Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.
 

Book Report

Expand Messages
  • Jeffrey Tesch
    I ve just finished Murder, Culture, and Injustice - Four Sensational Cases in American History by Walter Hixson. And the 4 cases are an All-Star quartet for
    Message 1 of 10 , Nov 2, 2006

      I’ve just finished “Murder, Culture, and Injustice – Four Sensational Cases in American History” by Walter Hixson.

       

      And the 4 cases are an All-Star quartet for sure…

       

      1.       Lizzie Borden

      2.       Bruno Richard Hauptmann

      3.       Dr. Samuel Sheppard

      4.       OJ Simpson

       

      Hixon gets it right on three – effortlessly confirming the guilt of Lizzie and OJ and arguing convincingly for Dr. Sam’s innocence.  His analysis of the Lindbergh case is stunning.  He’s got me thinking Bruno was dirty – certainly on the extortion and possibly with knowledge of the kidnap/murder. The dude never worked a day after the ransom drop in the cemetery, claiming he scrapped by during the Depression with good stock investments – this from an immigrant carpenter.

       

      But Hixon’s chapter on Lizzie contains one of the best abstracts of her guilt I’ve ever read – I’ll quote him here:

       

           “The evidence strongly suggests that Lizzie was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.  The trial was not

           merely a perversion of justice – it was a farce.  Lizzie alone had the motive, means, and opportunity

           to commit the murders.  Her anger and resentment of her parents, especially her stepmother, were

           well known.  Lizzie was obsessed with the economic and social constraints laid down by her father,

           but powerless to do anything – short of murder – to change her situation.  As her father got on in years,

           the threat that her detested stepmother would control the estate, and her life, was too much for this

           brooding, self righteous, and unstable young woman to bear.”  (my bold)

       

      Let the Minions say Amen!

       

      End of Book…

       

      JT       

       

    • Muriel Arnold
      Jeff: If you omit everything Bridget Sullivan was quoted as saying from the day of the murders to her testimony at the trial, Lizzie indeed would appear to
      Message 2 of 10 , Nov 3, 2006
        Jeff:
        If you omit everything Bridget Sullivan was quoted as saying from the day of the murders to her testimony at the trial, Lizzie indeed would appear to have been guilty of murder.
         
        Walter Hixson went way out on a limb when he claimed, "Her anger and resentment of her parents, especially her stepmother, were well known." 
         
        By whom?   Not by the reporters who covered the case day after day.  In fact, they reported that they had told Knowlton, at least twice,  that he had arrested the wrong woman; that he should release Lizzie and arrest Bridget.  This case was political.  Knowlton used it to further his own ambitions.  He wanted to be the next Attorney General of Massachusetts.
         
        Lizzie was obsessed with the economic and social constraints laid down by her father, but powerless to do anything..." and   "..the threat that her detested stepmother would control the estate, and her life, was too much for this brooding, self righteous, and unstable young woman to bear."   UNBELIEVABLE!
         
        Hixson even outdid Victoria Lincoln in his character assassination of Lizzie Borden.  What constraints?  And I'd sure like to know where he learned that Lizzie was a brooding, self righteous, and unstable woman.   In all my years of research, I'd never given much thought to what kind of person Lizzie had been other than what her friends in Marion (most were school teachers), had to say about her.   They pictured her as being just the opposite of Hixson's opinions.  To me, Lizzie was a loner and liked it that way.  She was free to do whatever she wanted, without constraints.
         
        I'll check my library and see if they have a copy of Hixson's book.  As for Hauptmann, had you ever come across anyone else who learned of  Hauptmann never working another day after the ransom drop in the cemetery and his claiming he scraped by during the depression with good stock investments?  Like Hixson, I don't believe that, if Hauptmann actually said that.  Back to Lizzie:
         
        Hixson's, "The trial was not merely a perversion of justice - it was a farce."  All the trial proved was that Knowlton had no case.  Several lawyers, who had been there, were of the same opinion.  Knowlton himself admitted to Pillsbury that he felt, in late1892, that he did not have enough evidence to prove that Lizzie was guilty.  So here, Hixson was saying the same thing, only he called it a mockery of justice.
         
        What had really ticked me off was when Knowlton had, in his lawyer way of speaking, told the jury to forget the evidence presented and rely on his word alone and not to worry about finding Lizzie guilty, leave her faith in the hands of the court, her pleas would not fall on deaf ears, so to speak.  And for the next hundred years, writers treated him with kid gloves.  Let right be done.
         
        Jeff, thanks for letting us know about "Murder, Culture, and Injustice - Four Sensational Cases in American History"  by Walter Hixson.  I promise I won't make a critique on it other than what I already did. 
        Muriel
         
         
         
        Sent: Thursday, November 02, 2006 11:27 PM
        Subject: [40Whacks] Book Report

        I’ve just finished “Murder, Culture, and Injustice – Four Sensational Cases in American History” by Walter Hixson.

