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About Me

 

Hello, my name is Faye Musselman.  If you’ve stumbled across this blog, I hope you will enjoy in the musings, images, and perspectives as much as I enjoy sharing them. As a writer, scholar and collector of the infamousme Lizzie Borden case of Fall River, MA (1892), I have spent 45 years collecting rare books, journals, letters, photographs and memorabilia on this most compelling case. I like to say: “Some people play golf – I do Lizzie.”

me-stairs2

Right click to view full image

My first read on the case was Victoria Lincoln’s A Private Disgrace, and my first visit inside 92 Second Street (when it was numbered 230) was in 1978. For the next 15 years, I traveled to Fall River doing research and meeting with long time residents. In 1992, I was a presenter at the Lizzie Borden Centennial Conference in Fall River. Since 1998, I have stayed at the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast two to three times a year, often serving as tour guide and night manager.

I’ve lectured at University campuses, women’s groups, genealogical societies, civic clubs and fraternal organizations, and libraries conducting multi-media presentations on Lizzie Borden and Fall River’s history in California, Oregon, Arizona and Massachusetts.

I am the creator of the Lizzie Borden board game: “Journey to Maplecroft” and have produced several research and reference materials in both print and CD formats, some of which are available at the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast.

Since images get all over the internet anyway – go ahead and snatch mine if you like.  But if you include it in a story, blog, Twitter, whatever, just state where you got it.  Thanks.  :)

Documentary: Lizbeth – A Victorian Nightmare – Special Feature

I can be reached thru email: phaye2@hotmail.com

 

56 responses to “About Me

  1. 6uldv8

    August 3, 2007 at 2:39 PM

    Loving the new Lizzie blog. Thanks for posting and sharing your love of Lizzie

     
  2. Jean Jennings Cavanaugh

    October 4, 2007 at 9:31 AM

    I am the great grand niece of Andrew Jennings. He was my father’s great uncle. I am sorry to contradict you, but Marion was Andrew’s daughter, not his wife. His wife was Olive (Chace) Jennings. Take care, Jean

     
    • Anonymous

      April 12, 2014 at 9:47 PM

      That’s cool to be related to the bordens

       
  3. phayemuss

    October 4, 2007 at 1:22 PM

    Thank you for the correction! I will change that entry right away. I knew that because it was she that had the “hip bath” collection. Mea culpa. Please email me so we can communicate further. phaye@npgcable.com

     
  4. Ken Champlin

    October 10, 2007 at 7:49 AM

    Stumbled across your delightful blog. Did you know there was a city-wide (Fall River) symposium on Lizzie years before the one at BCC.
    I scripted a “Lizzie Tour” for it. Nice Posters,
    sweat shirt, other junk. You might find my Borden Family tree/chart in Spinner II (republished in the LBQ) interesting. Be sure to check out Stephen Ronan’s “Our Lady of Fall River,” a gothic gem of a poem. He resides in Berkeley, CA, and occassionally presents it online. Keep up the great work. You have a MARVELOUS sense of humor.

     
  5. Kelly Rundle

    November 7, 2007 at 7:15 PM

    Hello. Thanks for the link to our Villisca Axe Murders Blog. I have added your blog to a “Lizzie Borden Blogs” list and published it on our blog. We have a story coming up on a connection between the 1912 Villisca axe murders and the 1892 Borden murders. Can you guess who it is? Thanks again.

     
    • phayemuss

      December 30, 2013 at 2:39 PM

      John Morse. :O)

       
  6. phayemuss

    November 8, 2007 at 6:07 AM

    Of course: John Vinnicum Morse.

     
  7. AB

    November 17, 2007 at 8:13 AM

    I saw where you said that the Lizzie Borden TV movie could be downloaded, but I could not find it. Any additional help would be appreciated. Thanks!

     
  8. phayemuss

    November 18, 2007 at 5:24 PM

    I’ve been told it was taken down from the link.

