Happy Halloween to All
- Hi... I just wanted to wish everyone a Happy Halloween and also to
welcome the new subscribers who have joined us recently. The list
has been quiet lately -- my guess is that everyone is busy reading
and puzzling over the Borden case again. <g>
Any new thoughts to share? I'm heading to the library tomorrow
and I'll be re-reading a few books about Lizzie. If anything "jumps
out" at me, I'll be sure to post a note about it.
- On Sun, 31 Oct 1999 Tango9311@... wrote:
>Any new thoughts to share? I'm heading to the library tomorrowI've been reading a few books on the subject (and driving my local
>and I'll be re-reading a few books about Lizzie. If anything "jumps
>out" at me, I'll be sure to post a note about it.
librarians crazy with all the interlibrary loans on the subject I've
In my reading, Uncle John still comes off as pretty suspicious.
And no beating about the bush, so does Lizzie. It seems obvious she lied
and gave conflicting testimony at the inquest, and after being arrested.
But did she lie because she actually did the murders? Or was something
else going on in the family, which for whatever reason only known to
Lizzie (and perhaps Emma, perhaps even Morse and Dr. Bowen) she thought
was best not revealed, even at risk of being convicted?
I've been reading Lincoln's book, and for all its shortcomings, Lincoln
makes some valid points (NOT in regards to Lizzie having epilepsy, IMO,
Lincoln points out the strange and shady dealings regarding the transfer
of the Swansea property -- property that had belonged to Emma and
Lissie's mother, and by all rights should have eventually gone to them --
a transfer instigated by Uncle John, who proposed running a horse farm on
the property, with his niece on hand as housekeeper....the same niece he
coincidentally was supposedly visiting the morning of the murders...
So far I haven't run across the name of this niece, but it would seem
that she would have had a vested interest in giving her dear Uncle John
an alibi for the morning of August 4....especially if her husband was
perhaps going to be Uncle John's partner in this supposed horse farm...
But for some reason, after seemingly initially agreeing with his brother-
in-law at the beginning of July to sign over the property to him, by the
beginning of August Andrew for some reason had decided to sign the
property over to Abby...
Since it was presumed Emma and Lizzie would eventually get that property,
one has to wonder just what had occured recently to make Andrew decide to
give the property away to ANYONE other than his daughters...
And would the prospect of losing the property have been enough to
instigate murdering Andrew and his wife?
If the answer to that is 'yes', then John Morse and his niece and her
husband make just as valid suspects as Lizzie and Emma....
It would be interesting to learn just what happened to that bit of land
in Swansea, after Lizzie was acquitted...has any author ever researched
it's history since 1892?
One would presume that Emma and Lizzie had sentimental reasons for
desiring the property, but Morse's interest -- and Andrew's subsequent
strange behavior regarding the property -- suggest a greater value to the
real estate than just pure sentiment.
I think Lincoln makes a good argument for the possibility of the morning
of the 4th being the time when Andrew would sign the property over to
Abby...and that a message WAS delivered to Abby that morning, asking her
to come visit a sick friend, a message which was obviously a fraud,
designed as an excuse for Abby to leave the house and meet Andrew to sign
the deed of property transfer...
What I think Lincoln misses are possibilities in this saga, possibilities
she dismisses as either unsubstantiated rumor or as Lizzie's continual
perjuring of her previous statements...
Yet Lincoln makes an argument which actually DESTROYS her susbsequent
dismissal of such rumors...an argument, valid in my opinion, that Lizzie
seemed unable to create a lie out of nothing, but DID take something that
actually happened and put another 'spin' to it...
So Lizzie never denied having attempted to buy prussic acid the day
before the murders...but claimed she did so to clean a fur cape...
More than one author DOES point out that the police DID find a book of
household hints open to a page where it was written that prussic acid
should be used to kill bugs in furs...this is always presented as 'proof'
of Lizzie's premeditation, but to me it only proves that there was an
objective, external source that supports Lizzie's claim....irregardless
of the druggist saying that prussic acid would 'never' be used for such a
thing, the police report proves that there was a publication which stated
that the poison DID have such a use (whether what the book printed was
accurate, or sound advice, is moot).
What I think SHOULD be asked is WHY Lizzie suddenly decided a sealskin
cape needed cleaning in August...again, if any author DOES touch on the
subject, it's to present it as the excuse for Lizzie trying to buy poison
for a more nefarious reason than to clean fur out of season...
But what if Lizzie actually DID just want to clean the cape, and
sincerely believed the validity of the advice given in the household
hints book? In other words, if Lizzie had no ulterior motive to buy the
poison than to clean her cape, then shouldn't the question be WHY she
suddenly decided in the middle of an August heatwave to clean the cape?
