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Poison (was: For Minions Only)

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  • Rev COAL
    Muriel, I think the point that Patsy was trying to make was that Abby should have immediately suspected FOOD poisoning when she (Abby) became ill, not
    Message 1 of 2 , Feb 8, 2006
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      Muriel, I think the point that Patsy was trying to make was that Abby should have immediately suspected FOOD poisoning when she (Abby) became ill, not artificial poisoning.

      IOW, when it is the middle of summer in a heat wave and there is minimal, if any, refrigeration available and one is eating meat cooked days before, one should not immediately suspect one has been artificially poisoned by someone intent on murder when one starts feeling ill and vomiting...the reasonable assumption would have been that the food one had been eating had gone bad.

      But Abby jumped to the conclusion that *someone* was trying to poison her or the whole family, and continued to eat the same mutton from the Sunday before, even after her visit to Dr. Bowen who basically told her she was experiencing symptoms of food poisoning...

      So she obviously didn't believe that it was the mutton that was making her sick; indeed she presumably ate that same mutton Wednesday night and was not ill, nor was anyone ill after eating it again at Thursday's breakfast....

      So WAS the mutton really "bad"?  Was there something else that made Abby sick?  Why weren't Andrew, Lizzie, or John Morse affected?  Bridget only seems to have been sick on Thursday morning, but she had had the previous day/night before off, so it could have been something she ate/drank away from the Borden house that made her sick.

      It only seems to be Abby who was particularly hard hit by whatever *bug* was going around....

      June


      From: Muriel Arnold
      Sent: Tue, 7 Feb 2006 08:40:53 -0800
      To: 40Whacks@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [40Whacks] RE: For Minions Only

      Hi Patsy:
      You said that when Mrs. Borden became ill, she assumed that she had been poisoned.  Okay.  But, the family became sick after dinner on Tuesday and she went to the doctor Wednesday morning, saying she feared the family had been poisoned.  Question:
       
      Why did Abby eat mutton again for the noonday meal on Wednesday and mutton again for breakfast Thursday morning?  So apparently, it wasn't the mutton Abby suspected that had been poisoned.  In fact, I believe Andrew suspected it was the milk and Abby the bread.  Yet Bridget had bought bread from the Star Bakery.  How did Lizzie manage to poison either one?
      I had found it real cute how Bridget had handled this.  She had drunk some of the milk from the day before and had eaten some of her own bread.  As I've said time and time again, Bridget aimed to please.  There was nothing which she had not found an answer for.
      Muriel
       
       
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Monday, February 06, 2006 7:46 PM
      Subject: Re: [40Whacks] RE: For Minions Only

      The relationships in the Borden family had deteriorated to such a low point that when Mrs. Borden became ill she assumed that she had been poisoned!  Even in the day of inadequate refrigeration, it's hard to believe that her first thought wasn't that she had eaten food that had turned.  Obviously Mrs. Borden did not think that someone trying to poison was too over the top.  That just wouldn't be my first thought if I had stomach pains.
       
      Patsy

      Rev COAL <ynrchyldzwylds_hobby@...> wrote:
      Jeff wrote:

      >***Agreed - the will was definitely on his agenda when the murders went
      >down - and Abby's loose talk may have signed her own death warrant***

      Only thing is, her friends that mentioned Abby's talking about the subjected
      stated that she had discussed it with them the prior winter, early spring at
      the latest....

      So 4 to 6 months or more elapsed between the time Abby was strangely chatty
      with outsiders about the matter, and when she was murdered....

      Again I say something more had to have been going on....

      No matter how much Emma, and eventually Lizzie, disliked Abby, they could
      never have thought over the 20 years that she was their stepmother that she
      WOULDN'T have been taken care of in some manner upon Andrew's death....they
      couldn't have seriously have thought that Andrew would have disinherited
      Abby...

      Especially since for all of their marriage Andrew didn't even bother drawing
      up a will...in that case, if he had died, I believe that the laws of the
      Commonwealth would have divvied up his estate evenly...someone will have to
      clarify that point for me.

      Andrew seems to have considered that sufficiently comparable to his own
      wishes to not have bothered with a will all those years...

      Something prompted him by mid-1892 at the latest to reconsider the status
      quo...and Abby's chattering suggests that he was thinking about drawing up a
      will even earlier, probably the winter of 1891-92.

