The Fall River Herald

No Clue as Yet to Its Perpetrator.
Of Mystery That Envelops the Awful Tragedy.

Further investigation into the circumstances of the Borden murder shroud it with an impenetrable mystery. Nothing that bas ever occurred in Fall River or vicinity has created such intense excitement. From the moment the story of the crime was first told to long after midnight Second street was crowded with curious people anxious to hear some particulars that had not been told before.

Theories were advanced, some of them plausible enough, but not one could be formed against which some objection could not be offered from the circumstances surrounding the case. Everybody agreed that money was at the bottom of the foul murder, but in what measure and concerning what person could not be conceived. That a bloody deed such as that perpetrated in broad, daylight, in a house on one of the busiest streets could have been so quickly and noiselessly accomplished and the murderer escape from the house without attracting attention 18, wonderful to a degree. Nobody was seen to enter the house by anyone the occupant, although all of them except Mr. Borden were busy about the rooms or in the yard.


Could it be that the murderer was concealed inside the dwelling and had awaited a favorable moment to carry out his nefarious plans? The more the circumstances are considered, the more probable becomes this view of the case. People who have carefully examined the ground believe that Mr. Borden was the first victim, and that the killing of Mrs. Borden was by no means unpremeditated. Having accomplished the bloody work downstairs, the murderer slipped stealthily into the rooms above in search of the wife and, finding her in the northwest chamber walking across the floor to the dressing case had crept up behind, her without attracting her attention and delivered the fatal blow.

The plausibility of this view lies in the fact that the fall of Mrs. Borden, who weighed very nearly 200 pounds, would certainly have jarred the building and awakened her husband who could only have been sleeping lightly on the lounge, as it was but a few moments after his daughter had seen him quietly reading there that the deed was done. Further investigation confirms the. belief that Mrs. Borden was not chased upstairs by the murderer because she was so near the end of the room that she would have been forced to turn and face her pursuer, and the cots on the head would have been of a different nature.

Twenty minutes were all the time the murderer had to finish his terrible work; conceal the weapon with which he accomplished his crime, and conceal it in such a way as to leave no traces of blood on the carpet or through the house that would reveal how he escaped; to pass out of the, house by the side door within 15 feet of the barn where the daughter was engaged and a like distance from the Buffinton house on the north; pass the length of the, house and disappear up or down Second street. John Cunningham was going down the street about that time, and he saw nobody pass him, and people who live below saw nobody.


There are no new developments in the case to be gathered from the people in the house. Regarding the servant, Bridget Sullivan, a woman of about 25, it is pretty well established that at the time that Mr. Borden was assaulted she was in the attic of the house. Her statement to the police is as follows: "I was washing windows most all of the morning and passed in and out or the house continually. At the time Miss Lizzie came down stairs I went to one of the upper rooms to finish the window washing. I remained there until Lizzie's cries attracted my attention; then I came down and went for Dr. Bowen. I never saw anyone, enter or leave the house. "

Miss Borden made the following statement to Officer Harrington as soon as she was sufficiently composed to talk coherently of the affair. It differs in only one particular from the one she told Dr. Bowen, namely, the time in which she was out of the house and in the barn. She said that she was absent 20 minutes, and, upon being requested to be particular, insisted that it was not more than 20 minutes or less than that time. She said that her father enjoyed the most perfect confidence and friendship of his workmen across the river, and that she was in a position to know this unless something unusual had happened within a few days. She told the story of the angry tenant, saying that the man came to her father twice about the matter and that he persistently refused to let the store which he wanted for the purpose desired. The only vacant property of Mr. Borden was the room recently vacated by Baker Gadsby, and it is thought that this is the place the man wanted to use. Mr. Borden told the man at the first visit to call again and he would let him know about the rental. It Is supposed to be an out-of-town man and that he called and found that Jonathan Clegg had occupied the store. It is also thought that the tenant wanted to use the place as a rum shop; this Mr. Borden would not allow. It may be added that the police attach little importance to this latter matter.


