A Lizzie Borden “Who IS that guy?” Contest

04 May

UPDATE:  Read “E.J.’s” comments.  He shows he did some research and presents some of the same testimony that “Lori K” did.

Some excerpts from “Lori K’s” email (with permission):

“(Trial, pp557)
Q. Can you tell me about what time it was when your attention was called to the trouble on Second Street?
A. About twelve o’clock.

Q. By whom was it called?
A. A young man named Turner.

Q. After that what did you do?
A. I immediately put on my coat and hat and took a horse car.
Arrived 12:15-12:20

PH interviews LB but she says nothing of telling BS that Abby had a note and went out or that she ironed hankerchiefs.

Page 576 Trial
Q. You went later in the afternoon about what time?
A. I couldn’t say about what time, but I should think about half past two or three o’clock.

Q. How long did you stay then?
A. I stayed then until close to six.

Trial pg 577
Q. You advised her not to be interviewed any more that day, didn’t you?
A. Yes, sir.

Q. Did she know that you were one of the police?
A. I should think so. I was dressed in uniform.

Photographer Walsh took photos at 3:30.
Trial page 121
Q. Did you take some views soon after or upon the day of the homicide?
A. Yes, sir.”

Q. What time in the day was this taken?
A. Probably half past three.

Q. In the afternoon?
A. Yes, sir.

Page 123 / i144

Q. In who’s presence were these views taken?
A. There were several officers there and Dr. Dolan.

Q. Was Dr. Dolan present while each view which you have identified was taken?
A. I could not say that he was present at all of them; he was at some of them.

Trial pg 123 Walsh re the 2 Andrew Borden photos

Q. Do you remember what officer was present at all of them?
A. No, I could not say any officer was present at all,…going in and out of the room

Q. (By Mr. Robinson.) When were those last two taken?
A. They were taken probably at half past four that afternoon.
Q. Am I to understand that all five were taken the same afternoon?
A. Yes, sir.”

NEW ALERT:  This morning I received an email with a 2-page attachment outlining “Lori K’s” argument of why the picture is that of Officer Harrington.  It shows quite a bit of research and is very persuasive.  So as of now, Monday, May 9th, we have a new front runner:  “Lori K.”  I will try to post some of email later.   (Note:  This contest will end on Wednesday, May 11th.)

ALERT:  As of now, Friday, May 6th, “E.J.” is the front runner for the FREE Rebello book.  He presents a rather convincing argument in his comments below (scroll way down).

August 4, 1892 at 92 Second Street, Fall River.   It was a Thursday.  A very “busy” Thursday for the Fall River Police Department.  Photographs had to be taken as evidence and to be studied by the Coroner (Dr. Dolan) and the Marshall (Hilliard).  Lots of people were around.  Lizzie was upstairs in her room being attended to.  Emma was not back from Fairhaven just yet, and police had been swarming in, out and about since shortly after 11:15 a.m.

The crime scene was photographed by James A. Walsh around 3:00.  Subsequent to the in-situ photographs, the stomachs were removed by Dr. Dolan and more photos were taken.  But the below image has always perplexed me as to who that person is.  (Not Andrew, the other guy).

If you can definitively identify the man standing to the far right in this crime scene photo of the butchered Andrew Borden, you will receive a FREE copy of Leonard Rebello’s Lizzie Borden Past & Present. 

You don’t have to be right.  You just have to present the BEST argument.   🙂

(Click on image for larger view)

Anyway, that person’s identity has been speculated upon many, many times.  Possibilities include – but are not limited – to those below. One has to really scrutinize who was  present in the house when the pictures were taken.

Assistant Marshal Fleet

  Officer Philip Harrington

Officer William Medley

Officer Patrick Doherty

Dr. William “I boiled the heads” Dolan

Officer Desmond

Officer Mullaly

Officer Francis Edson

Seriously – the Rebello book.  FREE.   All you gotta do is convince me who that guy is.  Not Andrew.  The other one.


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19 responses to “A Lizzie Borden “Who IS that guy?” Contest

  1. Dave Francis

    May 4, 2011 at 12:26 PM

    Phillip Harrington…have to go by the receding hair and the tuft near the temple…he’s the only one who has that out of all of them.

