Re: [40Whacks] Havin' A Heat Wave
- Hi Group,
Please don't make me run upstairs and go through all my LB material.
However, I just wanted to throw my two cents in. In one of my reference
books, I remember that it was a fact (according to the weather authority of
the time...was it called a bureau?) that the day was mild not hot. It is a
good point though that considering the way they were dressed that it
probably felt like a heat wave. I just look at some of those costumes and
I have also stayed in the LB house overnight, and it is one strange confined
During the trial, testimony determined that someone could have hidden in a
closet and have been undetected inbetween the murders. However, you cannot
convince me that Lizzie could have missed the intruder before or after
because it was so small and connected in such an odd fashion.
>I'll look tonight in my references, but I believe that the daily
>that day had the temps on the front page and it wasactually quite mild that
>day for August.This is mentioned in the "Lizzie Didn't Do It!" book, too, and I think I raised my objections to it on this list last year, and even posted example temperatures.
Namely, we aren't told WHERE the newspaper got it's info. Or rather, I believe the above-mentioned book states that the paper got it from the National Weather Service (or whatever equivalent existed in 1892)...but we aren't told WHERE the reporting station was.
And my guess is that the reporting station was directly on the shore...
Now, I live in southern Connecticut, due west of Fall River & Providence et al, on Long Island Sound. I fly kites almost every weekend down on the shore. I live approximately 7 miles inland as the crow flies, and I can tell you that there is a good 10 to 15 degree difference in the temperature on any good summer day in July and August. While it may be in the low 90s at my apartment, the temperature directly on the shore may only be in the high 70s.
Case in point, just yesterday we had a 'heatwave' here in Connecticut....the temperature where I live went up to the mid-80s. But the temps down at the shore where I flew my kites only got up to the high 70s, and the eastern shore (Groton, Plum Island) never got out of the 60s...someone reading what the temperature was in Connecticut on Sunday, April 22, 2001 using a reading from the Coast Guard Academy at Groton-Long Point would get the impression that the weather was a cool and clammy 68. They'd have no idea that people in Norwich, just a few miles inland, were sweltering with a temperature of 83.
When I leave my apartment to drive down to the beach, I can feel the temperature has dropped when I'm only halfway there...it drops by a few degrees at least. Then when I'm only about a mile away from the beach, there is a noticeable drop in temperature...a good 5 or more degrees...I'm not the only one who has noticed this.
Indeed, that is why people make it a habit to go to the shore on hot summer days, for the cool on-shore breezes...
So if the newspaper got its daily temperature reading from a Weather Service station that was on the shore (and considering that Fall River was a major shipping hub, that would be my guess as to its location), then there could have been a good 10 or more degree difference between what it reported, and the temperature in downtown Fall River at the same time.
What also isn't mentioned in any of the literature written about the weather that day is how HUMID our typical summer days are in southern New England (since most weather systems pick up a lot of moisture from the Atlantic and Long Island Sound)...even if the straight temperature reading is a relatively mild 78, it can FEEL a lot hotter due to the high humidity.
I still go with what was mentioned in the trial transcripts...everyone agreed with the statements that were made that the temperature the day the Bordens were killed was quite hot. No one ever disagreed and said "Gee, I remember it being cool and mild." Those who investigated in the barn all commented on how hot it was, and indeed this was a major point grasped at by the Prosecution, who contended that it would have been a strange place for Lizzie to have taken an extended sojourn in the late morning of a hot summer day...everyone commented on how 'hot and dusty' the place was...
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>From: kathleen chamberlain>It would make sense that Pearson got the idea from *somewhere* and chose, for
>dramatic reasons of his own, to highlight in a way thatcontemporary writers
Keep in mind that by 1926, many places were already airconditioned -- theaters (especially movie theaters), many stores (including soda fountains), and most major office firms. Airconditioning was even available for residences, if one had enough money and space (the units in the 20s were room-sized for the smallest, most basic unit). And if one didn't have the resources for airconditioning, one could always buy an electric fan or two or three...something that wasn't so widely available 30-something years before (I believe the first electric fans were introduced in the 1890s)...
