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.