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Book Report #2

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  • Jeffrey Tesch
    Among the books I acquired from the Souza collection (thanks to Laura) was Mysterious New England , replete with tales of witches, vampires, ghosts and
    Message 1 of 9 , Aug 5, 2006
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      Among the books I acquired from the Souza collection (thanks to Laura) was “Mysterious New England”, replete with tales of witches, vampires, ghosts and assorted mayhem.  There is a chapter entitled “The Unfathomable Borden Riddle”, originally published in Yankee Magazine in 1966.  The postscript was a letter from a woman named Marion Hicks Campbell, who as a young girl in 1916 Fall River met a man who spun an astonishing story of the Borden murders.

       

      His name was Joseph, and he worked on her grandfather’s farm.  The account he gave of his actions on August 4th 1892 had a rich layer of specific detail that rang true. 

       

      He had been working odd jobs for several families on 2nd Street, including the Borden’s.  He was ten years younger than Lizzie and very short (referred to as “the runt of a big family that had a good old New England name”).  He was apparently smitten with her – Lizzie in turn dominated him.

       

      Just after 11 on murder morning, Lizzie gave him “a bundle wrapped in paper and tied around with string”.  He took it to the dump and forgot about it.  When he heard about the murders he went back to check the bundle the next day but it was gone.

       

      He agonized over telling the Police what he knew; waiting so long that he first began to feel embarrassed and guilty.  After Lizzie was arrested he became afraid, fleeing Fall River to become a “pathetic drifter”.  After telling his tale to young Marion Hicks, he left Fall River for the last time and was never seen again.

       

      The guy was probably just another Borden case crackpot – or did he just slip through the cracks.  That’s why I love these hearsay vignettes – and Marion’s family was vehement that this “Joseph” was a man visually “burdened by a terrible secret”.

       

      Truth lies hidden in the little details.  It’s in that tune running through your head that you never heard before.  It’s at the other end of that wrong number at 2 in the morning.  It’s in that unreconciled key on your chain or that unknown phone number on a scrap of paper.

       

      I have other book reports in the works – my only requirement is that they engender some minimal discussion among what’s left of the 40 Whacks group.

       

      JT

       

       

              

       

       

    • PatriciaLu@aol.com
      Of course, I haven t read it, but I think he sounds like a crackpot. Three things struck me about the story -- let s say the axe blade or bloody clothes were
      Message 2 of 9 , Aug 5, 2006
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        Of course, I haven't read it, but I think he sounds like a crackpot. Three things struck me about the story -- let's say the axe blade or bloody clothes were in the package --- would Lizzie really trust this handyman/drifter to not open it? She would have to believe that he would take this bundle to the dump, without ever looking at it. That just seems like too much to me when Lizzie had loads of other hiding places she could have used.
         
        And then, I can't believe the guy didn't open it right away. What rich people throw away, poor people can use. I see it all the time here in New York City -- One of my favorite vignettes was one Sunday morning when there was a homeless guy walking in front of me and on top of a garbage can was a baseball hat with Citibank on it. You know some marketing type at Citibank pained over which hat to buy -- well, the homeless guy sees this hat and can't believe his good fortune... he found a perfectly good, brand-new hat. I see guys looking for scrap metal, etc. so I think someone not financially well off would definitely look in the package to see if there were anything of value.
         
        The third thing is who took the package out of the dump? Lizzie had a change of heart and went back for it? Somebody else discovers a bloody axe blade and also keeps their mouth shut?
         
        OK, I do love these stories, too, but this one doesn't make sense to me. Thanks, JT!
        Pat
         
         
         
      • Patricia Stephenson
        I, too, love heresay when it comes to the Borden case. I remember visiting the Fall River Historical Society and overhearing a woman say that her
        Message 3 of 9 , Aug 5, 2006
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          I, too, love heresay when it comes to the Borden case.  I remember visiting the Fall River Historical Society and overhearing a woman say that her (whatever....girlfriend's mother's aunt''s neighbor) heard that Lizzie had the funeral all planned out for Winwood on very, very short notice.....I believe the same day. 
           