  2. robin

    May 4, 2011 at 1:57 PM

    Hi I blew up t the photo of the man and matched it with all the men below on a computer program that told me there is no match for the man in the photos and the 5 men below. I have studied this picture very carefully and I am a clairvoyant and paranormal professional and I believe this picture to be somewhat transparent (please look at the mans legs, as they seem very transparent) you cannot see the mans calves down to his feet. I believe this to be an image captured on film of either a ghostly being or an image of Lizzies father in younger days. I have studied various photos for over 20 years and I am an expert in this field. Please let me know your thoughts Also he has a cigar in his mouth, no mustache just a cigar thanks again, comments welcome !

    • phayemuss

      May 4, 2011 at 2:57 PM

      Wow, Robin. I’m impressed. What a creative and original response. You’ve got me staring at the photo again from a whole new perspective. But if you’ve seen the photos of Andrew Borden as a younger man, there are 3 or 4 “out there”, but none look like the man in this photo. And the cigar thing…wow. Never thought of that. Will have to look again.

      • robin

        May 4, 2011 at 5:33 PM

        Hi, thanks yes I agree my responce and reaction to the photo is very original and unique, but I really believe that to be true. It is 100% a cigar and not a mustach just blow up the picture you will see its a cigar. Also unless something is terribly wrong with the photo he is some what transparent from his knees down. And yes you can see part of the wall paper and the wall below towards the floor threw his calves. I could be right I could be wrong but I have seen many pictures through the years of real Ghosts captured on film and this certainly looks like one to me. And I have had alot of experience in this feild. I used to be a skeptic untill one day I took a picture of myself and saw something very weird, thats when I became very involved with certain weird types of photos shall we say. thanks again !

      • robin

        May 4, 2011 at 5:41 PM

        Oh and by the way normal protocall for Police and Detectives for taking pictures of diseased bodys, never has a person posing next to the body. Even back then in those days, if a photo was taken at a crime seen and detectives/police were present they were usually looking at the murder victim, not standing so nonchalant leaning up against a wall of the dead body. That is not normal for the police/detectives to do.

  3. Leslie A Brown

    May 4, 2011 at 2:03 PM

    Obviously, he is a ghost, since you can see the wallpaper through him.

  4. margaret ridgeway

    May 4, 2011 at 4:49 PM

    Harrington. He was all over place and he “didn’t like that girl” and has the posture and the same mustache. I kind of think he would have been right in the mix of things, i.e. present when photos are taken. Does the Fall River Historical Society know who it is? I think its Officer Philip Harrington. Can I have the book now?: Please? hahahaha

  5. Dave Francis

    May 4, 2011 at 4:51 PM

    don’t think it’s a cigar, just motion blur caused by how long the film had to be exposed. Think it’s just a mustache that’s elongated because of it.

    Definitely see some sort of bands around the left wrist resembling a uniform of some sort, and what looks like a hat under his arm. I’d say definitely an officer, but quite challenging with the facial hair of the time…

  6. jeff soares

    May 5, 2011 at 3:06 PM

    Not a ghost. Guy moved when the picture was taken; an officer that most resembles Harrington. And def. a mustache. (Note: I already have the book). Great blog by the way.

  7. E.J.

    May 5, 2011 at 11:29 PM

    The man standing in the photograph seems to resemble Dr. Dolan. Walsh testified that he remembered Dr. Dolan being present for the photographs specifically, while other officers were present but he didn’t specifically recall any of them. Some of the officers wore their uniforms while others were in civilian clothes and the uniformed officers could be eliminated because the subject does not seem to be in a uniform. I can’t say when the photographs of the various individuals were taken relative to August 4, 1892, they might be substantially earlier or later which would change appearances to a degree. The crime scene photo of the subject is not very distinct, but the general hairline and ears of Dolan seem to fit fairly well. All things considered, Walsh’s testimony makes Dr. Dolan the best bet.

  8. E.J.

    May 6, 2011 at 12:45 AM

    Some further clarification, the man standing in the photo seems to be wearing a three piece suit, trousers, vest, and coat, with the vest buttoned and the coat unbuttoned and open. The color appears to be some medium value, perhaps gray or light brown. The coat appears to be more cutaway than the square cut double breasted police uniform coat. The double row of brass buttons would probably have shown up as well as the darker color value of a police uniform. I doubt the police wore vests under their coats. This is why I think it is someone in civilian clothes.

