Category Archives: Lizzie Art

New Books on Lizzie Borden Coming This Summer

Coming this summer – new books on Lizzie!  We recently had Christine Verstraete’s Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter, and Rebecca Pittman’s The History and Haunting of Lizzie Borden.     The former is fiction horror and the latter is non-fiction.  Christine’s book has been well received and highly praised in reviews by those of its genre, and Rebecca’s book reflects a rare discipline to combine in-depth research with a totally captivating narrative.

But now we will be treated with a few more before the end of the year and I point out the two below worthy of attention.

Sarah Schmidt’s See What I Have Done is a gothic thriller described below.

                                                                                                      Sarah Schmidt

From the May 12, 2017 Critical Eye book reviews in The Guardian:

“Sarah Schmidt’s debut novel See What I Have Done takes a new look at the case of Lizzie Borden, who in 1892 was charged with the brutal murders of her father and stepmother. “A disquieting read,” wrote Antonia Senior in the Times. “There is an ambiguity here that reflects the endless, unanswerable speculation about what really happened that day. This open-endedness will irritate some readers; I loved it.” Jake Kerridge in the Sunday Express found it “dignified and sensual, as though Henry James had decided to tell the tale.  There are multiple well-characterised narrators and a dreamlike quality to the prose that enhances rather than detracts from the horror at the heart of the story.” For the Observer’s Hannah Beckerman, “Schmidt’s portrayal of Lizzie is haunting and complex, a deeply psychological portrait that forces the reader to question their preconceptions about what women are capable of – for better and worse. Both disturbing and gripping, it is an outstanding debut novel about love, death and the lifelong repercussions of unresolved grief.”

Another book to watch for is from an excellent writer who is to be commended for her equally excellent research abilities, Erika Mailman’s The Murderer’s Maid.  Here’s the cover art for that book.

                                                                   Erika Mailman

Erika has written several books:

Check out her website HERE. 



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Christmas Parody on Lizzie Borden by Garrett Heater


THE best play on Lizzie Borden, bar none,  is Lizzie Borden Took An Axe by Garrett Heater.  So I was particularly pleased to receive this information:

“Hello old friend!
I hope this finds you well!
“Lizzie Borden Took an Axe” wrapped up a 3rd consecutive sold-out run at the Barnes-Hiscock Mansion in Syracuse this October! Some of the cast members and I even squeaked in a trip to the Fall River bed & breakfast! 
During the run of the show we decided to create a short skit: “A Borden Family Christmas.” There are plenty of gems in it to keep the most orthodox Bordenophile laughing. We had such a blast making it.
Here is the trailer we released in November: “

This video is very funny and very “inside”.  I love it!

Some years ago I did my own parody – cllck below.

Scroll down to “It’s a Wonderful Life – when Deadwood was still on HBO.

If you ever have a chance to see Garrett’s play, BUY TICKETS IMMEDIATELY!!




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There’s No One Like You, Lizzie Borden – and Your House is Still Standing

I was in the process of deleting some old “Lizzie Borden Files” folders on a thumbnail drive to make room for photos of my grandson when I discovered these Animoto videos I had made several years ago.




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For Those Still Goo-Goo, Gaa-Gaa Over Lizzie Borden

If you’re still one who salivates over anything that might have been owned by, touched by, seen by, walked passed by, yaddayaddayadda on Lizzie Borden, check this out:


Scroll thru and take particular note of the “Lizzie Borden as a baby”, and “Lizzie Borden’s compact”, complete with her L.A. B. initials.


I swear, this feces never stops.    I would be curious, however, to know how much the “baby lizzie” framed image went for.

BTW, I have a pansy broach that belonged to Lizzie, inscribed “Daphne”.

That’s an inside joke if you’ve read Parallel Lives.  😉


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Lizzie Borden Ponderables

Have you ever wondered why:

Winnie French was so adamant to testify on behalf of Grace Howe & Helen Leighton at the Probate Hearing against Charles Cook’s claim of ownership of the Henry House?

Orrin Gardner had so little tribute in ink when he died, although it was highly deserved?

What specifically Bailey Borden sold of Lizzie & Emma’s possession in his Fall River store acquired from Hamilton Gardner?

Why there was so little reporting of Lizzie writing a blank check to Ernest Terry as she lay dying on her last day of life?  (All those people at the bank knew.)

Why Charles Cook parked his car in Lizzie’s garage and then charged the heating to her estate?

Why Ernest Terry went to work for Charles Cook after Lizzie died?

Why Grace Howe, with a keen eye for antiques, left so much of it?

Why so many of Lizzie’s good books ended up with Marian Reilly?

Well, I hope to have answers to some of this to post later.

Back home and much to catch up with.


Note:   Some people wonder the same thing as stated in this comment I received from “Norman Pound”:

“Inquisitive thirst comes on strong as I wait for your book and/or screenplay! This theatrical passage is evidence that it is impossible to endure another year without the pleasure of your literary talent and aptitude for investigation collected in manuscript form. Us Lizzie lovers await, chatting numerously, “When Phaye? When?””

The answer is:  “I don’t do things in a hurry.”   ;)

There’s much to wonder about in the Lizzie Borden case, whether at its core or on the periphery.  Here’s just a few things:

Have you ever wondered if Lizzie knew Nance O’Neil had married Alfred Devereaux Hickman in 1916, becoming his second wife?   (A widower for only one year, his first wife died in 1915).

And, have you ever wondered if Lizzie went to any of those movies Nance O’Neil was in?  She certainly lived long enough to read, if not actually see, Nance’s transition from the theatre to the silent screen and then in speaking roles.

