Newspaper Archive of
Boston, Massachusetts
April 22, 2016     Post-Gazette
PAGE 8     (8 of 16 available)        PREVIOUS     NEXT      Full Size Image
PAGE 8     (8 of 16 available)        PREVIOUS     NEXT      Full Size Image
April 22, 2016

Newspaper Archive of Post-Gazette produced by SmallTownPapers, Inc.
Website © 2018. All content copyrighted. Copyright Information.     Terms Of Use.     Request Content Removal.

PAGE8 POST-GAZETTE, APRIL 22, 2016 THOUGHTS BY DAN ABOUT THIS & THAT with Daniel A. DiCenso The Lizzie Borden Horror Lizzie Borden If Fall River had not fallen into hard times finanCially, a situation which has given rise to crime in recent years, it would be harder to imagine that one of the most infamous crimes of Mas- sachusetts took place there in 1892. By now, everyone local has heard of Lizzie Borden and the nursery rhyme her trial inspired. That rhyme is respon- sible for the most prevalent misconceptions of the murder case. Yes, Lizzie Borden is said to have killed her stepmother, Abby Durfee Gray Borden, with an axe, but she was only struck 19 times, while her father, An- drew, was only struck 1 i. Lizzie [Borden was acquitted, but few still doubt her guilt and not without reason. There were plenty of signs of trouble in the Borden household in the years .leading up to the mur- ders. What fascinates people about the case over a hundred years later is not the mystery as to who committed the crime, but the brutality and sensa- tion it sparked which was only matched 40 years later with the Lindbergh kidnapping. Whether or not murder was ever predicted, tensions were mounting at the Borden home. Her father, Andrew, through good saving habits and some success in the real estate busi- ness, had managed to accumu- late a respectable fortune that helped him support his two young daughters, Lizzie and Emma, when his wife Sarah died in 1863. Andrew, however, was not a widower for long and within three years had married Abby Durfee Gray. As Lizzie grew older, her ani- mosity toward her stepmother heightened. She began to be- lieve she was after her father's fortune and by all accounts their relationship was a tense one. Her suspicions were only made worse as Andrew began giving away bits of family prop- erty to Abby's family. Lizzie spent most of her time outside of the house assist- ing the local parish with Bible study, and the only time her mood seemed to sour was in the presence of her stepmother. Nonetheless, there were only two indications of the horror to come. One was a mysterious and violent illness that seemed to befall everyone in the house- hold in the weeks leading up to the murders. A family friend would later comment that some leftover mutton was still be- ing consumed despite being left out on the stove in the hot summer months. The family did have an icebox, so it really is a mystery as to why it was not used. Abby feared someone was trying to poison her lamily, but even she did not suspect her stepdaughter. Instead, she turned her suspicions toward herhusband's business rivals. Secondly, Johfl Morse, a brother of the girls' mother, paid a visit to the family the night before the murder to discuss a business transaction with their father. The details are still unknown, but it is likely it raised Lizzie's wrath. All that's known for sure is what happened the follow- ing day, August 4a. Abby was found dead in the guestroom, 'her corpse thrown facedown. Nineteen blows were counted on her back. After returning from his morning walk, Andrew got eleven blows from the same killer and died on the couch. Lost in the legend and rumors is the behavior of the police. By their own admission, the local police said they did not perform a thorough search of Lizzie's bedroom. Nonetheless, her behavior was strange enough to raise suspicion. She showed LLUS ATED! ,q The Lizzie Borden Trial that rocked Massachusetts in 1893. little emotion and gave contra- dictory statements to investi- gators. For instance, she first described hearing noises before the murder, but then said the house was totally silent. Even stranger was her be- havior in court, where she often refused to answer" questions from her own lawyer and fainted at the sight of her parents' skulls which were brought over as testimony by an examiner. Ultimately, what saved Lizzie Borden was the fogginess of the evidence. The evidence as to the murder weapon was inconclu- sive. The day after themurders, Lizzie was seen burning a dress she claimed had been ruined by paint, which was likely the key evidence as it was probably the dress stained with blood. No other piece of evidence {in- cluding a rumor that Lizzie had purchased toxic acid before the murder) was found conclusive enough, and so, on June 20 of 1893, Lizzie Borden was acquitted. The people of Fall River never stopped believing that their killer Continued to live in their town until her death in 1927. But knowing the real killer is only a part of what has kept the sensation of the trial alive. Instead, more of it has come from the very thought that real horror can exist within our very midst. The Society of Arts and Crafts Presents CraftBoston Spring at the Cyclorama APRIL 29 - MAY 1, 2016 CraftBoston Spring- or give as gifts. Friday, Apri129 handSaturday, celebrating its 15th year! -- Attendees will enjoy the dayApril 30% 10:00 am-6:00 pm, is New England's premier in the South End's historic and Sunday, May pt, 11:00 am juried show of contemporary Cyclorama, a charming 19 h- - 6:00 pro. crafts, featuring the work of century brick building that The Cyclorama at the Boston 90 leading local and national provides an intimate viewingCenter for the Arts is located artisans. These makers will experience. The perfect way to at 539 Tremont Street, Boston. display and sell one-of-a-kind spend a spring afternoon--and For more info, call 617-266- and limited edition work in just in time to find a one-of-a- baskets, ceramics, decorative kind Mother's Day gift! Established in 1897, The fiber, fiber wearables, furniture, Admission tickets are valid Society of Arts and Crafts is glass, jewelry, leather, metal, for