     
  9. rick d

    December 1, 2007 at 2:06 AM

    I think what is almost always forgotten in cases like this is the sociopathic factor. We tend to think that Lizzie suffered from taking the action she did because we would suffer if we took such an action. But she was really an empty copy of what most folks are. She suffered because she was ostracized by her community, not from her actions. She felt pain because she felt herself the victim.
    It always causes me a smirk when I watch Court TV and see a relative of a victim address a killer (i.e., Polly Klass’ father, for example) and say something like “…and I hope you spend every day suffering from the thought of what you did to my daughter…”. No. That is the one image that murderer uses every to feel pleasure in life. The thought of what he did to that poor little girl sustain him. He is a sociopath. His DNA left out the gene for conscious. He suffers only for himself.
    This was Lizzie Borden. She was not connected to life from the beginning. The poem, “Maplecroft”, was her poetic justification for her actions, much the same way a modern day sociopath will derive inspiration from a movie or a song on the radio or a sociopathic religious fanatic will act based on his interpretation of the holy teachings.
    There will always be wars because there always will be sociopaths. Ain’t life grand?

     
  10. tara

    December 12, 2007 at 12:52 PM

    Thank you so much for creating such a fascinating website. I am from Minneapolis, and my mother lives in Connecticut; we just visited the Borden house last week when I was visiting. It was something I’ve wanted to do for such a long time, so I’m really glad I got to see it. Next time maybe I’ll have the guts to stay there!

    Keep up the good work!

     
  11. Vicki

    December 13, 2007 at 9:07 AM

    After reading through a bit of your blog, I feel like you are a very good person to ask this:

    I have a book on Lizzie that I KNOW is very rare and I have it on Ebay right now….

    Do you have any idea how many copies were punlished? It is published by Al-Zach Press and I have all the pertinent info on the listing here:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&Item=190181617949

    Any input would be appreciated!

    Vicki
    RaVena Relics

     
  12. phayemuss

    December 13, 2007 at 12:42 PM

    Hi Vicki – I think he had about 900 copies printed. He published it himself rather than have an established publishing company take 56%. Mr. Rebello has repeatedly stated he will be publishing it in paperback at some time. But this first edition is a “must have” collectible, that’s for sure. I have several in my collection and have sold several. Good luck on your eBay sale. :)

     
  13. Lorrie q

    January 18, 2008 at 9:02 PM

    I just stumbled upon this by accident looking for something other. I am over the moon with excitement about this blog. I live in Fall River and have heard all the stories from my grandmother who was born in 1896. What really got me most excited was info on Louis Howe and have been looking for his headstone for many months with no success. Brilliant, brilliant and thanks so much for caring to write about this.
    Lorrie (Rock) Mello

     
  14. bibomedia.com

    March 8, 2008 at 11:23 AM

    :)

     
  15. historianlover

    May 29, 2008 at 8:40 PM

    Hi, I really like your site. I have always been fascinated by the Lizzie Borden mystery, and you have so much great info. I just ordered the book-Did Lizzie Borden axe for it? I can’t wait to read it, thanks.

     
  16. phayemuss

    May 29, 2008 at 11:27 PM

    So glad you enjoy my blog. I checked out yours and it is very well done. You would be interested in my historic timeline I’m sure. I’ll send you snippets from it.

     
  17. Claire

    July 27, 2008 at 1:04 PM

    I would just like to say, that I love your website. I am using it for my research paper I am currently writing, (this is my second research paper I am doing about Lizzie).

    I’m glad other people share an interest in this besides me, as many times – I get told to find a better hobby.
    The reason why I am into the subject so much is because of my writing teacher my first semester of college. She is an absoulte pro about the subject, I will have to send her a link to your blog.
    Thank you!

     
  18. Diane M

    September 18, 2008 at 10:16 AM

    I understand Andrew’s street coat was in a ball under his head. An author I read believes as a miserly and traditional victorian he would ALWAYS hang up his coat immediately upon entering the house. So the suggestion is that this was what Lizzie covered her own clothing with to keep from being blood splattered, then removed it, balled it up and thrust it under him. Comment?