And – as to those movies – here’s an interesting tidbit:

John B. Colton (1889–1946),  was a New York dramatist whose plays include Nine Pine Street (1933), based on the Borden murder case.  (He also co-wrote Rain (1922), based on a Somerset Maugham story).   But here’s the thing – Colton co-wrote “Call of the Flesh”, a film featuring Nance O’Neil released August 16, 1930.  And less than 3 years later on April 27, 1933, Nine Pine Street premiered at the Longacre Theatre and starred Lillian Gish as “Effie Holden.”  It played for 28 performances and closed in mid May, 1933.  Do you wonder if  Colton spoke to Nance about Lizzie Borden and was thereby inspired to write Nine Pine Street?  Something to ponder.

Here’s what was going on around that time:

February 18, 1933 New York Magazine article on LMH “the mysterious alter ego of Franklin D. Roosevelt.
March 24, 1933 4th & Final Probate Court acctg. filed by Cook on Lizzie’s Will – period Nov. 28, 1932 thru March 3, 1933.
March 3, 1933 Grace Hartley Howe & Helen Leighton sign 4th & Final Account of Probate.
March 4, 1933 Franklin Delano Roosevelt is inaugurated as the 32nd U.S. president.
April 13, 1933 Emma’s estate sells Maplecroft.                                        (LR561)
April 27, 1933 The play: Nine Pine Street opens on Broadway at Longacre Theatre starring Lillian Gish as Lizzie Borden.

And here’s something else I have always wondered about:

Why didn’t Abby have Bridget fix eggs on that August 4, 1892 Thursday morning instead of the 5 day old cold mutton and mutton soup?  After all, Uncle John Morse had picked them up from Frederick Eddy at Andrew’s farm in Swansea just the evening before and brought them back per Andrew’s request.  Those eggs were most likely in the kitchen pantry Wednesday night and Thursday morning.  I wonder if Abby asked Andrew what he wanted for breakfast and suggested the eggs.  I wonder if Andrew, with both testeronic and assertive dominance said: “No.  I’ll be selling those eggs.  Serve the mutton.  Waste not, want not.”   If so, one cannot help but wince and sigh yet again for poor Abby.

Too bad Lizzie didn’t get up earlier.  Abby might have asked her what she wanted for BREAKFAST instead of (according to Lizzie’s Inquest Testimony) what she wanted for dinner, i.e., the noon day meal.  I wonder if Lizzie would have stomped her foot and said: “Mutton?!!  No!!! I want eggs!”

Just a few things to wonder about.  There’s more, but I’m out of time and American Idol is on with the results of the next four to get booted off.

Hmmm, something to ponder.



“Funding Unsuccessful” for Lizzie Borden Editor

UPDATE 8/7/2012:  From today’s Fall River Herald –Here’s some wonderful Kickstarter results from a guy who seems to care more about Fall River than his own self interests.  Judging by the amount of money he raised in the first few hours there are plenty of others who like his idea and the donation rewards given to the contributors.  Kudos to Furtado!

Check out his video HERE for his slide show with great pics of Fall River and his telling of why he’s doing this.

UPDATE 8/4/2012:

While at the Fall River Historical Society today, August 4th, a FRPD Officer gave me a copy of a “Harrassment Notice” filed by Stefani Koorey saying I should stay 50 feet away from her. Apparently she was waiting for me to show up, then called the FRPD to say I was there. Does she really think I make these trips to harrass her? She’s not on my Agenda of people to see and places to go. But with her, it’s “all about Stefani”. Actually, I think it was retaliation for the below blog post:

Stefani Koorey was trying to raise over $13,000 to publish the next several issues of The Literary Hatchet via Kickstarter.  (In four years, she’s produced five issues). For a $5,000 donation you would be able to have your name on the masthead for five future issues, receive printed copies free, AND………wait for it…….”dinner with the editor”.  That’s right.  (By contrast, I donated $1,000 towards the printing cost for the Fall River Historical Society’s magnificent book, Parallel Lives and received a special Benefactors Edition, a primary collectible valued well over $1,000).  Anyway, back to Stef”s Fundraiser “FAIL”:

10 Backers.  3 Comments.  Read about it HERE.

I even donated twice – once in the name of my cousin (Sylvia Burton).

The Literary Hatchet, is a slick publication with excellent content, well edited and cheaply priced.  Thing is, nobody (well, practically nobody) reads them.  Same with her Forum.  It may be poor marketing or perhaps something a little darker and “popularity based”.

I personally think people were turned off by the manner in which she set up the donated contribution to the “rewards” distribution.  As I’ve stated before:

Some people are in serious need of radical Ego reduction surgery.

I was very surprised she received only 10 donors – well, 8 actually if you deduct the two I made.  She only raised $180, thus the project failed.  I had thought she would raise at least $252 – the same number of people who voted for her in the last Fall River mayoral race.

To her credit, however, she did edit and write the photo captions for Fall River Revisited, which is a neat little collectible on Fall River history.


Posted by on August 4, 2012 in Literature & Literati, Lizzie Art


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Lizzie Borden Took an Axe Play – Sneak Peeks

Portrait of Lizzie Borden by Fall River artist Tiago Finato  (sold)

This small theater company is moving all sets into trucks, transporting, actors, crew, etc. to Fall River for the August 5th & 6th productions at BMC Durfee High School.  In this nicely crafted website where they solicit contributions, you can get some sneak peeks into the scenes of the play.  Better yet, if you contribute you some special goodies and recognition for your contributions.

Check it out HERE

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Posted by on June 30, 2011 in Lizzie Art, TV, Theatre & Film


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