Thank you, dear listeners, for making our podcast a go-to source for the facts surrounding Lizzie Borden’s life. On this August 4th, the anniversary of the tragic deaths of Lizzie Borden’s father and step-mother, we mark this solemn occasion by continuing to make our eleven interesting episodes free and accessible on our website: www.lizziebordengirldetective.com
It is with profound sadness that we at Nine Muses Books announce the passing of Richard Behrens, author of The Lizzie Borden, Girl Detective Mystery series and the writer, director and host of The Lizzie Borden Podcast. He was 52.
Richard was an extraordinary man, possessor of a gentle spirit and an amazing intellectual capacity that could painstakingly decode Finnegan’s Wake one moment, and laugh heartily at a silent Laurel and Hardy film the next. He was a voracious reader …and easily read more than 10 books simultaneously, and collected an enormous library. He enjoyed the creative process of writing his comic mysteries of his Lizzie Borden Girl Detective series. Roars of laughter could be heard from his office as he wrote a particularly funny scene.
Richard leaves a vast legacy of unpublished works so his widow created a GoFundMe campaign to raise the funds needed to ensure the publishing of these unpublished stories, including his nearly completed Audible Amnesiac. If you wish to contribute, follow this link: https://www.gofundme.com/richard-behrens-publishing-fund
The Lizzie Borden Podcast was written, directed and hosted by Richard, and therefore will end with the 11th (and final) episode of Richard’s radio play The Agitated Elocutionist. Richard’s books will remain available on Amazon.com.
Please check back for future announcements about the upcoming publication of The Audible Amnesiac.
Nine Muses Books is proud to present:
Episode 11: The Agitated Elocutionist: A Lizzie Borden, Girl Detective Radio Play.
In this episode we bring you something completely different: an old-fashioned radio play adapted from The Agitated Elocutionist, one of Richard Behrens’ Lizzie Borden Girl Detective Mysteries. Although set in an authentic 1870s Fall River, MA, with a teenage Lizzie Borden and her real family members, the rest is pure quirky fiction wrapped around an intriguing mystery.
In the world of the girl detective, and many years before her infamous arrest and trial for the murders of her father and stepmother, Lizzie Borden pursued a career as a private consulting detective, and as you are about to hear, in The Agitated Elocutionist, she matches wits with a pompous elocutionist and her devoted man-servant. You have met Lizzie Borden before, but never like this!
This radio play is a departure from our usual history-based podcasts, and it is just plain FUN! The quirky characters of Richard Behrens’ imagination come to life right from the pages of his delightful and intriguing mysteries. The actors are superb and hilarious, and the sound effects beautifully capture the Victorian-era flavor of the story.
The e-book version of The Agitated Elocutionist is available as a free download at Amazon.com along with the rest of the Lizzie Borden Girl Detective Mysteries.
The talented cast of The Agitated Elocutionist as pictured left to right in group photo above:
Aaron Potter-Rychwa as Police Officers Beck, Bence and Oxnard
Wendy Almeida as Madame Arbuthnot
Christopher Pratt as Banters the Valet
Heather Herring as Sarah Borden and the narrator
Tara Sabino-Potter as Lizzie Borden
Ian Hefele as Arthur Tinge
Tyler Strickland as The City Marshal
Richard Behrens as Gerard Gumley and writer/director
Mason Amadeus, audio engineer
Catherine Behrens as Abby Borden (pictured below in red sweater)
Listen to the Podcast here or subscribe to the series on iTunes.
The Agitated Elocutionist Radio Play is copyright 2017 Richard Behrens and Nine Muses Books.
The play was engineered by Mason Amadeus and original music was composed and performed by TAM Productions. The Play was recorded at Manadnock Broadcasting Group, Keene, NH.
Today we will be talking with the Fall River Historical Society curators Michael Martins and Dennis Binette who will discuss the story behind their phenomenal book Parallel Lives: A Social History of Lizzie A. Borden and Her Fall River, published by the Fall River Historical Society in 2011.
