The Rarity of Porter’s The Fall River Tragedy

 UPDATE 1/21/2023—–I just sold another original Porter for $100 to a guy in Boise, Idaho. A few months ago sold a Rebello for $25 to a gal in San Francisco. I’ve been saying for a few years now that I’ll be selling off my collection (except the Lizzie letters) at rock bottom prices — and that’s just what I’ve been doing.

I’m re-posting this blog entry from September 2007 because this evening I noted an eBay seller has an original Porter listed for a “Buy it Now” price of $6,000! (Note:  Seller dropped price to $3,000 on March 3rd) Only an idiot would pay that much given that antiquarian booksellers have a few available right now for less than a thousand bucks. An easy Google search will prove this out.

Check out the eBay Seller’s listing here.

More interesting to me, however, is that the Seller did a literal cut and paste from my words below. The whole point of my post is that the book is NOT AS RARE as it has been professed to be and thus, this may very well be the reason the eBay Seller did not cite my blog or provide the URL to this particular entry. Otherwise, the potential bidder/buyer would be well – less inclined to pay that much. “BUYER BEWARE!”. As a matter of fact, I’m going to offer up one of my four original Porters in my “Collectibles for Sale” page….so just be patient. 🙂

The more important books on the Borden case reveal an evolution of author-to-author citations as to the rarity of Edwin H. Porter’s book (the first edition), The Fall River Tragedy, Press of J. D. Munroe, 1893. It appears the legend begins in 1967 with Victoria Lincoln because even in his 1937 Trial Essay, Edmund Pearson’s “bible”, there is no mention. Since Pearson believed in Lizzie’s guilt I’d think he would have mentioned it. Edward D. Radin – who proposed that Bridget did it – made a point of NOT mentioning it.

William Masterton’s Lizzie Didn’t Do It, and Muriel Arnold’s Hands of Time had no reference to the rarity of Porter’s book. Nor did Angela Carter. (BTW, I think Muriel’s Ward 4 and Neighborhood sketches in the front of her book are far better and more encompassing than others that have been published). There are scads of reference to the “rarity”, i.e., “Lizzie bought out….” in numerous compendium books – too many to cite here. I didn’t bother with the fictional accounts of the Borden case (Hunter, Engstrom, Satterthwait) because golly gee, who the hell cares. So here are the more obvious citations to be found:

1967 – Private Disgrace – Victoria Lincoln p27 – “…bought off the printer had the books destroyed”

1967 – Private Disgrace – Lincoln p304 -“The town was further irked when Lizzie bought up The Fall River Tragedy and nobody had a chance to read it. Everyone wanted to. As I told you at the start of our story, I had to wait for the pleasure forty years before I found the first copy that I had ever seen, in the Library of Congress.”

1968 – Untold Story – Edward Radin p16The Fall River Tragedy, by Edwin H. Porter, a Fall River police reporter, who stoutly defended Fall River police for arresting Lizzie Borden. This book, published in Fall River, had a limited sale and circulation. ”

1974 – Goodbye Lizzie Borden – Sullivan p142 -“…virtually all copies were purchased and destroyed by Lizzie.”

1984 – Lizzie – Frank Spiering p36 – His footnote:”The Fall River Tragedy by Edwin H. Porter, printed privately in 1893, was the first book published about the murders. Only four copies are known to exist. A copy which was originally in the Library of Congress has vanished, one is kept at the State House in Boston, one is in the archives of the Fall River Historical Society and one is in my possession. Lizzie bought off the printer and had all the other copies destroyed before they reached the bookshops.”

1991 – Legend of Lizzie Borden – Arnold Brown p89-90 -“It is not known how many copies of The Fall River Tragedy were printed, but it had to be several hundred if not several thousand. Fifty years ago only two copies were known to exist, and one other copy was rumored. Mrs. Brigham at the Fall River Historical Society has reported that four copies are now held by the society, and she knows of one other held privately. Even the copy that should be held by the Library of Congress is missing. The overwhelming majority of the press run simply disappeared the day it was published. Miss Lizzie, the legend says, acting on the advice of Andrew Jennings, bought up and destroyed every copy she could. If Lizzie did not do that, someone did.”

