The New York Times
LIZZIE BORDEN'S ORDEAL
END OT THE FIRST WEEK OF HER TRIAL FOB MURDER
THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S EFFORTS TO ENCIRCLE HER WITH A WEB OF
OF' DEFINITE EVIDENCE-HER REMARKABLE COOLNESS.
RIVER, Mass., Aug.27.-The first week of the Borden murder trial closed
to-day, and after half the Government witnesses have testified there is
slightest change in the divided opinions of the people
here as to the guilt or innocence of the young woman who is accused of
brutally murdered her father and stepmother.
only witness of the day was the domestic, Bridget Sullivan, and she was
subjected to a severe cross-examination by the attorney for the
stood the ordeal well, and had evidently been carefully instructed as
manner of answering the numerous questions directed at her in rapid
by Attorney Adams.
District Attorney says that he is well satisfied with the development
web of circumstantial evidence which he is endeavoring to weave about
Borden, and the Government asserts that its belief in the guilt of the
woman has increased greatly since the testimony of Bridget Sullivan.
officers say that the story of the servant shows how manifestly
was for anyone to enter or leave the house while Lizzie was alone with
her mother and then her father, and they further assert in answer to
as to why this servant did not hear the fall of Mrs. Borden's body that
noise of the water splashing against the windows effectually drowned
Monday the prosecution expects to put Prof. Wood of "Harvard upon the
stand. Be has had in his possession the axes found in the Borden
upon which there appeared to be what Medical Examiner Dolan thought was
He has also had Lizzie Borden's skirt, containing a drop of blood, and
shoes, which were also stained by some red liquid. He has made a
analysis of all these articles and will say when he gives his testimony
or not the analysis shows these drops to be the blood of
a human being.
attorneys for the defense make light of this, and assert that Lizzie
will never be convicted on expert testimony. Attorney
far the prosecution has shown no motive, and in this respect the
Bridget Sullivan and John V. Morse has been disappointing to the
expected a recital of the family relations in the Borden house and a
of troubles between the Borden girls on one side and their father and
the other. But no such testimony has been advanced, and the nearest
which the Government has made toward endeavoring to show a motive was
District Attorney questioned insurance Agent Cook and John V. Morse
conversations Mr. Borden had with them in relation to certain bequests
said to have intended to make. But this was a failure, and a motive for
fearful murder is yet to be shown.
District Attorney says that he does not intend to put in his full case,
will only put in sufficient evidence to warrant holding the accused for
Jury. The drug clerk Eli Bence, has not yet testified, and his story is
eagerly. It is charged that it was from him that Lizzie endeavored to
hydroqranic acid, and finally bought prussic acid. The day before the
Mr. And Mrs. Borden complained of being sick, and suggested that the
might have contained poison. Their stomachs have also been in the
Prof. Wood, and he will tell whether or not they had contained any
poison for hours before the couple were hacked to death. If he proves
acid entered their organs, the case will look darker for the young
it does at present.
C. Milne, one of
witness has yet been called who saw anyone except the members of the
around the house, but on the other hand, the Government have failed to
conclusively that it was impossible for anyone to gain admittance to
The relations between the members
of the family, it
was understood, were to form a prominent part of the Government's case.
came Uncle John V. Morse, who knew the habits of the family as well,
as anyone not living in the house. Neither in direct nor in re-direct
examination was he questioned upon this point. The Government did not
the point, and the defense, of course, could not. Then came Bridget Sullivan,
the servant. If anyone is in a position to know of any breach, no
slight, between members of a family, it is the servant. Alleged reports
proceedings at the inquest stated that Bridget had given very damaging
upon the hard feelings exhibited by Lizzie toward Mrs. Borden. The
any such testimony at the trial seems to prove that the evidence given
inquest did not leak very much after all. The will theory has been
spoiled. Now all inquiry into the family relations, which were not so
as they are in the majority of families, has been avoided, and the
stands absolutely without a motive."