     
  19. phayemuss

    September 18, 2008 at 12:51 PM

    You can read my own theory about that coat at this blog entry here

    http://phayemuss.wordpress.com/2008/02/26/andrew-borden-and-the-missing-prince-albert/

    I believe the author you are referring to is Victoria Lincoln. I was privledged to read some of her personal journals and I think she was correct in her own assumptions.

    Like socks in the dryer, that coat disappeared. I believe he was buried in it.

     
  20. jennifer bowen

    January 8, 2009 at 9:05 PM

    wow i well find her story to be a realy neet one and well for eyears i have always injoyed reding abt her as well and well not to long a go i found that well lizzy and me well have some of the same genelogy in are familys you see my family also came from the same bowen family tree line lizzys dad’s dads mother was a bowen and well from looking at the genealogy stuff here to nightshe just may be (lizzy’s g-grand mother )a sister to my gggggg-grand pa or some thing like that i’m haveing to well do some more work on it but so farr i counted up from me 8 gens but olny 6 from my g-grand pa. and well i just find that to be realy neet. and well i dont think lizzy did it i think it had to have been a guy who did it as to what guy? may be it was the 1/2 bother i for got as to well who he was but i know there had been a bother as to well who he was ? i dont know if he was well a bother to lizzy or for that who his mother was but well i know he falls in there some wheres.

     
  21. Michael Tim

    February 28, 2009 at 12:11 PM

    I love your site! :)

    _____________________
    Experiencing a slow PC recently? Fix it now!

     
  22. Sad76

    October 23, 2009 at 5:29 AM

    I read this post and brought back some really bad memories of high school. ,

     
  23. Gosia

    November 10, 2009 at 1:52 AM

    I have a few questions. For me the case is pretty urgent. So can You please contact me? I would be really grateful..

     
  24. Cialis

    March 6, 2010 at 10:27 AM

    eoW0pO Excellent article, I will take note. Many thanks for the story!

     
  25. Альфред

    April 13, 2010 at 10:31 PM

    Скажите, а можно ли взять какие-нибудь статьи с вашего сайта? Со ссылкой на первоисточник естественно. :)

     
    • phayemuss

      April 14, 2010 at 7:21 AM

      Да, пожалуйста не стесняйтесь брать первичные источники от моего участка.

       
  26. Diane Travers

    April 24, 2010 at 5:07 PM

    Hi Faye,
    I am very happy that I came across your site. We met in 2002 while I was working at Lizzie’s. You gave me a copy of your CD. It has been very helpful. My daughter is using it now to write a paper about Lizzie for college.

     
    • phayemuss

      April 24, 2010 at 7:12 PM

      Hi Diane: Thank you for writing. Gee, a whole other, new generation now using that CD, even though it is 8 years old and so much more has been added. I still sell them, at least one a week. If you email you’re address (reply to this email) I’ll send you a PowerPoint CD which has a wealth of information about Fall River history. No charge. Glad to do it. :) I’m taking some to be sold at the B&B and the Fall River Historical Society on my next visit to Fall River.

      I wish your daughter well on her paper! I get contacted regularly by people doing papers/research and asking for information. Let her know she’s free to ask me. :)

      -faye

       
  27. Brian Keith O'Hara

    May 28, 2010 at 9:41 PM

    I was wondering if anyone has a picture of the drugstore at which Lizze tried to purchase prussic acid. With all the new and interesting pictures turning up in the last few years, that one is still missing.
    The only thing which might be more interesting is a picture of “Brownie and me”.

     
  28. Jim Little

    May 29, 2010 at 7:41 PM

    Nice website.
    I was born in Fall River and am the descendant of people who came in 1840. My great-great grandfather was an Irish stone mason who built the archway of St. Mary’s Cathedral, where I was baptized in 1951, almost one hundred years later.

    Lizzie’s story is quite familar in my family.
    We actually have Porter’s original book on the Borden Murders, the same one that is in the Fall River Historical Society!
    I love all the pictures you have posted! I have many old family pictures in Fall River dating before the Civil War.

