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This-n-That (was: Top Ten Borden Case Mysteries)

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  • Rev COAL
    ... According to that scenario, both Morse and Bridget would have not only been aware of the note, but at what time it had been delivered. Neither one ever
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 4, 2006
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      Muriel Arnold wrote:

      >When Lizzie first came downstairs, her
      >father was in the sitting room reading
      >the Providence Journal. She greeted
      >him and entered the dining room
      >where Abby was. Abby told her she
      >had received a note to visit a sick

      According to that scenario, both Morse and Bridget would have not only been aware of the note, but at what time it had been delivered. Neither one ever mentioned a note being delivered, and Bridget never stated that she heard Abby tell Lizzie that she had received a note to visit a sick friend...

      Therefore, *if* such a note ever was delivered, it had to be AFTER Morse left the house, and AFTER Bridget had gone outside....

      >1. She claimed that when Lizzie said she
      >might have coffee and cookies, it
      >was then she went outside to throw up
      >for ten or fifteen minutes.
      >2. It was 9:00 when she re-entered the
      >house. Lizzie was nowhere around.

      Lizzie came down between 8:45 and 9, not at 8:45 on the dot....

      She then had coffee and cookies and gave a letter to her father to mail as he was going out....

      Bridget went outside and threw up AFTER that, which was closer to 9, which she herself stated. After her bout in the backyard with nausea, she reentered the house between 9:15 and 9:20, not at 9 on the dot.

      And that timeframe coincides with Lizzie's account of going down to the cellar, spending a few minutes there, and then taking laundry upstairs and spending 5 to 10 minutes in her bedroom before coming back down...

      (As a sidebar, I've always found it interesting that no one in the Borden house seemed the least bit concerned that their maid was upchucking in the backyard for 15 or more minutes -- you'd think that Abby or Lizzie might have shown a modicum of concern, if only to stick their head out the window and ask Bridget if she was alright?

      And where was the ever-observant Mrs. Churchill during that time, that she seems to have missed that singularly interesting bit of business?)

      >Why was Abby still dusting the dining
      >room at 9:00 when she was doing that
      >when Lizzie first came downstairs?

      First off, to repeat, all we know is that Lizzie came down sometime after 8:45 and before 9 -- the time was never fixed more than that, other than it was shortly before Andrew left, again "shortly before 9"....

      We also need to know what was meant by the term "dusting" -- was Abby just giving a lick and a promise with a feather duster, or doing a more thorough job with cloth and polish? My guess is the latter, as it seemed that she wanted the house particularly nice looking that day, hence her request to Bridget to wash the windows...

      So that could have entailed taking bric-a-brac off of any furniture in the room, dusting those items, and then polishing the furniture, perhaps putting a new scarf on the furniture before putting the knickknacks back on it....

      She could have been giving the dining table and chairs a thorough polishing, too...all of that would have taken some time, and she perhaps didn't work straight thru, may have taken a break of a minute or two to speak to Andrew....

      >1. Why was Bridget still messing
      >around with the dishes after 9:00
      >o'clock, when breakfast was over by
      >7:20, when she sat down ate hers, then
      >started the dishes.

      The main part of breakfast was over by then, but Morse hung around talking with Andrew at the dining table until he left over an hour later....Abby too seems to have hung around and not started chores until after 8:30....

      So they were probably still drinking coffee, and perhaps nibbling on those cookies, meaning that there would have still been cups, saucers, perhaps plates, creamer, spoons, to clean up afterwards.

      So while Bridget had washed the items she had made breakfast in, and had washed the majority of dishes used for breakfast, there were still the cups and saucers, etc., to be cleared away and washed around 8:45.

      >a) Morse stated that Bridget was in the
      >kitchen when he left at 8:45. I don't >remember if he had said Bridget was
      >was washing or finishing the

      Because it probably wasn't important to him. But she probably couldn't get his cup/saucer/spoon to wash until he got ready to leave, so being in the kitchen at 8:45 is just the right time to be finishing up washing the last of the breakfast items.

      >b) Lizzie said that when she first
      >entered the kitchen, everything
      >except the coffee pot had been put

      Yes, the MAIN breakfast items had been put away -- but those cookies were still out (which conceivably Andrew, Abby, and Morse could have munched on in the interim), and their own cups/saucers/spoons that they had continued to use after breakfast was over still needed to be washed...