Parallel Lives: A Social History of Lizzie A. Borden and Her Fall River is a ground-breaking work and arguably the only professional biography of Lizzie Borden. Michael and Dennis worked on this book for approximately ten years, tracking down material related to Lizzie and the Borden family, cultivating relationships with owners of private collections and descendants of those who knew Lizzie, and piecing together a vast puzzle: a portrait of Lizzie Borden, Fall River’s most notorious resident and historical mystery.
Parallel Lives received a starred review from Kirkus Review, one of publishing’s highest honors, and Kirkus declared it one of the best books of that year. It is certainly one of the best books for a hard core Lizzie Borden enthusiast. Here to help us gain some insight into Parallel Lives are the co-authors and curators of the Fall River Historical Society, Michael Martins and Dennis Binette.
Listen to the Podcast here or subscribe to the series on iTunes.
In this Episode of The Lizzie Borden Podcast we conclude our Lizzie Borden Primer with Sarah Miller, the author of The Borden Murders: Lizzie Borden & The Trial of the Century. For those listeners who are unfamiliar with the details of Lizzie Borden’s life and the Borden Murders of 1892, this Primer will help orient them and give them important contexts for future episodes.
This part of the Primer covers Lizzie Borden’s life at her home Maplecroft after her controversial acquittal. Previous to the publication of Parallel Lives: A Social History of Lizzie A. Borden and Her Fall River by the Fall River Historical Society, little was known about Lizzie’s private life in her beloved home on the Hill. She moved into the French Street house with her sister Emma shortly after her murder trial and lived there until her death in 1927. Over the years, urban legends have accumulated about the infamous recluse who led a lonely and besieged existence. Rumors of scandalous affairs and forced confessions to the murders have dominated our narrative of the Maplecroft years, but Parallel Lives recasted Lizzie as a woman leading a very composed life behind her wall of privacy. A Lizzie Borden Primer Part 4 explores that private life, attempting to separate the mythic Lizzie from the very real woman who maintained her dignity in the face of great odds.
This episode concludes the Lizzie Borden Primer. Anyone who wants to hear the life story of Lizzie Borden from her birth in 1860 to her death in 1927 could listen to these four episodes.
Listen to Episode 9 here. Also available on iTunes.
Fall River, MA has been described as “a city built to burn.” In this episode Dr. Stefani Koorey takes the listener through the major conflagrations that destroyed large swathes of Fall River throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. This episode also takes the Lizzie Borden Podcast on its first detour away from Lizzie Borden’s personal story, however it remains in Lizzie Borden’s city of Fall River, which has its own richly textured and fascinating history. Fall River’s nineteenth century textile boom brought with it a series of fiery disasters. The Big Fire of 1843 left more than one thousand people homeless and destroyed two hundred buildings, as well as more than twenty acres of land. After the Steiger Store Fire of 1916, mill owners pressured the city to replace its horse-drawn brigades with more modern fire engines. The intense heat from the Kerr Mill Thread Fire of 1987 melted hoses as first responders battled the blaze. Author Stefani Koorey chronicles these and other historic infernos of the Spindle City and celebrates the community’s resilience in the face of adversity. Click here to listen.
Lizzie Borden Girl Detective Mysteries author and Lizzie Borden Podcaster Richard Behrens finds Lizzie Borden’s photo (lower left) on the wall of Rogues in Sherlock Holmes’ bedroom at 221B Baker Street. Perhaps Mr. Holmes knew something we didn’t, as she was acquitted of the crimes of murdering her father and step mother! Lizzie Borden herself visited London while on her European Grand Tour for her 30th birthday, just a few years before the infamous murders.
Recently Richard was interviewed about the lasting fascination with Lizzie Borden in the UK’s Guardian Newspaper. Read the story here.
In this Episode of The Lizzie Borden Podcast we continue our Lizzie Borden Primer with Sarah Miller, the author of The Borden Murders: Lizzie Borden & The Trial of the Century. For those listeners who are unfamiliar with the details of Lizzie Borden’s life and the Borden Murders of 1892, this Primer will help orient them and give them important contexts for future episodes.