      But DID he draw up a will at that time? Abby was quoted as saying "Mr.
      Borden says that he will take good care of me when he dies", or words to
      that effect....IOW, she was talking as if it was something Andrew had not
      yet done, but was in the process of doing, or would do in the near
      future....

      So what prompted Andrew to suddenly decide that he now needed a will when he
      was content for all those previous decades NOT to have one? Isn't it odd
      that a man who was so savvy when it came to business and economic affairs
      never drew up a will? Was he secretly superstitious?

      DID he actually have a will drawn up around the time Abby was talking about
      it? Or did he continue to procrastinate? If so, why? Could it be he was
      telling Abby one thing, when he really planned to do something else
      entirely?


      >***Who in their right mind would be in those camps?  I would accept a
      >conspiracy theory anytime over the boozing maid and
      >the reeking bastard...

      Who said William Borden was "reeking"?

      Actually I don't completely discount the contention that Andrew had an
      illegitimate son, I'm just not convinced that even if he did have one, that
      it is germane to the murder case...

      UNLESS Andrew planned to bequeath something to Billy, in which case that
      could have been the proverbial last straw for Emma and Lizzie -- bad enough
      that they had to share with a stepmother that both now loathed, but to see
      their share further eroded because some of it would go to a bastard
      half-brother could concievably move one or both to contemplate murder...

      But I put the "Billy Borden Did It" (or even that he was peripherally the
      cause) towards the bottom of my list of possibilities...

      Above the "Bridget Did It Because She Was Hungover" theory...

      Sorry, Muriel! ;-)


      >I never accepted Swansea as motive (I don't agree with Lincoln on
      >everything...) - it had to be the will.

      Well, one thing doesn't necessarily preclude the other -- it all seems that
      by 1892, the issue of what was to be done with Andrew's estate, INCLUDING
      the Swansea property, had become a sore point....


      >***This is fascinating conjecture!  Answer this question and we can solve
      >the case - what undercurrent flowed through the underbelly of that family
      >from May to August 4th of that year?

      What is the significance of May of that year?

      My contention is that there was a steadily rising undercurrent from at least
      the summer before -- definitely the mysterious 'break in' incident, but
      probably even before that, when Andrew seems to have commenced cutting back
      on things, like their horse and carriage....

      I would say that the undercurrent was definitely on the rise by the winter
      of 1891 into the early spring of 1892, when Abby was joyfully announcing to
      her friends that she was basically going to be a well-to-do heiress upon her
      husband's death....and why bring the subject up, if one's husband isn't
      expected to die soon?

      But to try to answer your question, the only thing I can think of that seems
      to have specifically arisen around May of 1892 was the question of the
      ultimate disposition of the Swansea property, property that had originally
      belonged to Sarah Morse and by rights should have gone to her daughters....a
      place that was especially dear to Lizzie's heart, and presumably to Emma's
      (although we never read about Emma's feelings/opinions about the property,
      just the fact that it had been her mother's would have made it important, if
      not dear, to her...


      >***Absolutely right!  Source material I have concerning Grace Howe (the
      >cousin who believed Emma to be the killer)

      Sounds intriguing...care to elaborate on her theory concerning Emma as the
      killer?


      >***I'm not aware of these acquaintances - Lizzie herself was adamant that
      >she ceased calling Abby "mother" in 1887.  Also, I believe the ceramic dish
      >was given in 1884.

      Well, I've been pretty sick the past couple of weeks, so perhaps my memory
      is muddled, but I seem to remember that when Pat posted the information that
      the discussion was that just 5 years prior to the murders Lizzie seemed to
      be on pleasant terms with Abby....


      >June, I must say, you've "overhyped" this Xmas gift just a tad. 

      No, because even if the year was 1884, it shows that she was on pleasant and
      loving terms with Abby, which goes against the common theory that Lizzie
      disdained Abby at the very least, if not outright hated her guts, for all of
      Lizzie's life, or at least all of her adult life....


      >She may have just given it to please Andrew - or from a sense of >duty. 

      You don't make HANDMADE gifts to give to someone just to please/impress
      someone else, nor do you make a handmade gift out of a sense of duty.
      Especially something that she went out of her way to paint "To Mother"
      on....

      If she was just giving something to Abby out of a sense of duty, or to
      please Andrew, she would have bought a nice, meaningless "something" at the
      store, and definitely NOT have had it marked/engraved/painted/embroidered
      with "To Mother".


      >I myself have given Xmas gifts to relatives that masked my true feelings -
      >I'm quite certain you have too :)

      Actually no, I haven't....but then, that's why I was the black sheep of my
      family, I wasn't 2-faced about my feelings....