         

        And the 4 cases are an All-Star quartet for sure…

         

        1.       Lizzie Borden

        2.       Bruno Richard Hauptmann

        3.       Dr. Samuel Sheppard

        4.       OJ Simpson

         

        Hixon gets it right on three – effortlessly confirming the guilt of Lizzie and OJ and arguing convincingly for Dr. Sam’s innocence.  His analysis of the Lindbergh case is stunning.  He’s got me thinking Bruno was dirty – certainly on the extortion and possibly with knowledge of the kidnap/murder. The dude never worked a day after the ransom drop in the cemetery, claiming he scrapped by during the Depression with good stock investments – this from an immigrant carpenter.

         

        But Hixon’s chapter on Lizzie contains one of the best abstracts of her guilt I’ve ever read – I’ll quote him here:

         

             “The evidence strongly suggests that Lizzie was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.  The trial was not

             merely a perversion of justice – it was a farce.  Lizzie alone had the motive, means, and opportunity

             to commit the murders.  Her anger and resentment of her parents, especially her stepmother, were

             well known.  Lizzie was obsessed with the economic and social constraints laid down by her father,

             but powerless to do anything – short of murder – to change her situation.  As her father got on in years,

             the threat that her detested stepmother would control the estate, and her life, was too much for this

             brooding, self righteous, and unstable young woman to bear.”  (my bold)

         

        Let the Minions say Amen!

         

        End of Book…

         

        JT       

         

      • Muriel Arnold
        Hi Jeff:
        Message 3 of 10 , Nov 5, 2006
          Hi Jeff:
          <Lizzie's resentment of her parents, especially her stepmother (by numerous people)>
          Hiram Harrington - from what my research came up with, Hiram resented Andrew's becoming rich and not
              doing the same for him.  Lizzie did not like him and never went to his house.  Emma did.
          Carolyn Kelly - had little to say about the Bordens to the reporters in 1892.  Maybe she said things after the     trial.  My interest in Lizzie ended with the trial.
          Florence Brigham - was Mary Brigham's daughter-in-law.  Florence told me her mother-in-law did not like
              talking about the Bordens, even though Mary had stood by Lizzie from the time of the inquest till after
              the trial.  I never argued with Florence for believing Bridget would not have killed the Bordens for fear
              of losing her job.  Florence and I were friends for about 20 years.  She told me one day about
              Knowlton's grandsons bringing his papers to the Historical Society.  She said one thought Knowlton had     been an outstanding man, while the other grandson thought of him like I did.  I thought that was cute.
          Abby (Harrington) Potter - come on, she was but eight years old in 1892.  Her parents were responsible for     her hating Lizzie later on in life.
          Ruth Jennings Waring - no mention was made in the newspapers about her in 1892.  Dwight Waring was
              fourteen years old in 1892, so again where would she have obtained her knowledge of Lizzie except
              through heresay.
          Edith Coolidge Hart, Miriam Durfee Holman, Constance Winslow - never read a word about them in the
              newspapers of 1892 - 1893.
          Victoria Lincoln - all she told her readers was that her mother said that Lizzie was not nice to her parents.
              The rest of what she came up with must have come from the same place as what she came out with for
              Abby, and everyone else who lived south of Pleasant Street; you know, the shabby end of the
              continuation of Rock Street (up on the hill where decent people lived.
          Anna Borden - liked Lizzie.  From what I gather, all she claimed was that Lizzie said she was unhappy to
              be returning to her unhappy?  home. 
          Hannah Gifford - score one for you.  Don't know what caused Lizzie to cut down on Abby when she did.
          Marianna Holmes -  she liked both Emma and Lizzie.  I was left with the feeling that she occasionally visited
              Abby and had done so for several years.
           
          As for my theory being so unbelievable, all I can say is that I had formed no theory.  I had let my research go in whatever direction it led me, and that was straight to Bridget.
           
          <And you reduced Lizzie, the first feminist murderess, to a bit player in her own drama - because you never gave much thought to her.>
           
          I'm glad you noticed that.  We have Lizzie speaking on day one, then her inquest testimony, and after that, practically zero information.  But Bridget?  You couldn't shut her up.  One lie followed another in rapid succession.   Example:
          Lizzie:  Went to the barn at 10:55 and was gone not more than five minutes (my research).
          Bridget:  Went up to her room at 10:55; sat on her windowseat and saw no one in the back yard; changed that to she talked to a friend on the sidewalk (putting her back to the back yard); spoke to Mr. Borden about five minutes before Lizzie sounded the alarm; Told Benajmin Buffinton ( a former homicide detective), she heard the City Hall Clock strike 11:00 just before Lizzie called her downstairs; she was upstairs a few minutes when she heard the clock strike 11:00; she went up and lay down to rest, her back ached; oh, she'd gone up to wash her bedroom windows, begun the day before (all two of them), etc., etc., etc.
          And guess what?  My research resulted in Bridget never having made it to her third floor bedroom.  She never made it  past the second floor landing.  If Lizzie had returned to the house one minute sooner, she would have run right into Bridget and Bridget would have forced to kill her.  (The scraping noise Lizzie heard as she approached the house.  It was the cleaver scraping the wall as Bridget ran upstairs).
          Muriel
             