1992 – Forty Whacks – David Kent xiv -“Knowledge of what Porter had done was unwittingly obscured when Lizzie, learning of the publication, was rumored to have bought up all but about 25 subscription copies and had them destroyed. Thus, only a few ever saw what Porter had written and were unaware of his distortions. But scholars ferreted out the half-dozen copies held in public libraries and other institutions and these became the sourcebooks for all research. Fortunately for historians, Porter’s book was rescued from limbo in 1985 and reprinted by King Philip Publishing Company of Portland, Maine. ”

At the 1992 Lizzie Borden Centennial Conference held at Bristol Community College in Fall River, Patterson Smith of New Jersey gave a presentation on this very topic. He stated that Porter’s book is not that “rare” after all, as many were sold on subscription – perhaps over 500. I, myself, have handled at least 20 of these first editions in the past 25 years and have 4 original Porters in my collection, but one of my collector associates actually has FIVE in his collection!

Of the four original Porters I have, one has hand-written notes from a minister who knew Lizzie and Emma and he wrote periodically about seeing them from time to time, i.e., at the Swansea farm with “the horses”, the rumors around town, when they parted, when Lizzie died, etc. His marginal notes and the two pages of typewritten notes inside the book, only enhance its value, IMHO. My fourth and most recent copy was purchased in Fall River just this past August from a private party to whom I was introduced.

In 1992, I took one of my Porters to the Conference and sold it for over $1,000 right there to an eager buyer, who I long have suspected was a shill for Patterson Smith because he was peeking around the corner of the building at the time. Too funny! Perhaps he “financed” the eager buyer?

In the last several years, I’ve noted at least 6 original Porter’s sold on eBay (not counting those I’ve sold on eBay myself). In addition, just this past year two of my close friends have obtained copies for less than $300 from booksellers, and another person I know traded several rare true crime books with a noted author for his copy of an original Porter.

Obviously, the dollar value of any book is only worth what a buyer is willing to pay. But as to the rarity of “an original Porter”, this long, literary legend of Lizzie (nice alliteration, eh?) is simply that – a legend. 🙂


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Emma Borden & Lizzie’s Lock of Hair

Tattered Fabric: Fall River's Lizzie Borden


scan0003Emma Borden from a sketch at her 1913 interview

Emma Lenora Borden was Lizzie Andrew Borden’s sister.  She was born March 1, 1851, and died on June 10, 1927, only 9 days after Lizzie’s demise.  Lizzie & Emma parted ways in 1905 when Emma moved out from “Maplecroft” and, so far as we know, never spoke or saw each other again.

On April 18, 1913, the Boston Herald published an extensive interview with Emma by reporter Edwin McGuire.  It was, up to that time, uprecedented that Emma spoke out publicaly.   (It has been speculated her motivation was the April 6, 1913 Boston Sunday Herald’s special edition article entitled: “Lizzie Borden 20 Years After the Tragedy” by Gertrude Stevenson).  In any event, Emma’s interview yielded us the above image.   I can’t help but wonder if she posed for this during the interview or if it was sketched from memory after…

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Posted by on March 16, 2023 in Uncategorized


Hypocrisy of the Central Congregational Church

Originally posted March 31, 2012. But my opinion hasn’t changed.

Tattered Fabric: Fall River's Lizzie Borden

We all know Lizzie Borden was very active in the Central Congregational Church of Fall River.  When she was suspected, accused, charged, incarcerated, and stood Trial for the murders of her father and stepmother, the Church stood by her.  But it wasn’t long before they “cut” her as explained in Parallel Lives.  Only a few of its members remained her friends, most all abandoned her after her acquittal.

