• Providence Journal Launches Six-Part Serial for the 120th Anniversary of Lizzie’s Acquittal

    ProjoA much-anticipated series debuted today in the Sunday Providence Journal. ” Projo” writer Paul Davis certainly did his homework for this six-part article which runs all week and features some new, never-before-published information. The writing is crisp, accurate and thought-provoking and highlights trial coverage from 1893 Providence Journals.  Lizziephiles will be over the moon with the expansive coverage.  If you cannot obtain a hard copy of the paper, read all about it at the newspaper online link.

    http://www.providencejournal.com/topics/special-reports/lizzie-borden-anniversary/content/20130621-part-one-to-me-i-see-nothing-but-the-densest-of-shadows.ece

    A short trailer was put up on Saturday night to heighten anticipation.

    http://m.providencejournal.com/projo/db_/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=DDG8ZlUp

    A promotional online video is also on the Projo site and Youtube which features Warps and Wefts writer, Shelley Dziedzic who made a tour with Journal reporter Paul Davis in May.  The tour encompassed all things “Lizzie” in and around Fall River and a jaunt to the New Bedford courthouse to visit the scene where the 1893 trial unfolded.

  • A Little Death Metal?

    The list of Lizzie Borden tunes grows ever-longer.  Here’s the latest from death metal band, Macabre, track 10 off Grim Scary Tales.  Here is what “Gruesome Greg” has to say about the album, released in 2010:

    “Thematically, it’s a concept album about historical murderers. Whereas their previous work dealt with Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy and the Nightstalker, here we have tunes named after Dracula, Lizzie Borden, a demented take on “The Big Bad Wolf” and a competent cover of Venom’s campy classic “Countess Bathory”.   (Well, that explains Vlad the Impaler on the cover).

    Third track “The Black Knight” is another one of those catchy, I-can’t-believe-I’m-singing-along-with-this songs that Macabre does so well. A driving, punky chorus alternates with slower tempos and clean, monotone singing. “Dracula” is old-school Macabre, blast-beats and guitar-synth-a-plenty. It’s also the first time on the album that Corporate Death unleashes his trademark wail—a whole four songs in! As previously mentioned, “The Big Bad Wolf” is awesome. I know I’d buy an album of Macabre singing children’s campfire songs—oh wait, they’ve already done that…

    Anyways, if you’re one of those weirdos like me who worship Macabre, you’ll want this one. Although the production is a lot better and the sound slightly more modern, there are enough shades of Sinister Slaughter on Grim Scary Tales that oughtta make solid additions to their live set next time they’re in our vicinity. (I’m already looking forward to it!)”

    And here you can hear Lizzie Borden by Macabre, and probably understand some of the lyrics ! Turn your volume down.

  • Songs about Lizzie Borden

    “You Can’t Chop Your Poppa Up in Massachusetts” is a well-known Lizzie tune but a few others have tackled the subject.  Flotsam and Jetsam, a thrash metal band from Phoenix, on the 1986 album Doomsday for the Deceiver put their spin on the old story.  You may just want to turn the volume down a little!

    Lyrics

    A young maiden with a demon in her soul,
    A twisted mind with secrets to unfold.
    An innocent face, a deceiving smile,
    Under no suspicion, servant to Belial.

    The axe came down… Blood all around…

    She lurks possessed, without a sound,
    Butchers her Dam when no one is around.
    The next day her Sire feels her wrath,
    She has no remorse in her merciless bloodbath.

    She’s Miss Lizzy, she feels no pain
    The axe came down
    She’s Miss Lizzy, she strikes again,
    The axe came down… Blood all around

    Lizzy Borden took an axe, gave her mother forty whacks,
    When she saw what she had done, she gave her father forty-one.

    Now before the jury with a solemn face,
    These legendary murders… she left not a trace.
    Lizzy found it so simple to take their lives,
    Today she walks free… Axe by her side…

    She took an axe.