This part of the Primer covers the Preliminary Hearing, the Grand Jury Proceedings and the Borden murder trial, which was held before the Superior Court in New Bedford in June 1893 and ended in her acquittal.
The Lizzie Borden Primer series will give the listener a grounding in the historical facts of the Borden Murders of 1892 which have become a part of the American imagination for 124 years, listen to find out why, and form your own informed opinion about her guilt or innocence.
Episode Six of The Lizzie Borden Podcast: Lizzie Borden Live! with Jill Dalton has been published to iTunes and our Podcast Page.
This coming Halloween weekend marks a very special day for Lizzie Borden fans. Lizzie Borden herself will speak once more. She’s being resurrected by a very talented actress and playwright Jill Dalton. Jill wrote Lizzie Borden Live! a one-woman play about our favorite murder suspect back in 2005-2006 and performed it at the East Lynne Theater Company in Cape May NJ. It subsequently went on to open in New York City, Arizona and Fall River where it was enthusiastically received by audiences who found it to be a revelation. Meticulously researched, Jill’s play has set a high bar for plausible interpretations of Lizzie Borden as a suspected murderer and as a Victorian woman. Set in 1905, just after her sister Emma Borden has abandoned her to a solitary life in her home Maplecroft, the play allows Lizzie Borden speak candidly in a way that she was allowed in real life. Jill gives us a complex Lizzie, alternating between dream, reality, and memory, confirming and denying our worst suspicions, and finding stunning but plausible nuances of her personality and psyche.
Jill Dalton and her creative partner Jack McCullough the director of the show are resurrecting Lizzie Borden Live this Halloween season with performances at Polaris North in New York City, 245 W 29th Street (bet. 7th & 8th Aves.) 4th floor. The performances will be Oct 28, the 29th and the 30th and best of all ITS FREE TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC. More information about the play and how to get tickets is available on their web site lizziebordenlive.net. If you can make it, I guarantee you it will be a wild night of quality theater and a great eye opener about the real Lizzie Borden.
We’ve invited Jill back on the show and she’s graciously accepted so let’s take a listen and hear her talk about her career, her play, and of course, Lizzie Borden.
NEW! Watch the Visual Edition of Episode 5 of the Lizzie Borden Podcast, which details the happenings on the day of the Borden Murders of 1892. With author Sarah Miller!
Episode Five of The Lizzie Borden Podcast continues A Lizzie Borden Primer, a three-part series that will present the life and times of Lizzie Borden. This episode is an exceptionally good starting part for anyone who has no more knowledge of Lizzie Borden and the Borden Murders than what they have heard in the notorious jump rope jingle. This episode covers the day of the Borden murders on August 4, 1892, the police investigation, and the arrest of Lizzie Borden.
Sarah Miller is the author of two historical fiction novels, Miss Spitfire: Reaching Helen Keller, which was called “an accomplished debut” in a starred review from Booklist and was named an ALA-ALSC Notable Children’s Book, and The Lost Crown, about the Romanovs, hailed as “fascinating” in a starred review from Kirkus Reviews and named an ALA-YALSA Best Book for Young Adults. The Borden Murders: Lizzie Borden & The Trial of the Century is her first non-fiction book and has been hailed by Kirkus and the New York Times as a perfectly concise and lively historical account of the Borden Murders of 1892.
Visit http://www.sarahmillerbooks.com for more information.
Producer: Nine Muses Books
Engineer: Mason Amadeus
Writer/Director: Richard Behrens
Music: Melora Creager
Cartoons: Chip Cooper
In this Episode Sarah Miller, the author of The Borden Murders: Lizzie Borden & The Trial of the Century, helps out with a Lizzie Borden Primer. For those listeners who are unfamiliar with the details of Lizzie Borden’s life and the Borden Murders of 1892, this Primer will help orient them and give them important contexts for future episodes. This part of the Primer covers the day of the murders and the events leading up to Lizzie Borden’s arrest. This is a must-listen for anyone who wants to know what happened on August 4, 1892 and why Lizzie Borden was suspected and then arrested for the crime. The Lizzie Borden Primer series will give you a grounding in the historical facts. We can’t answer the question of whether she was guilty or not, but we can give you the evidence available at the time of her arrest. The Borden Murders of 1892 have been a part of the American imagination for 124 years, listen to find out why, and form your own informed opinion about her guilt or innocence. Listen now, as we mark the 124th anniversary of the August 4th 1892 unsolved murders. click here to listen
Listen to the fourth episode of The Lizzie Borden Podcast, produced and directed by Richard Behrens for Nine Muses Books. In this Episode Joe Radza discusses the dramatizations at the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast this August 4th and his role as John Vinnicum Morse.