In 1905 “History Annals and Sketches of the Central Congregational Church, Fall River, Mass”  written and compiled by Mrs. William Carr, Mrs. Eli Thurston, and Mrs. Charles J. Holmes was published. Mrs. Holmes had been especially supportive of Lizzie during the scandal and Trial. She was, in fact, like a surrogate mother bellowing her belief in Lizzie’s innocence. The Church stood behind her until it was all over. These women were all so prominent in Lizzie’s parallel church life and their…

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Posted by on August 17, 2022 in Uncategorized



From Suzanne’s Facebook page today:

“It’s official, Lizzie Borden’s (Lizbeth’s) Maplecroft is UNDER AGREEMENT, exactly a year to the date of closing on Lizzie Bordens Bed and Breakfast. I think she’d be thrilled to hear the laughter of children in the rooms of this beautiful historic home. Daryl, the family you brought couldn’t be a more perfect fit!

“Maplecroft, the historic former home of Lizzie Borden, is being purchased by artist and professor Brooke Mullins Doherty, who will be moving her home and studio from New Bedford. She and her husband Michael, a polymath, along with their three children look forward to respecting the house’s unique history while they restore Maplecroft to a single family residence.”

Suzanne St. John

Century 21 The Seyboth Team


For more information on Lizzie Borden’s connection and history of the house, click HERE.


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Early Visits to Fall River

Tattered Fabric: Fall River's Lizzie Borden

Before it was the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast Museum, the house at 92 Second Street was the home of John and Josephine McGinn.  The history of the owners and occupants of the property can be found HERE.

Following are some photos of my early visits beginning in 1977.  Click on images for larger views.

scan0026Above views are looking south up Second Street with the old bus station on the west side of the street.    I used to conduct taped interviews of the old timers waiting for the bus and still listen occasionally to their remembrances of the old neighborhood.

scan0034The “House” always had gawkers but few ever allowed inside. Note the wrap-around Leary Press where the barn was once located.




Maple-Gray“Today” means the early 1980’s.

scan0013Note I received from John McGinn with their “new” postcard.


scan0038The Kelly’s wouldn’t recognize the place.

scan0015Thank you note from Josephine McGinn referencing the…

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Posted by on May 20, 2022 in Uncategorized


To All The Lame-brain, Lazy-ass, Semi-literate People Who Think Lizzie Borden “Killed her parents with an axe”……

Tattered Fabric: Fall River's Lizzie Borden

….because you’ve watched all those paranormal ghost chasing shows, or you saw the TV film with Elizabeth Montgomery or you’ve googled “Lizzie Borden” and seen her image as a teenager or twenty-something dripping in blood and wielding an axe.  Maybe it was a documentary, or you just heard it so much (she did it) that you’ve come to believe it.   — Well, I have this to say to you:

Click image for larger view.


And preferably, THIS ONE.

Maybe the book is beyond your financial reach, but you could at least read the Review.  At least indulge yourself to become significantly more enlightened in just the time it takes you to read the Review.   Oh sure, you can skip it.  You might say it “Would take too much of my time and I need to text my BFF on something really important.”  Or maybe you’re…

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Posted by on February 22, 2022 in Uncategorized


Lizzie Borden Won’t Be At The London Olympics But I Will!

Tattered Fabric: Fall River's Lizzie Borden

Please join me on Sunday for my live reporting of the Opening Ceremonies of the London Olympics.  Selected by Facebook as one of two designated Special Correspondents, I will be typing LIVE as it happens.  If you have a Facebook account, enter Faye Musselman.  If you don’t have one, get one.  It’s free.  Or, just Google “Faye Musselman” and scroll to where it says Facebook.  I will be covering this LIVE as shown on NBC.  It will be great fun!  🙂 🙂 🙂

Some reflections on the 1984 LA Olympics:

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Posted by on February 4, 2022 in Uncategorized


Vintage Fall River

Reblogged 2/2/22 – Just because I can.

Tattered Fabric: Fall River's Lizzie Borden

Here are more images:

1st Congregational Church 1900’s

Durfee Textile School 1910 on Davol St.

