Borden Murders Timeline – Lizzie Borden’s Fated 4th of August

03 Aug

From the Fall River Herald News here is a video extract of the re-enactment tours given at the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast on the 116th Anniversary of the crimes, August 4, 2008.

Investigating the murders


“Leonard Pickel | |

I find it interesting that a museum, which has not opened to the public as of yet, (we are working hard on that people, trust me!), has been dragged through the mud as much as The True Story of Lizzie Borden has.

“Home Haunter?” Do you even know what that means? I have built Attractions for Universal Studios, Madison Square Garden and 6 Flags Parks across the country. I have over 30 years in attraction design, own and edit the industry magazine, and own a convention. I am no hack!

Why don’t you at least wait for reviews of people who have been through the museum, or perhaps even tour the museum yourself, before casting disparaging criticism on the level of experience quality, amount of preparedness or fact checking.

I contacted the FRHS many years ago about getting photos, and they assured me there would be no problem. Then when I was ready to purchase them, everything was different. They have been trying to put together a quorum to even have a meeting for 2 months now. We will be open before they decide if they are willing to assist us in developing the museum content.

I had all the most of the photos I needed already, what I was looking for was photos with the best resolution available. I just spent $15,000 enlarging photos for the museum, most of which have never been enlarged, or enhanced. Very exciting!

While a Lizzie Borden attraction has been in my thought since 1992, I did not have the funding and the right location at the same time until January of this year. I am a busy guy and was not willing to devote the time to fully develop this back burner project until it was real! By then time was short.

We are behind on opening because of building permit, construction, and contractor delays, and may not be able to open on Monday due to a Fire Alarm panel programming issue. But I am sure we will be open by the end of the week. Then I worry about the web site!!

Will we be where we want to end up when we open? No. A museum as a constant work in process. We will be critiqued and fact checked by every person walking through the attraction, and we will make changes and corrections to the museum content as we go. Add better photos as they become available, and nuances as we or others thing of them.

We are in this for the long run! Taking our time now to get it right is what is important.

As for the lawsuit rumor, there are some people who think they own Lizzie! And that no one is allowed to do anything with her without their permission, which they do not give anyone. Maplecroft tried to open a B&B at one time, and those plans were squashed by the self appointed owners of Lizzie. Too bad, I would have loved to spend the night at Maplecroft, wouldn’t you!

So now they think they own the idea of a Lizzie Borden Museum, and no one can open one because they own it! They own Lizzie Borden!!

Sorry… I thought we were free in America, that pursuit of happiness thing, and monopolies were against the law.

The other thing that is against the law is slander! And when you announce a lawsuit in the newspaper, you had better stop wining and moaning and file the thing! All I have gotten so far are angry temper tantrum emails from some attorney, demanding that we take “Museum” off the logo and signage, demanding that we give them our URL, demanding that we take “Lizzie Borden” off of our logo and signage! Because they own Lizzie!

So either file your lawsuit or shut the hell up!

The sad part is that The True Story of Lizzie Borden is the best thing that ever happen to the B&B and the FRHS. There are 600,000 tourists that come to Salem each year. And most of them have no idea where Fall River is, or that Lizzie Borden lived there. Only an hour and a half south, we will drive more people to Fall River than the Fall River Tourism Board (if there even is such a thing), could ever dream of doing!

Our plan was to have an internet terminal, so people could find out the hours of the FRHS or rent a room at the B&B while in the museum.

But why would we do that if they are going to be ugly about the whole thing. If they don’t want the exposure, we can always tell people that, the Murder House is still a print shop, that the FRHS’s Borden exhibit is about the size of our men’s room, and that Fall River is in Rhode Island!

From Lizzie’s A-Twitter Be it Salem or Fall River!, 2008/08/03 at 7:17 AM”


And now, an updated Timeline for August 3rd and 4th, 1892.

