New Book on Lizzie Borden Unlike Any Other


Been reading Rebecca Pittman’new book which is unlike any other Lizzie book written to date. This 826 page marvel shows deep research, surprisingly probable speculations, and is an overwhelmingly thrilling read. There is a generous number of images – many never seen before in this stunning work. In the “A New Address” chapter readers will find exclusive post-renovation interior images of “Maplecroft“, the home Lizzie lived in the entire second half of her life.

In the “Interviews” section we find a “coming together” (inside joke) of the three major Borden Blogmasters,, i.e., Shelley Dziedzic, Stefani Koorey, and moi revealing our embryonic interest in the case, etc.

I’ll be doing an in depth review when I finish reading this book and after I return from an overseas vacation.  Meanwhile, don’t wait.  Buy it!  Available at Amazon.


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The John Mann Murals – a Hidden Treasure in Fall River

Tattered Fabric: Fall River's Lizzie Borden

(Recycled from February 2010)
I’ve written before about one of Fall River’s hidden secrets, namely the John Mann murals in the former Matthew J. Kuss Middle School at 217 Rock Street.  John Mann was commissioned under the Works Progress Administration “Federal Art in New England” project in 1936.  He painted a history of Fall River in a series of murals all along the walls of the auditorium of what was then BMC Durfee’s Technical Building.

These incredible murals are comprised in 3 sets depicting a different era.  The first set is 6 panels of Fall River’s Indian history.  Every figure in each of the panels was posed for by a live model.

The “Freeman’s Purchase” which, in terms of the Founding Families, started it all.

The death of Weetamoe.

The Revolutionary and Civil War days are featured in the second set of panels along the north wall and again models posed for each figure.  Supposedly…

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Posted by on November 27, 2016 in Uncategorized



The Fall River Historical Society has just premiered their long awaited re-constructed website and it’s a stunner!  Of course the menu tab has “Lizzie Borden” but contained therein will be found thrilling to Borden case researchers.

The curating and organization are exemplary.  Outstanding all around.

 Here’s a photo sampling from the various “Collections”.  I’m not going to explain what they are or who they are because if you are reading this you need to go to the site and emerge yourself.   Here’s the LINK.

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Mrs. George S. Brigham was an intimate friend, confidante, and staunch supporter of both Emma and Lizzie Borden and, as such, figured prominently in events following the Borden murders. She remained a lifelong friend of Emma Borden, but severed ties with Lizzie subsequent to the Borden sisters’ estrangement in 1905. Privy to a great deal of personal information pertaining to the Borden sisters, she decisively refused to discuss, either publicly or privately, her friendship with the two women, or her involvement in the case.”  -from the FRHS website – Lizzie Borden Collections – The Brigham Collection


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328 French Street Being Sold – Michael Brimbaugh and Stefani Koorey Move Out





This image shows a side view of “Maplecroft’s” garage, not often seen.

The property next door to “Maplecroft” (as shown above) owned by Michael Brimbaugh, has been on the market for over two months.  Brimbaugh and girlfriend, Stefani Koorey, have moved out after making improvements and prepping the property.  Brimbaugh is building a new home in Westport.

Read Herald News article HERE with photos of interior.

This house was once owned by Lizzie Borden, indirectly. She had
instructed her business manager, Charles Cook, to purchase the home in
his name in 1926 the year before she died. When she passed away in
1927, this house was part of her estate.

“According to Len Rebello, in Lizzie Borden Past & Present (1999), “Charles Cook
sold the Henry property (house and land next to Maplecroft) to Mary K.
Buxton on March 14, 1928, for $10,000 but did not record the sale to
Lizzie’s estate. The property was purchased in December 1926, for
$12,000 with Lizzie’s money. However, the deed was in Mr. Cook’s name.
Lizzie had purchased other property and deeded it with Mr. Cook’s name
as trustee for her. This was a practice to avoid publicity. Lizzie paid the
taxes on the property and all repairs. Mr. Cook claimed it was Lizzie’s
intent that he have the Henry property when she died. Grace Howe and
Helen Leighton contested. They wanted the proceeds back in Lizzie’s
estate. The Probate Court ruled in their favor. The proceeds were placed
in Lizzie’s estate at a 6% interest rate. The decision of Probate Court was
appealed and heard at the state Supreme Court in Boston in 1932. Mr.
Cook claimed that the “Bristol Court had no right, while considering his
accounts as executor, to hear evidence as to the ownership of the
property.” (“Borden Case Before the Full Bench,” Taunton Daily Gazette,
April 8, 1932: 2) The Supreme Court agreed with the ruling of Probate
Court.”  from Every House Has a Story

Meanwhile, “Maplecroft” owner, Kristee Bates, still struggles with bringing her property up to compliance with various codes in accordance with permit processing and issuance –  a costly endeavor.  Also, the once announced Leonard Rebello and Bill Pavao as co-curators have long disappeared from the scene due to differences of opinion in the renovations (more on that later).   But at least Kristee will no longer have that invasive “hawkeye” peering from her now vacated neighbor.


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Lizzie Borden Salem Exhibit & the Bleeder-Readers

Tattered Fabric: Fall River's Lizzie Borden

UPDATE:  The Salem Exhibit not only lost its lawsuit with the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast but closed down after 1 year.  The following RECYCLED post shows the enttire exhibit via the photos I took when visiting Salem.

I’ve posted before about the Lizzie Borden “True Story” exhibit in Salem and now, I give you some overall glimpses of most of the exhibit.

I’ve written before on this subject and those posts can be found HERE


The facility is 3,500 square feet of which 3,000 feet is exhibit space.  It is brand, spanking new, extremely well organized with the spacial layouts of the storyboards which are very well done with a clear, readable font.  It seems more thought and planning went into the storyboards than the actual floor displays.


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Posted by on October 15, 2016 in Uncategorized


Lizzie Borden and an Unhappy Family

Tattered Fabric: Fall River's Lizzie Borden

(Recycled from 2008)

The period immediately after the crime up through the end of the Preliminary Hearing has always been of more interest to me than the Trial itself. So many clues into the twisted fabric of this enigmatic case can be found in that span of time.

This particular New York Times article of August 24, 1892 has always been one of the most interesting to me because it is so generously sprinkled with the seeds from which grew so many speculative theories on this case. First, read the article about Lizzie’s letter.

While Lizzie testified to writing such a letter to Emma, it embellishes beyond that to which she actually testified at the Coroner’s Inquest held August 9th thru 11th, 1892. The day following the NYT article, the Preliminary Hearing began and, of course, Lizzie did not testify nor Emma. Keep in mind that it was the day…

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Posted by on September 22, 2016 in Uncategorized


Emma Borden’s Death & Wake at Riverby

Tattered Fabric: Fall River's Lizzie Borden

(Repost from March, 2013)

Emma Borden died in the early morning hours 9 days after her sister, Lizzie.  Members of her surrogate family saw to her funeral/burial wishes.  Her wake was held at Henry and Caroline Gardner’s home. Unlike Lizzie, family and friends gathered to pay their respects and the details of how things were handled was published in these papers.  (Click for larger views).

Seated left is Henry Augustus Gardner and his son Orrin to the right.  In the back is Hamilton Gardner (raised by Orrin since he was about 10 years old) and his best friend “Buck”.  These 3 Gardners, and many more, were at her Wake.

Where we read that Emma had made her wishes known to “Mrs. Gardner”, that would be Caroline Cole Mason Gardner who died in 1918, just seven years after celebrating her 50th Wedding Anniversary with Henry, an event which Emma attended. …

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Posted by on September 18, 2016 in Uncategorized