John Vinnicum Morse (1833-1912) was the brother of Sarah Anthony Morse Borden, who was the wife of Andrew Jackson Borden, and he was the biological uncle to Lizzie Andrew Borden. Sarah died when Lizzie was very young, but “Uncle” John stayed in touch with the family even after Andrew remarried a few years later, marrying Abigail Durfee Borden who then became Lizzie Borden’s step-mother.
Morse was a guest in Andrew’s house on Second Street the morning the murders occurred, arriving the previous afternoon. His alibi, however, was air-tight since he left early that morning to visit some relatives on Weybosset Street, who later corroborated his story. He left Andrew and Abby Borden who had just finished breakfast and were preparing to perform their daily chores. When Uncle John returned early that afternoon, both of his hosts were dead, brutally murdered with a hatchet. For several days he remained confined to the house on Second Street. When he ventured out to mail a letter, he was surrounded by a hostile crowd and had to be rescued by the police. He testified at the Inquest, the Preliminary Hearing, and the Trial. He was never seriously suspected to be the murderer but many researchers have doubted that he was entirely innocent.
The second episode of The Lizzie Borden Podcast, produced and directed by Richard Behrens for Nine Muses Books is now available on iTunes and on this blog. This episode was recorded on June 5, 2016. In this Episode we interview Sarah Miller, the author of The Borden Murders: Lizzie Borden & The Trial of the Century, published by Random House Children’s Books. Sarah discusses the challenges of researching Lizzie Borden and the Borden Murders of 1892 and how she came to write a children’s book that has since been recognized to be one of the best general purpose book on Lizzie Borden for readers of all ages.
Sarah Miller is the author of two historical fiction novels, Miss Spitfire: Reaching Helen Keller, which was called “an accomplished debut” in a starred review from Booklist and was named an ALA-ALSC Notable Children’s Book, andThe Lost Crown, about the Romanovs, hailed as “fascinating” in a starred review from Kirkus Reviews and named an ALA-YALSA Best Book for Young Adults. The Borden Murders: Lizzie Borden & The Trial of the Century is her first non-fiction book and has been hailed by Kirkus and the New York Times as a perfectly concise and lively historical account of the Borden Murders of 1892.
Folklore suggests that this jump rope rhyme that assumes Lizzie’s guilt was written anonymously by a reporter and used to sell newspapers during Lizzie’s trial. Whatever the true origin of the rhyme, it has remained part of our pop culture for more than a century despite its myriad of inaccuracies.
Hear more about this rhyme, or doggerel, on the premier episode of The Lizzie Borden Podcast produced by Nine Muses Books, now available on Youtube at https://youtu.be/15lU5bKeVKc
The Lizzie Borden Podcast is written and produced by Richard Behrens and Nine Muses Books, Episode One: The Doggerel (recorded in 2011) provides an insight into the famous “jump rope” song about Lizzie Borden (“Lizzie Borden took an ax, etc.”), its history, its mystery and its legacy in our cultural imagination. Fall River historian and Lizzie Borden scholar Dr. Stefani Koorey and actress/playwright Jill Dalton join us to discuss this naughtily inaccurate ditty. More information on The Lizzie Borden Podcast can be found at http://www.lizziebordenpodcast.com and http://www.lizziebordengirldetective.com.
Dr. Stefani Koorey
Richard Behrens: Writer, Producer, Host
Melora Creager: Music
Additional Music from Lizzie Borden Live by Larry Hockman