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A88025646 - Lizzie Borden: Did She or Didn't She?

Post 1

Dmitri Gheorgheni - Freshly Vaccinated

Entry: Lizzie Borden: Did She or Didn't She? - A88025646
Author: Dmitri Gheorgheni - Freshly Vaccinated - U1590784

Lizzie Borden may not be a household name in Europe. But she's pretty infamous in the US - in the way, say, Dr Crippen is in the UK. I happened across the TV movie, and one thing led to another.

I was surprised there wasn't already an entry, so here's one.

smiley - dragon


A88025646 - Lizzie Borden: Did She or Didn't She?

Post 2

SashaQ - happysad

Thank you - I’d certainly heard of her, and it is good to know more about the case.

I like the link to Ida Tarbell, but could you say a few words about her involvement? Is it that her journalistic career meant that she met women who had committed crimes?


A88025646 - Lizzie Borden: Did She or Didn't She?

Post 3

Dmitri Gheorgheni - Freshly Vaccinated

As far as I know, Ida Tarbell had nothing to do with the Borden case. I was only referring to the fact that she strongly disagreed with the feminists who insisted that women were morally superior to men. The debate about gender definitely influenced the way people thought at the time, and a lot of historians believe that influenced the all-male jury in the Borden case.

I reworded the paragraph - see if it makes more sense now. smiley - smiley


A88025646 - Lizzie Borden: Did She or Didn't She?

Post 4

Galaxy Babe - eclectic editor

Wow. What a spine-chilling story!smiley - yikes


A88025646 - Lizzie Borden: Did She or Didn't She?

Post 5

Dmitri Gheorgheni - Freshly Vaccinated

Thanks for reading! smiley - hug Yeah, I think that's why it continues to interest researchers. It's almost like real-life Poe or Sherlock Holmes.


A88025646 - Lizzie Borden: Did She or Didn't She?

Post 6

Galaxy Babe - eclectic editor

I went into Sherlock-mode as I was reading - definitely the dress-burning gives it away. (smiley - laugh)

We are big Sherlock fans. I've been round 221B Baker Street (it's nothing like the spacious apartments you see on TV) and I have Sherlock souvenirs from that day. I found a (new!) deerstalker hat in the back of a shop a couple of years ago, a bargain £25, which I gave Andy - he loves it.


A88025646 - Lizzie Borden: Did She or Didn't She?

Post 7

Dmitri Gheorgheni - Freshly Vaccinated

smiley - laugh I went to Baker Street once back in the 1970s. Back then, there was a dry cleaners' across the street with a sign that said, 'Sherlock Holmes brings his laundry here.'


A88025646 - Lizzie Borden: Did She or Didn't She?

Post 8

coelacanth

During lockdown I watched a fascinating series on the Smithsonian channel, called "The Curious Life and Death of..." presented by a medical historian Dr. Lindsey Fitzharris. One of them was about Lizzie Borden, including reconstructions and the crime scene photos you refer to. It's still on their you tube channel so perhaps could be included in the last section.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6VKFYdUrfg .

smiley - spacesmiley - space"...John Morse, Mrs Borden's brother, was visiting..."
For clarity, although John Morse was Mrs Borden's brother, this was of the first Mrs Borden, Lizzie and Emma's biological mother.
smiley - bluefish


A88025646 - Lizzie Borden: Did She or Didn't She?

Post 9

coelacanth

John Morse confirmed that his sister was Mr Borden's first wife in court.
http://famous-trials.com/lizzieborden/1457-morsetestimony
smiley - bluefish


A88025646 - Lizzie Borden: Did She or Didn't She?

Post 10

Dmitri Gheorgheni - Freshly Vaccinated

Cleared that up, thanks!

You might like this page, which lists the siblings. I am always fascinated by the names. smiley - laugh

http://www.findagrave.com/memorial/23017445/john-vinnicum-morse

Let me have a look at that documentary. smiley - ok


A88025646 - Lizzie Borden: Did She or Didn't She?