City Hall 1950’s

Main Street 1950’s

Notre Dame 1907

City Hall 1908

South Park 1860’s

Globe Corners 1908

Main Street 1930’s

Post Office 1910

Fall River Hospital 1910

New Union Hospital 1910

Main Street 1900’s

South Park Pavillon 1908

Talbot store photo

EXTREMELY RARE PHOTOGRAPH – Showing the east side of a cornerstone Fall River business- the Talbot & Co. Clothing House. It is labeled on the back in pencil simply “1916- Second & Pleasant St.” Talbot’s, with its main entrance at 60-66 South Main St. in the former Pocasset Block, operated from early 1900 until about 1940 when Paul Woltman bought the business and moved his existing men’s store from the List Building on Third Street to the more visible location on City Hall Square. In the photo a young man dressed in overalls but wearing a bow tie can be seen leaning on…

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Posted by on February 2, 2022 in Uncategorized


Arthur Sherman Phillips – Lizzie Didn’t Do It

Tattered Fabric: Fall River's Lizzie Borden

(Recycled post from June 2008)

Arthur Sherman Phillips wrote the impressive 3-Volume History of Fall River and was a junior attorney assisting on Lizzie’s defense team. The case haunted him all his life and he never gave up on the belief that she was innocent.

As late as June 3, 1939, he wrote to Homans Robinson (1894-1973) of the Robinson-Donovan law firm. He was the son of 3-times Governor George Robinson, Lizzie’s lead attorney at her Trial.   In his 3-page letter shown below, Phillips cites so many of the sources of speculative theories surrounding this case and ones that surface repeatedly in books, articles, and arguments towards her innocence.

It is not known if Homans Robinson, a 1916 graduate of Amherst college, replied to this letter. Surely if he had complied with Phillips request for a copy of the questions Attorney George Robinson presented to Lizzie, along with her…

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Posted by on December 12, 2021 in Uncategorized


Random Nuggets – John W. Coughlin & Josephine McGinn


As Mayor of Fall River


Mayor Coughlin is back row, second from right.  Franklin D. Roosevelt is seated, center.

Coughlin, John W. (1861-1920) — of Fall River, Bristol County, Mass. Born in Fall River, Bristol County, Mass., June 9, 1861. Democrat. Physician; mayor of Fall River, Mass., 1891-94; defeated, 1889; Massachusetts Democratic state chair, 1896; candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts, 1901; member of Massachusetts Democratic State Committee, 1901-20; delegate to Democratic National Convention from Massachusetts, 1904, 1912 (speaker); member of Democratic National Committee from Massachusetts, 1912; candidate for U.S. Representative from Massachusetts 15th District, 1912.  Clearly, he was a

He died December 3, 1920 (age 59 years, 177 days), less than 3 months after the above group picture was taken.



I was in Fall River during the demotion of the Leary Press.  Exploring through the rubble I found this check receipt laying in plain sight payable to Josephine McGinn, written in 1993 by her grand-daughter and my friend, Martha McGinn , in the amount of $10,000.  Martha ran the Leary Press after John died and made periodic payments to her.  (Note:  There’s a certain symmetry to the fact the check is drawn on the Citizen Savings Bank – the bank which Andrew Borden was President when he died.)

Mayor Coughlin died when Josephine was just a little girl.  The Leary Press no longer stands.  The House at “92 Second Street” still stands.  And the enduring fascination of Lizzie Borden grows stronger with each generation.


The Most Factual Telling on the Lizzie Borden Case Has Not Yet Been Produced

One specific letter in The Knowlton-Pearson Correspondence pretty well sums up where we are today relevant to the most interesting book on this case.  Written 35 years after the murders by the son of the prosecuting attorney to the prolific true crime writer who published the first widely read book on the murders we have this:

                         Knowlton to Pearson October 28, 1930

It was only six years after Studies in Murder was published but over three and a half decades since the Superior Court Trial when Frank Knowlton wrote to Edmund Pearson that: 

         “The really interesting book About the Borden case has not yet been     written,”

He could be saying that today, 128 years later.   Knowlton says most of what has been written relates to the circumstances and tries to reason back to find the cause.  He posits that it should be a psychological study of Lizzie imagining her life, comprehensive and in depth.  (We get a shadow image of that through Parallel Lives – Fall River Historical Society – but even that was limited to her society and not the psychology or dynamics of Lizzie and her household).  If a book did deal precisely as Knowlton suggests, we would have a completely different image of this most enigmatic character of American unsolved crime  – now evolved into a bloody icon of almost epic status in the occult pop culture.