August 3, 1892
8:00 am Abby goes across street to Dr. Bowen; tells him she fears she’s been poisoned.
9:00 am approx Dr. Bowen crosses street to check on the Bordens; Lizzie dashes upstairs; Andrew rebuffs his unsolicited visit.
10:00-11:30 am Lizzie attempts to buy prussic acid from Eli Bence at Smith’s pharmacy on Columbia Street. (PH310)
12:00 Noon Lizzie joins Andrew and Abby for the noontime meal in the dining room.
12:35 am Uncle John Vinnicum Morse leaves by train from New Bedford for Fall River.
1:30 pm John Morse walks from train station & arrives at Borden house; Abby lets him in front door.
2:00-4:00 pm John Morse and Andrew talk in Sitting Room; Lizzie hears their conversation. (TT141)
4:00 pm John Morse hires horse and wagon at Kirby’s Stable and drives to Swansea in late afternoon. (CI 99)
7:00 pm Lizzie visits Alice Russell in the early evening, states her fear “something will happen”.
7:00-8:00 pm John Morse visits Frederick Eddy at Borden farm in Swansea, brings back eggs. (WS36-37)
8:45 pm Morse returns from Swansea, talks in sitting room with Andrew and Abby. (CI99)
9:00 pm Lizzie returns from Alice Russell’s, locks front door, and goes upstairs to her room without speaking to father or uncle.
9:15 pm Abby Borden retires to bed.
10:00 pm Andrew and Morse retire to bed.

(Note: Times given are based on various testimonies taken primarily from the Preliminary Hearing held August 25th to September 1st, 1892, and are approximated as close as possible). The “window of opportunity” for the murders to take place are indicated in RED.

