Thursday, April 20, 2017

Borden Murders and Dr. Bowen: 125th Anniversary

Yes, it's a grisly anniversary, but this year marks 125 years since Lizzie Borden was accused of killing her father and stepmother on August 4, 1892.

I'll be getting back soon to working on the sequel to Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter, my take on the murders. In the meantime, I've been working on - and getting near to completing - a shorter, supernatural-flavored novella featuring the Bordens' doctor and neighbor, Dr. Seabury Bowen.

  Interesting man, Dr. Bowen. There are hints in the trial transcripts that maybe he burned a note - the note that Lizzie might have written that was supposedly given to her stepmother before her death? Except the note might have said something else...?  ** Read more about that and about him here.  Read  Bowen's trial testimony (PDF) here.

Also, it almost sounds in the second round of questioning that the doctor seems to be unsure, or changes his mind, on what color that dress was that Lizzie had on the morning of the murders.

An interesting thing about reading the trial transcripts is that since you get a lot of repeating, and have no indication of facial nuances, and can't hear vocal tones or how things are being said, you can read into the answers in a lot of ways.

Some people sound guilty, or like they are hiding something.... did Dr. Bowen?  Did anyone else?

If anything, it is fictional fodder. Make no mistake - the Borden murders were a horrific, gruesome event. It must have been shocking, even to the doctor and police officials. As Dr. Bowen was one of the first people Lizzie contacted and who came on the murder scene, you wonder how it affected him? 

Professional that he was, he, of course, checked the bodies and lent his professional experience. But he also did what may sound like questionable practices, like prescribing morphine to Lizzie before - and during - the trial. 

Was he haunted by the murders? Did he ever look back on that day at all?

And, it turns out that in the same time period there was another axe murder... Was Fall River itself haunted or maybe touched by evil? Or maybe Bowen himself was haunted-- but by what?

Those are some of the questions I'm addressing in this next story I'm working on.... I must say it's been fun digging into the past.

Stay tuned for more details!

  About Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter:

One hot August morning in 1892, Lizzie Borden picked up an axe and murdered her father and stepmother. Newspapers claim she did it for the oldest of reasons: family conflicts, jealousy and greed. But what if her parents were already dead? What if Lizzie slaughtered them because they’d become zombies?

Thrust into a horrific world where the walking dead are part of a shocking conspiracy to infect not only Fall River, Massachusetts, but also the world beyond, Lizzie battles to protect her sister, Emma, and her hometown from nightmarish ghouls and the evil forces controlling them.

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