Friday, July 25, 2014

Dan Markel Murder Update: Cops Seek "Vehicle of Interest"; Ex-Wife's Dopey Lawyer Makes Her Sound Suspicious


The Markels and their first son, nicknamed “Cubby,” on the day of his bris (circumcision), August 6, 2009
Re-posted by Nicholas Stix

Aside from one spam hit, the Daily News only permitted one comment:

GFX260 GFX260
8 hours ago
The issue is not who did it as that's obvious, the issue is finding the evidence to connect that person to the crime

Cops hunt mystery killer of renowned FSU law professor Dan Markel as car of interest identified
Dan Markel, 41, a Harvard-educated father of two young boys, likely knew his killer when he was shot in the head Friday morning at his Tallahassee, Fla. home, cops said. What appears to be a Toyota Prius was seen in the Betton Hills neighborhood and is of interest to police.
By Sasha Goldstein
Thursday, July 24, 2014, 8:09 P.M.
New York Daily News

The Toronto native was well-regarded for his academic work.

A Harvard-educated, widely published criminal law professor likely knew his killer after cops found no forced entry at the 41-year-old’s Tallahassee home — where Dan Markel was found bleeding from a fatal close-range gunshot wound to the head Friday morning.

Cops on Wednesday released a grainy surveillance video still of a car of interest — what appears to be a light-colored Toyota Prius — that was seen in the area of Markel’s Betton Hills home around the time of his 11 a.m. murder.

“In this day and age, many of our citizens use cameras for home and personal protection. Our hope is one of those cameras could provide us with a piece of vital information to bring this terrible tragedy to a close for all of those involved,” Tallahassee Police Chief Michael DeLeo said in statement.


City of Tallahassee Police Department This car, which appears to be a Toyota Prius, was caught on camera in the area of the murder on Friday and is of interest to police. (A car as suspect? No, the person driving it at the time is the suspect.)

The Florida State University professor, a Toronto native who graduated from Harvard Law School in 2001, was the intended target in the senseless [sic] crime, which showed no evidence of burglary or robbery, cops said.

The father of two boys, ages 3 and 5, was divorced a year ago from Wendi Adelson, a 35-year-old fellow FSU professor and mother of the children.

The two had a court squabble over the boys’ custody, and police interviewed the woman, who has been cooperating with investigators.

Meet Philip Gara LaMarche, of the Left’s Dark Alliance (DA)


By Nicholas Stix


Racism in Poland?



By Nicholas Stix

Apparently, militant homosexuals are hiding behind the “racism” mask. The warning is in English, I guess, because Clear Channel is broadcasting in English.

And whom would Poles be telling, "Go home"? Gypsies? I suppsioe they should say, "Oh, please, Gypsies, stay and spread disease and crime, and suck the hard-working, Polish taxpayers dry!"

At Gates of Vienna.

A tip ‘o the hate to Countenance.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Remember Abe Fortas? More on the “Independent,” Leftwing Judiciary


Judicial dictator, Chief Justice Earl Warren

Previously: “Tennessee: Racist, Lefty Hack Smears Opposition to Liberal Judges.”

By David in TN

In June 1968, Chief Justice Earl Warren saw that Nixon might win the presidency that fall and resigned so that LBJ could appoint a liberal to succeed him. LBJ then picked his crony Associate Justice Abe Fortas to be Chief Justice.


Johnson speechwriter and would-be judicial dictator-flunky Abe Fortas and Pres. Lyndon Baines Johnson

However, Republican and Southern Democrat senators filibustered and Fortas had to withdraw in October 1968. This forced Warren to stay until Nixon was able to appoint Warren Burger as Chief Justice.

Fortas was forced to resign the Court in 1969 because of accepting payoffs. He also had been working with LBJ while a Justice, writing Johnson's 1966 State of the Union address for example.


Pres. Richard Milhous Nixon

FSU Law Professor Dan Markel Died from Shot to the Head


Dan Markel, Wendi Adelson, and their first son, nicknamed “Cubby,” on the day of his bris (circumcision), August 6, 2009

By David in TN

Markel Died from Shot to the Head

Florida State law professor Dan Markel died from a gunshot wound to the head, Tallahassee Police announced Tuesday.