6:15 am Bridget goes downstairs, gets coal and wood in cellar to start fire in kitchen stove, and takes in milk.
6:20 am Morse goes downstairs to Sitting Room.
6:30 am Abby comes downstairs, gives orders for breakfast to Bridget
6:40-6:50 am Andrew goes downstairs, empties slops, picks up pears, and goes to barn.
6:45 am Bridget opens side (back) door for the ice man.
7:00 am Bordens and Morse have breakfast in dining room. (Lizzie is still upstairs).
7:15 am Bridget sees Morse for first time at breakfast table.
7:30 am Bridget eats her breakfast, and then clears dishes.
7:45-8:45 Morse and Andrew talk in sitting room; Abby sits with them a short while before beginning to dust.
8:30 am Morse sees Abby go into the front hall.
8:45 am Andrew lets Morse out side door, invites him back for dinner.
8:45 am Morse leaves for Post Office and then to visit a niece and nephew at Daniel Emery’s, #4 Weybosett Street.
8:45-9:00 am Andrew goes back upstairs and returns wearing collar and tie, goes to sitting room
8:45-9:00 am Abby tells Bridget to wash windows, inside and out.
8:45-8:50 am Lizzie comes down and enters kitchen.
8:45-9:00 am Bridget goes outside to vomit.
9:00 am Andrew leaves the house.
9:00 am Bridget returns, does not see Lizzie, sees Abby dusting in dining room, does not see Andrew.
9:00 am Abby goes up to guest room.
9:00-9:30 am Bridget cleans away breakfast dishes in kitchen.
9:00-10:00 am Abby Borden dies from blows to the head with a sharp instrument.
9:30 am Abraham G. Hart, Treasurer of Union Savings Bank, talks to Andrew at Bank.
9:30-9:40 am Morse arrives at #4 Weybosset Street to visit his niece and nephew.
9:30 am Bridget gets brush from cellar for washing windows
9:30 am Lizzie appears at back door as Bridget goes towards barn; Bridget tells Lizzie she need not lock door.
9:30-10:05 Andrew visits banks.
9:45 am John P. Burrill, Cashier, talks to Andrew at National Union Bank.
9:50-10:00 am AJB deposits Troy Mill check with Everett Cook at First Nat’l Bank; talks with William Carr. (WS29)
9:30-10:20 am Bridget washes outside windows, stops to talk to “Kelly girl” at south side fence.
10:00-10:30 am Mrs. Churchill sees Bridget outside washing NE windows.
10:20 am Bridget re-enters house from side door, commences to wash inside windows.
10:29 am Jonathan Clegg (fixed time by City Hall clock) stated Andrew left his shop heading home. (TT173)
10:15-10:30 am Andrew stops to talk to Jonathan Clegg, picks up old lock; Southard Miller (at Whitehead’s Market) sees AJB turn onto Spring St; Mary Gallagher sees AJB at corner of South Main & Spring; Lizzie Gray sees AJB turning north on Second Street.(WS10, 43)
10:30-10:40 am Joseph Shortsleeves sees Andrew. (WS10)
10:40 am James Mather sees Andrew leave shop (fixes time by City Hall clock)
10:30-10:40 am Mrs. Kelly observes Andrew going to his front door.
10:30-10:40 am Andrew Borden can’t get in side door, fumbles with key at front door, and let in by Bridget.
10:30-10:40 am Bridget hears Lizzie laugh on the stairs as she says “pshaw” fumbling with inside triple locks.
10:35-10:45 am Bridget sees Lizzie go into dining room and speak “low” to her father.
10:45 am Mary Chase, residing over Wade’s store, sees man on Borden fence taking pears. (WS45)
10:45-10:55 am Lizzie puts ironing board on dining room table as Bridget finishes last window in the dining room
10:45-10:55 am Lizzie asks Bridget in kitchen if she’s going out, tells her of note to Abby & sale at Sargeant’s.
10:50-10:55 Mark Chase observes man with open buggy parked just beyond tree in front of Borden house.
10:50-10:55 am Bridget goes up to her room; lies down on her bed. (WS3)
10:50-11:00 am Andrew Borden dies from blows to the head with a sharp instrument.
11:00 am Bridget hears City Hall clock chime 11:00.
11:05-11:10 am Hyman Lubinsky drives his cart past the Borden house. (TT1423)
11:05-11:10 William Sullivan, clerk at Hudner’s Market notes Mrs. Churchill leaving the store. (WS10)
11:10 am APPROX. Lizzie hollers to Bridget to come down, “Someone has killed father”. (TT244)
11:10-11:12 am Lizzie sends Bridget to get Dr. Bowen. (TT245)
11:10-11:13 am Bridget rushes back across the street from Bowen’s, tells Lizzie he’s not at home. (TT245)
11:10-11:13 am Lizzie asks Bridget if she knows where Alice Russell lives and tells her to go get her. (TT245)
11:10-11:13 am Bridget grabs her hat & shawl from kitchen entry way and rushes to Alice Russell’s. (TT245)
11:10-11:13 am Mrs. Churchill observes Bridget crossing street, notices a distressed Lizzie and calls out to Lizzie who tells her “someone has murdered father.” (PH281-282)
11:13 am Mrs. John Gormely says Mrs. Churchill runs through her yelling “Mr. Borden is murdered!” (WS9)
11:10-11:14 am Mrs. Churchill goes to side door, speaks briefly to Lizzie, and then crosses street looking for a doctor. (PH283)
11:12-11:14 am John Cunningham sees Mrs. Churchill talking to others then uses phone at Gorman’s paint shop to call Police.
11:15 am Marshall Hilliard receives call from news dealer Cunningham about disturbance at Borden house.
11:15 am Marshall Hilliard orders Officer Allen to go to Borden house. (Allen notes exact time on office wall clock).
11:16 – 11:20 am Mrs. Churchill returns from giving the alarm. (PH284)
11:16 – 11:20 am Dr. Bowen pulls up in his carriage, met by his wife, rushes over to Borden’s. (PH 273)
11:16-11:20 am John Cunningham checks outside cellar door in Borden back yard, finds it locked.
11:18-11:20 am Dr. Bowen sees Andrew, asks for sheet; alone with Lizzie for approx. one minute.
11:20 am Officer Allen arrives at Bordens, met at door by Dr. Bowen. Sees Lizzie sitting alone at kitchen table.
11:20-11:21 am Allen sees Andrews’s body at same time Alice Russell and Mrs. Churchill come in. (Where was Bridget?)
11:20-11:22 am Allen checks front door and notes it bolted from inside, checks closets in dining room and kitchen.
11:20 am Morse departs Daniel Emery’s on Weybosset Street, takes a streetcar back to the Borden’s.
11-22-11:23 am Officer Allen leaves house to return to station, Bowen goes out with him. Allen has Sawyer guard back door.
11:23-11:33 am Dr. Bowen returns home, checks rail timetable, goes to telegram Emma, and stops at Baker’s Drug store. Telegram is time stamped at 11:32. (PH274)
11:25 am Off. Patrick Doherty, at Bedford & Second, notes City Hall clock time enroute to Station. (T589)
11:23-11:30 am Lizzie asks to check for Mrs. Borden; Bridget & Mrs. Churchill go upstairs, discover body. (PH29-30)
11:34 am Bridget fetches Doctor Bowen’s wife, Phoebe. (T250)
11:35 am George Petty, former resident of 92 Second Street, enters the Borden house with Dr. Bowen. (WS21)
11:40 am Bowen returns to Borden house. Churchill tells him they’ve discovered Abby upstairs. (TT322)
11:35-11:40 am Officer Patrick Doherty & Deputy Sheriff Wixon arrive at house; see Manning sitting on steps, met at back door by Dr. Bowen, who lets them in. (T447)
11:35-11:40 am Francis Wixon and Dr. Bowen check Andrew’s pockets and remove watch.
11:35-11:40 Officer Doherty questions Lizzie who tells him she heard a “scraping” noise.
11:35-11:40 am Officer Doherty views Abby’s body with Dr. Bowen, pulls bed out to view her better. (PH330)
11:35-11:45 am Morse arrives at Borden house, first going to back yard.
11:37 am Officer Mullaly arrives.
11:39-11:40 am Officer Medley arrives at 92 Second Street. (T686)
11:44 am Doherty runs to Undertaker Gorman’s shop around corner and phones Marshall Hilliard. (PH331)
11:45 am Doherty returns; Officers Mullaly. Allen, Denny, and Medley arrive.
11:45 am Dr. Dolan arrives, sees bodies.
11:45 am Morse talks to Sawyer at side door, later testifies he heard of murders from Bridget.
11:45-11:50 am Morse sees Andrew’s body, then goes upstairs and sees Abby’s body.
11:50 am Morse speaks to Lizzie as she lays on lounge in dining room.
11:50 am-Noon Asst. Marshall Fleet arrives; sees bodies; talks to Lizzie in her room w/Rev. Buck, says “…she’s not my mother, she’s my stepmother” (PH354)
11:50 am Morse goes out to back yard and stays outside most of the afternoon.
11:50 am -Noon Deputy Sheriff Wixon climbs back fence and talks to workmen sawing wood in Chagnon yard. (TT452)
11:50-Noon Doherty, Fleet and Medley accompany Bridget to cellar where she shows them hatchet in box on shelf. (WS6)
12:15-12:20 am Officer Harrington arrives at the Borden house.
12:25 am Officer Harrington interviews Lizzie in her bedroom (she wears pink wrapper). (WS6)
12:45 am Marshall Hillliard & Officers Doherty & Connors drive carriage to Andrew’s upper farm in Swansea.
3:00-4:00 pm Crime scene photographs are taken of Andrew & Abby. (PH160)
3:40 pm Emma leaves on New Bedford train for Weir Junction to return to Fall River. (CI107)
4:30 pm Stomachs of Andrew and Abby removed and sealed.
5:00 pm Emma arrives in Fall River. (TT1550)
5:00-5:30 pm State Detective George F. Seaver arrives from Taunton. (PH453)
5:30 pm Dr. Dolan “delivers” bodies of Andrew and Abby to Undertaker James Winward.
5:35 pm Winward & assistant remove sofa from house and store it in a room at his building. (BG8-5-92)
6:00 pm Alice leaves 92 Second St. to return home for supper. (CI149)
8:45 pm Officer Joseph Hyde, observing from a northwest outside window, sees Lizzie & Alice go down cellar.
9:00 pm Officer Hyde observes Lizzie return to basement alone.