          Patsy

          Jeffrey Tesch <jtesch@...> wrote:
          Among the books I acquired from the Souza collection (thanks to Laura) was “Mysterious New England”, replete with tales of witches, vampires, ghosts and assorted mayhem.  There is a chapter entitled “The Unfathomable Borden Riddle”, originally published in Yankee Magazine in 1966.  The postscript was a letter from a woman named Marion Hicks Campbell, who as a young girl in 1916 Fall River met a man who spun an astonishing story of the Borden murders.
           
          His name was Joseph, and he worked on her grandfather’s farm.  The account he gave of his actions on August 4th 1892 had a rich layer of specific detail that rang true. 
           
          He had been working odd jobs for several families on 2nd Street, including the Borden’s.  He was ten years younger than Lizzie and very short (referred to as “the runt of a big family that had a good old New England name”).  He was apparently smitten with her – Lizzie in turn dominated him.
           
          Just after 11 on murder morning, Lizzie gave him “a bundle wrapped in paper and tied around with string”.  He took it to the dump and forgot about it.  When he heard about the murders he went back to check the bundle the next day but it was gone.
           
          He agonized over telling the Police what he knew; waiting so long that he first began to feel embarrassed and guilty.  After Lizzie was arrested he became afraid, fleeing Fall River to become a “pathetic drifter”.  After telling his tale to young Marion Hicks, he left Fall River for the last time and was never seen again.
           
          The guy was probably just another Borden case crackpot – or did he just slip through the cracks.  That’s why I love these hearsay vignettes – and Marion’s family was vehement that this “Joseph” was a man visually “burdened by a terrible secret”.
           
          Truth lies hidden in the little details.  It’s in that tune running through your head that you never heard before.  It’s at the other end of that wrong number at 2 in the morning.  It’s in that unreconciled key on your chain or that unknown phone number on a scrap of paper.
           
          I have other book reports in the works – my only requirement is that they engender some minimal discussion among what’s left of the 40 Whacks group.
           
          JT
           
           
                  
           
           


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        • Muriel Arnold
          Hi Patsy: Seems I d read where Lizzie supposedly said something to the effect that she would have to see about the funeral the very morning of the murders and
          Message 4 of 9 , Aug 5, 2006
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            Hi Patsy:
            Seems I'd read where Lizzie supposedly said something to the effect that she would have to see about the funeral the very morning of the murders and Mrs. Churchill told her that the undertaker would take care of it.
             
              I do know that Mrs. Churchill went home shortly before noon, and that James Winward was the undertaker who came that afternoon.  Just don't ask me how he was contacted because I hadn't read anywhere where someone claimed they called for him.  It was before Emma came home.
            Muriel
             
            ----- Original Message -----
            Sent: Saturday, August 05, 2006 9:46 PM
            Subject: Re: [40Whacks] Book Report #2

            I, too, love heresay when it comes to the Borden case.  I remember visiting the Fall River Historical Society and overhearing a woman say that her (whatever....girlfriend's mother's aunt''s neighbor) heard that Lizzie had the funeral all planned out for Winwood on very, very short notice.....I believe the same day. 
             
            Patsy

            Jeffrey Tesch <jtesch@...> wrote:
            Among the books I acquired from the Souza collection (thanks to Laura) was “Mysterious New England”, replete with tales of witches, vampires, ghosts and assorted mayhem.  There is a chapter entitled “The Unfathomable Borden Riddle”, originally published in Yankee Magazine in 1966.  The postscript was a letter from a woman named Marion Hicks Campbell, who as a young girl in 1916 Fall River met a man who spun an astonishing story of the Borden murders.
             
            His name was Joseph, and he worked on her grandfather’s farm.  The account he gave of his actions on August 4th 1892 had a rich layer of specific detail that rang true. 
             
            He had been working odd jobs for several families on 2nd Street, including the Borden’s.  He was ten years younger than Lizzie and very short (referred to as “the runt of a big family that had a good old New England name”).  He was apparently smitten with her – Lizzie in turn dominated him.
             
            Just after 11 on murder morning, Lizzie gave him “a bundle wrapped in paper and tied around with string”.  He took it to the dump and forgot about it.  When he heard about the murders he went back to check the bundle the next day but it was gone.
             