The most remarkable feature of the trial has been the demeanor of Lizzie Borden. From start to finish she has manifested no feeling of weakness, and has listened to the recital of the most cold-blooded and shocking details of the crime with a perfectly impassive and unmoved countenance. The description of the wounds by the medical examiner, his gory tale of how the skull was forced into the brains of the aged couple a dozen times, his recital of how the skulls were sawed from the bodies under his direction and the removal of the flesh from them-all these and other similarly ghastly stories the young woman heard, and was apparently unmoved. Three or four times she enjoyed a hearty laugh: for instance, when her attorney, desirous of ascertaining the space occupied by the body of her stepmother as it lay upon the floor compared the aged lady's physical proportions to those of the solidly-built District Attorney. Those who believe her insane consider this good evidence of that fact, but there is no apparent insanity in the clear blue eyes which look up now and then with apparent interest at the half a hundred busy press correspondents.
including the police officials, say she's a remarkable woman, and after
demeanor during the long hours of the trial as it has proceeded, there
one to dispute the statement.
and Emma Borden, accompanied by Mr. Holmes and the Rev. Mr. Buck, came
into court at the time for commencing proceedings to-day. There was, of
no change in the impassive countenance of the young woman, and nobody
to see any. Across the room was Bridget Sullivan, with her face very
her eyes downcast. She did not look up as the prisoner and her friends
and she moved slowly to the witness stand when she was summoned by the
was a most difficult witness to the press representatives, for her
the interrogatories of the attorney were so low as to be inaudible at a
distance of ten feet from the witness stand. Almost
unconsciously perhaps the District Attorney fell into the same soft
directing his queries, suggesting the idea that he was intentionally
the witness with soft gloves in a desire not to confuse her or add to
embarrassment. There was consequently much speculation as to the manner
the attorneys for the defense would assume toward the witness in their
Knowlton called Bridget Sullivan to the stand at 10: 16 o'clock.
continued her testimony as follows: "Mrs. Borden came down stairs
Wednesday morning saying she and Mr. Borden had been sick that night.
looked pretty sick. Lizzie said she had been sick all night, too. When
down to start the fire I used coal and wood in the kitchen fire. Used
always. Miss Lizzie had been ironing eight or nine minutes when I went
upstairs. There used to be a horse kept in the barn. Since the horse
there I have seen Lizzie go to the barn."
Knowlton--Tell me again, now, what Lizzie had to say about the note her
Sullivan --Miss Lizzie spoke about her mother going out, and said that
mother had received a note that morning.
Knowlton--Did Lizzie say anything about hearing her mother groan?
Sullivan--She said she heard her father groan.
Knowlton--Did you at any time that day see Lizzie crying?
Sullivan--No, not in all the day.
Mr. Adams conducted the cross-examination and commenced by politely asking the witness if she would be seated. The witness declined a chair, and questions commenced rapidly. "Have you ever told your story before?""No, Sir."
"Didn't you tell it at the inquest?"
"Yes, Sir; on the Tuesday after the murder in this courtroom. Dr. Dolan, Mr. Knowlton, the Marshal and some others were present""Who asked you the questions?"
"Was it taken down?"
"Has it been read to you?"
"Where were you last night after the hearing?"
"In the Marshal's office."
"Did Mr. Knowlton speak to you about your testimony?"
"Yes; he had a piece of paper."
"What was it?"
"Was it something you said?"
"What did he say about it?"
"He read a little of it"
"When did you say this?"
"I don't know."
"Had you forgotten all about it?"
"How much did he read to you?"
"About half a dozen words."
"What were they?"
"I don't remember."
"Who was there?"
"The Marshal was about there."
Wednesday night before the murder you went out the back door, didn't
"These back stairs you went up and down were the same that Mr. and Mrs. Borden went up and down, were they not?"
"Were these stairs carpeted?"
this time Mr. Adams was directing the questions at the young woman with
unprecedented rapidity. She stood the ordeal very well and her
answers were "Yes, Sir," and "No, Sir", giving possible
evidence of some instruction as to the manner of her replies. Bridget
continued: "Had a key when I went out that night. Left the screen door
fastened and locked the other door. Never had any man call on me at the
Never had any man from
"How long before you got the pail and brush ?"
"About half an hour."
"What were you doing, then?"
"Straightening up and putting away the dishes. "
"I went down stairs into the laundry, got a pail and brush, and then went out into the barn to get a handle for the brush. I got it in one of the stalls. As I went out I spoke to Lizzie at one of the screen doors. Lizzie asked me if I was going to wash the windows, and I said yes. She followed me into the entry. "
"Where did she come from?"
