Famous Massachusetts Cases
Bruce A. Brennan, attorney from DeKalb, IL released a novel on November 10, 2010. The book is historical fiction in the crime genre. The book takes place in the late 1880s through the early 1900s and involves Jack the Ripper and other infamous criminals of that period.. Jack the Ripper, Chicago’s H.H. Holmes, the Dalton gang and others make guest appearances. The novel is e-published and can be downloaded at this link. Send us your reviews! http://www.prweb.com/releases/2010/11/prweb4774174.htm
About the Author:
“Bruce A. Brennan is a practicing attorney handling criminal defense work. This is his first published novel. A second one is expected within four months. He writes a daily blog and contributes to several others. This is the story of the investigation and crime solving techniques used to track down the most notorious murderer in the world. The killer plied his trade in Europe and the United States during the 1880s through the early 1900s. After an exhausting investigation, Ian Dean gets his man.”
Tonight the popular Travel Channel program, Mysteries at the Museum, which features unusual artifacts from around the country, presented a segment on the handle-less hatchet found in the Borden cellar. The segment filmed at the Fall River Historical Society and the house on Second Street and showed excellent close-up footage of the hatchet head and break on the handle stub. The seven-minute portion was well-done and worth a look. It airs again tomorrow, December 1st at 3 p.m.
The last of the television projects filmed this year at the Borden house is set to air this Sunday. Barbara Borden Morrissey and sister Ellen Borden were interviewed for the episode which airs Nov. 21 at 10 on A&E, and on the 22nd at 2 a.m.
From the website: http://www.aetv.com/psychic-kids/episodes/“Megan is a 15-year-old girl who receives messages from the dead but is terrified to deliver them to the loved ones of the spirits who speak to her. Sensitive Chris Fleming and therapist Edy Nathan introduce Megan to 17-year-old Brittany, who is dealing with the physical illness she feels from encountering spirits. Psychic/Medium Kim Russo joins in to teach the girls about receiving messages from beyond. Ultimately Megan and Brittany travel to Lizzie Borden’s house, the site of two murders. There, Megan has to face her fear of delivering messages and see if she can learn what really happened in that house from the spirits within.”
The Jefferson Borden 1875
One thrilling scenario made the rounds of who-dunnit in the newspapers after the grisly remains of Abby and Andrew Borden were discovered – one or more savage sailors slithered into the Borden home and extracted revenge for Andrew Borden’s testimony against them involving a mutiny at sea! It was juicy stuff to be sure, and the Jefferson Borden did exist (at one point the article references the Richard Borden as being the schooner)- the only difficulty was that Abby and Andrew Borden were not on board- and the mutineers were not free at the time of the murders. Still, it makes for a dramatic story.
Yet another version of the “pansy brooch” photo with a reference to Lizzie’s BROWN hair and heavier figure. An interesting thought- did Andrew discourage gold digger suitors prospecting for his hard-earned dollars?
As Halloween draws nearer every year, there seem to be more and more “Lizzie sightings”. Whether in haunted corn mazes, horror theme attractions, Halloween costumes or a proliferation of Lizzie Borden-based plays- the little gal with the hatchet is everywhere from August right through to All Saints Day!
The Discovery Channel has set the Ghost Lab show of the investigation of the Borden house for Oct 25th, with a preview on the 19th. The Travel Channel repeated its look at America’s Most Terrifying Places again this past weekend, Nance O’Neil is coming to a close this weekend in Manhattan and coming soon- a new play, Lizzie Borden Took An Axe, by Garrett Heater will be the debut production of a brand new theatre group.
Stay tuned for all-new Lizzie & Family productions coming this Fall on the Discovery channel, a landmark book on Fall River and Lizzie coming from the Fall River Historical Society, and the Borden case documentary shot by Ric Rebelo this past spring will be airing Saturday, October 30th at 7pm on Rhode Island PBS– the day before Halloween. And Sunday night, the 31st, is ALWAYS a special night at #92 Second Street and is sold out a year in advance!
Web of Iniquity by Catherine Ross Nickerson
Duke University Press, Feb. 1999
Here’s one that may have slipped by unnoticed. It sells from $6- $131 dollars depending on where you hunt for it. Amazon has the best deals.