            He agonized over telling the Police what he knew; waiting so long that he first began to feel embarrassed and guilty.  After Lizzie was arrested he became afraid, fleeing Fall River to become a “pathetic drifter”.  After telling his tale to young Marion Hicks, he left Fall River for the last time and was never seen again.
             
            The guy was probably just another Borden case crackpot – or did he just slip through the cracks.  That’s why I love these hearsay vignettes – and Marion’s family was vehement that this “Joseph” was a man visually “burdened by a terrible secret”.
             
            Truth lies hidden in the little details.  It’s in that tune running through your head that you never heard before.  It’s at the other end of that wrong number at 2 in the morning.  It’s in that unreconciled key on your chain or that unknown phone number on a scrap of paper.
             
            I have other book reports in the works – my only requirement is that they engender some minimal discussion among what’s left of the 40 Whacks group.
             
            JT
             
             
                    
             
             


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          • Patricia Stephenson
            Hi Muriel, Essentially what this women said was that Lizzie had all the DETAILS of the funeral thought out not just that she wanted to have Winward. I guess
            Message 5 of 9 , Aug 7, 2006
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              Hi Muriel,
              Essentially what this women said was that Lizzie had all the DETAILS of the funeral thought out not just that she wanted to have Winward.  I guess making a lot of funeral decisions did not throw Lizzie for a loop.
               
              Patsy

              Muriel Arnold <muriella@...> wrote:
              Hi Patsy:
              Seems I'd read where Lizzie supposedly said something to the effect that she would have to see about the funeral the very morning of the murders and Mrs. Churchill told her that the undertaker would take care of it.
               
                I do know that Mrs. Churchill went home shortly before noon, and that James Winward was the undertaker who came that afternoon.  Just don't ask me how he was contacted because I hadn't read anywhere where someone claimed they called for him.  It was before Emma came home.
              Muriel
               
              ----- Original Message -----
              Sent: Saturday, August 05, 2006 9:46 PM
              Subject: Re: [40Whacks] Book Report #2

              I, too, love heresay when it comes to the Borden case.  I remember visiting the Fall River Historical Society and overhearing a woman say that her (whatever... .girlfriend' s mother's aunt''s neighbor) heard that Lizzie had the funeral all planned out for Winwood on very, very short notice.....I believe the same day. 
               
              Patsy

              Jeffrey Tesch <jtesch@cinci. rr.com> wrote:
              Among the books I acquired from the Souza collection (thanks to Laura) was “Mysterious New England”, replete with tales of witches, vampires, ghosts and assorted mayhem.  There is a chapter entitled “The Unfathomable Borden Riddle”, originally published in Yankee Magazine in 1966.  The postscript was a letter from a woman named Marion Hicks Campbell, who as a young girl in 1916 Fall River met a man who spun an astonishing story of the Borden murders.
               
              His name was Joseph, and he worked on her grandfather’s farm.  The account he gave of his actions on August 4th 1892 had a rich layer of specific detail that rang true. 
               
              He had been working odd jobs for several families on 2nd Street, including the Borden’s.  He was ten years younger than Lizzie and very short (referred to as “the runt of a big family that had a good old New England name”).  He was apparently smitten with her – Lizzie in turn dominated him.
               
              Just after 11 on murder morning, Lizzie gave him “a bundle wrapped in paper and tied around with string”.  He took it to the dump and forgot about it.  When he heard about the murders he went back to check the bundle the next day but it was gone.
               
              He agonized over telling the Police what he knew; waiting so long that he first began to feel embarrassed and guilty.  After Lizzie was arrested he became afraid, fleeing Fall River to become a “pathetic drifter”.  After telling his tale to young Marion Hicks, he left Fall River for the last time and was never seen again.
               
              The guy was probably just another Borden case crackpot – or did he just slip through the cracks.  That’s why I love these hearsay vignettes – and Marion’s family was vehement that this “Joseph” was a man visually “burdened by a terrible secret”.
               
              Truth lies hidden in the little details.  It’s in that tune running through your head that you never heard before.  It’s at the other end of that wrong number at 2 in the morning.  It’s in that unreconciled key on your chain or that unknown phone number on a scrap of paper.
               
              I have other book reports in the works – my only requirement is that they engender some minimal discussion among what’s left of the 40 Whacks group.
               