What we have today is represented by the very latest of Lizzie Borden t.v. docudramas with an emphasis on the paranormal.  It’s the “Curse of Lizzie Borden” premiering this date but I do not recommend it nor provide any information to promote it.  But like so many that have come before it, it has a “hook”.

“Demons” is the hook with this one. When renewed interest in the paranormal exploded in the early 1990’s, the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast became a recurring focal point for “investigations”. As books, documentaries, films, and t.v. programming grew, so did the need for program content. Productions metastasized and distribution poured into various entertainment programming channels. The caveat is always “entertainment” but the minions of those interested in the occult usually accept the productions as fact. Lizzie Borden, due to her mystique as a person and the case being a classic unsolved crime, was a natural for exploitation. Regurgitation of misinformation has necessitated “hooks” to sustain an audience eager to be thrilled and shriek  with things that go bump in the night.

Spin-off websites and podcasts are part of the metastasizing process. Lizzie Andrew Borden’s evolution from the virginal, church-going middle class daughter of a well-to-do banker and real estate investor, has morphed into a crazed axe-wielding psychopath who haunts 92 Second Street. Thus, the parade of paranormal investigators and their followers continue. “If you build it, they will come.” Alas, we live in an America where half believe in the falsities media presents to them. The subject of Lizzie Borden is a simple case in point to this cancer among us.

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Where did that Lizzie “Noisy Bird” Letter go?

From September 2010.

Tattered Fabric: Fall River's Lizzie Borden

The below image is of a display that once adorned the office wall of Reverend Robert Lawrence, past minister of the First Congregational Church in Fall River.   It contains the 2-page letter Lizzie Borden wrote on May 31, 1900 to John Summerfield Brayton about his crowing bird that disturbed her.  The letter was found tucked in a desk drawer many years later by his son.

First Congregational Church when it was on Main Street at the time Lizzie wrote her letter.

First Congregational Church on Rock Street as it looks today and where the Reverend Lawrence ministered.

On a visit to Fall River late last year, I once again went to view this.  It was gone.  I inquired earlier this year by phone to the Church office as to the whereabouts of this display and was told it was gone.  I was told that “Reverend Lawrence took it with him…

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Posted by on September 1, 2021 in Uncategorized


Lee-ann Wilber Imposter Posts on Her Facebook Account

UPDATE: Mystery solved. Click HERE

An outbreak of indignation followed a posting on Lee-ann’s Facebook account from some “mystery person” writing as if they were Lee-ann herself reaching out from the afterlife. Thank you, Tim Westberg of Spooky Southcoast for reporting on this so promptly. The game’s afoot to identify this sick person.

Read about it HERE.

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Posted by on August 25, 2021 in Lee-ann Wilber


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Knowlton-Pearson Correspondence

Huzzah! Huzzah! The Fall River Historical Society has announced their new publication on the collection of letters regarding the Lizzie Borden case. Before this the only access to copies of the letters was to purchase the entire collection in single photo-copy sheets from the FRHS – which is what I did directly from curator emeritus, Florence Brigham, in the early 1990’s. I recall paying $15.00 at that time – no doubt to cover the copying costs – but I believe the FRHS suspended that access nearly 20 years ago. Having that collection available now for $20 is quite a treat. There is much to be learned from these letters as we follow Edmund Pearson’s journey of discovery. His growing friendship with Frank Knowlton evolves to guide Pearson to those involved, in various measure, with the case and those that knew Lizzie and shared their public and private remembrances.

The finished project first edition looks like this:

What follows are some pages from my collection of the photo-copies. Open image for large type. Let this not deter you from buying the new publication – I’ll be adding it to my bookshelves on our beloved Lizzie. 🙂 In the meantime, here’s the first letter (from Pearson) that started it all……and towards the end.