[Previously, on this crime, at WEJB/NSU:

“Tallahassee: White FSU Law Professor, Dan Markel, Shot and Killed; WTXL Provides No Information on Murder, and No Reader Comments, but Lots of Rules for Comments”;

“Dan Markel 1972-2014: White FSU Law Prof was Murdered in Home Invasion; Media: Tallahassee PD Refused to Give Any Info; Everything Came from Blog, Via Vic’s Friend (Update)”;

“Breaking News: Was Dan Markel Trayvoned? Neighbors Frustrated over TPD Stonewalling; Murdered, White FSU Law Prof’s Tallahassee Neighborhood Had for 3-4 Weeks been Hit by Massive Doses of Diversity Crime, Just Like George Zimmerman’s, in Run-Up to Martin’s Failed Murder Attempt”;

“Dan Markel Murder Update: Tallahassee PD: Killing was Not a Robbery, but a Premeditated Murder by Someone Who Knew Him; TPD Tip Line: 850-891-4462”; and

“Friends and Colleagues of Murdered FSU Law Prof Dan Markel Fear that Justice May be Meted Out to His Killer.”]


Tennessee: Racist, Lefty Hack Smears Opposition to Liberal Judges


Charles Grant, president, Nashville Bar Association

By Nicholas Stix

My partner-in-crime, David in TN, who sent me this disguised political advertisement, wrote yesterday,
We have early voting in Tennessee. Yesterday I voted against each of these judges.

The North Dallas Gazette, where this appeared, is a racist black newspaper serving Dallas’ black middle and upper-middle class.

Note that while Charles Grant keeps complaining about the Judges’ Republican opponents not giving the judges’ side of the story, Grant doesn’t, wither. All he does is smear the opponents, while not spending any time showing examples of their probity, say, by giving examples where they ruled against Democrat hobby horses.

The people of Tennessee have the right to vote on whether to retain these three judges in question, but Grant refuses to admit that. Instead, he acts as if the people were obligated to rubber stamp the recommendation of a commission of lawyers. Then why have an election at all?

He keeps howling about “special interests,” but the “special interests” he’s talking about are white folks. He acts as though black supremacism were both constitutional, and the will of the people.

I looked up the justices in question at Judgepedia, which identifies all of them as liberal, Cornelia Clark as quite so, and one, Sharon Lee, as extremely so.

Gary R. Wade

In October 2012, political science professors Adam Bonica and Michael Woodruff of Stanford University attempted to determine the partisan ideology of state supreme court justices in their paper, State Supreme Court Ideology and 'New Style' Judicial Campaigns. A score above 0 indicated a more conservative leaning ideology while scores below 0 are more liberal. Wade received a Campaign finance score (CFscore) of -0.14, indicating a liberal ideological leaning. This is more liberal than the average CF score of -0.02 that justices received in Tennessee. The study is based on data from campaign contributions by judges themselves, the partisan leaning of contributors to the judges or, in the absence of elections, the ideology of the appointing body (governor or legislature). This study is not a definitive label of a justice, but an academic gauge of various factors.[11]

Cornelia Clark

Political ideology

In October 2012, political science professors Adam Bonica and Michael Woodruff of Stanford University attempted to determine the partisan ideology of state supreme court justices in their paper, State Supreme Court Ideology and 'New Style' Judicial Campaigns. A score above 0 indicated a more conservative leaning ideology while scores below 0 are more liberal. Clark received a Campaign finance score (CFscore) of -0.4, indicating a liberal ideological leaning. This is more liberal than the average CF score of -0.02 that justices received in Tennessee. The study is based on data from campaign contributions by judges themselves, the partisan leaning of contributors to the judges or, in the absence of elections, the ideology of the appointing body (governor or legislature). This study is not a definitive label of a justice, but an academic gauge of various factors.