Visiting at the house on the day of the murder was John W. Morse, a brother of Mr. Borden's first wife. He is fully six feet in height with gray beard and hair. He was not averse to talking, and said in response to questions:
"My sister Sarah A. Morse, married Andrew Borden in the city of Fall River when both were, as I remember, in their 22d year. That was 47 years ago. At that time Mr. Borden was in reduced circumstances and was just beginning to enter business. They lived for years on Ferry street. They had three children, one of whom died when he was but three or four years old. The others, both girls, grew to womanhood and are now living; they are Emma L. aged 37, and Lizzie A., aged 32.

"Mr. Borden first went into the furniture business on Anawan street, where he remained for 30 years or more. My sister died 28 years ago. At that time Mr. Borden was worth fully $150,000, which amount he had invested largely in mill stocks, which were highly paying securities. He told me on one occasion that he had $78,000 in mill stocks alone. He afterwards invested heavily in a horsecar line, but now I am ahead of my story.

"About 20 years ago I went out west, and settled at Hastings Mills, Ia. On the 14th of April two years ago I returned home, and since last February I have been staying with a butcher by the name of Davis, in the little town of South Dartmouth which is near New Bedford. Yes, I am a bachelor. I have a sister living in this city. She. married Joseph Morse, a second cousin. I have also one brother whose name is William, who lives at Excelsior, Minn. He is 65 years of age.

"Wednesday I came here from New Bedford early in the afternoon. I left that city on the 12:35 train, which arrived here about 1:30 o'clock. I walked, from the station up to the house and rang the front door bell. Mrs. Borden opened it. She welcomed me and I went in. Andrew was then reclining on the sofa in about the position he was found murdered. He looked up and laughed saying, 'Hello, John, is that you? Have you been to dinner" I replied in the negative. Mrs. Borden interrupted Mr. Borden, saying: 'Sit right down, we are just through and everything is hot on the stove. It won't cost us a mite of trouble.' They sat by my side through dinner, and then I told them I was going over to Kirby's stable and get a team to drive over to Luther's. I Invited Andrew to go, but he denied, saying he didn't feel well enough. He asked me to bring him over some eggs from his farm which is there located; I returned from the ride about 8:30 o'clock and we sat up until about 10 o'clock. Then Mr. Borden showed me to my room his wife having previously retired and bade me a good night. That was the last I saw of him until Thursday morning.

It was about 6 o'clock when I got up, and had breakfast about an hour later. Then Andrew and I read the papers, and we chatted until about 9 o'clock. I am not positive as to the exact time, and it may have been only 8:45 o'clock. While at the table I asked Andrew why he did not buy Gould's yacht for $200,000, at which price it was advertised and he laughed, saying what little good it would do him if he really did have it. We also talked about business. I had come to Fail River, for one reason, to buy a pair of oxen for Butcher Davis, with whom I lived. He had wanted them, and I had agreed to take them on a certain day, but had not done so. . Andrew told me when I was ready to go after them to write him at the farm, which would save him bothering in the matter. When I left the house I started for the postoffice. I walked down Second street, and, stopped in, got a postal card and wrote to William Vinnicum of South Swansey. I dropped it in the office and then went out of the north door of the building to Bedford street, and thence on to Third street, to Pleasant, to Weybosset street. I stopped there at the house of my cousin, Daniel Emery, No.4; I went there to see my nephew and niece, the former of whom I found away. There I remained until 11 :30 or 11 :45 and then I started back to Borden's as I had been asked there to dinner. I hailed a car going by and rode to Second street and thence I walked to the house.

"When I entered the premises I did not go by the front door. On the contrary, I walked around behind the house and picked some pears. Then I went in the back door. Bridget then told me that Mr. and Mrs. Borden bad been murdered. I opened the sitting-room door and found a number of peoplet including the doctors. I entered, but only glanced once at the body. No, I did not look closely enough to be able to describe it. Then I went upstairs and took a similar hasty view of the dead woman. Everything is confusion, however, and I recall very little of what took place."