      And I'm sure those out-of-duty gifts that YOU have given never included
      something that you went out of your way to go to a ceramics class and paint
      a term of endearment on...I'd wager that those types of gifts were the ones
      you spent the LEAST amount of time and bother with (and probably had the
      store or your wife giftwrap, if you bothered with giftwrapping )

      >***I will agree to disagree with you on this one - People close to that
      >family (Russell, Churchill, Whitehead, Harrington) knew she was desperately
      >unhappy the last 5 years before the murders.

      She perhaps was desperately unhappy, but my belief is that her unhappiness
      was due to many other and different factors other that a desire to live on
      the Hill...

      Up until the age of 27 -- an age she would have been considered an old maid
      and a spinster -- she seemed perfectly content with her lot. Again my
      question is, what happened to change that so suddenly?

      Other than her trip to Europe -- a trip instigated by others, not by Lizzie,
      who was only invited along -- she led a quiet, nondescript life, and was
      seemingly quite content to do so, even if she thought that they should be
      living in a better neighborhood. She didn't bug Andrew to let her go to
      parties or to balls or to concerts or to the theater. She didn't attend
      poetry readings or fashionable teas (other than those held by her church and
      the WCTU)...

      She was quite content to have a local Fall River seamstress whip up 2 or 3
      new outfits every spring and summer for her, rather than insist that Andrew
      give her enough money to have seasonal wardrobes done up by Worth...

      One can imagine that when they DID have a horse and carriage, that Andrew
      would have had what was serviceable, not what looked fashionable....there is
      no record of Lizzie insisting that they not only keep a horse and carriage,
      but that the horse be an expensive Arabian with expensive tack and that she
      have a "smart" and fashionable -- and expensive -- trap to get about town
      in....

      She didn't spend her allowance on expensive jewelry and only had a
      "middleclass" fur (and seemingly was content with just it)...

      So I stand by my contention that other than wistfully wishing to live on the
      Hill, that Lizzie Borden did NOT demonstrate an obsession with "living the
      good life", either by word or by deed...

      June ;-)




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    • Patricia Stephenson
      Thank you, June, I couldn t have said it better myself. That was precisely my point. Patsy Rev COAL wrote: Muriel, I think the
      Message 2 of 2 , Feb 8, 2006
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        Thank you, June, I couldn't have said it better myself.  That was precisely my point.
         
        Patsy

        Rev COAL <ynrchyldzwylds_hobby@...> wrote:
        Muriel, I think the point that Patsy was trying to make was that Abby should have immediately suspected FOOD poisoning when she (Abby) became ill, not artificial poisoning.

        IOW, when it is the middle of summer in a heat wave and there is minimal, if any, refrigeration available and one is eating meat cooked days before, one should not immediately suspect one has been artificially poisoned by someone intent on murder when one starts feeling ill and vomiting...the reasonable assumption would have been that the food one had been eating had gone bad.

        But Abby jumped to the conclusion that *someone* was trying to poison her or the whole family, and continued to eat the same mutton from the Sunday before, even after her visit to Dr. Bowen who basically told her she was experiencing symptoms of food poisoning...

        So she obviously didn't believe that it was the mutton that was making her sick; indeed she presumably ate that same mutton Wednesday night and was not ill, nor was anyone ill after eating it again at Thursday's breakfast....

        So WAS the mutton really "bad"?  Was there something else that made Abby sick?  Why weren't Andrew, Lizzie, or John Morse affected?  Bridget only seems to have been sick on Thursday morning, but she had had the previous day/night before off, so it could have been something she ate/drank away from the Borden house that made her sick.

        It only seems to be Abby who was particularly hard hit by whatever *bug* was going around....

        June


        From: Muriel Arnold
        Sent: Tue, 7 Feb 2006 08:40:53 -0800
        To: 40Whacks@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: Re: [40Whacks] RE: For Minions Only

        Hi Patsy:
        You said that when Mrs. Borden became ill, she assumed that she had been poisoned.  Okay.  But, the family became sick after dinner on Tuesday and she went to the doctor Wednesday morning, saying she feared the family had been poisoned.  Question:
         