Sharon Lee

Political ideology

See also: Political ideology of State Supreme Court Justices

In October 2012, political science professors Adam Bonica and Michael Woodruff of Stanford University attempted to determine the partisan ideology of state supreme court justices in their paper, State Supreme Court Ideology and 'New Style' Judicial Campaigns. A score above 0 indicated a more conservative leaning ideology while scores below 0 are more liberal. Lee received a Campaign finance score (CFscore) of -0.81, indicating a liberal ideological leaning. This is more liberal than the average CF score of -0.02 that justices received in Tennessee. The study is based on data from campaign contributions by judges themselves, the partisan leaning of contributors to the judges or, in the absence of elections, the ideology of the appointing body (governor or legislature). This study is not a definitive label of a justice, but an academic gauge of various factors.[8]

Consider also the following, closing passage from the Judgepedia article on Justice Gary R. Wade, which contradicts Charles Grant’s assertions as to the ethical purity of the justices he supports.

Other senate Republicans have also expressed concern that the judicial conduct board is not thoroughly investigating complaints against judges. Tennessee's house majority leader, Gerald McCormick, also supported the senate hearing. McCormick has been critical of the recent efforts by the three justices to coordinate their campaigns to remain on the bench. "They need to be replaced," he told the TN Report.[12] McCormick accused the justices of acting like "partisan Democrats" and criticized what he called their "aggressive" efforts to raise funds "so they can keep their jobs."[12]


Power grab in Tenn. judge elections could have national implications
By NDG Staff [sic]
July 22, 2014
North Dallas Gazette
No Comments

By Hazel Trice Edney

( – An attempt to unseat three judges in an upcoming Nashville, Tenn. election is nothing less than a “raw power grab” by right wing special interests using big money to buy control of the courts, says the head of a non-partisan organization of lawyers this week.

“It is a raw power grab is what it is. Their campaign against these justices are [sic] based on a series of lies, half-truths, misstatements and material omissions,” says Charles Grant, president of the bi-partisan [Ha!] Nashville Bar Association (NBA), which has endorsed the retention of the judges. “It has huge implications nationally because if they can do it here, they can do it anywhere.”

The situation involves three Tennessee Supreme Court Justices Cornelia A. Clark, Sharon Gail Lee and Gary R. Wade, all up for retention on the court by the vote on Aug. 7. They were originally appointed by Democratic Gov. Phil Bredesen.

Opposing the judges are namely Republican Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey and other Republicans backed by wealthy political operatives, some from outside the state, including the billionaire Koch brothers [Boo! Hiss!] of Wichita, Kans., according to widespread media reports. Among Ramsey’s tools is a 30-page Power Point that attempts to scare voters by claiming – in part – that the three judges are soft on the death penalty and “anti-business”.

Grant says the claims in the Power Point are blatantly false and undermines the integrity of the process.

“It is chock full of misstatements, it’s misleading, it has substantial omissions, sometimes it attributes to these judges opinions that were written by the Court of Appeals for example. And when confronted with all of this misleading information that he is putting out to the public about the quality of these justices’ work, he will come right out and say, ‘It’s not my job to tell their side of the story,’” says Grant, the NBA’s first Black [sic] president. “What is it that they hope to accomplish? They hope to control the court. [As opposed to his side controlling it.] That’s what they hope to accomplish. They don’t want independence. They want control.”

[Charles Grant is as phony as a three-dollar bill. He doesn’t for one minute believe in judicial independence. He wants to maintain control, but he’s sneaky about it, while the liberal judges’ opponents are being open.]

In Tennessee media reports, Ramsey has defended his conduct by saying, “I’m telling my side of the story and they’ll get to tell their side of the story. Every campaign tells half of the story…They tell their side of the story and the people decide.”

Adding to the difficulty of clarifying their records is the fact that judges can’t speak out to defend themselves in the same manner as someone running for a political office. Because of codes of conduct, they must appear impartial at all times and avoid public confrontations that could warrant a conflict of interest later. They can’t speak publicly on specific cases. Neither can they ask for financial contributions.

[Liberal judges have the entire MSM to troll for them.]

Voters would need to research deeply [ridic!] to unearth the real facts pertaining to the three judges, Grant says. For example, though Ramsey contends they are soft on the death penalty, they have actually affirmed 90 percent of the death penalty cases before them, Grant says. As for the “anti-business” charge, “It is not the justices’ jobs to be leaning one way or the other. That is not what we want them to do. We want them to decide the cases based on the facts and the law without favor, without prejudice to one side or the other.”

