• And the results are in for August 4th

    After the annual August 4th dramatization by the Pear Essential Players, visitors on tour at the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast Museum were asked to fill out an exit poll and give any comments they wished to leave.  Some of the results were surprising and humorous.

    Lizzie Guilty  55, Lizzie Innocent  11, Lizzie undecided or neutral  1,  Uncle John Morse Guilty or Involved  24,  Billy Borden, Guilty  1, Typhoid Mary  1, Emma Borden Guilty  1,  Hired Professional Killer 1, Bridget Sullivan Guilty  6, Uncle John and Bridget together  1.

    Motives ran the gamut: greed and hatred of stepmother, money and revenge, secret love affair between Lizzie and her Uncle John, mental instability,  resentment, payback, anger, jealousy, incest, left out of will, freedom,  and envy of her wealthy girlfriends on the Hill.

    Other suspects considered were:  an evicted tenant of Andrew Borden’s, and Lizzie and Bridget working together, Bridget aiding in the cover-up.

    One very interesting motive for murder proposed was the effect that “overly busy patterns on the wall paper and carpeting brought on mental stress”, as did the killing of Lizzie’s “pet raven” which was probably confused with the pigeons Andrew Borden killed by wringing their necks.

    Under the category of weapon, all agreed on HATCHET, with one writer filling in the word “Sufficient”!

    For the most part all agreed that the murders would never be solved, with only two claiming confidence that they would be.

    After the performances ended, there was a drawing for an overnight stay for two at the B&B.  The Aruda family, who live in Fall River, won.  The cast of 16 was the largest ever since the B&B opening in 1996.  Carol Ann Simone debuted as Lizzie this year to an appreciative crowd.  Tickets had sold out by lunch time.

  • Was there a Will in the Wind?

    Middletown Daily News August 18, 1892 (Middletown, N.Y.)

    Did Lizzie know that her father was seriously thinking about making a will? She seemed to know a great deal about her father’s real estate holdings.  Here is her inquest statement about knowledge of a will:

    Q. Do you know something about his real estate?
    A About what?
    Q. His real estate.
    A I know what real estate he owned; part of it. I don’t know whether or not I know it all or not.
    Q. Tell me what you know of.
    A He owns two farms in Swansea, the place on Second Street and the A. J. Borden Building and corner and the land on South Main Street where McMannus is and then a short time ago, he bought some real estate up further south that formerly, he said, belonged to a Mr. Birch. .
    Q. Did you know of your father making a will?
    A. No sir, except I heard somebody say once that there was one several years ago.  That is all I ever heard.
    Q. Who did you hear say so?
    A. I think it was Mr. Morse.
    Q. What Morse?
    A. Uncle John V. Morse.
    Q. How long ago?
    A. How long ago I heard him say it? I have not any idea.
    Q. What did he say about it?
    A. Nothing except just that.

    Was Lizzie lying in her testimony?  Had she overhead Andrew and her Uncle the night before the murders discussing such details about a will?  Andrew was nearly 70 years old, perhaps he had decided to put something in writing and was making an inventory of his assets.  A good many people seemed to think a will favoring a hefty settlement on his spouse provided a good motive for murder.