Dr. Dolan was called upon after the autopsy, but he had no further facts to disclose. He described the wounds and said that death must have been almost instantaneous in both cases after the first blow. Acting upon the rumor about the poisoned milk, the doctor took samples of it and saved the soft parts of the body for further analysis. He was of the opinion that the wounds were inflicted by a hatchet or a cleaver, and by a person who could strike a blow heavy enough to crush in the skull. In the autopsy, Dr. Coughlin, Dedrick Leary,. Gunning, Dutra, Tourtellot, Peckham and Bowen assisted.


John J. Maher was on a street car on New Boston road Thursday afternoon rather under the influence of liquor. He was telling that when a reward was offered for the man he could find him in 15 minutes. When questioned by an officer as to what he really knew, Maher said that a boy had seen a small man with a dark moustache come out of the house at the time of the murder and, going down Second street, had turned up Pleasant. Maher was locked up on a charge of drunkenness.

Officers Doberty and Harrington have been on continuous duty since the case was reported.

It was rather warm for the busiest men who were detailed to hunt for the murderer's weapon in the loft of the barn, but they thoroughly examined every corner for the article.

Officer Medley was one of the busiest men about town Wednesday night and every remark or Idea Connected with the tragedy was thoroughly sifted by him.

When the news of the murder reached the people on the excursion it seemed too incredible, and a great many would not be convinced until they reached home.

If interest and hard work in the case were to land the perpetrator of the crime into custody Assistant Marshal Fleet would have the man behind the bars long before now.

Every morning paper in Boston had a representative in this city Thursday night, and as a result the telegraph operators were kept busy into the small hours of the morning.

The excitement attending the tragedy continued at blood heat throughout the night, and it required a umber of' officers to keep the street clear in front of the house up to midnight.

Among the many articles secured on the premises is, crowbar over three feet long and weighing about nine pounds. It was found in the shed by one of the officers. It appeared, at first that there was blood on it, and a hasty investigation by two of three policemen convinced the finder that the substance with which it was spotted was blood. It was consequently brought to the police station, where, it was found that the spots were nothing else than a few drops of paint and rust.


 Mrs. Emery upon whom Mr. Morse called, was disposed to talk freely to Officer Medley, who interviewed her Thursday night. She said in reply to questions that she had, several callers during the day, and that one of them was John Morse.

"Was Morse the name we heard'" asked the officer of a companion.

"Yes," retorted Mrs. Emery quickly "Morse was the man. He left here at 11:30 o'clock this morning."

"Then you noticed the time'" observed the officer.

"Oh, yes," was the reply, I noticed the time.

"How did you fix it?" was the next question.

After some little hesitation, Mrs. Emery said that one of her family was sick, and that Dr. Bowen was her physician. "Dr. Bowen came in just as Mr. Morse left."

"Did they meet," queried the officers.

No they did not, said Mrs. Emery.

At this point the niece in question entered the room and corroborated Mrs. Emery's statements, though both women finally fixed upon 11:20 as the exact time of Mr. Morse's departure.

Mrs. Emery volunteered information that Mr. Morse was well-to-do, at least she supposed he was comfortably off and that he had come east to spend his money. She was not positive on this point, however. Morse's niece was asked if she had ever seen her uncle before, and replied that she had. She had met him when she was five years old, and three weeks ago he had taken her from the cars at Warren to the Borden farm, Swansey.


Miss Emma Borden, who had been visiting in Fairhaven, returned home Thursday evening, having been summoned by the news of the crime. The details of the murder had not been told to her, and she was overcome by the recital. She is the oldest daughter of Andrew Borden by his first wife. All through the early hours of the evening the street was crowded with people, none of whom was admitted to the premises until they had disclosed the nature of their business.

A watch surrounded the house all night, and officers were guard inside. No further developments were reported. The family retired soon after 10 o'clock and all was in darkness. Undertaker Winward had taken charge of the remains at the request of Miss Borden, and will prepare them for burial.


 Today nothing but the murder was talked about on the streets, and the interest continues to be intense. The announcement that the family had offered a reward of
$ 5OOO for the detection of the murderers was the only new Item to be discussed.