    When Walsh took the crime scene photos, I expect he would have kept others from wandering in and out of the rooms at random. He remembered Dr. Dolan present in the rooms as he took the photographs, possibly directing him in some way as to camera angle and distance because ultimately the photos were intended for Dr. Dolan and Marshal Hilliard as evidence. Walsh didn’t recall Hillard’s presence, but he did recall Dolan, so Dr. Dolan is almost certainly the man standing in the photographs.

  9. E.J.

    May 8, 2011 at 10:40 PM

    A couple of other observations, Dr. Dolan testified that he had the photographs made, implying that he may well have directed the photographer. While I don’t like to rely too much on the photographs for comparison, some features tend to remain constant, unlike hairlines and mustaches. One of these is the relative length of a person’s neck. The man standing in the photo seems to have a relatively short neck. The shirt collar doesn’t project much above the coat collar and there isn’t much of his neck visible above that. Examining the individual photos, Dolan is just about the only one having a short neck.

  10. Robert Kendall

    May 10, 2011 at 3:13 PM

    I don’t get it. Is she “Lori” saying its Harrington or Dolan?

  11. E.J.

    May 10, 2011 at 5:48 PM

    Robert, she is apparently saying it is Harrington in the photo. That implies the man is wearing a police uniform because Harrington was in uniform, from his testimony.

  12. E.J.

    May 10, 2011 at 8:27 PM

    Harrington, Trial, p.577:
    Q. Did she know that you were one of the police?
    A. I should think so. I was dressed in uniform.

    =>Harrington was in uniform.

    Mullaly, Trial, p.700:
    Q. Mr. Doherty is an officer?
    A. Yes, sir, he was in citizen’s clothes. I mean, in speaking of officers in that connection,
    officers in uniform, and Mr. Doherty was in citizen’s clothes.
    Q. If I understand you correctly, there were several officers in uniform and Mr. Doherty
    in citizen’s clothes?
    A. Yes, sir.

    =>Doherty was in civilian attire according to Mullaly.

    Doherty, Trial, p.597-598:
    Q. What did you do after you went to the yard?
    A. I went right down to the office. There was a messenger came for me from
    the Marshal to report at his office.
    Q. Did you do so?
    A. I did.

    =>Doherty was called to the Marshal’s office at some unspecified time.

    Doherty, Trial, p.600:
    Q. Did you return again after going to the marshal’s that morning?
    A. I came as far as the door.

    Q. Did you go in again?
    A. I did not at that time.

    =>Doherty did not enter the house when he returned from Hilliard’s office, but he did see Officer Harrington at about 4:00. It is not clear where Doherty saw Harrington, however.

    Doherty, Trial, p.602-603:
    Q. You did not see him? Did you see Mr. Harrington there at any time afterwards, the
    A. I didn’t see him there till four o’clock in the afternoon.

    =>Harrington and Doherty were not together while Abby was being photographed, either side of 3:30.

    Hilliard, Trial. p,1129:
    Q. (By Mr. Robinson.) Mr. Hilliard, Mr. Allen was the first officer you sent there on
    Thursday, if I understand you correctly?
    A. Yes, sir.
    Q. Did you see him personally or did you send him by the telephone?
    A. No, sir, I stepped from my office right into the guard room and spoke to him
    Q. Did he go from there without much delay?
    A. Yes, sir.
    Q. How was he that day, in uniform or citizen’s clothes?
    A. Citizen’s clothes as near as I can remember.

    =>Officer Allen was in civilian attire.

    Hilliard, Trial, p.1155:
    Q. You have said that Mr. Allen was not in uniform. Are you able to make a statement in
    regard to others that went up there?
    A. I am in regard to officer Mullaly.
    Q. What was it in regard to him?
    A. He had a uniform on. I know he had a uniform on.
    Q. What about Mr. Doherty?
    A. Well, that I am not able to state.
    Q. Or Mr. Medley?
    A. I can’t say because I didn’t see him.
    Q. Gillam or Wilson?
    A. I saw Mr. Wilson—gave him the order. At the time I saw him he was in citizen’s
    Q. And Mr. Fleet?
    A. Mr. Fleet, I didn’t see him.

