Another big night at the Eagle with Lizzie Borden Live


Congratulations are due after another successful run of Lizzie Borden Live at the Eagle. Thanks and orchids to all the tech crew, Jack and John, the Donovan Family, box office staff,  the Mutton Eaters: (JoAnne Giovino, Barbara Morrissey, Ellen Borden, Shelley Dziedzic)- the incomparable Jill Dalton and all who are happy to see theatre making a comeback in Fall River. See you in Providence at the Columbia in October!

Lizzie Borden’s church sold today


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The beautiful Ruskinian Gothic brick church on Rock Street was sold at auction today for $250,000. Herald News story at the link below.

Hyman Lubinsky, friend of the defense




Young Mr. Lubinsky (1868-1928), aged 24 in 1892, claims to have seen a woman crossing from the Borden barn to the side door on the fateful day of the murders.  The ice cream vendor knew the Borden maid, Bridget Sullivan by sight, and said this woman was not Bridget.  Lizzie of course claimed to have been out in the barn up in the hayloft for some time doing various things when someone must have murdered her father in the sitting room.  She claims to have come inside after hearing a noise, putting her hat down, then discovering Mr. Borden dead on the sofa.

hyman4Mr. Lubinsky, whose command of English was poor, was somewhat muddled on the stand, changing his times and needing patient explanations.  Naturally the defense for Lizzie was delighted to make the most of Lubinsky’s tale as it seemed to back up Lizzie’s own version of events and supported the story she had been in the barn.  Mr. Lubinsky, however never said the woman he saw in the very narrow alley between the Churchill house and the Borden side door was wearing any hat.  Congratualtions and kudos to Lizzie B&B guest Joe from Ohio (who played the role of John Morse on August 4th at the house) for his discovery of the Lubinsky monument in Hebrew Cemetery, Fall River. Mr. Lubinsky came from a large family and there are several other Lubinskys in the Hebrew Cemetery.


Just in Time for August 4th


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murderHot off the press in time for the anniversary of the Borden murders tomorrow comes Eric Ethier’s offering from Stackpole Books. ( ISBN-10: 0-8117-3563-X

The tradepaper book concentrates on Massachusetts true crimes including : Lizzie Borden, Sacco & Vanzetti, The Brink’s Job, The Boston Strangler, The Robin Benedict Murder, Big Dan’s Rape Case, and the Stuart Murder Case.

Ethier lives in Rhode Island and is a freelance history writer. His articles have appeared in American History, Civil War Times and America in WWII. The 112 -page book is a well-organized, captivating page-turner and a must-read for all true crime fans.

Uncle John’s return for lunch


John V. Morse, Lizzie’s mother’s brother, had spent the night before the murders at the Borden’s house in the guestroom where Abby Borden would be hacked to bits the following day.  Although John had a good alibi for the times of both killings, he was an early and favorite suspect.  John had some training as a butcher, and was a jack of all trades around a farm.  Some think he knew about, or was an accomplice to the deeds, although no motive seems clearly apparent.  He also received no money or property after Lizzie was acquitted in June 1893.

Joe Radza, an eighth grade teacher from Warren, Ohio will be playing the role of Uncle John Morse this year on August 4th at the Borden house for the annual re-enactments. Uncle John’s behavior when he returned for lunch has always seemed peculiar to students of the case. John bypassed the growing crowds by the Borden’s gate and went into the back yard by the barn and picked up and consumed several pears before ambling slowly up the side steps and going inside to see what was going on.  He had a reputation as a peculiar old guy in his boater and old gray suit and string tie.  Did he know more than he confided to the police?

Second Street August 4th 2009 Cast


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The Pear Essential Players present the annual re-enactment of the famous Borden murders on Tuesday, August 4, 2009 at the scene of the crime on Second Street in Fall River.  For more information on times and tickets, please visit

The Return of Lizzie Borden





Winner best actress:  JACOBY AWARD

Back by popular demand.  LIZZIE BORDEN LIVE is returning to The Eagle Performing Arts Center, 35 North Main Street, Fall River, MA for two performances in August. Friday the 21st at 8:00 p.m. and Saturday the 22nd at 8:00 p.m.. 117 years ago on these dates Lizzie Borden was sitting in the Taunton County Jail, where she resided for 10 months, awaiting trial.  Tickets ($30).  Purchase on line at (click on Schedule page) or at the door.

