The Borden Curse #1 Many students of the Borden case have, over the years, noticed an unusual amount of unfortunate events happening to people associated in some way with the Borden case. Of course natural death due to old age, accidents, mishaps, etc. happen as a matter of course but it can be said there is an extraordinary amount of sad occurrences on the Borden timeline.
One of the earliest after Lizzie’s acquittal was Captain Phil Harrington, the officer who gave the extraordinarily detailed description of Lizzie striped house wrapper on the day of the murder. Phil was a very popular figure on the force, and I have written a great deal about him here and on our website. On February 10, 1893 Phil was appointed Captain and went on to duty at the central station first as a night officer, then on to daytime duty. His second marriage to Kate Connell, daughter of John (O’)Connell, ticket taker for Old Colony Steamboat Company, was quite an event in fashionable Catholic circles and was performed at St. Mary’s ,right across the street from the Borden house on October 11, 1893.
Stopping off in Newport before taking the night boat to New York to commence his honeymoon, Harrington was taken violently ill with pneumonia and could not continue. He lingered some days in excruciating pain, nursed faithfully by his bride. He passed away on October 28th at the home of Councilman McCormack, who had been one of the wedding ushers.
The wake held on Whipple Street continued right up until the hour of the Requiem Mass- 6,000 mourners passed by the coffin. The funeral on Halloween was one of the largest seen at St. Mary’s, with the city marshal, police force and friends packing the church to capacity. A thousand more stood outside the church and joined in the procession to St. John’s Cemetery on Brightman St. Harrington lived long enough to see Lizzie Borden acquitted. He was 34 at the time of death.