           
           
          Sent: Saturday, November 04, 2006 10:54 PM
          Subject: FW: [40Whacks] Book Report

           

           

          Muriel wrote: Walter Hixson went way out on a limb when he claimed, "Her anger and resentment of her parents, especially her stepmother, were well known." By whom?   Not by the reporters who covered the case day after day. 

           

          ***The resentment of Abby was common knowledge, confirmed by contemporary sources like Carolyn Kelly, Hiram Harrington, Florence Brigham, Abby Potter, Ruth Waring (Jennings daughter), Edith Coolidge Hart, Miriam Durfee Holman, Constance Winslow, Anna Borden, Hannah Gifford, Marianna Holmes, and Victoria Lincoln’s parents – just to name a few…

           

          Muriel wrote:  Lizzie was obsessed with the economic and social constraints laid down by her father, but powerless to do anything..." and "..the threat that her detested stepmother would control the estate, and her life, was too much for this brooding, self righteous, and unstable young woman to bear."   UNBELIEVABLE!

           

          ***The why do the vast majority who study this case believe it?  The irony of your word choice is astounding, since it is your theory that is so “unbelievable” …

           

          And I'd sure like to know where he learned that Lizzie was a brooding, self righteous, and unstable woman.   In all my years of research, I'd never given much thought to what kind of person Lizzie had been…

           

          ***Even Emma knew Lizzie “was queer”.  And you’ve reduced Lizzie, the first feminist murderess, to a bit player in her own drama – because you never gave much thought to her…

           

          I'll check my library and see if they have a copy of Hixson's book.  As for Hauptmann, had you ever come across anyone else who learned of  Hauptmann never working another day after the ransom drop in the cemetery and his claiming he scraped by during the depression with good stock investments? 

           

          ***I read this in other books but glossed over it.  The guy had an large influx of income after the ransom drop – and never worked as a carpenter again.  He sent his wife to Europe, took a trip to Florida, bought a $200 radio set, and did quite well in the stock market while many others struggled through the “great depression”.

           

          Hauptman was shifty.  He hid many things from his wife, including his affair with Gerta Henkel.  Bruno had quite a record of deceit – none of which places him in Hopewell that night.  But he was not the railroaded saint some have made him out to be…

           

          Jeff, thanks for letting us know about "Murder, Culture, and Injustice - Four Sensational Cases in American History"  by Walter Hixson. 

           

          ***Hard to resist that lineup of cases!  The Sheppard chapter had some things about Richard Eberling that even I didn’t know…

           

          JT

           

           

           

          Sent: Thursday, November 02, 2006 11:27 PM

          Subject: [40Whacks] Book Report

           

          I’ve just finished “Murder, Culture, and Injustice – Four Sensational Cases in American History” by Walter Hixson.

           

          And the 4 cases are an All-Star quartet for sure…

           

          1.       Lizzie Borden

          2.       Bruno Richard Hauptmann

          3.       Dr. Samuel Sheppard

          4.       OJ Simpson

           

          Hixon gets it right on three – effortlessly confirming the guilt of Lizzie and OJ and arguing convincingly for Dr. Sam’s innocence.  His analysis of the Lindbergh case is stunning.  He’s got me thinking Bruno was dirty – certainly on the extortion and possibly with knowledge of the kidnap/murder. The dude never worked a day after the ransom drop in the cemetery, claiming he scrapped by during the Depression with good stock investments – this from an immigrant carpenter.

           

          But Hixon’s chapter on Lizzie contains one of the best abstracts of her guilt I’ve ever read – I’ll quote him here:

           

               “The evidence strongly suggests that Lizzie was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.  The trial was not

               merely a perversion of justice – it was a farce.  Lizzie alone had the motive, means, and opportunity

               to commit the murders.  Her anger and resentment of her parents, especially her stepmother, were

               well known.  Lizzie was obsessed with the economic and social constraints laid down by her father,

               but powerless to do anything – short of murder – to change her situation.  As her father got on in years,

               the threat that her detested stepmother would control the estate, and her life, was too much for this

               brooding, self righteous, and unstable young woman to bear.”  (my bold)

           

          Let the Minions say Amen!