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Newspapers of August 4th – 10th, 1892

Well, another August 4th has come and about to be gone and we can be done with the regurgitations in the telling of perhaps the most startling, notorious and unsolvable crimes in American history. Yep, it’s her: Our beloved Lizzie Borden of Fall River. Most of us get our news from online or television these days, but in 1892 it was the newspapers – and the Fall River Herald and Fall River Globe, rivals, went nuts with the story that spread across the country – and beyond – like wildfire.

The only thing new this year is the Fall River Historical Society announcing the soon to be published Andrew Jennings Journal donated to that august organization in 2011. Oh, and of course the “virtual” tours/re-enactments by the Lizzie Borden House.

The Fall River Historical Society states: “Included in the Appendix of this volume is the complete transcript of an interview with Andrew J. Jennings that appeared in the Fall River Daily Globe on August 6, 1892.” I believe the image shown here is that article:

Part of my collection of Bordenia stuff is a 10 volume set of most all the regional newspapers who reported on the crimes, the legal procedings, and Lizzie’s post-trial life. These copies of articles were collected and organized by Ed Thibault, donated to Donald Woods in 2004 and given to me by Donald later that year. Put on your reading spectacles because I’m posting here just a tiny fraction of those reports. The 10-volume set starts before the crimes and goes up and through 2012, when I stopped collecting. Remember, I’m only showing partial extracts from the Index to Volume I and only some selected pages of the hundreds of articles in that one Volume. Click images to enlarge OR OPEN IN A NEW TAB – to read the articles. Enlightening.

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Posted by on August 4, 2021 in Uncategorized


Timeline of Events Around and During the Borden Murders

Tattered Fabric: Fall River's Lizzie Borden


It’s almost that time of year when focus on Fall River, MA is dominated by Lizzie Borden and the unsolved hatchet murders of her father, Andrew, and her stepmother, Abby on August 4, 1892.

A regurgitation of media mentions, short site and sound bytes, videos of the “murder house” (a Bed & Breakfast Museum since 1996) accompanied by eerie music and bloody graphics, and the gratuitous recitation of that inaccurate quatrain, “Lizzie Borden took an axe, gave her father……” (please, don’t make me go any further) will surely play out on various TV channels throughout the country.

So…. before you indulge yourself in the hash and rehash (pun intended) put down the bong and get a focus on what was going on in Lizzie’s Fall River and her life in general before, during and right after the crimes. 

Below is an extract from my “Lizzie Borden Historic Timeline” which is…

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Posted by on August 1, 2021 in Uncategorized


Lizzie Borden House: August 4th Re-enactments

Many of you may know of – or even attended – the annual August 4th re-enactments of the discovery of the murders of Lizzie Borden’s father and stepmother on that same date in 1892 in Fall River, Ma. Well, so much has changed since the new owner took over. For example, they no longer accept phone calls so if you know (and/or communicate) with people who work there, you’ll get some information, slim as it is. Here’s a tidbit from a friend of a friend on Facebook:

Lance Zaal, new owner

Vic Leo Hey everyone! I work at the house and am directing this year’s re-enactment. In order to keep things safer and less crowded in the house (covid cases here in MA are beginning to spike again 😞) we are doing things a little differently this year. There are going to be three days of reenactment events. It’ll be performed live inside the house and live-streamed out to a projector in the parking lot where more people will be able to view it safely. The events are on August 8th, 15th, and 29th. I’m unsure if it’ll be online, but I don’t see why it wouldn’t be. Let me double check that and I’ll update asap.”

In the meantime, check out this Timeline on the events that happened the two weeks before and the day of August 4th, 1892. As you read it, put yourself in the action. Click HERE.


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Still Thrills and Delights 161 Years Later

The woman who gave birth to Lizzie 161 years ago. Sarah Morse Borden

Had Lizzie Borden lived she would be 161 years old today. Well, she didn’t live but she endures. In the hearts, minds, and revenue generating creations of those who contribute to the perpetuation of her compelling mystique, Lizzie continues to intrigue one generation after the other. For 131 years. (She was 31 when the murders happened and 32 when she went to Trial).