Lizzie Borden Live debuted in Fall River at the Eagle in June to a sold out house. Ms. Dalton said, “We are thrilled to finally bring Lizzie Borden Live to Fall River and the response was overwhelming.”  Jerry Donovan, who recently restored the Eagle, said “The play and its sell-out mark the beginning of a new era in the city. ”  Mayor Robert Correla praised the play saying it was powerful and exceptionally performed.  Bristol County District Attorney Sam Sutter, who attended the play with his wife Dottie. Said, “If she was innocent, that was an incredible price to pay.  If she was guilty, she got what she deserved.  But it raises aspects and a side of this story I never had considered.”

“Jill Dalton, who plays Lizzie and wrote the play stunned audience members with her delivery, which featured many laughs, many somber notes and a compelling tragedy.”  Ric Oliveira, O Journal

On a hot August morning the bodies of Andrew Borden and his wife were found bludgeoned to death.  Their youngest daughter, Lizzie, became the only suspect.  Innocent in a court of law.  Guilty in the court of public opinion.  Condemned by society.  The legend comes to life with humor and insight as the real Lizzie steps on stage.

“Dalton is nothing less than superb in her depiction of the character, as her Lizzie is alternating sweet, innocent, witty and savagely murderous.  The audience is left to decide which Lizzie is the real one.”  Ed Wismer, Cape May Star Wave

 Jill Dalton, (writer/performer) an award winning New York actress with a long list of television and theatre credits, was commissioned by the East Lynne Theater Company in Cape May, N.J. to write the play where it had a successful five week run garnering praise and standing ovations from audiences and critics alike.  Ms Dalton won the 2007 Jacoby Award for her portrayal of Lizzie in Lizzie Borden Live.  Ms. Dalton wants the audience to decide for themselves if Lizzie Borden was guilty of killing her father and step-mother on August 4, 1892.

The true crime thriller is set 13 years after the double murder in Maplecroft, the mansion Lizzie bought with money inherited from her father.  “Dalton gives a compelling performance enacting the humanity, humor, irony and sadness of a woman who’s had time to reflect on horrific events.” Susan Johnson, Red Rock News

Jack McCullough, (director) born in Fall River, said, “We had to get down to the very marrow of the bone, otherwise there’s no point in telling the story.  People come to see Lizzie expecting to see a monster and instead they find themselves.”

 Haunting the performance is music written by Emmy winning and Tony nominated orchestrator and composer Larry Hochman, who created his original pieces based on the script and his personal observations during rehearsals.

 Dalton’s credits include:  Law and Order, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Rachel Getting Married, Veronika Decides to Die (2009), Wall Street, Another World,  All My Children, One Life to Live, As The World Turns and Saturday Night Live.  Ms. Dalton was also a stand up comic for several years and won the Mary Jo Comedy Show Award for stand-up comedy in NYC. 

 McCullough, a graduate of the Trinity Repertory Conservatory in Providence, R.I., also directed another of Dalton’s solo plays, My Life in the Trenches, most recently at the Kitchen Theatre in Ithaca, NY and at the Ensemble Studio Theatre, the International Midtown Theatre Festival NYC, the One Festival and the 78th Street Theatre Lab in NYC.  As an actor he appeared in Third Watch, Desperate Measures, The Observer, Osmosis Jones, Spenser: for Hire, Mr. North and Providence.

 Seating is limited to 150.  The doors of the Eagle will open at 7:00 PM.   Prior to the performance there will be a cash bar and members of the Mutton Eaters, dressed in period garb, will meet and greet the guests.

  Lizzie Borden Live challenges the audience to rethink the legend that is Lizzie Borden.  Think you know her?  Think again!  

 The Eagle Performing Arts Center

35 N. Main Street

Fall River, MA  02723

 Tickets ($30).  Available at (click on Schedule page) and (CASH ONLY) at the door.

 Press contact:  Jack McCullough (917) 806-3243 or

August 4th is coming soon!


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Preparations go into full swing this week as the house performing troupe, The Pear Essential Players, dons their fake beards and leg ‘ o mutton sleeves to bring history alive once more.  Performing only once a year, on the anniversary of the murders of Andrew and Abby Borden, the players come from many states and cities to re-enact the details of the day in 1892.  Performances will take place on the hour and tickets may be purchased for each timed performance in the gift barn behind the house at 92 Second Street.  This year’s cast featured 13 key characters from the well-known story. To learn more about the cast, visit their web blog at

Lizzie Borden’s Favorite Hymn




Sung by Vida Turner at Lizzie’s private wake, many seem to find meaning in Lizzie’s requested and favorite hymn. Rev. Cleveland from the Church of the Ascension on Rock St. gave the prayers to a select few employees.  Miss Turner received a check for her services and was told not to repeat where she had been.  This version is from a period hymnal and the text is the text Lizzie would have known.  Do you see any hidden significance? Try it at home on your piano.