By 9:30 pm, all was quiet inside 92 Second Street. Morse slept in the room Abby was found killed. Lizzie slept in her room, Emma in her own room, and Alice Russell slept in Andrew & Abby’s room. Bridget slept across the street in the Dr. Bowen/Southern Miller double house with the Miller’s maid. Two Fall River police officers guarded the house from the outside.

Come morning it would be a brand new day with screeching newspaper headlines and a townsfolk aghast, appalled and mystified on how such a thing could happen.


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3 responses to “Borden Murders Timeline – Lizzie Borden’s Fated 4th of August

  1. historylover

    August 4, 2008 at 6:59 AM

    Wow, sounds like a little baby! Maybe his museum will be good, but it sounds like he’s just trying to capitalize on Lizzies name and fame. Salem being the witchcraft capital, they get a lot of tourism, so I’m sure people will visit the museum since they are there, and maybe they would never have planned to go to Fall River. So it could get a lot of new exposure but hopefully tastefully.

  2. LC

    August 17, 2012 at 2:51 AM

    CORRECTION to timeline:
    Bridget heard someone laugh on the stairs, “who she assumed to be Lizzie”, (since no one else was suppose to be in the house). She did not actually “see” who it was that laughed.

    • phayemuss

      August 17, 2012 at 6:30 PM

      This was according to her testimony…she assumed it was Miss Lizzie, but did not see her. She further teswtified the bvoice came from top of the stairs or down halfways.


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