“Surveys detective fiction from the Civil War to World War II, describes how women writers created a form of domestic mystery that offered a critical view of the condition of women, and discusses works based on the Lizzie Borden case.”
For more about the book and its author visit the Duke U. Press http://www.dukeupress.edu/Catalog/ViewProduct.php?productid=566&viewby=subject&categoryid=389&sort=author
There must be something in the Massachusetts water supply- or is it all about the hot days of August in New England? This story by Joan Patrakis of the Andover Historical Society comes from the Andover Townsman Online and tells of another local lady who went on a rampage with a sharp -edged tool, this one in August of 1895. Not most people’s ideal of Victorian Motherhood.
“Saddest of all is the story of Mrs. Beard whose shocking case rivals that of Lizzie Borden. In 1895 she was declared insane after she viciously attacked her daughter and friend with an ax. The victims survived but the incident rekindled suspicion of her guilt in the deaths of her two young sons who had died in a tragic house fire 20 years earlier. Mrs. Beard was brought before a jury at that time but the case against her was dropped despite there being possible evidence of arson and questions about her sanity. She lived out her life in a Maine asylum.”
Although the attack itself occured in Old Orchard, Maine, where the Andover woman had a summer cottage, Mrs. F.R. Beard was from Andover where she maintained her primary residence. The attack occured on the morning of August 26th , with grievious wounds inflicted upon the body of her daughter, Josephine Beard, a Boston school teacher who was in bed at the time of the attack. A college friend from Andover, Miss Winona Graffen who was rooming with the Beards, received two serious flesh wounds. Mrs. Beard recovered her composure apparently, and accompanied the two girls to the hospital in Portland. (source, NY Times August 26, 1895)
Lizzie Borden has jumped the bounds of just New England lore. West Coasters love Lizzie too! The popular play, Blood Relations is on tap for December in Olympia, Washington. http://www.olytheater.com/index.htm Not only transcontinental, Miss Borden and that hatchet are on the way to becoming transglobal, thanks to the Internet and the Travel Channel!
Blood Relations by Sharon Pollock
Directed by Tim Samland
Venue: The Midnight Sun“In 1892 Lizzie Borden was tried for the double murder of her father and stepmother. She was acquitted but the crime was never solved. 10 years later, at tea with an actress, Lizzie suggests a game in which the actress will portray Miss Lizzie and Lizzie will take the role of Bridget, the family’s maid.”
The Travel Channel kicked off Ghost Adventures tonight with an episode filmed at the Lizzie Borden B&B this past May- one of several which will be airing between now and Halloween. This episode’s 7 minute clip from the shoot comes at the end of the show and features B&B guest interviews, comments from house co-owner, Lee Ann Wilber, seance highlights with Liz Nowicki, a local Fall River medium/psychic, and features house/museum employees in the roles of Abby and Lizzie. The Rev. Bob Richardson plays Andrew Borden. The episode will be airing several more times over the next few weeks. For the schedule, visit the link below.
Rev. Bob Richardson as Andrew Borden
This just in from Andy Propst via Theatermania.com for all those wondering about Lizzie Borden, the rock musical which is included as part of new theatre projects during the National Alliance for Musical Theatre’s Festival of New Musicals in Manhattan this fall.
The annual Festival of New Musicals will held in New York City on Thursday, October 21 and Friday, October 22, 2010 for a select audience of NAMT members, producers and other musical theatre industry professionals
“Steven Cheslik-DeMeyer, Alan Stevens Hewitt and Tim Maner’s musical about murderess Lizzie Borden will feature Carrie Cimma in the title role, along with Jenny Fellner, Marie France Arcilla and Beth Malone. The piece will be staged by Victoria Bussert, with music direction by Matt Hinkley.” The production website is at http://lizziebordentheshow.com/index.php/axe/about/ for more.
For a sampling of some of the musical selections http://lizziebordentheshow.com/index.php/axe/media/
“A rock roadshow retelling of the bloody legend of America’s first and favorite axe-wielding double-murderess and Victorian hometown girl
by Steven Cheslik-DeMeyer, Tim Maner, and Alan Stevens Hewitt.”