The historic principles that have allowed for major progress in America are also at stake, Grant says.

“If Supreme Court judges had been subject to special interests, we would never have had Brown verses [sic] Board of Education. We would never have had the landmark decision that dismantled segregation and state-enforced discrimination through laws like Jim Crow and racially restrictive covenants and red-lining by banks and all of those things that enforce racism and racial oppression. So we need to have some kind of check on this power to make sure the basic constitutional rights and the bill of rights are protected.”

[But the decisions and laws he’s defending all violated the U.S. Constitution, and especially, The Bill of Rights (e.g., freedom of association!), not to mention most state constitutions.]

In a nutshell, the 40-year-old “merit selection” process by which judges are chosen in Tennessee is quite common in states across the U. S. [That doesn’t make it good, or suggest that the public should blindly follow it.] Candidates are intensely vetted [yeah, right—politically vetted, to make sure no constitutionalists get through] through a bi-partisan nine-member judicial evaluation commission, which then recommends three judges to the governor for any vacancy on the Court of Appeals or Supreme Court.

[Apparently, Grant needs to look up the definition of the word, “recommend.” He has confused it with “mandate.”]

When the eight-year term is up, the judges are re-evaluated by a commission which then makes a public recommendation on whether the judge should be retained. If the commission decides against the retainer, the judge is subject to a popular election. If the commission decides for the retainer; then the judges go on the ballot for the public to review their record and to review the recommendations and to determine whether or not they should be replaced.

[The second popular option is also an election.]

After this rigorous process, Clark, Lee and Wade were all recommended for retainer by the commission of non-partisan lawyers and citizens. Yet, the judges are now under a partisan attack.

[No, they are getting a partisan defense by a racist, political hack who supports rule by lawyers.]

With the rigorous campaign to unseat and replace them, Grant fears the judges’ retention bids could realistically fail because of the potency of the smear campaign and the money that is backing it.

[What’s wrong with rigor? The only smear campaign is the one attacking the Koch Bros., Ron Ramsey, and other Republican opponents of these liberal judges.]

“It is about buying influence. They are going after these justices because these justices do not cow tow to special interests. They do their jobs. They call the balls and strikes as they see them,” Grant says. “When a special interest or group wants to target a judge, it’s kind of easy to identify, to take one of their one hundred opinions or whatever, to misstate the facts or misstate the law or completely mislead.”

Grant and the NBA are not alone in their advocacy for fairness in the process. On July 15, a bi-partisan group of district attorneys came forward to support the three judges saying they have outstanding records and deserve to be retained. Also, Republican Mickey Barker a former chief justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court, has been quoted as calling the anti-retention campaign “frightening” because it would turn the Tennessee Supreme Court into a “partisan branch of government.”


Dictator Franklin Delano Roosevelt

[News flash: The entire judiciary has long been a “partisan branch of government,” and it is the left wing of the Democratic Party, going back at least to FDR’s 1937 “revolution” on the U.S. Supreme Court. Roosevelt threatened to pack the court, by adding up to six leftwing justices, in order to stifle all judicial independence that might resist his New Deal power grabs, that made it that way. In response, the USSC meekly submitted to FDR. Ultimately FDR replaced five justices, including one conservative, who resigned in disgust, which led to the Court’s 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision, which Grant praises to the skies, arguably the most corruptly partisan ruling in Supreme Court history.]

Judicial dictator, Chief Justice Earl Warren

Trial lawyer Lew Conner, also a Republican, recently held a fund-raiser of his own to assist the judges in their retention bid. “This is about a system being wrongfully attacked, and Ramsey is the attacker,” Conner was quoted in the Tennessee Watchdog.

Grant says the bi-partisan outrage is simply due to the knowledge that a politicized judiciary could lead to a rogue court which could make decisions based on political whims and allegiances instead of the facts of the cases before them.

[Doesn’t it just warm your heart, to hear racist black political hacks sing hosannas to judicial independence? Charles Grant must have been leading the fight against “Barack Obama’s subversion of judicial independence… except that he hasn’t.]

