigeons also mysteriously disappear around this time, for whatever reason....
                 
                To this mix we add the fact that this is the same timeframe when Lizzie stopped calling Abby 'mother' and started referring to her as "Mrs. Borden"; this is also the same time Abby, after 30-something years of marriage to Andrew, suddenly starts telling her friends about how Andrew is going to see that she is 'taken care of' upon his death...

                While Andrew was always interested in obtaining and retaining money, for some reason the rest of the household in 1891-92 suddenly had an inordinate interest in money and property, too...and it's my contention that finding out what precipated this change would go a long way to providing the motive for the murders...
                 
                 
                >So why, on the night of August 2, 1892, was Andrew holding a meeting with
                >a benevolant society about building a $65,000 building on one of his properties
                >where the rent would be 3% per annum?  He and Abby were sick as dogs that Tuesday
                >night, but Andrew wasn't too sick to wheel and deal.  He had not the least
                >intention of disposing of anything.  Bet that thought never even entered his mind.
                 
                I'm not saying that Andrew was planning on liquidating all of his assets the first week in August of 1892, only that the matter of the ultimate disposition of his assets upon his death suddenly became important in the 1891-92 time period, and indeed family property/financial matters seem to have become especially important that summer of 1892...

                I don't know when Andrew thought he was going to die, but it seems to have become a matter of interest both to him and his family that year....
                 
                 
                >Dr. Bowen covered up for no one.  Blame Knowlton for putting that idea into
                >authors heads.

                I'm not so sure on that point; according to reports printed in The Sourcebook, the good doctor seems to have been more than a casual medical acquaintance of the Bordens...I for one suspect Bowen of a deeper involvement than most modern authors have reported...
                 
                 
                >Lizzie, Dr. and Mrs. Bowen should have sued him for defamation of character. 
                >He is the one who implied at the trial that there was something going on
                >between them.  It was Knowlton's vain attempt to discredit Dr. Bowen's testimony.
                 
                Perhaps not Lizzie, but there seems to have been a close connection between Dr. Bowen and John Morse....
                 
                 
                >One thing I remember was her saying she was astonished at the accuracy of
                >the reporting being done, then proceeded to ignore their findings.

                As I said before, Lincoln perhaps makes some good points, but then later on ignores her previous point and contradicts herself to make another point...  ;-)
                 
                 
                June
                 
                 
                 

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              • Patsy751@aol.com
                Hi Muriel and June, Well, I could just read comments all day long! Thank you for a nice rainy day discussion. My areas of interest are: (and I would
                Message 7 of 8 , Oct 13, 2002
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                  Hi Muriel and June,
                  Well, I could just read comments all day long!  Thank you for a nice rainy day discussion. 

                  My areas of interest are:  (and I would appreciate your comments)
                  Why do you think Morse chowed down pears in the yard when returning home, and claims he did not notice that there were people freaking out around the house.
                  What do you think about the statement Mrs. Churchill made that she saw something in the house that she would not tell even if someone ripped out her tongue?
                  What do you think Brigitte wanted to confess on her deathbed and didn't because she recovered?
                  What was the bottom line on Lizzie's dress? (that is of course the one that she handed over to the police as the one she was wearingthat day)  From what I can ascertain, some people testified that it was NOT the dress she had on that day, and some say that it was.

                  Thanks.

                  Patsy
                • Muriel Arnold
                  Hi Patsy: My comment for supplying you with a nice rainy day discussion: You re welcome. Now for Morse chowing down on pears, not noticing anyone around (it
                  Message 8 of 8 , Oct 13, 2002
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                    Hi Patsy:
                    My comment for supplying you with a nice rainy day discussion:  You're welcome.
                     
                    Now for Morse chowing down on pears, not noticing anyone around (it was already like Grand Central Station out there):
                    Simple.  He had to give Bridget time to get her butt downstairs because when he entered by the side door, lo and hehold, there was Bridget sitting on the stairs just inside.
                     
                    Mrs. Churchill's of never devulging something even if they ripped out her tongue:
                    Never read that anywhere.  I wish someone would identify the source.  She spent about one hour at the Borden house that day.  It could have been another one of McHenry's "scoops", especially if it came out in the Fall River "Globe" or the Boston "Globe".
                     
                    Bridget's wanting to confess something when she thought she was on her deathbed:
                    My only guess would be that she wanted to confess her guilt to both murders.  Who knows.  According to her death certificate, when Bridget died, she was blind and senile.
                     
                    Lizzie's dress:
                    Mrs. Churchill described it as having diamond spots on it and was not the one in court.  She did not know what a Bedford cord was.
                    Miss Russell described the Bedford cord differently.
                    The dressmaker described it differently also.
                    Emma said the Bedford cord had oblong spots on it.
                    Mrs. Bowen claimed the one in court was the one Lizzie had worn.
                    Judge Dewey asked the jury during his charge if they could identify any dress as being the right one.
                    Hell, the reporters even described the one in court differently, and they were looking right at it.
                    Miss Russell's testimony was the best.
                    She'd seen the Bedford cord dress shortly after Lizzie had gotten paint on it.  She did not see it again till the Sunday after the murders.   Meaning:  Lizzie was not wearing the dress she burned up on August 4th!!!!
                     
                    Patsy, if you want another case as frustrating and confusing as this one, try the Lindbergh kidnapping one.  Either case is enough to make one's head spin.
                    Have a nice day,
                    Muriel
                     
                    Muriel Arnold
                     
                    Author of  Lizzie Borden Hands of Time
                    For more information
                    muriela@...
                    ----- Original Message -----
                    Sent: Sunday, October 13, 2002 1:23 PM
                    Subject: Re: [40Whacks] Re: Andrew's Will (was: Lindbergh)

                    Hi Muriel and June,
                    Well, I could just read comments all day long!  Thank you for a nice rainy day discussion. 

                    My areas of interest are:  (and I would appreciate your comments)
                    Why do you think Morse chowed down pears in the yard when returning home, and claims he did not notice that there were people freaking out around the house.
                    What do you think about the statement Mrs. Churchill made that she saw something in the house that she would not tell even if someone ripped out her tongue?
                    What do you think Brigitte wanted to confess on her deathbed and didn't because she recovered?
                    What was the bottom line on Lizzie's dress? (that is of course the one that she handed over to the police as the one she was wearingthat day)  From what I can ascertain, some people testified that it was NOT the dress she had on that day, and some say that it was.

                    Thanks.

                    Patsy


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