    =>Mullaly was in uniform, Allen in civilian clothes.

    Dolan, Trial, p.868-869:
    Q. Did you return that day?
    A. Yes, sir.
    Q. What time did you get back to the house that day?
    A. Somewhere between three and half past o’clock.
    Q. Did you go into the house again
    A. Yes, sir.
    Q. Did you further examine the bodies of Mr. and Mrs. Borden?
    A. Yes, sir, but I had the rooms photographed before anything was done with the bodies.
    Q. Before you had the photograph of Andrew Borden taken, had any change been made
    in the position of his body so that you had to restore it?
    A. No, sir, not that I am aware of.
    Q. Andrew Borden’s body had not been changed or disturbed and that is as it appeared
    A. Yes, sir.
    Q. Did you have a photograph taken of Mrs. Borden’s body?
    A. I did.

    =>Dr. Dolan was clearly the individual in charge of having the photographs taken.

    Dolan, Trial, p.870:
    Q. Where these taken at the same time?
    A. Yes, sir, both at the same time. I think how that happened was that someone called
    me down stairs and I told the photographer—
    Q. Never mind what you told him—
    A. The body is the same, but the head is moved.

    =>Dolan was called away at some time while Abby was being photographed, so he was not present for all of the photographs.

    Walsh, Trial, p.123:
    Q. In who’s presence were these views taken?
    A. There were several officers there and Dr. Dolan.
    Q. Was Dr. Dolan present while each view which you have identified was taken?
    A. I could not say that he was present at all of them; he was at some of them.
    Q. Do you remember what officer was present at all of them?
    A. No, I could not say any officer was present at all,—going in and out of the room.

    =>Walsh specifically recalled Dolan, “several officers” is rather vague and any identification of them from this testimony is impossible.

    We must attempt to identify the individual standing in the photographs based upon something, either resemblance to another photograph or from the testimony, or both. The individual photographs may have been taken at any time before or after August 4, 1892, so they could be a bit misleading as to hairlines or mustaches. The subject standing in the sitting room is far too indistinct to be identified positively as anyone, but using relatively gross comparisons, we might get close. We can eliminate some of the individuals based upon whether or not a police uniform was worn and our belief of whether or not the subject was in uniform. It does not seem to represent a police uniform coat. we would likely see a double row of brass buttons, a square cut double breasted coat of a dark color value, and the coat would be worn closed or buttoned.
    Since no one individual is positively identified as the subject in any of the testimony, police notes, inquest, preliminary, or trial, we have to attempt an educated guess.
    There is nothing to lead me to believe the man in the photo is specifically any one individual, any of them might have wandered in or out of the room, so it is possibly any one of them.
    Since Dr. Dolan was the individual in charge of taking the photographs, since he was remembered specifically by Walsh the photographer, since he was in civilian clothes, and since he bears some rudimentary resemblance to the subject (but more than others), he is probably the man standing in the sitting room photograph.

  13. E.J.

    May 11, 2011 at 9:15 AM

    One further observation, Harrington was in uniform the day the photograph was taken, so if the subject in the photo was Harrington, then he was wearing a police uniform. Fall River police uniforms feature a large badge displayed prominently on the left breast of the coat, the side nearest the camera in the photo. So, if that’s a Fall River police uniform, where’s the badge?

  14. E.J.

    May 11, 2011 at 9:36 AM

    Another minor point might bear mentioning, the fact that no one at the time questioned who the man in the photo was might reflect something. If it had been one of the “several officers” mentioned by Walsh, he was never identified nor asked why he was present in the photo. Walsh might have mentioned him by name if it had been someone other than Dolan because he had him on film as a reminder, so Walsh’s testimony would have been ” officer (Whomever) and several others”. None of the attorneys questioned Walsh further about it if it was someone other than Dolan in the photo. Walsh had positively identified Dolan as present, so we might assume there was no need to pursue it. I expect if Walsh couldn’t recall someone other than Dolan he had on film, one of the attorneys would have used the photograph to jog his memory.


    May 11, 2011 at 2:06 PM


  16. Anonymous

    August 4, 2014 at 7:19 AM

    poor robin may be “a clairvoyant and paranormal professional” but she cannot spell as well as a third grader.


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