Perhaps to sell it? Which then begs the question, WHY did she suddenly
decide to sell it then, in the middle of a heatwave? Did she have a need
to raise funds on short notice?
Perhaps to meet a deadline laid down by Andrew to 'buy' the Swansea land
I also wonder whether Lizzie contemplated suicide at some point before
the murders...her mental state from mid-July to the day of the murders
points to someone who was very depressed, perhaps suffering from clinical
depression...and perhaps her desperate attempt to buy prussic acid was in
fact a plan to kill herself...
Which wouldn't necessarily eliminate her as the murderer....
Another aspect of this 'inability to create a lie out of nothing' that
Lincoln misses are the strange events Lizzie reported both to friends and
to the police, events that happened in the weeks leading up to the
murders. This would include the 'enemies trying to do us in' stories she
told Alice Russell AND the police, particularly the 'strange man' who had
visited the house twice in the 2 weeks before the murders, each time
causing Andrew to lose his temper, once stating something to the effect
that he would never rent a building of his to be put to 'such a
Well, if we accept Lincoln's contention that Lizzie didn't seem to have
the creativity to form a lie out of thin air, but WAS savvy enough to
'spin' actual events to fit her purpose...well then, we have to accept
these stories as being actual events, not total lies...albeit, events
that Lizzie perhaps told in a certain way, perhaps leaving out certain
details or adding some, so that it would benefit her in some way.
So, if we then accept that there WAS some validity to the 'enemies trying
to kill us' story, plus the story regarding the man who wanted to rent a
store or some other such building from Andrew, which Andrew not only
refused to do, but seemingly in a very passionate and heated matter
(which by all accounts was unlike him -- while a hard man, business-wise,
by all accounts he seemed to be so cool-headed as to be cold)....
Just what sort of business would prompt miserly Andrew from refusing to
rent? What use was proposed that would cause him to lose his temper, not
just once but twice? Why not just tell 'the strange man' to leave and
not bother him again?
And just WHAT piece of property belonging to Andrew was 'the strange man'
proposing to rent?
Could it have been the Swansea property?
Could it be more than coincidence that at the same time Lizzie reported a
'strange man' attempting to rent some unmentioned piece of property from
Andrew, for some unspecified use which Andrew self-righteously proclaimed
would 'never be allowed' on any property he owned...at this same time
Uncle John 'just happens' to propose a business deal to Andrew for the
A deal that for about 2 weeks or so, Andrew seems very happy to pursue...
but then, at the last minute, changes his mind...
But for some strange reason, instead of just maintaining the status quo,
he then decides the best course of action would be to sign the property
over to his wife...
What would that gain? Could it be that Andrew caught wind that perhaps
John Morse was in league with whomever was planning to utilize the
property for something which Andrew was adamantly opposed to? That could
explain why he suddenly decided to not give the property to Morse....
But why give it to Abby? Could it be that in the event of his death, any
property he had that had originally belonged to his first wife could have
been claimed by the first wife's brother?
Remember that in those days, unless property was specifically deeded to
an unmarried woman, she had no right to own property. If Andrew died
intestate, the Swansea property wouldn't have necessarily gone to his
wife, Abby. It wouldn't have necessarily even gone to Emma and Lizzie...
the courts of the time would have given more validity to the claims of
the male relative -- in this case, the brother -- of the original owner,
than even to the claims of the original owner's unmarried daughters...
But since a married woman had no right to private property, by signing
over the Swansea property to Abby, Andrew retained total control over it.
The only thing that would have changed by signing it over to her would
have been that it would have remained Abby's if Andrew died before her...
So, was that Andrew's way of disinheriting Emma and Lizzie? Seems a
strange way to do so, the only thing they would have 'lost' was the
Swansea property...if he wanted to disinherit them, then one would have
expected him to sign ALL his properties over to Abby, plus written a will
specifically excuding his daughters....
No, it only seems that the Swansea property was in question...and were
Emma and Lizzie really excluded? Perhaps Abby promised to 'do right' by
the girls, in the event of Andrew's sudden and untimely demise...
Which then suggests that Andrew's sudden desire to sign the property over
to Abby, and in such a cloak-and-dagger manner, belies a suspicion that
someone DID want to hasten his death.....
Which then gives credence to the allegation of 'enemies who want to do us
in' story of Lizzie's...
If we listened to our intellect, we'd never have a love affair. We'd
never have a friendship. We'd never go into business, because we'd be
cynical. Well, that's nonsense. You've got to jump off cliffs all the
time and build your wings on the way down.
revcoal AT connix DOT com
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