I often give pieces of my Lizzie and Bordenia collections to those who have fallen victim to her spell. Kate Lavendar was one such person. She made this video upon the shipment’s arrival. I think her excitement is a true and appropriate example of the impact this enigmatic woman has had on people all over the world.

An enduring – and endearing – fascination.

View it here.


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Erika Mailman wrote a lengthy piece for the online Smithsonian Magazine in which she describes more changes to take place as stated by new owner Lance Zaal. Opinions of its transformation shared by Shelley Dziedzic and myself were given in interviews for the same article.

What I’ve often referred to as “Mecca” is now a chrysalis morphing into a place where “mindless paranormalizers who pretend to see ghosts to get TikTok likes” (-Erika Mailman) is its current destiny. Now guests can squeal with contrived delight while case purists who’ve spent the night before will shake their heads and say what the f*ck?

From replacing the antique replica stove with a modern one, to adding a bedroom in the basement – these changes can be read in the article HERE.

Clearly, the experiences of those who booked overnight stays at this iconic edifice have been terminated. The factual historic residue has dissipated under the weight of contrived ghostly and paranormal experience options.

The House has been a tourist destination under three “generations” of Innkeepers. The first was Martha McGinn and Ron Evans from 1996 to 2004. They purchased most of the furnishings and fixtures that still remain, ensuring the House retained its 1890’s feel. The gift shop was in the abutting Leary Press. People came from all over the world.

The second generation was with Donald Woods (75% owner) and Lee-ann Wilber from 2004 to 2021. It was Donald’s money and Lee-ann’s oversight that gave southern exposure to the first floor windows, and freed up space for the barn replica to be constructed when the entire Leary Press was demolished. People came from all over the world.

Now comes the third generation with U.S. Ghost Adventures (aka Lance Zaal). His planned changes will transform the essence of The House forever, or at least for as long as he owns the property. And who can say how long that will be? Will people bother to come to Fall River from all over the world?

Mr. Zaal says he wants to “export” Lizzie to those who can’t visit Fall River, meaning an emphasis on online content.” “Lizzie Borden needs to adapt and move into a different century if it’s going to appeal to a new generation.” (Note: Lizzie Borden has continued to fascinate generation after generation since 1892). Oh, Mr. Zaal, informed perspective is so often absent in the minds of the unread.

Meanwhile, for me, it’s as if Godzilla surfaced from Mt. Hope Bay, stomped his way over to 92 Second Street (230) and fell, full body, on that iconic drab green structure. The gawking crowd weeps – for it was Lizzie he loved.


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Lizbeth-A Victorian Nightmare

Ric Rebelo, award winning documentarian and Fall River resident, created this film over 11 years ago. This week he posted the film and promos on YouTube, making it available for the first time to the general public. He also posted my 16-minute interview bonus feature, “Tattered Fabric” in which I tell of my theory as to how the murders were committed.

The Special Feature is HERE.

The full, 56-minute film is HERE.

When Mr. Rebelo completed this project he gave me CD’s of the raw footage of each of the people interviewed. I’ve enjoyed these over the years. I hope you will enjoy the finished product.


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Update on the Lizzie Borden House

(Note: On all my previous blog posts, click the title and you’ll be able to see Comments in the column to the right).

Read about the latest changes HERE.

Image from Spooky Southcoast

Clearly, a new era. I feel as if Godzilla surfaced from Mt. Hope Bay, stomped his way over to 92 Second Street (230) and fell, full body, on that iconic drab green structure.

The most novice of Borden researchers can spot the obvious error here. But more to the point are the changes.

Mr. Zaal continues to cast aspersions on the way the B&B was operated under the prior management. He fails to realize the lack of marketing was because it marketed itself, resulting in repeat customer visits.

Also, reviews in Trip Advisor, newspaper reports, etc., guests frequently remarked how comfortable the beds were. He states he has replaced the mattresses. Perhaps he has wired them for spooky sounds in the night.

He says he’ll be doing a re-enactment of the crimes on August 4th. Oh boy. Some sequels fail miserably when compared to the classic original.

Goodbye Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast. Hello Son of Godzilla.


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