     
  29. Kathryn Hughes

    June 24, 2010 at 7:39 AM

    I came across your beautifully developed blog today and I must say I was truly impressed. I have never read anything about Lizzie Borden, although I have heard the name through the years, but you have peaked my interest to do so. I started a small, woman-owned publishing company last year and to date I have published only one very well writted and extremely well researched historical novel titled AHORCA LAGARTO, HANG THE LIZARD. This takes place in Panama, Central America, during the gold rush years (1852-1856). Panama was the most popular of three routes for people to get to California, but you don’t hear about this in the history books. Dr. Robert H. Hughes is a new author with definite promise. I don’t know much about blogging, but after visiting your site I am encouraged to assist Dr. Hughes in exploring the blog world. He is a lover of history and truth, as you appear to be as well.
    If you have any words of advise, please feel free to give them. I am all ears.

     
  30. Catperson

    August 4, 2010 at 12:53 PM

    Today, August 4, 2010, is the 118th anniversary of the Borden murders, so that subject has been on my mind. Also, I have just learned about Good Search, a search engine that donates money to nonprofit groups for each search conducted. Because I wanted to help out a local library by using Good Search, I chose Lizzie Borden as a topic to search. Lo and behold, using that method, I found your blog! Amazing how things come together (I somehow sense that Lizzie herself would be fascinated by both the attention still given to her today and the technology with which those interested in her can research and share information about her).

    Although I am rather new to the computer world — and I don’t know much about blogging or how to start a blog — I have been very interested in the story of Lizzie Borden for about 35 years now. I think my first introduction to Lizzie and the murders was the (then controversial) 1975 made-for-television movie “The Legend of Lizzie Borden,” which starred Elizabeth Montgomery as Lizzie. Since then, on and off, I have read a number of books about the Borden murders and Lizzie.

    Now that I have found your blog, I look forward to reading all of the information that you have compiled, as well as your continuing posts on Borden-related topics. Thank you so much for such interesting material.

     
  31. Mike Finley

    August 28, 2010 at 6:18 PM

    I knew Jonathan Borden Sisson at the U of Minnesota in the 1970s. I thought he was amazing but he didn’t seem to like me much. So I lost track of him. Is he living? Why did he disappear?

    Mike Finley of St. Paul

     
  32. Lung

    September 2, 2010 at 4:36 AM

    I think what is almost always forgotten in cases like this is the sociopathic factor. We tend to think that Lizzie suffered from taking the action she did because we would suffer if we took such an action. But she was really an empty copy of what most folks are. She suffered because she was ostracized by her community, not from her actions. She felt pain because she felt herself the victim.It always causes me a smirk when I watch Court TV and see a relative of a victim address a killer (i.e., Polly Klass’ father, for example) and say something like “…and I hope you spend every day suffering from the thought of what you did to my daughter…”. No. That is the one image that murderer uses every to feel pleasure in life. The thought of what he did to that poor little girl sustain him. He is a sociopath. His DNA left out the gene for conscious. He suffers only for himself.This was Lizzie Borden. She was not connected to life from the beginning. The poem, “Maplecroft”, was her poetic justification for her actions, much the same way a modern day sociopath will derive inspiration from a movie or a song on the radio or a sociopathic religious fanatic will act based on his interpretation of the holy teachings.There will always be wars because there always will be sociopaths. Ain’t life grand?
    +1

     
  33. Tim H.

    October 31, 2010 at 9:01 PM

    Hi Faye,
    I just wanted to thank you for the awesome cd you sent me…It will take hours to go through,,and what a better night to do it then tonight…Halloween!!!
    Thanks again,:-)
    Tim

     
  34. Mark C Potts

    November 17, 2010 at 9:35 AM

    Hi, I started checking on some things concerning the Borden and Manchester cases. I had found a similarity to ax murders that took place in Austin, Texas from 1884-85 and San Antonio in 1886. I found a link to a famous murderer. What I’m looking for is a handwritten copy of the Samuel Robinsky letter that was sent to Emma Borden. I believe that this was sent by the real killer, because he did it before, making himself a Polish Jew, which he wasn’t. Please let me know, it would be highly appreciated.