      >2. According to Lizzie, she was alone in
      >the house after her father left
      >around 9 and was seen by Mrs.
      >Churchill. Yet we have Bridget claiming
      >she re-entered the house at 9:00 and
      >Abby still in the dining room.

      Lizzie never said that. She said that Abby went upstairs to clean the guest bedroom just after Andrew left the house. She stated that she then went down to the cellar for a few minutes, and then brought laundry up to her own bedroom. She stated that she assumed that Abby was still working in the guest bedroom because the door was closed.

      She then came downstairs and started ironing as Bridget commenced to close the downstairs windows and then go outside to wash them....

      It was only after Andrew's murder that Lizzie stated that she thought that Abby may have gone out because she had gotten a note asking her to visit a sick friend...Lizzie never stated WHEN the note came, nor when Abby actually allegedly told her...

      It was only after the autopsy when Abby's time of death was put between 9 and 9:30 that it became obvious that the only time that Abby could have told Lizzie about the note was BEFORE 9 am...

      But the problem with that is that would mean that the note was delivered when both Morse and Bridget would have witnessed the delivery -- but neither one did. Bridget also would have overheard Abby telling Lizzie about the note if such a conversation indeed took place while Abby was dusting the dining room....

      But she didn't. So that really suggests that no note was ever delivered, a possibility supported by the fact that even tho Emma and Lizzie offered a reward, no one ever came forward admitting that they ever sent such a note.

      In that case, someone was obviously lying -- but was it Lizzie, trying to create an alibi? Or was it Abby, for some unknown motive (perhaps as an excuse to leave the house to meet Andrew to sign some legal and/or financial papers?)

      >Lizzie definitely stated that when she
      >left her father in the sitting room
      >and entered the dining room, where
      >her mother was dusting, it was then,
      >and only then, that Abby told Lizzie
      >about the note.

      As I pointed out above, Lizzie never actually said when Abby told her -- it was only after the autopsy set the time of death between 9 and 9:30 that the only time Lizzie could have had this conversation would have been before 9.

      But as I pointed out, this raises the problem of Lizzie never having heard someone knocking at the front door, nor Morse or Bridget being aware of the note having been delivered even though both were in the house at the time.

      It also leaves open the question of who it was people saw at the Borden front door sometime well AFTER 9am -- it obviously couldn't have been the note deliverer, if Abby indeed had received a note that she could tell Lizzie about BEFORE 9 am.

      And *if* a note had been delivered sometime before 8:45, why was the front door double locked again afterwards? Wouldn't the person answering the door have left it unlocked?

      >3. The so-called witnesses on the street
      >who saw someone go to the Borden
      >front door well after 9 a.m. Strange
      >that no one identified who said
      >witnesses were. I never read that

      Try The Lizzie Borden Sourcebook, Muriel....

      >Another one of McHenry's stories?

      No, Muriel -- again, I've sent many, many posts on the subject in the past, go to the list archives for details.

      Dr. Handy was the primary witness to a particularly strange stranger lurking about in front of the Borden house. A guy who worked at the stable on the corner also mentioned seeing a carriage parked out front of the Borden house and someone knocking at the Borden front door. Other passersby corraborated that there was someone at the Borden front door, either knocking on it or actually talking to someone inside. Some accounts stated that they then saw this person leave and get into the carriage.

      All these accounts have the time well after 9, closer to 9:30 or even going on 10....Bridget was in back washing the windows so conceivably was not aware of the visitor at the front door....

      The singularly observant Mrs. Churchill was NOT one of the witnesses to the stranger at the door....

      >And Morse? I never read where
      >anyone ever questioned Morse
      >about the note. Morse was no
      >chatterbox either. He divulged only
      >that which he desired to divulge.

      Doesn't matter if Morse was officially questioned about the note or not -- his nieces put up a substantial reward for any information regarding that note. One would thing that the loving uncle would have wished to aid his beleagured niece by at least corraborating the fact that a note had indeed been delivered...

      But he seemingly knew nothing about the delivery of such a note -- so either the note never existed, of it was delivered in the 5 minutes or so between the time he left the house and Lizzie came downstairs....

      But then why did Bridget have no knowledge of the note? She was the maid, if any knocking came at the front door she would have been the person expected to answer the door....even if she was busy, and perhaps Andrew and Abby didn't want her to know what was going on so either one volunteered to answer the door themselves, Bridget would have been aware that someone had come to the house around 8:40 or 8:45....

      But she knew nothing about the delivery of a note....