           

          End of Book…

           

          JT       

           

        • Jeffrey Tesch
          Of all the books I recently purchased from the Kenneth Souza collection, The Borden Tragedy - a memoir of the infamous double murder at Fall River, Mass
          Message 4 of 10 , Dec 26, 2006

            Of all the books I recently purchased from the Kenneth Souza collection, “The Borden Tragedy – a memoir of the infamous double murder at Fall River, Mass 1892”. – is the most unusual.

             

                 *The entire saga is told through illustration as a “graphic novel” – like a comic book only with superior depictions and realistic artwork.  And it takes you to settings we’ve only imagined:  Alice Russell’s cramped parlor, Doctor Bowen’s office, Uncle John arriving at the train station.  The panel of Andrew Borden asleep in the Sitting room while a shadowy figure looms in the doorway is chilling…

             

                 *And this from the introduction:  “This account is excerpted and adapted from the unpublished memoirs of an unknown lady of Fall River, Massachusetts.  Since the typewritten, unedited manuscript came to light at a 1990 estate sale, its provenance has been established.  As part of the contents of an unopened truck, it resided since the turn of the century in the basement of a private archive in Boston.  In the years since the public release of the memoirs, speculation has been lively as to the identity of the mysterious authoress, who drops tantalizing hints throughout the text.  Her apparent intimacy with the Borden family and her knowledge of Fall River’s history and social structure have prompted theorist to champion several candidates, including the ambiguous and elusive Alice Russell.  No hard evidence as yet point to any individual…”

             

            I’ve been saying it all along – there are unpublished secondary sources and hearsay whispers out there.  People just have to find them.  Many persons associated with the Borden case probably documented their insight somehow:  diaries, letters, memoirs, notes, stories, gossip…

             

                 *Excerpt:  “Could the two daughters, getting older and with no prospects of marriage, have envisioned their inheritance vanishing piece by piece into the hands of their stepmother’s family?”

             

                 *And this:  “There was more rage and hatred within that house than I could ever have imagined…”

             

            There’s more – just thought I’d throw a teaser out there since the group is half dead.  Maybe Laura James will try to extract more information for her very excellent true crime blog “Clews”…

             

            JT

          • Patricia Stephenson
            HI JT and Group, I always enjoy your book reports, JT, and I totally agree with your statement regarding unpublished secondary stories relating to the Borden
            Message 5 of 10 , Dec 26, 2006
              HI JT and Group,
              I always enjoy your book reports, JT, and I totally agree with your statement regarding unpublished secondary stories relating to the Borden case.  I collect diaries and journals, and I particularly focus on that time period.  I also go to paper shows where you never know what will pop up.
               
              I'll just bet that if you visited a nursing home in Fall River, and interviewed some of the residents about the Borden case they would all have an opinion, but also a passed down "tidbit". 
               
              Patsy
               
               


              Jeffrey Tesch <jtesch@...> wrote:
              Of all the books I recently purchased from the Kenneth Souza collection, “The Borden Tragedy – a memoir of the infamous double murder at Fall River, Mass 1892”. – is the most unusual.
               
                   *The entire saga is told through illustration as a “graphic novel” – like a comic book only with superior depictions and realistic artwork.  And it takes you to settings we’ve only imagined:  Alice Russell’s cramped parlor, Doctor Bowen’s office, Uncle John arriving at the train station.  The panel of Andrew Borden asleep in the Sitting room while a shadowy figure looms in the doorway is chilling…
               
                   *And this from the introduction:  “This account is excerpted and adapted from the unpublished memoirs of an unknown lady of Fall River, Massachusetts.  Since the typewritten, unedited manuscript came to light at a 1990 estate sale, its provenance has been established.  As part of the contents of an unopened truck, it resided since the turn of the century in the basement of a private archive in Boston.  In the years since the public release of the memoirs, speculation has been lively as to the identity of the mysterious authoress, who drops tantalizing hints throughout the text.  Her apparent intimacy with the Borden family and her knowledge of Fall River’s history and social structure have prompted theorist to champion several candidates, including the ambiguous and elusive Alice Russell.  No hard evidence as yet point to any individual…”
               
              I’ve been saying it all along – there are unpublished secondary sources and hearsay whispers out there.  People just have to find them.  Many persons associated with the Borden case probably documented their insight somehow:  diaries, letters, memoirs, notes, stories, gossip…
               
                   *Excerpt:  “Could the two daughters, getting older and with no prospects of marriage, have envisioned their inheritance vanishing piece by piece into the hands of their stepmother’s family?”
               
                   *And this:  “There was more rage and hatred within that house than I could ever have imagined…”
               
              There’s more – just thought I’d throw a teaser out there since the group is half dead.  Maybe Laura James will try to extract more information for her very excellent true crime blog “Clews”…
               
              JT

              __________________________________________________
              Do You Yahoo!?
              Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
              http://mail.yahoo.com

            Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.