    Mark

     
    • phayemuss

      November 17, 2010 at 2:02 PM

      Hi Mark: First of all, it was NOT an axe in the Borden murders. I was a hatchet. I would check The Knowlton Papers (published by Fall River Historical Society). I’m not sure the original letter was reprinted in that wonderful source book and I know it was not in any of the papers at the time – only its content was reported on. What an interesting theory. I’m off on vacation in Hawaii but will check it when it I get back. Thanks for writing.

       
      • Mark C. Potts

        January 11, 2012 at 1:52 PM

        I found Dr. S. Robinsky today. It fits in perfectly with what my suspect usually did with aliases. He used literature or names from college and that’s what he did here. In 1880 a Dr. S.Robinsky had done a medical report from London which ended up being in a book at the University of Michigan. This fits perfectly with an 1884 graduate of the University, Dr. Herman Mudgett, aka Dr. HH Holmes. Oh, he used a lot of other aliases too, with one being extremely famous.

        http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=346938

        That particular name came from another book, Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”.

         
      • phayemuss

        January 17, 2012 at 11:08 PM

        That was absolutely fascinating, Mark. Thank you for posting.!

         
  35. Tara

    November 20, 2010 at 2:23 PM

    Faye,

    So glad I came across you and this site. Thanks again for the wonderful CD jam-packed with all the information I need for my book. I am beyond excited!

     
  36. k mckenna

    November 24, 2010 at 8:54 AM

    Thinking about my grandparents on this day before Thanksgiving, the entered my grandfathers name into my google search browser and up came a blog post you left in 2007- James McKenna, owner of the Taste of Honey Bookstore in Fall River, MA. Did you know him? I remember going there as a little girl…

    Thanks for remembering him!

     
    • Anonymous

      December 16, 2011 at 8:11 PM

      Hi,

      I use to hang around there as a kid helping the owners son and doing pottery. It was right across from the mills on North Main Street. I really enjoyed that place….the smell of the old books.

       
  37. Lillian Richards-Dane

    December 4, 2010 at 10:47 PM

    Ms. Musselman: Some years ago I attended a lecture you gave at OSU in a womens study class. At that time you presented several books on the case and raffled off 2 of them. I’m trying to find an original Porter (Edwin Porter) who published in 1893. You said you had five copies. Do you still? Would you be willing to sell me one? I hope to hear back from you either here or by the direct email I sent you also this evening. Thank you very much, and by the way, I thoroughly enjoy this blog.

     
  38. K Severt

    December 14, 2010 at 3:54 PM

    I am still looking to buy one of the collector plates that the Fall River Historical Society issued several years ago called “Lizbeth”. It is the one with Lizzie Borden’s portrait.

    I know none of yours are for sale but I was curious if you knew someone who may be willing to part with one. I am trying to replace a plate that was broken.

    Thank you.

     
    • phayemuss

      December 15, 2010 at 7:47 AM

      Hello K. Severt. Have you tried the Fall River Historical Society? http://www.lizzieborden.org/MuseumShop.html
      (or click my link below). They may have some but just not showing it at their website. Meanwhile, I’ll look out in my storage shed where I have big rubber containers of Lizzie memorabilia. If I have more, I’ll contact you.

       
  39. Don Humphrey

    May 12, 2011 at 8:53 AM

    Howdy. I am a writer, originally from Massachusetts, now from Venezuela. I am working on a modern day novel that plays out surrounding the Lizze legend/s. Since I am a long ways from Fall River, I am trying to find out what places that were a part of the murders are still standing. I know, of course, that Second Street and Maplecroft are still there, as well as the Congregational Church. I think I read on your blog that the department store where she once shoplifted is closed or about to be closed. I assume Smith’s Drug Store is long gone (along with the building?). The farm in Swansea? The Central Station Police Headquarters? The hotel where notables stayed (I assume gone). The New Bedford Court house building? And the hotel there? I see the train station in Fall River is closed to passenger use and a small reminder of what it once was. The store from which the first telephone call reporting the murders was made? Dr. Bowen’s house (gone, I believe). Alice’s house on Borden Street? (gone as well?). The house of the next door neighbor that first saw Lizzie in the backyard? The telegraph offices? (long gone I am sure, but I have yet to see a report of where they were actually located in downtown Fall River).
    Well…… I am sorry. Too many questions! Maybe you can point me in the right direction. I am interested in what of these buildings/structures existed in the year 2000. I read the Church is now a culinary school/restaurant (?). While I am in the current uses of these places (as of 2000) I am more interested in what physical remnants of the year 1892 (relating to the Borden murders) still existed in Fall River in 2000. Maybe you can point me in the right direction. Love your blog, which led me to the transcripts for the preliminary hearing and trial as well as the Lizzie Sourcebook for newspaper articles. Read it cover to cover. Loved it! Joe Howard was an 18th century Dominick Dunne! Thank you.

