Leonard Rebello is Dead!!!

09 Mar


Leonard Rebello, Fall River native and author of Lizzie Borden Past & Present


Leonard Rebello has been proclaimed dead by certain Lizzie Borden Forum sleuths from the Lizzie Borden Forum.  I kid you not.   It has to do with the silver cup Mr. Rebello’s states was a gift from Abby to Lizzie.

The posting LBCUPexchanges evolve from speculation that the claim is not authentic and the veracity of Rebello is questioned because he did not give a provenance to the cup, to the cup being meant for another “Lizzie” by another “Borden” and ends with the assertion that no wonder he couldn’t cite his source of the cup because he is dead!  (BTW, he is alive and well).

Now what I find excruciatingly funny is that these sleuths, laboring over layers of minutia to solve the case, fail to apply the most readily available techniques and processes for verifying facts.  For example, they could Google Mr. Rebello and look for his death certificate or newspaper reports of his unexpected passing, or even called the Fall River Herald News.  Instead, they remain fixated on the misspellings and even assert such a cup would only be presented to a person of the Jewish faith because of the decorative engraving on the bottom!

See for yourself:  I have underlined key sentences in this evolution of error.

Re: Breaks in the Pattern

Postby Curryong » Tue Mar 04, 2014 6:30 pm

Back to breaks in the pattern! In court Emma did a good, very equivocal job on her sister’s behalf didn’t she? Skate, skate over the very uncomfortable truth (as Lizzie did at the Inquest) that neither of them called Abby ‘mother,’ or that they went nowhere with her unless they had to, and that, for the last five years of Abby and Andrew’s life, the tension in the home was getting worse.

Incidentally, hadn’t Andrew stopped going to Church? I can’t remember the details but it was something to do with having to pay some tax and he objected so much he didn’t go anymore, as the man who imposed the tax was a Church elder he would have to meet every Sunday. So Andrew became a heathen!

Postby debbiediablo » Tue Mar 04, 2014 6:56 pm

Andrew seems to have worshiped at the Altar of the Almighty Dollar.

Postby Mara » Wed Mar 05, 2014 10:00 pm

Sorry, Curryong, my trail stopped there! I wasn’t ab;e to determine what a “youth cup” was used for. At first, I thought maybe a punch cup of some sort. I don’t know. I’m swamped with work right now, but I’ll put this on my list for something fun to do this weekend. 🙂

Postby Curryong » Thu Mar 06, 2014 12:01 am

I’ll look forward to it! It sound like the sort of thing that might be handed over, unengraved, of course, as a Sunday School prize, or something of that sort. I got the book ‘What Katy Did’ once, but a cup sounds nicer!

Postby PossumPie » Thu Mar 06, 2014 6:39 am

I still think we need to exercise caution. First it could be another Lizzie and Abbie. Leonard Rebello who presented the cup (as far as I can tell) never proves beyond reasonable doubt that it is BORDEN. 1868 date strengthens the claim, BUT it is easily added later, or the whole engraving may be forged. Most of the time items like this come with a letter of authenticity, often tracing who owned it, showing a relationship to the original owner. If Rebello could show HOW the current owner came to be in possession of it, I would be less skeptical. Either way, it’s authenticity does nothing for the case.

Postby Curryong » Thu Mar 06, 2014 6:54 am

Isn’t Mr Rebello dead, or have I got hold of the wrong end of the stick? I thought he died some time ago.

Postby Mara » Thu Mar 06, 2014 5:09 pm

The only youth/child cups I’ve been able to find that have a grapevine or grapes motif are intended for Jewish children’s use at the formal Shabbat meal celebrated weekly in observant homes, or for the special Passover Seder. (Children are given watered down wine.)

Further enlightening us along Jewish traditional lines, “Abbie” can be a Hebrew name, either on its own or short for Abigail (which was the name of one of King David’s wives). It can also be a male Hebrew nickname (think Abbie Hoffman). Some of you might remember “Abie’s Irish Rose,” about a cross-cultural romance.

So I think this cup was a gift to a Jewish young lady/girl named Lizzie by a family friend, beau or sibling named Abbie in a Jewish household in 1868, rather than from our Abby to our Lizzie.

Postby Curryong » Thu Mar 06, 2014 5:19 pm

Wonderful work, Mara! Well done! So the cup (probably) isn’t our Lizzie’s after all. No wonder Rebello couldn’t answer questions about the provenance. There wasn’t any!

By the way, Mara, I posted a link with information on your favourite girl, (Nance,) on the ‘Life after Murder’ link!

Postby Mara » Thu Mar 06, 2014 7:04 pm

I see that, Curryong, thank you!

Postby twinsrwe » Thu Mar 06, 2014 9:45 pm

Good job, Mara! I agree with you; I think this cup was a gift to a another Lizzie, from another Abbie. If our Lizzie disliked Abby as much as we are led to believe, then I highly doubt she would have kept the cup for sentimental reasons.

Postby Catbooks » Fri Mar 07, 2014 11:40 am

i didn’t know mr. rebello had died 😦

he was so meticulous about being accurate, it surprises me he’d include the cup in his book if there wasn’t good reason to think it was lizzie’s. but i thought it odd that in the other thread apparently people had or were going to contact him about it, and then nothing more was said.

the only thing i can think of is perhaps the owner or donor of the cup was absolutely convinced it really was lizzie’s, and mr. rebello didn’t want to offend him or her, so included the photo in the book. without a caption, just the photo itself.

thanks for all of your detective work, mara 🙂

Postby PossumPie » Fri Mar 07, 2014 1:12 pm

As I said earlier, for something that vague (two first names) to be included in the book, one would almost have to be able to trace it’s ownership back. If we were told that it came from the grandson of a known friend of Lizzie, THEN we could be more sure. But a cup without a “pedigree” is meaningless.


What are the odds a woman named Abby would be giving a silver cup to both a Lizzie AND an Emma in 1868?  In any case, I know Mr. Rebello.  I’ve known him for almost 20 years.  I’ve been to his home.  He showed me the cup.  Mr. Rebello is an expert on the case, fastidious, generous, and completely honest.  He did not cite his source for the cup – which he owns – as it was a condition of anonymity by the person from whom it was acquired.  (Much like items that have been donated to the Fall River Historical Society).

There is a unique dynamic intrinsic to internet forums.  Cliques are formed. The desire and need to be included in the clique makes one conform to opinions of the others, even to the extent of making judgements of others without all known and available facts.  It reminds me of high school.
Within the irony is the humor.  It is ironic the people posting are supposed to be “investigating” the Borden case.  The humor is that they would appear to share the same gene pool as Inspector Clouseau.  😉


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2 responses to “Leonard Rebello is Dead!!!

  1. Roy

    March 10, 2014 at 11:22 AM

    Oy! Having a difficult time typing, having ripped out my eyeballs after reading the dreck from that moribund forum which has increasingly become of the clueless, by the clueless and for the clueless.

  2. Pamela

    March 14, 2014 at 12:01 AM

    Hi Fay! I usually check your blog every other day but I didn’t have internet for almost a week and see what I missed! lol!!! The Jim Carey photo animation is hilarious! Well, I spent a good amount of time reading those postings at the forum’s site and I have to agree with “Roy” above. Those people ARE clueless!! No wonder they can’t figure anything out. lol Keep at it, Fay, i have so much enjoyed this website for years. You are the TMZ of Lizzie Borden because nothing escapes you! As my son would say: “You are the bomb!”!!!!

    Pamela J.
    Long Beach, CA


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