The point I'm trying to make is that what we think of as extraordinarily hot, in our acclimated-to-airconditioning existence, would probably have not been worth mentioning for our Victorian ancestors. It would have been 'usual hot' to them...
It's like someone from south Florida visiting New England, and thinking that temps in the low 70s are cold, while we all feel that it's downright comfy...and vice-versa, when we snowbirds fly south and complain of the heat when it's in the mid-80s, yet the natives feel that it is perfectly comfortable.
It's what one is used to. And your typical Victorian person would have been much more tolerant of temperature extremes, either cold or hot, than we are...
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>From: kathleen chamberlain <mailto:krchambe@...>an historian there gave a paper describing how he had tracked down the
>>But when I attended the Lizzie Borden conference in Fall River in 1992,
references to the heat wave. What he discovered is that there is *no*
mention of excessive heat or a heat wave until Edmund Pearson's famous
book about the case in 1926.>>
>Actually, if you look at the trial transcripts, there is plenty ofreferences made to the heat. Time and again, one attorney or another
makes a comment along the lines of "you all remember how hot it was at
that time last year"...>
How interesting! I really wish I owned those trial transcripts. The
historian at the conference didn't mention any trial references. It would
make sense that Pearson got the idea from *somewhere* and chose, for
dramatic reasons of his own, to highlight in a way that contemporary writers
didn't. It does seem a trifle far-fetched to think that he would simply
have made it up, although writers don't always let facts get in the way of a
good story <g>.
This is one of the reasons I find historical research so fascinating -- you
can never be certain that you've heard the last word.
- From: Patsy751@...
>During the trial, testimony determined that someone could have hidden in aPerhaps she didn't. Perhaps she put the person there herself.
>closet and have been undetected inbetween the murders. However, you cannot
>convince me that Lizzie could have missed the intruder before or after
>because it was so small and connected in such an odd fashion.
While I may not be ready to rule that Lizzie wielded the axe herself, I've
always felt she knew more about SOMETHING than she was willing to
say...whether that something involved the murder and who did it (or who she
THOUGHT did it), or some other secret (which perhaps related to the motive
for the murder), we'll probably never know...
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- In a message dated 4/23/01 4:36:01 PM Eastern Daylight Time, Patsy751@...
<< I have also stayed in the LB house overnight, and it is one strange
area . >>
I know you've said this before, but remind us what room you were in.
- Dear Pat,
We made reservations to stay in Abby and Andrew's bedroom because it had a
privtate bathroom. I should say, we sort of stayed there because when it
came time to go to bed, I just couldn't pull the trigger. There is a small
room that I believe was Abby's dressing room off the big bedroom, and we
spent the night there. (Not on the floor, there was another bed there!) I
knew that I was being silly. I mean nobody was even murdered in that room.