        Why did Abby eat mutton again for the noonday meal on Wednesday and mutton again for breakfast Thursday morning?  So apparently, it wasn't the mutton Abby suspected that had been poisoned.  In fact, I believe Andrew suspected it was the milk and Abby the bread.  Yet Bridget had bought bread from the Star Bakery.  How did Lizzie manage to poison either one?
        I had found it real cute how Bridget had handled this.  She had drunk some of the milk from the day before and had eaten some of her own bread.  As I've said time and time again, Bridget aimed to please.  There was nothing which she had not found an answer for.
        Muriel
         
         
        ----- Original Message -----
        Sent: Monday, February 06, 2006 7:46 PM
        Subject: Re: [40Whacks] RE: For Minions Only

        The relationships in the Borden family had deteriorated to such a low point that when Mrs. Borden became ill she assumed that she had been poisoned!  Even in the day of inadequate refrigeration, it's hard to believe that her first thought wasn't that she had eaten food that had turned.  Obviously Mrs. Borden did not think that someone trying to poison was too over the top.  That just wouldn't be my first thought if I had stomach pains.
         
        Patsy

        Rev COAL <ynrchyldzwylds_hobby@...> wrote:
        Jeff wrote:

        >***Agreed - the will was definitely on his agenda when the murders went
        >down - and Abby's loose talk may have signed her own death warrant***

        Only thing is, her friends that mentioned Abby's talking about the subjected
        stated that she had discussed it with them the prior winter, early spring at
        the latest....

        So 4 to 6 months or more elapsed between the time Abby was strangely chatty
        with outsiders about the matter, and when she was murdered....

        Again I say something more had to have been going on....

        No matter how much Emma, and eventually Lizzie, disliked Abby, they could
        never have thought over the 20 years that she was their stepmother that she
        WOULDN'T have been taken care of in some manner upon Andrew's death....they
        couldn't have seriously have thought that Andrew would have disinherited
        Abby...

        Especially since for all of their marriage Andrew didn't even bother drawing
        up a will...in that case, if he had died, I believe that the laws of the
        Commonwealth would have divvied up his estate evenly...someone will have to
        clarify that point for me.

        Andrew seems to have considered that sufficiently comparable to his own
        wishes to not have bothered with a will all those years...

        Something prompted him by mid-1892 at the latest to reconsider the status
        quo...and Abby's chattering suggests that he was thinking about drawing up a
        will even earlier, probably the winter of 1891-92.

        But DID he draw up a will at that time? Abby was quoted as saying "Mr.
        Borden says that he will take good care of me when he dies", or words to
        that effect....IOW, she was talking as if it was something Andrew had not
        yet done, but was in the process of doing, or would do in the near
        future....

        So what prompted Andrew to suddenly decide that he now needed a will when he
        was content for all those previous decades NOT to have one? Isn't it odd
        that a man who was so savvy when it came to business and economic affairs
        never drew up a will? Was he secretly superstitious?

        DID he actually have a will drawn up around the time Abby was talking about
        it? Or did he continue to procrastinate? If so, why? Could it be he was
        telling Abby one thing, when he really planned to do something else
        entirely?


        >***Who in their right mind would be in those camps?  I would accept a
        >conspiracy theory anytime over the boozing maid and
        >the reeking bastard...

        Who said William Borden was "reeking"?

        Actually I don't completely discount the contention that Andrew had an
        illegitimate son, I'm just not convinced that even if he did have one, that
        it is germane to the murder case...

        UNLESS Andrew planned to bequeath something to Billy, in which case that
        could have been the proverbial last straw for Emma and Lizzie -- bad enough
        that they had to share with a stepmother that both now loathed, but to see
        their share further eroded because some of it would go to a bastard
        half-brother could concievably move one or both to contemplate murder...

        But I put the "Billy Borden Did It" (or even that he was peripherally the
        cause) towards the bottom of my list of possibilities...

        Above the "Bridget Did It Because She Was Hungover" theory...

        Sorry, Muriel! ;-)


        >I never accepted Swansea as motive (I don't agree with Lincoln on
        >everything...) - it had to be the will.

        Well, one thing doesn't necessarily preclude the other -- it all seems that
        by 1892, the issue of what was to be done with Andrew's estate, INCLUDING
        the Swansea property, had become a sore point....


        >***This is fascinating conjecture!  Answer this question and we can solve
        >the case - what undercurrent flowed through the underbelly of that family
        >from May to August 4th of that year?

        What is the significance of May of that year?

        My contention is that there was a steadily rising undercurrent from at least
        the summer before -- definitely the mysterious 'break in' incident, but
        probably even before that, when Andrew seems to have commenced cutting back
        on things, like their horse and carriage....