The theories which were advanced by those who have been closely connected with the case agree in one thing, and that is that the murderer knew his ground and carried out his" blood thirsty plan with a speed and surety that indicated a well matured plot. How quickly the report that was gathered about the premises five minutes after the deed was discovered that a Portuguese had done it was scattered a broad after the murder is looked on with suspicion.

Detective Beaver and other members of, the state police force are assisting the local department in its work, and the office of the city marshal is the busiest place in town. New clues are being reported every hour and officers are busy tracking the stories to earth.

Mr. Morse, the guest of the Bordens, is well known in this city where he was born and lived many years. People recall that he went west quite early in life and engaged in raising horses in Iowa. He was said to have had considerable success with his stock and to have gathered together considerable property. Nothing definite about his affairs was known other than that he had told friends that he had brought a train load of horses with him from Iowa to sell, and they were now at Fairhaven.


 That letter of which mention was made Thursday as having .been sent to Mrs. Borden, announcing that a friend was sick, has since disappeared. The explanation that was given out was that after reading its contents, Mrs. Borden tore it up and threw the pieces in the fire. Bits of charred paper were found in the grate, but not enough to give any idea of the nature of the note. Nobody about the house seems to know where the letter could have come from; and since publicity has been given and considerable importance attached to it, it is considered probable that the writer will inform the family of the circumstances and thus remove suspicions.

Various rumors have been started, one of which was that Miss Borden had assured a friend last winter after a mysterious robbery at the house that her father had an enemy somewhere. A HERALD reporter interviewed a lady to whom it was said this story had been told, but she denied any knowledge of it. Another was that the axe had been found in the yard, but the police have not heard of it.


 Causes for the murder are arising so fast at the present lime that it is nearly impossible to investigate them. Hardly any of them are of sufficient weight to put a person under the ban of suspicion, but all are being thoroughly investigated. The latest story is about a former tenant named Ryan. According to the informant Ryan occupied the upper floor of a house belonging to Mr. Borden, and was so. abnoxious that he ordered him to move. While notifying the people he was compelled to seek the lower floor to escape the torrent of abuse that was heaped on him, and when the, family moved the remark was made that they would like to see him dead. There is nothing more than this in the matter, but as all acts or words in connection with Mr. Borden in the past are being looked into the affair was looked into and found to amount to nothing.


Griffiths Bros., the carpenters on Anawan street, tell a story which may have an important hearing upon the terrible tragedy. They were driving up Pleasant street about 10 o'clock Thursday morning when their attention was drawn to a man who was proceeding rapidly along the sidewalk in front of Flint s building. Under his arm. with the handle, down, he carried a cleaver entirely unlike anything they had ever seen. It was the size of the instrument that caused them to take more than a passing glance at it. To them it looked like a tool sometimes used by fish dealers. It had a rusty appearance, as if it had not been used for some time.

The man was dressed very poorly. He had no beard and was short in stature. As the weapon with which the deed was committed has not been found, the carpenters venture the opinion that the cleaver they saw was the means by which Mr. Borden and his wife were killed.


One of the city's most venerable citizens, and Mr. Borden's intimate friends, was spoken to on the matter. He replied that as far as motive was concerned for the deed he could not, answer. He had known Mr. Borden for over half a century, and his dealings were such that nobody could take offence with him. Having learned the cabinet making business, Mr. Borden applied to him in 1844, when the city-hall was building, for a situation as carpenter, work at cabinet making being dull. Mr. Borden continued in Mr. Miller's employ for about two years. He was a generous, plain and simple man. The reason he went into the bank business was so that he could more handily manage the property of Thomas Borden, his uncle.

The building in which Mr. Borden was killed had been erected by Mr. Miller, and throughout all their- transactions he bad found him to be a man of his word. - As far as Mr. Morse was concerned, Mr. Miller had known him but for about a year, and in that time he had seen nothing that would prejudice him against the man. Mr. Borden's daughters were ladies who had always conducted themselves so that the breath of scandal could never reach them.

As the reporter was leaving Mr. Miller's parlor, Mrs. Miller who was present during the interview, said that she had lost, in Mrs. Borden, the best and most intimate neighbor she had ever met.

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