Post 11

Dmitri Gheorgheni - Freshly Vaccinated

I'd prefer to pass on that video, but thanks for the link. smiley - smiley


A88025646 - Lizzie Borden: Did She or Didn't She?

Post 12

coelacanth

smiley - spacesmiley - space"The girls called Bridget 'Maggie', for some reason."

This was the name of their previous maid. In her testimony at the trial, Bridget was asked if this was unpleasant or offensive for the sisters to use this name. She said it was not, there was no ill feeling, and Mr and Mrs Borden called her by her own name.
smiley - bluefish


A88025646 - Lizzie Borden: Did She or Didn't She?

Post 13

Dmitri Gheorgheni - Freshly Vaccinated

I agree that she said in the transcript that she didn't mind. But I can't find a primary source that explains why they called her that. Do you have one? smiley - bigeyes If you do, you should tell the Lizzie Borden Society!

I can think of two possible reasons: 1. That they had a maid named Maggie before and were too lazy to update their vocabulary. 2. That people in Fall River called Irish maids 'Maggie' by default, just as they called random Irish men 'Paddy'. The second reason sounds weird to me: usually, the default name for Irish women at that time was 'Bridget', which was Ms Sullivan's actual name.

The Lizzie Borden Society traces the 'there was another maid named Maggie' theory to a particular writer. They don't believe him. Here's a long discussion on the subject, including the fact that the only other documented Borden maid was named Mary. (Which would make her a 'Molly', I should think.)

http://lizzieandrewborden.com/LBForum/viewtopic.php?t=3920

Here's an interesting article about the further life of Bridget Sullivan based on interviews with her family.

http://www.heraldnews.com/article/20120409/News/304099402


A88025646 - Lizzie Borden: Did She or Didn't She?

Post 14

SashaQ - happysad

That is an interesting discussion about Bridget vs Maggie... Maggie could be short for Magdalena as well as Margaret but that doesn't help with the available evidence from the Census...

Sorry I'm not quite sure of what it means to disagree that "women were morally superior to men and therefore less likely to commit murder". Were women less likely to commit murder than men, but the reason was not moral superiority?


A88025646 - Lizzie Borden: Did She or Didn't She?

Post 15

Dmitri Gheorgheni - Freshly Vaccinated

Okay, I took that phrase out. Does it make sense to you now?

I don't know why people thought women were less likely to commit murder than men.

I do know that public culture held theories about woman that either said that they were more moral, or less 'evolved'. All I meant to point out what that Ida Tarbell, definitely a voice in public discourse at the time, disagreed that women were morally superior.

Although this idea of women being more moral? It's still around, being explained in polysyllabic terms. Here's a 2018 paper from 'Personality and Psychology Bulletin':

http://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29291658/


A88025646 - Lizzie Borden: Did She or Didn't She?

Post 16

SashaQ - happysad

Thanks - that’s clear now smiley - ok

Thought-provoking abstract... I like how the meta analysis is clearer about definitions, etc http://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22468881/


A88025646 - Lizzie Borden: Did She or Didn't She?

Post 17

Dmitri Gheorgheni - Freshly Vaccinated

That's excellent, thanks! smiley - ok My gut feeling would be that they are correct - the idea that any of this is innate is bogus as heck.

The only reason the stereotypes come into it at all are that jury trial outcomes tend to be coloured by attitudes prevalent in a certain time and place. Also the tendency to see the accused as an 'insider', like Lizzie Borden, or an 'outsider', such as a minority group member or stranger, who wouldn't get the benefit of the doubt.

I was reminded of that last night by a really amazing episode of 'The Defenders' (from 1962) called 'The Locked Room'. In the story, a jury consisting of both men and women are trying to decide what happened in a capital murder case. A shooting took place in a room where only three people were present. Three actors then act out each scenario the jury comes up with.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FYCa_dBX14

It's well-done. The showrunner was the author of the award-winning 'Twelve Angry Men'. The episode's writer was the brother of a renowned constitutional lawyer.


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