I feel that it would take a little bit of courage to stay in the guest
As far as who I feel was involved or "knew" something....I believe Lizzie,
Morse, Dr. Bowen and Bridget all could have provided something that we
don't know now. (Lizzie for obvious reasons, Morse because his alibi was so
precise, it was nauseating and he didn't react when he enttered the yard with
any questions....just ate his pears, Dr. Bowen because he burned something in
the stove and would not tell what it was, and Bridget because she called her
best friend over when she thought she was on her deathbed to confess
something, and then felt bettter and changed her mind)
>I feel that it would take a little bit of courage to stay in the
Heck, Uncle John stayed there that very night, with the blood still fresh on the floor... ;-)
>As far as who I feel was involved or "knew" something....Ibelieve Lizzie,
>Morse, Dr. Bowen and Bridget all could haveprovided something that we
>don't know now. (Lizzie for obviousreasons, Morse because his alibi was so
>precise, it was nauseatingand he didn't react when he enttered the yard with
>anyquestions....just ate his pears, Dr. Bowen because he burned something in
>the stove and would not tell what it was,
According to some news articles recreated in The Lizzie Borden Sourcebook, Morse's alibi wasn't as airtight as was later made out. I don't have the book at hand right this minute, but basically the place he visited was owned by a distant (relation-wise) female relative, where a niece of Morse's was staying. He ostensibly went specifically to visit this niece, but according to one article these two women (the niece and the other relative) made it sound like it was open house there that morning, that there were quite a few people coming and going, and hence they could not give precise times for either Morse's arrival nor for his departure...indeed, they could not account for his whereabouts with any certainty from the time he supposedly arrived to the time he supposedly left...all due to 'all the comings and goings'...(they at first made it sound like it was one crowded party going on, and hence could not account for anyone's precise whereabouts at any specific time that morning, and admitted that there were blocks of time where neither had seen Morse at all)...
(Sidenote: while it would have been perfectly acceptable according to Victorian custom for a single relative to visit in the morning, it would have been highly unusual and considered bad taste to hold an 'open house' -- or as was referred to in those days, an 'at home' where one allowed all and sundry to come visit -- before noon. If indeed there were many people 'coming and going' at that time of day, that in and of itself is a singularly unusual event.)
Keep in mind that this house was only a few blocks away from the Borden residence, perhaps a mile away at most.
What was particularly of interest was the statement these women FIRST made to the police that Morse left their residence WHEN DR. BOWEN ARRIVED THERE!! This amazing fact apparently did NOT escape the notice of the Fall River police, and the story then evolved to where Dr. Bowen didn't actually appear there, but phoned there. But even if THAT were the true story, it is still unusual and suspicious. It would, of course, explain why Morse wasn't surprised when he arrived back at the Borden house...because in this case he would have learned about the Borden's deaths via Dr. Bowen.
But why lie about it? Especially since the story finally evolved to one where Dr. Bowen wasn't involved at all, he neither went to the place Morse was visiting nor phoned there. It seems that someone decided that Dr. Bowen's involvement in Morse's social life that morning had to be suppressed.
What also can't be explained is the wide variance in times the 2 women gave for when Morse left them that morning...they varied from 'shortly before 11' to 'almost 11:30'...as with the Dr. Bowen angle, the times adjusted as time went on...the earliest version they gave to police (who subsequently related it to reporters) has Morse leaving the house shortly before 11, after Dr. Bowen supposedly arrived and told him of the murders. The problem with this is, the murders weren't reported until 11:15, so how could Dr. Bowen know the Bordens were dead more than 20 minutes BEFORE then?
The 2nd version given in one of the newspaper articles has the women adjusting the time Morse left to a little after 11, this time after getting the supposed phonecall from Dr. Bowen. The problem with this is the same as with the above, it gives Dr. Bowen supposedly prescient knowledge of a crime that hasn't been reported yet. Both these accounts also are too early for Morse's later detailed account of his travels back to the Borden house, and leave anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes of his time unaccounted for.
The last story these women gave was one where Dr. Bowen wasn't involved at all, and had Morse leaving their house at any time between 11:20 and 11:30...
Just the fact that their stories evolved so drastically seems noteworthy.
It may be just coincidence, but Morse had been talking to Andrew regarding staying at the farm in Swansea that had belonged to Morse's sister (Lizzie's and Emma's mother)...supposedly to set up a 'horse farm'...and as part of the deal, he was going to have a niece stay there as housekeeper. This was the same niece he just happened to visit the morning of the murders, and who provided his alibi.
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- Dear June,
I love to read your well thought out responses. Re Morse....I also was
thinking of all the trollley car nonsense...the number of the car, the number
on the conductor's cap....the fact that there were six priests on the car at
the same time. I would have remember the six priests, but not conductor's