              JT
               
               
                      
               
               


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            • Muriel Arnold
              Hi Patsy Guess I read it slightly different than you did. Your way, it would help show Lizzie not only had planned to kill them, but bury them as well. That
              Message 6 of 9 , Aug 7, 2006
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                Hi Patsy
                Guess I read it slightly different than you did.  Your way, it would help show Lizzie not only had planned to kill them, but bury them as well.  That took some planning.  Do you believe Lizzie was actually capable of doing this?  Most murderers concentrate on the killing first and  worry about  the disposal of the body later.
                 
                My way, it shows she was innocent, as it showed she hadn't the faintest idea of what would happen next.   It showed her to be  rather dull-witted [dead, bury them].  I hold Lizzie was in a state of shock and find nothing wrong with her worrying about the funeral. 
                 
                I wish I hadn't gotten rid of all my newspapers.  I would have been able to quote to you what was actually said.  No matter.  Her mind would have been on the murder weapon and her dress, if she had gotten blood on it.
                Muriel
                ----- Original Message -----
                Sent: Monday, August 07, 2006 1:31 PM
                Subject: Re: [40Whacks] Book Report #2

                Hi Muriel,
                Essentially what this women said was that Lizzie had all the DETAILS of the funeral thought out not just that she wanted to have Winward.  I guess making a lot of funeral decisions did not throw Lizzie for a loop.
                 
                Patsy

                Muriel Arnold <muriella@...> wrote:
                Hi Patsy:
                Seems I'd read where Lizzie supposedly said something to the effect that she would have to see about the funeral the very morning of the murders and Mrs. Churchill told her that the undertaker would take care of it.
                 
                  I do know that Mrs. Churchill went home shortly before noon, and that James Winward was the undertaker who came that afternoon.  Just don't ask me how he was contacted because I hadn't read anywhere where someone claimed they called for him.  It was before Emma came home.
                Muriel
                 
                ----- Original Message -----
                Sent: Saturday, August 05, 2006 9:46 PM
                Subject: Re: [40Whacks] Book Report #2

                I, too, love heresay when it comes to the Borden case.  I remember visiting the Fall River Historical Society and overhearing a woman say that her (whatever... .girlfriend' s mother's aunt''s neighbor) heard that Lizzie had the funeral all planned out for Winwood on very, very short notice.....I believe the same day. 
                 
                Patsy

                Jeffrey Tesch <jtesch@cinci. rr.com> wrote:
                Among the books I acquired from the Souza collection (thanks to Laura) was “Mysterious New England”, replete with tales of witches, vampires, ghosts and assorted mayhem.  There is a chapter entitled “The Unfathomable Borden Riddle”, originally published in Yankee Magazine in 1966.  The postscript was a letter from a woman named Marion Hicks Campbell, who as a young girl in 1916 Fall River met a man who spun an astonishing story of the Borden murders.
                 
                His name was Joseph, and he worked on her grandfather’s farm.  The account he gave of his actions on August 4th 1892 had a rich layer of specific detail that rang true. 
                 
                He had been working odd jobs for several families on 2nd Street, including the Borden’s.  He was ten years younger than Lizzie and very short (referred to as “the runt of a big family that had a good old New England name”).  He was apparently smitten with her – Lizzie in turn dominated him.
                 
                Just after 11 on murder morning, Lizzie gave him “a bundle wrapped in paper and tied around with string”.  He took it to the dump and forgot about it.  When he heard about the murders he went back to check the bundle the next day but it was gone.
                 
                He agonized over telling the Police what he knew; waiting so long that he first began to feel embarrassed and guilty.  After Lizzie was arrested he became afraid, fleeing Fall River to become a “pathetic drifter”.  After telling his tale to young Marion Hicks, he left Fall River for the last time and was never seen again.
                 
                The guy was probably just another Borden case crackpot – or did he just slip through the cracks.  That’s why I love these hearsay vignettes – and Marion’s family was vehement that this “Joseph” was a man visually “burdened by a terrible secret”.
                 
                Truth lies hidden in the little details.  It’s in that tune running through your head that you never heard before.  It’s at the other end of that wrong number at 2 in the morning.  It’s in that unreconciled key on your chain or that unknown phone number on a scrap of paper.
                 