Most recently the show ran for six weeks in fall 2009 at the Living Theatre in New York as a full-length original rock musical, produced by Took An Axe Productions.
The new issue of Yankee Magazine has a great article called “How New England Are You”, which lists the top 75 things every good yankee should see and do. The Lizzie Borden house in Fall River comes in at #72 along with Salem and haunts of the Boston Strangler! See link below.
If you neglected to clip and save this for your Lizzie Borden Centennial Collection, Yankee Magazine now has it in the archive, also available in pdf format, complete with photos to print out. Arnie Brown and Professor Starrs are featured.
The Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism recently released its list of “1,000 Great Places” and six spots were in Fall River, including the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast Museum. The Spirit has an article on the other five places, and comment on the results by B&B owner, Lee Ann Wilber. For the article visit this link
The Borden case documentary shot by Ric Rebelo this past spring will be airing Saturday, October 30th at 7pm on Rhode Island PBS– the day before Halloween.
This week will mark the end of criminal cases tried at the historic New Bedford Superior Court House at 441 County Street, the venue for the famous 1893 trial of Lizzie Borden. Only civil cases will be heard now at the New Bedford site. Amazingly the old court room where the Borden trial took place has remained, for the most part, the same as it looked in 1893.
The new Fall River Justice Center on Second Street, will assume the task of trying criminal cases. One wonders if the 1892 crime happened today- might Lizzie try for “house arrest” and remain in her house across the street from the new court house wearing an ankle device!
Florence Virginia King (b. January 5, 1936, Washington, D.C.) an American novelist, essayist and columnist penned the following about the Borden case and Lizzie for the National Review in 1992. It may be read at this link http://old.nationalreview.com/king/king200408061231.asp
True Bordenphiles will spot all of the errors- but still good reading all the same.
The annual Mutton Eaters weekend in Fall River 2010 is now just a good memory. The armchair sleuth group had a jam-packed weekend visiting Lizzie Borden-related sites for three days, beginning with a stop early Friday morning at the Fall River Police Department on Pleasant Street. Deputy Chief Moniz greeted the group in the entry foyer and took them to the second floor to meet the new Chief of Police, Chief Racine who recently took over the position from Chief Souza. Chief Racine knew his Bordenia, and solemnly (with a twinkle) swore in 18 new recruits as “official deputies” on the Borden case. The group enjoyed a great ten minutes chatting with the busy Chief, who mentioned there was a $200 reward on the “tip hot line” for any clue which would assist in solving a case. After reflecting on the FRPD and their involvement in the Borden case, the “Mutton Eaters” were treated, as a special surprise, to a complete tour of the entire facility from the booking room to the dispatch and receivng room to the holding cells. The Wall of Chiefs, which included Medley, Hilliard and Fleet was a big hit as well as the arrest book showing Lizzie Borden’s name. They learned that chief and deputy chief badges are turned in when the officer retires, and that the three numbers which appear over the badge are numbers of fallen policemen, killed in the line of duty. Currently three numbers appear although the force has actually lost more. The badge has not changed style since the era of Lizzie Borden as witnessed by the badge of Chief Medley, Fall River’s first titled Chief of Police. It was learned that the crime scene camera in the archive was not the one used by Mr. Walsh to photograph the Borden house, but was dated slightly after 1892.
Original blue lantern from the old FRPD building at Bedford and High Streets.
The facilty was impressive, with the 24 hour dispatch and call -in room a state-of-the art- facility. The night before the visit, Fall River sustained a large fire in a private residence, with the loss of one four year old child. The dispatcher took the group through the procedure of how the calls were received, and how the response teams were sent out. Also on the tour were the booking desk and a tour of the lock-up where sliding doors have replaced bars. Male and female detainees are separated from each other in different sections of the building.
During the visit a review of a recent incident involving the discharging of an officer’s gun during a chase was being conducted, which is general procedure. The briefing room was included and looked exactly like those seen on so many popular television programs. The white board showed ongoing activity around the city, using the historic terminology for the sections of the city like Corky Row, Flint, Globe, etc.
The visit was a highlight of the weekend for the group, and the viewing of the arrest book a special memory along with the great kindness and hospitality of the officers and employees.