He concludes, “Lawyers don’t want judges beholding [sic] to special interests. None of us do. Lawyers don’t want to walk into court thinking that the scales of justice are already tilted toward one party before we’ve had an opportunity to present our case,” Grant concludes. [What a liar.] “The only way to win is to educate the population. If you want an independent judiciary; you have to understand when it’s under attack by partisan special interests.”

Foster's Daily Democrat, February 5, 1937

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Friends and Colleagues of Murdered FSU Law Prof Dan Markel Fear that Justice May be Meted Out to His Killer


Law professor Dan Markel, 41, was shot in his Tallahassee, Fla., home on Friday and died Saturday

News / GTA
Toronto-born law professor Dan Markel gunned down at his Florida home
Tallahassee police have no suspects in the murder of the Florida State University professor, a father of two young boys.

By Todd Coyne
Sun Jul 20 2014
The Star

Friends of a Toronto-born law professor are at a loss for words for their grief this week, while police remain at a loss for suspects in his murder.

Dan Markel, 41, an accomplished legal scholar at Florida State University and father to two young boys, was mourned by hundreds on Sunday near the Tallahassee home where he was gunned down on Friday morning.

He died of his injuries in hospital on Saturday.

“They’re treating it as a homicide at this point; this is not considered a break-in,” a Tallahassee police spokesperson told the Star on Sunday. “We don’t have any suspects at this time.”

The shooting at Markel’s Betton Hills home rocked the upscale Tallahassee neighbourhood. William Marvin was not home at the time of the attack, but he recalled fondly the conversations he would have with his neighbour two doors down whenever the two crossed paths.

“He was a really good guy,” Marvin said. “I just think it’s a tragedy and I feel sorry for the kids.”

School faculty, friends and family members — including Markel’s parents from Toronto — gathered at the nearby Shomrei Torah synagogue Sunday to read prayers and share memories of Markel.

“He brought lots of joy here on Saturday mornings,” said congregation president Ellen Simon, who presided over the ceremony. “He was very lively and our congregation became more lively because of him.”

In the legal community, Markel had close friends in some of the highest reaches of the academic world. Some who spoke with the Star noted the sad irony between Markel’s crusading work against the death penalty and the punishment that may await the perpetrator of his murder.

“If it turns out he was killed in the course of a robbery or burglary,” said Professor Jonathan Simon at the University of California, Berkeley, “that would be one of your quintessential crimes in America that would get the death penalty in a state like Florida.”

Simon said he was supposed to speak with Markel by phone on Friday morning. When the call never came, he waited and waited until finally he heard the terrible news.

Glenn Cohen, a colleague and professor at Harvard University — where Markel attended undergrad and later law school — remembered him as an “academic matchmaker,” more keen to help others succeed than to help himself.

New York University law professor Rick Hills, Jr., last saw Markel when the Florida resident stayed with him in New York just two weeks ago.

Markel had not told many of his friends yet, but he told Hills that he was happy in a new relationship with a woman after going through a divorce with the mother of his children in the past two years, Hills said.

“He was rebuilding his life after a really, really difficult period,” Hills said. “I was watching him as he was in my apartment Skyping his kids and saying goodnight on his cellphone … he was so happy.”

Markel’s body is expected to be repatriated to Canada while funeral arrangements will be made by his family in Toronto later this week.
With files from Paul Clarke

Ninth Circus Halts Arizona Execution, So a Bunch of Clowns Can Run Out of a Volkswagen


The Ninth Circuit

Re-posted by Nicholas Stix

The Volokh Conspiracy

Ninth Circuit stops Arizona execution so inmate can pursue a First Amendment claim

By Orin Kerr
July 20, 2014

The Ninth Circuit has handed down a new decision that I find rather puzzling. The case is Wood v. Ryan, and it involves a preliminary injunction of a planned lethal injection so the inmate can litigate a First Amendment claim seeking information about his execution. I’ll give a quick run-down of the court’s analysis, and then I’ll explain why I find it unpersuasive.