re-admission throughout America's oldest nonprofit craft mixed media, paper, and wood. the weekend. Tickets are avail- organization. SAC has been at Educational and entertaining, able at the door, or at www.the forefront of the American CraftBoston Spring presents, craft movement, fostering the an exciting opportunity to Children 12 & under are free. development, sales, recognition learn firsthand what inspires Makers in the Round Preview and education of craj~s for over and motivates these talentedParty takes place Thursday, one hundred years. For more artists as you shop for beautiful April, 28th from 6:00 pm to 9:00 information, please visit www. v:orkpieces to adorn your home pn'. The rest of the showings are Geraldine Marshall Gift Links North End Community to NEMPAC Music Scholarships -- CALL FOR APPLICANTS -- The North End Music Performance and Arts Center (NEMPAC) is honored to continue to offer the Geraldine Marshall Scholarship, preservimg the legacy of a woman who loved children and the arts. The Geraldine Marshall Scholarship Flmd enters its second year of awarding two North End children, u ~r the age of 18, with a full-year scholarship for music lessons, t~ participate in one of NEMPAC's artistic programs. The Geraldine Marshall Scholarship wao established by her son, Representative Aaron Michlewitz. Ms. Marshall, who passed away two years ago at the age of 68, was born in Dorchester in 1946, moved to th'e North End at the age of 21, and livrd here for almost 50 years before her passing. "My mother loved the North End so much," said Representa- tive Michlewitz. "But more than anything else, my mother loved giving children the opportunity to develop a love and appreciation for the arts. This scholarship in her honor will allow that passion of hers to carry on. I am extremely honored that NEMPAC would join with my family in this endeavor." In support of tl~iS Sch~lilrship Fund, Michlewitz is hosting a Cornhole Tournament on Sunday, May 15th, at the Living Room at 3:00 pm. All proceeds will benefit NEMPAC and the Marshall Scholarship Fund. Additional donations to the Geraldine Marshall Scholarship Fund can be made online through NEMPAC's website,, or by check addressed to: NEMPAC, P.O. Box 130255, Boston, MA 02113. Students or parents of children interested in applying for the Marshall Scholarship should email an application request to or download an application from the webgite at Completed applications are due no later than Friday, June 17, 2016. Award decisions will be made and notified winners by August 1, 2016. Ease into Gardening with a Raised Bed by Melinda Myers Raise your garden to new heights for easier access and greater productivity. Raised beds allowyou to overcome poor soft by creating the ideal growing mix, plus make gardening time more comfortable thanks to less bending and kneeling. Whether you purchase a kit or build your own, there are a few things to consider when creating a raised bed garden. Locate the garden in a sunny area if possible. Most plants require at least six hours of sun, and vegetables like tomatoes, peppers and melons produce best with a full day of sunlight. Select a long-lasting material such as interlocking block, field- stone, plastic, lumber or naturally long lasting wood like cedar. The material selected will influence the shape and size of your garden. Some materials allow for curved beds while others are limited to squares, rectangles and other angular shapes. Design your raised bed to fit your space and your needs. A three- or four-feet width makes it easy to reach all parts of the garden for planting, weeding and harvesting. Raising your planting bed at least 8 to 12 inches improves drainage and provides an adequate space for most plants to root and grow. If you want to minimize bending, go higher. Add benches to increase your gardening comfort and ease. Bonnie. Plants has free downloadable plans (bonnieplants. corn/library) for building a raised bed garden with benches in just one aftemoon. Roughen or loosen the existing soil surface if your bed is built on compact, slow-draining soil. This will allow water to readily move from the raised bed into the soil below. Cover the bottom of the bed with newspaper or cardboard, if needed, to suffocate existing weeds and grass. Line the bottom of your raised bed with hardware cloth to reduce the risk of animals burrowing into your garden. Lay the hardware cloth over the ground and bend it up along the inside of the raised bed walls. Fill the bed with a quality growing mix that is well drained but also able to retain moisture and nutrients. This may be a mixture of quality topsoil and compost, a high quality potting mix, or a planting mix designed specifically for raised bed gardens. Grow any plants that you normally would grow in ground. Just make sure the plants are suited to the growing conditions (such as. sunlight, heat and wind) in your area. Since the soil mix and drainage is ideal in a raised garden, you will be able to grow more plants per square foot. Just be sure to leave sufficient room for plants to reach their mature size. Keep your plants healthy and productive with proper watering. This is critical for growing any garden, but even more crucial in a fast'-draining raised bed. The simple act of raising the garden height increases drainage, and a raised bed filled with planting mix means more frequent watering. Consider using drip irrigation or soaker hoses for watering ease. Always water thoroughly when the top inch of soil is dry. Add some mulch to help reduce watering and the need for other garden maintenance. Spread a layer of evergreen needles, pine straw, shredded leaves or other organic matter over the soil surface. This helps conserve moisture, suppresses weeds and adds nutrients to the soil as it decomposes. You~l spend less time watering and weeding throughout the season. Add an organic fertilizer at planting if your planting mix does not already contain one. Apply again mid-season if the plants need a nutrient boost. Always follow the label directions on the fertilizer container.