      >I disagree. BRIDGET DID NOT RE-
      >ENTER THE HOUSE AT 9:00. She re-
      >entered the house right after Lizzie
      >went down to the cellar around 8:53.

      If Lizzie came down sometime AFTER 8:45, make herself a cup of coffee which she then leisurely sipped while nibbling a few cookies, and then went down to the cellar for a few minutes, how can you possibly fit Bridget going outside and vomiting for 15 to 20 minutes before coming back inside in that timeframe?

      Bridget went outside AFTER Lizzie came up from the cellar, which puts Lizzie alone and upstairs for about 15 minutes....which is why Jeff et al believe that is the time that Lizzie killed Abby....

      Of course they can't explain how she committed the murder and managed to get herself immaculately clean AND get back downstairs to be leisurely ironing handkerchiefs when Bridget came back inside sometime around 9:15 or 9:20.....

      >Lizzie claimed she was there for about
      >five or six minutes. It was during
      >this time that Bridget killed Abby. I
      >claim that by 9:00, Abby was dead.

      Abby didn't go upstairs until 9....at which time Bridget went outside.

      If it is ridiculous to consider Lizzie being able to commit the murder in a 10 to 15 minute timeframe, it is patently hilarious to consider Bridget being able to do it in only 5....

      The same arguements regarding blood trails and bloodstained clothes and hands, etc. that apply to Lizzie equally apply to Bridget....

      >whatever Bridget claimed happened
      >between 9 and 9:30 were lies. Bridget
      >was not doing dishes and closing
      >windows at this time with Lizzie being
      >back downstairs and ironing
      >in the dining room.

      Bridget fininished any last dishwashing by 9; she then went outside where she was sick for 15 to 20 minutes; when she came back inside Lizzie was ironing. That is according to the statements both women gave.

      If Bridget went upstairs to kill Abby shortly after Abby went upstairs and Lizzie went down to the cellar, there's still the problem of a blood-covered Bridget getting herself and her clothes clean and getting rid of the murder weapon....

      >I'd discussed this ironing with Mrs.
      >Florence Brigham (her mother-in-law
      >was the Mary Brigham in the Borden
      >case.) She remembered that it took
      >some 20 to 25 minutes to heat the
      >irons in those days.

      Depends on the type of iron, but 20 to 25 minutes is a little long for any type of iron used in those days....

      If they used a plain flatiron that was heated on or in the stove, it would have taken more like 10 minutes or so to get them really hot -- but since it was a hot day, I suspect that Lizzie may have opted for less efficient ironing capacity over adding to the heat of the day....they were only thin handkerchiefs she was ironing, remember....

      There were also irons in which you placed burning coal -- those became hot within a minute or two and stayed hot while the coal continued to burn....

      >when Bridget heard the irons, that she
      >knew it was safe to leave the house
      >by the front door,

      A few feet from a very busy commercial street, and no one saw the maid covered in blood carrying a bloody axe? But they DID see a stranger out front, some seeing the stranger at the front door, a few minutes later?

      And how was Bridget able to double lock the front door behind her?

      >go to the barn to wash as much blood
      >from her person and clothing as

      Remember you are the person who just said in a previous post that it would be impossible for someone to completely wash blood out of a garment....

      Now since she was washing windows, having a wet dress could be explained away -- but no one found any traces of blood on Bridget's dress, and you have her doing this at the same time she was talking to the nextdoor maid over the back fence -- someone who didn't state that Bridget's dress was even wet at the time, let alone showed signs of blood on it....

      >1) Abby was killed sometime after 9:30.

      I actually tend to believe that Abby died after 9:30, stomach contents notwithstanding (the analysis of which is as much art as it is science, even more so back in that era)...

      >4) Lo and behold, Mary Doolan told
      >the police that their chat had occurred
      >shortly before Mr. Borden returned

      Couldn't have happened that way -- Bridget was finished with the windows and back inside the house when Andrew returned....

      >June, I don't know where you read this.
      >What I read is what Benjamin
      >Buffinton, a former homicide detective,
      >told reporters a few days after the
      >murders. That he'd spoken to both Lizzie
      >and Bridget the morning of the
      >murders and Bridget had told him she
      >heard the City Hall clock strike 11:00
      >just before Lizzie called her downstairs.

      Yes -- Bridget heard the clock strike 11 BEFORE Lizzie called her downstairs, not afterwards....

      "Throw your dream into space like a kite, and you do not know what it will bring back: a new life, a new friend, a new love, a new country..."

      -- Anais Nin
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