        I would say that the undercurrent was definitely on the rise by the winter
        of 1891 into the early spring of 1892, when Abby was joyfully announcing to
        her friends that she was basically going to be a well-to-do heiress upon her
        husband's death....and why bring the subject up, if one's husband isn't
        expected to die soon?

        But to try to answer your question, the only thing I can think of that seems
        to have specifically arisen around May of 1892 was the question of the
        ultimate disposition of the Swansea property, property that had originally
        belonged to Sarah Morse and by rights should have gone to her daughters....a
        place that was especially dear to Lizzie's heart, and presumably to Emma's
        (although we never read about Emma's feelings/opinions about the property,
        just the fact that it had been her mother's would have made it important, if
        not dear, to her...


        >***Absolutely right!  Source material I have concerning Grace Howe (the
        >cousin who believed Emma to be the killer)

        Sounds intriguing...care to elaborate on her theory concerning Emma as the
        killer?


        >***I'm not aware of these acquaintances - Lizzie herself was adamant that
        >she ceased calling Abby "mother" in 1887.  Also, I believe the ceramic dish
        >was given in 1884.

        Well, I've been pretty sick the past couple of weeks, so perhaps my memory
        is muddled, but I seem to remember that when Pat posted the information that
        the discussion was that just 5 years prior to the murders Lizzie seemed to
        be on pleasant terms with Abby....


        >June, I must say, you've "overhyped" this Xmas gift just a tad. 

        No, because even if the year was 1884, it shows that she was on pleasant and
        loving terms with Abby, which goes against the common theory that Lizzie
        disdained Abby at the very least, if not outright hated her guts, for all of
        Lizzie's life, or at least all of her adult life....


        >She may have just given it to please Andrew - or from a sense of >duty. 

        You don't make HANDMADE gifts to give to someone just to please/impress
        someone else, nor do you make a handmade gift out of a sense of duty.
        Especially something that she went out of her way to paint "To Mother"
        on....

        If she was just giving something to Abby out of a sense of duty, or to
        please Andrew, she would have bought a nice, meaningless "something" at the
        store, and definitely NOT have had it marked/engraved/painted/embroidered
        with "To Mother".


        >I myself have given Xmas gifts to relatives that masked my true feelings -
        >I'm quite certain you have too :)

        Actually no, I haven't....but then, that's why I was the black sheep of my
        family, I wasn't 2-faced about my feelings....

        And I'm sure those out-of-duty gifts that YOU have given never included
        something that you went out of your way to go to a ceramics class and paint
        a term of endearment on...I'd wager that those types of gifts were the ones
        you spent the LEAST amount of time and bother with (and probably had the
        store or your wife giftwrap, if you bothered with giftwrapping )

        >***I will agree to disagree with you on this one - People close to that
        >family (Russell, Churchill, Whitehead, Harrington) knew she was desperately
        >unhappy the last 5 years before the murders.

        She perhaps was desperately unhappy, but my belief is that her unhappiness
        was due to many other and different factors other that a desire to live on
        the Hill...

        Up until the age of 27 -- an age she would have been considered an old maid
        and a spinster -- she seemed perfectly content with her lot. Again my
        question is, what happened to change that so suddenly?

        Other than her trip to Europe -- a trip instigated by others, not by Lizzie,
        who was only invited along -- she led a quiet, nondescript life, and was
        seemingly quite content to do so, even if she thought that they should be
        living in a better neighborhood. She didn't bug Andrew to let her go to
        parties or to balls or to concerts or to the theater. She didn't attend
        poetry readings or fashionable teas (other than those held by her church and
        the WCTU)...

        She was quite content to have a local Fall River seamstress whip up 2 or 3
        new outfits every spring and summer for her, rather than insist that Andrew
        give her enough money to have seasonal wardrobes done up by Worth...

        One can imagine that when they DID have a horse and carriage, that Andrew
        would have had what was serviceable, not what looked fashionable....there is
        no record of Lizzie insisting that they not only keep a horse and carriage,
        but that the horse be an expensive Arabian with expensive tack and that she
        have a "smart" and fashionable -- and expensive -- trap to get about town
        in....

        She didn't spend her allowance on expensive jewelry and only had a
        "middleclass" fur (and seemingly was content with just it)...

        So I stand by my contention that other than wistfully wishing to live on the
        Hill, that Lizzie Borden did NOT demonstrate an obsession with "living the
        good life", either by word or by deed...

        June ;-)




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