    The Dubious Brothers are a very popular UK band, playing gigs for charity in a style which can only be called ecclectic.  To sample a taste of their Lizzie tribute, “O, Mother Borden,” click on this link and scroll down to the song. Click the arrow for a few moments of the song, or download the entire selection.  http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/thedubiousbrothers

  • Richard Behrens Reads from Lizzie Borden: Girl Detective

    It was a charming June afternoon at the Fall River Historical Society when author Richard Behrens’s treated an appreciative audience to selections from his new book, Lizzie Borden: Girl Detective.  The gardens were in bloom, lemonade and gingersnaps were on the sideboard, and spellbound fans of the latest Lizzie Borden fictional incarnation were held in rapt attention for a delightful interlude.  Copies of the book may be found at the historical society or may be ordered through the website (link in right hand column). Thanks to Mondo Lizzie and Youtube for the following videos from this afternoon.

  • Monsterquest visits Lizzie Borden B&B 2008

    Youtube has a release of the 2008 episode of History Channel’s Monsterquest which was filmed at the house in January. The usual favorite topics are included, the “children in the well” tale of the disturbed Mrs. Ladowick Borden who lived next door and threw 3 children in the cistern (only 2 are mentioned here), the roving rocker in Bridget’s bedroom, and the ghost of “Michael” in the chimney room on the third floor.  This episode also marked the last appearance of Ed Thibault as Andrew Borden.  Ed, one of the very early Borden Case scholars, worked at the Borden house for many years and gave lectures far and wide to schools and civic groups. He is now retired from the “LizBiz” although his wife Eleanor is often seen in her capacity as Saturday night tour guide for the house.  House co-owner Lee Ann Wilber plays Lizzie in the Monsterquest production, with Shelley Dziedzic as Abby Borden.

    (still photography from Monsterquest filming session, January 2008)

    All four episode segments are available on Youtube.

  • Hush Hush, Sweet Lizzie

    The IMDB (International Movie Data Base) has likened Bette Davis’ portrayal of Charlotte Hollis in Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte to the life of Lizzie Borden.   The 1964 film was a box office hit, and the haunting  theme of the same name recorded by Patti Page enjoyed great success for years after.

    Charlotte Hollis is a reclusive spinster living in a decaying old mansion, who is believed by the citizens of her small city, to have murdered her suitor (a married man).  The circumstances appear to have been a murder/suicide with Charlotte’s formidable father as the culprit who puts both an end to Charlotte’s lover and then to himself.  Did Charlotte kill her true love (played by Bruce Dern) ? The town thinks she was guilty and that she got away with murder.  The method of dispatch was a large, sharp meat cleaver, with the head and hand of Charlotte’s beau being savagely hacked off, reminiscent of the removal of the heads of Abby and Andrew Borden in Oak Grove Cemetery on August 11, 1892  to be stored as evidence.

    Olivia DeHavilland plays Miriam, Charlotte’s refined, gentle cousin- an Emma Bordenesque, sisterly presence who harbors a dark, dark twisted secret, along with the trusted family doctor of many years played by Joseph Cotten ( an 1892 parallel to Dr. Bowen?!)  There are plenty of turns and twists along the way, many witnessed by the household domestic servant, played superbly by Agnes Moorehead, who tries to protect Charlotte – not quite a Bridget Sullivan, ( the Borden’s household domestic who was home the day of the Borden killings) but still an interesting parallel.

    The gossipings and whisperings of the townfolk in front of Charlotte’s house as well as behind closed doors and on the street harken back to the Fall River crowds on Second Street in 1892-93 and even later to French Street when Lizzie moved into Maplecroft. 

    The end of the film is very satisfying as we, the viewer, are privy to the real story of what happened in 1927 in the Hollis summerhouse (1927 also being the year of Lizzie Borden’s death).  There are three more murders over the course of the film.  Unlike the Borden story however, we find out the truth in the end.  To view the murder scene with cleaver, visit this Youtube link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G9csL2GVU1Y