Emma Lenora Borden, sister to our gal Lizzie, has long been cited as the subject of an interview in the Boston Sunday Post of April 13, 1913. The by-lined reporter, one Edwin Joseph McGuire, however, has never been confirmed as a reporter, let alone the validity of the interview itself. The interview came just one week after an extensive article by Gertrude Stevenson of the Boston Sunday Herald who wrote of what life was like for Lizzie twenty years after the crimes. It has been speculated *that* article encouraged Emma to come forward from her self-imposed exile and speak for the very first time, ever, publicly – and “Lucky” McGuire got the gig.
Reference to this astonishing interview with Emma was, however, flatly denied by her through the “Buck family”. The Buck family (once headed by that revered Reverend Edwin Augustus Buck who had died a decade before on March 9, 1903) was apparently now led by his spinster daughters, including Alice Buck, who was the closest to Emma.
We don’t know for certain if it was Alice Buck who was the member of the Buck family who said the McGuire article was “not authentic”, though it very well could have been. But the point is this: McGuire’s article is mentioned in so many books of the “first generation” authors and so little is mention, even with contemporary authors on the case, as to the subsequent denial of its authenticity.
Why in the world would Emma agree to such an interview after more than 2 decades of silence? Were there events before or close in time to the interview that influenced or motivated her? Let’s check. Let’s go back to a little more than one year previous:
|March 1, 1912||John Vinnicum Morse dies in Hastings, Iowa at the age of 79.|
|April 15, 1912||White Star liner Titanic sinks on her maiden voyage after hitting an iceberg; 1,500 die.|
|June 10, 1912||Grisly axe murders of 2 adults and 6 children, all while they sleep, in Villisca, Iowa.|
|July 19, 1912||A meteorite with a mass of 19,000 kg landed in the town of Holbrook, Navajo County, Arizona.|
|July 29, 1912||Lizzie writes letter to Stomell & Co. requesting “B” be engraved on her suitcase “toilet items”.|
|December 30, 1912||Rufus B. Hilliard (FR Chief of Police) dies.|
|1913||Woodrow Wilson is President of the United States.|
|1913||Ford develops first moving assembly line.|
|1913||Alice Paul and Lucy Burns form the Congressional Union to work toward the passage of a federal amendment to give women the vote. The group is later renamed the National Women’s Party.|
|March 10, 1913||Harriet Tubman dies of pneumonia in Auburn New York.|
|1913||Louis McHenry Howe becomes Chief of Staff to FDR who is appointed Asst. Secretary to the Navy.|
|April 6, 1913||Boston Sunday Herald special edition: “Lizzie Borden 20 Years After the Tragedy” by Gertrude Stevenson.|
|April 13, 1913||Boston Sunday Post publishes interview with Emma Borden by reporter Edwin Joseph McGuire. (Was this a hoax?|
The little article above about McGuire’s article not being “authentic” was included in a packet of material on the case from Orrin Augustus Gardner. Contents of the packet can be found in the Swansea Historical Society’s research nook at the Swansea Library. Orrin Gardner was a close to Emma all her life and was a major legatee in her Will.