Emma’s Ironclad Alibi
More than a few writers over the years have endeavored to concoct a way for Lizzie’s older sister Emma to have managed to commit the grisly double homicides. Some theories have imagined Emma, dressed in men’s clothing, riding through the night from Fairhaven, managing to kill her father on the sofa around 11 a.m. and returning to Fairhaven in time to receive the telegram from Dr. Bowen. Then there would have been the hiring of a carriage, the mad dash over to the train station and the making all of the train connections to arrive in Fall River at the Bowenville Station by 5 p.m. Given the state of the roads at the time, this would have been an impossible feat.
. Emma testified she had been visiting for nearly two weeks at the home of Helen Brownell, a spinster dressmaker, and her widowed mother at #19 Green Street in Fairhaven. So convinced of the truth of this statement, authorities never required either of the Brownells to testify to that fact at any of the legal proceedings. The Brownell house on Green St. is standing still, although the once lovely tree-lined street is much-changed today.