"I don't know."
Bridget Sullivan continued: "When I told her she needn't fasten the screen door she didn't do it. Mr. Borden was in the habit of going out the back door, but I didn't see him. I was washing the windows. I did not see Mr. Borden go out before I washed the windows. Raised the sitting-room windows to wash them from the inside. The window nearest the hall was open when I heard Mr. Borden at the front door. Can't say if the bell rang." Mr. Adams--How was it, was Lizzie in the dining room ironing when you came in for the dipper?"
Bridget -- I can't say.
Mr. Adams-- Wait, take time. Are you sure you can't remember if she was there reading or ironing?
Bridget--I don't remember seeing her there.
Mr. Adam--Didn't you say that she sometimes read there?
Bridget--Yes, but not that morning.
Mr. Adams--Now are you prepared to say that you did not see Miss Lizzie sitting there in the kitchen when you came for the dipper?
Bridget--I can't remember.
"Did you see a pile of handkerchiefs while she was ironing?"
"You weren't sure whether the doorbell rang or not?"
"Then you went to the door?"
"Did every one of those locks fasten?"
"What did you say when you were opening the door?"
There was a pause for this was the question which the witness objected to answering yesterday. "I'm waiting Miss Sullivan," said Mr. Adams.
"I said. 'Oh. pshaw' and Lizzie laughed," replied the witness.
"Well, is there anything bad in that you should object to repeating it?"
Continuing. the witness said that Miss Lizzie came through the dining room. Mr. Borden, she thought, had a parcel, and he sat down in the dining room. Lizzie told her father about the note Mrs. Borden had received, but I did not hear him give any answer, and then I washed the windows in the sitting room while Mr. Borden went up stairs.
"Hasn't this house been broken into in broad daylight?" asked Mr. Adams.
"And this was in broad daylight, while you were in the house?"
"What were you doing then?"
"I was at my work."
"And a man came in, stole a number of articles, and escaped without being seen?"
"How long ago was this?"
"I can't tell; A few months, I think."
"Was not something taken from there?"
this testimony of Bridget Sullivan, Emma Borden sat with her gloved
shading her eyes. There was a little of
the flush upon the countenance of the prisoner which those who have
features have learned to know as an indication of emotion, and she
listened to every sentence as it was presented.
Bridget Sullivan continued: Lizzie came into the dining room
father came in. I was washing windows.
" Lizzie then took the small ironing board and placed it on the dining
room table. She ironed some
handkerchiefs. Miss Lizzie told me that her mother was going out to
make a sick
call. It was a few minutes of 11 when I
went up stairs. Did not look at my
clock, but know it was few minutes before 11.
did not take off my clothes when I lay down.
Heard the clock strike 11. When
Miss Lizzie called to me that her father
was dead I went down and found her standing up near the door. She didn't have her hands up to her
face. She wasn't crying.
She told me to go to Dr. Bowen's and after
that to go after Mrs. Russell."
Bridget--I cannot remember.
Adams--Are you willing to say you did not tell Mrs. Churchill anything
You did talk with her, didn't you?
Bridget--I don't remember.
"Did you go up stairs before you went for Mrs. Bowen?"
"I went up to see Mrs. Borden after I went for Mrs. Bowen."
"When did you do down cellar after the tradgey?"
"I can't tell, but it was pretty soon after. I went in all the rooms with the officers. The found some axes in a little box near the furnace. This box was near the front part of the cellar. They were in a box that we used to keep starch in."
"When you saw Miss Lizzie, when she gave the alarm, what dress had she on?"
"I don't know."
"Was it light or dark?"
"I don't know."
you see any blood spots on her?"
"Did you see any blood spots anywhere except in those places that have been indicated?"
"Where was this room which was burglarized?"
"Near Mrs. Borden's room."
"At the end of the back stairs down which Lizzie Borden came?"
continued: " Did not empty any pails after the tragedy.
Saw several people washing their hands after
the tragedy. Think I say Mayor Coughlin
was his hands."
Blaisdsell announced at this point that the hearing was adjourned to 10
Monday morning. Bridget Sullivan's
testimony is not concluded, but there will be other witnesses examined
she is called again.