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RE: [40Whacks] June vs. Muriel

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  • Chamberlain Kathleen Reuter
    I agree with JT that June s arguments are more convincing than Muriel s. But I ve very much enjoyed reading the debate. JT has raised some other interesting
    Message 1 of 4 , Feb 1, 2003
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      I agree with JT that June’s arguments are more convincing than Muriel’s.  But I’ve very much enjoyed reading the debate.

       

      JT has raised some other interesting questions, too. . .

       

      My position that Lizzie acted alone is easy to defend, because most people believe she did it (most recent poll in the LBQ had something like 19 out of 24 naming Lizzie as the killer.

       

                  Of course, the fact that many people believe something to be true is irrelevant to the issue of whether that something is *in fact* true.  But you’re right that the Lizzie Acting Alone theory is the most logical, fits the most facts, and is the least complex.  Given the principle of Occam’s Razor – that the most likely explanation is the simplest one – I have to go with Lizzie.

       

       

      By the way, Abby’s half sister Sara Whitehead never spoke on the record about Abby’s murder, but her daughter Abby Potter (Abby Borden’s niece) had some pointed comments about the Lizzie/Abby relationship in Robert Sullivan’s

      “Goodbye Lizzie Borden”.  Make no mistake that Lizzie hated Abby…about 19 whacks worth!

       

      I’ve always been interested in Robert Sullivan’s discussion of Abby Potter.  It seems to me that he’s far too credulous in dealing with AP.  His book is filled with careful legal reasoning, convincing explanations, reliance on legal standards of evidence – and yet he accepts without question or investigation Abby’s obviously partisan, hearsay-based memories of long past events, most of which she didn’t witness herself.  I doubt that he would have allowed such unsubstantiated material in his courtroom.  So why was he willing to give Abby such credence?

       

      Kathleen

    • Jeffrey Tesch
      Kathleen wrote: Of course, the fact that many people believe something to be true is irrelevant to the issue of whether that something is *in fact* true. But
      Message 2 of 4 , Feb 1, 2003
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        Kathleen wrote:

         

                    Of course, the fact that many people believe something to be true is irrelevant to the issue of whether that something is *in fact* true.  But you’re right that the Lizzie Acting Alone theory is the most logical, fits the most facts, and is the least complex.  Given the principle of Occam’s Razor – that the most likely explanation is the simplest one – I have to go with Lizzie.

         

        ***It’s a no-brainer.  The fascinating thing is how different the two murders were.  First you have the hot blooded, orgasm of hate, rampaging overkill 19 whack slaughter of Abby, and followed two hours later by the peek around the corner, I’m sorry Papa, strength born of terror 10 blow killing of Andrew.  As Victoria Lincoln says, the murder of Andrew was the stuff of Greek Tragedy.  He would know that Lizzie killed his wife – she couldn’t bear to lose his love.  And the double murder created the impression that a maniac had gotten into the house.

         

        Group questions:  If Lizzie had only killed Abby, would Andrew have protected her?  And would a jury have been more likely to convict her if Abby was the only victim?

         

         

        Kathleen wrote:

        I’ve always been interested in Robert Sullivan’s discussion of Abby Potter.  It seems to me that he’s far too credulous in dealing with AP.  His book is filled with careful legal reasoning, convincing explanations, reliance on legal standards of evidence – and yet he accepts without question or investigation Abby’s obviously partisan, hearsay-based memories of long past events, most of which she didn’t witness herself.  I doubt that he would have allowed such unsubstantiated material in his courtroom.  So why was he willing to give Abby such credence?

         

        ***Sullivan remains the only author with legal training to write about the case.  I’ve read another interview with Abby Potter that echoed everything she told Sullivan. 

                    She was eight when the murders happened, and had good memories of Abby Borden, her namesake.  But I suspect that for the rest of her life, her mother Sara Whitehead bitterly recounted all the gory details of the animosity Lizzie had for Abby.  And Sara, being Abby’s sole confidante, would know these family secrets better than anyone.

                    Definitely hearsay, but I think too powerful to ignore.  Excellent comment, Kathleen!

         

        JT

                     

         

         

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