                I have other book reports in the works – my only requirement is that they engender some minimal discussion among what’s left of the 40 Whacks group.
                 
                JT
                 
                 
                        
                 
                 


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              • Laura James
                I love the book reports. Thanks. My latest epiphany about Lizzie came from some movie I saw (name escapes me) about heirs and heiresses of today. Some children
                Message 7 of 9 , Aug 8, 2006
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                  Message
                  I love the book reports. Thanks.
                   
                  My latest epiphany about Lizzie came from some movie I saw (name escapes me) about heirs and heiresses of today. Some children of high wealth were very open in the documentary about the "down" side of great wealth. It was obvious that many of them were petrified of disinheritance.
                   
                  For what it's worth.
                   
                  I read recently that one of the husbands of one of those teachers who seduced a junior high school boy is writing a tell-all. The cuckold says his ex-wife lost a sibling when she was young, and he noted with great interest that another teacher accused of the same crime had the same tragedy in her childhood.
                   
                  Hmmm.
                  Laura James
                • Muriel Arnold
                  MessageLaura: What a sorry excuse for writing a book. I see it as, no pride, no shame . That s what s wrong with people today. No one takes responsibility
                  Message 8 of 9 , Aug 8, 2006
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                    Message
                    Laura:
                    What a sorry excuse for writing a book.  I see it as, "no pride, no shame".  That's what's wrong with people today.  No one takes responsibility for his/her actions. 
                    Muriel
                     
                    ----- Original Message -----
                    Sent: Tuesday, August 08, 2006 9:10 AM
                    Subject: RE: [40Whacks] Book Report #2

                    I love the book reports. Thanks.
                     
                    My latest epiphany about Lizzie came from some movie I saw (name escapes me) about heirs and heiresses of today. Some children of high wealth were very open in the documentary about the "down" side of great wealth. It was obvious that many of them were petrified of disinheritance.
                     
                    For what it's worth.
                     
                    I read recently that one of the husbands of one of those teachers who seduced a junior high school boy is writing a tell-all. The cuckold says his ex-wife lost a sibling when she was young, and he noted with great interest that another teacher accused of the same crime had the same tragedy in her childhood.
                     
                    Hmmm.
                    Laura James
                  • Jeffrey Tesch
                    Laura: Nice epiphany. Instead of asking Who killed the Bordens? just determine Why did this crime happen . Lizzie did not go straight to her room after the
                    Message 9 of 9 , Aug 13, 2006
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                      Message

                      Laura:

                       

                      Nice epiphany.  Instead of asking “Who killed the Bordens?” just determine “Why did this crime happen”.  

                       

                      Lizzie did not go straight to her room after the murder’s eve visit with Alice Russell.  She snubbed the old folks in the Sitting Room upon returning - Morse heard her come in and go up.  But he didn’t go up to bed “until a few minutes after 10” – Lizzie had a good hour to eavesdrop sitting just below the curve of the stairs.

                       

                      Based on sound experiments I performed while sitting there, I’m convinced she heard dialogue between Morse and Andrew (Abby went to bed around 9:40 PM) that made her petrified of being disinherited.  And she resolved to protect her birthright by any means necessary. 

                       

                      We already know she failed to purchase poison that morning (admitted by the defense).  It was time for a man’s weapon – and Emma was conveniently away.  Question – does anyone think this double homicide goes down if Emma is on the premises?  I don’t…

                       

                      JT

                       

                      -----Original Message-----
                      From: 40Whacks@yahoogroups.com [mailto:40Whacks@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Laura James
                      Sent: Tuesday, August 08, 2006 9:10 AM
                      To: 40Whacks@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: RE: [40Whacks] Book Report #2

                       

                      I love the book reports. Thanks.

                       

                      My latest epiphany about Lizzie came from some movie I saw (name escapes me) about heirs and heiresses of today. Some children of high wealth were very open in the documentary about the "down" side of great wealth. It was obvious that many of them were petrified of disinheritance.

                       

                      For what it's worth.

                       

                      I read recently that one of the husbands of one of those teachers who seduced a junior high school boy is writing a tell-all. The cuckold says his ex-wife lost a sibling when she was young, and he noted with great interest that another teacher accused of the same crime had the same tragedy in her childhood.

                       

                      Hmmm.

                      Laura James

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