     
  40. Jill

    December 3, 2011 at 10:42 AM

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge regarding Lizzie Borden. In the 1990s, while covering a job regarding Catholic Priest in MA, I was at the courthouse where their and her trial took place. It was late at night and extremely eery. A gentleman with the courthouse was very informative. Prior to the Priest trials, he allowed me to sit where Ms. Borden sat, where the gallery watched, the judge sat, the witness stand… , etc. With the smell of the wood, age and time, it seemed as if I could hear the verdict, gasp and the faint sounds of children skipping rope to the Lizzie Borden rhyme. I never had the nerve to go to the home. I keep wondering, what is the curiosity that still surrounds this woman?

     
  41. Lois B.

    February 7, 2012 at 10:46 PM

    U have the absolute BEST infomration on the Borden case anywhere on the internet!!! I love it! My only disapointment is that you dont post morre often!

     
  42. Julie

    April 10, 2012 at 8:29 AM

    Hi. I just found your blog and it is so good! It’s refreshing to see someone write so well and do the necessary research for such a project. Thank you!

     
  43. Madelyn S.

    August 22, 2012 at 1:00 PM

    Hello Faye! Thank you for seeing me when you were in Fall River this month. I very much appreciate you advising on what my collection is worth. I’m sending you a copy of the photograph of my great grandmother who knew Lizzie and is mentioned in the Historical Society’s book. I have to buy that!! I’m definitely keeping those old family albums now. You convinced me. I am so pleased to know you enjoyed them so much. I hope to see you again when you visit in October.
    Your friend,
    Madelyn S.
    (Fall River)

     
  44. Eric LaVoie

    January 26, 2014 at 10:26 AM

    Hello just wondering, how can I find the address where Emma lived after leaving Maplecroft? I know she moved to Rhode Island, back to Fall River and New Hampshire. I would love to email one of these locations and send them a information packet for a paranormal investigation .there These locations do not need to be haunted, we love investigating historical places and look for residual energy through devices and recording equipment. I have been a paranormal investigator for over 24 years and everyone including me always wanted to investigate the Lizzy Borden house. I would like the chance to investigate Emma’s energy other than on 2nd street. Can anyone help me with this? You can post here or email me at darthunters@aol.com.

    Eric LaVoie
    Founder of D.A.R.T.
    Dartmouth Anomaly Research Team

     
    • phayemuss

      January 26, 2014 at 12:48 PM

      Hi Eric – all the places Emma lived in after vacating “Maplecroft” can be found in Parallel Lives – A Social Historry of Lizzie A. Borden and Her Fall River”, by Michael Martins and Dennis Binette of the Fall River Historical Society. I have several copies of it and I could tell you now. But I feel it’s so important to read this book in order to dispell so many myths of Lizzie that I prefer you get it too. I think it would be imperative for your paranormal investigations. You can purchase it thru their gift shop or go their and look it up or even call Michael and ask. But you’d be doing yourself a favor if you purchased the book. Emma stayed with the Buck sisters in Fall River before moving to Providence. That much I’ll tell you. :)

       
  45. ckibwwej@gmail.com

    June 1, 2014 at 12:56 PM

    I’d like to be able to tag blogs I like and have them show on my website. Any suggestions on the best route to take on this. Any input would be helpful..

     
    • phayemuss

      June 2, 2014 at 12:27 AM

      Simply go to the main page, highlight the URL and paste it to your blog. Thank you.

       

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