Wood, the condemned, is set to be executed by lethal injection in Arizona next week using a combination of two drugs, Midazolam and Hydromorphone. In this case, Wood seeks the following information about the execution:

the source(s), manufacturer(s), National Drug Codes (“NDCs”), and lot numbers of the drugs the Department intends to use in his execution; (2) non-personally identifying information detailing the qualifications of the personnel the Department will use in his execution; and (3) information and documents explaining how the Department developed its current lethal-injection drug protocol.

Wood claims that the First Amendment provides a right of the public to access such details about an execution. So Wood filed a suit seeking access to this information and requested a preliminary injunction of his execution so he can fully litigate the question and hopefully gain access to the information he is seeking. The district court rejected the claim.

In the new decision, a divided panel of the Ninth Circuit held that the district court abused its discretion in denying the motion to preliminarily enjoin the state from executing the inmate so he could pursue his First Amendment claim. The court first holds that there is a likelihood of success on the merits of his claim that the First Amendment provides a right of access to the requested information. The court next holds that the remaining preliminary injunction requirements point in favor of the preliminary injunction. First, a denial of First Amendment freedoms is always irreparable injury. Second, the equities point in favor of an injunction because the state doesn’t appear (in the panel’s view) to have a good reason why it is withholding the information. Third, the public interest is in favor of the injunction, as the public has a strong interest in the First Amendment and in debating methods of execution.

Although I find Judge Bybee’s dissent persuasive on the underlying First Amendment question, I was even more puzzled by the majority’s remedial analysis. I’m not an expert in civil remedies, but there’s something that strikes me as quite odd about the court’s remedies discussion.

Here’s my thinking. Usually, when a plaintiff seeks a preliminary injunction, the requested relief is an injunction of the unlawful conduct. The plaintiff claims that X is unlawful, so he asks the court to preliminarily enjoin X. The court then applies the requirements for a preliminary injunction established by Winter v. Natural Res. Def. Council, Inc., 555 U.S. 7, 20 (2008): The plaintiff “must establish that he is likely to succeed on the merits, that he is likely to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of preliminary relief, that the balance of equities tips in his favor, and that an injunction is in the public interest.” The Winter requirements amount to an assessment of the pros and cons of enjoining the unlawful act — the likelihood the challenged act is unlawful, the costs of allowing the unlawful act to continue, and the like.

This case is odd because the plaintiff is not trying to enjoin the allegedly unlawful act. Instead, the plaintiff is trying to enjoin his execution — something that is not being challenged here as unlawful — so the plaintiff can effectively pursue the underlying First Amendment claim on the public’s behalf. The extra weird part is that when the court considers whether the plaintiff has satisfied the Winter requirements for the preliminary injunction, the court does not evaluate the pros and cons of the court granting the injunction. Instead, the court evaluates the pros and cons of the plaintiff winning his First Amendment claim. It then uses the outcome of that inquiry to then provide the quite different relief of enjoining the execution. It’s an odd juxtaposition: The Winter requirements concern one claim and the remedy is about a different claim.

Of course, I get the practical connection between the two claims. The plaintiff is trying to find out the details of his execution in part so he can challenge the execution using whatever details are disclosed. He can’t challenge the execution after it occurs, so he needs have the execution stopped first so he can find out more information and then challenge the execution again based on what he learns. I get the strategy. But the legal argument doesn’t fit the strategy, it seems to me. The legal argument is based on a general public right of access to which everyone is entitled; as a legal matter, he’s no more entitled than anyone else who seeks the information to bring the underlying First Amendment claim. Given that, the remedy of preliminarily enjoining the execution doesn’t fit the nature of the claim.

Or so it seems to me. As I said, I’m not an expert in civil remedies, so maybe I’m just missing something. If so, I hope readers will fill me. And I should stress that I’m just analyzing the legal argument as a legal argument: Those who are more inclined to analyze this case through the lens of policy or morality of course may have a very different view.

Orin Kerr is the Fred C. Stevenson Research Professor at The George Washington University Law School, where he has taught since 2001. He teaches and writes in the area of criminal procedure and computer crime law. Kerr is a former law clerk for Justice Anthony Kennedy at the U.S. Supreme Court. From 1998 to 2001, he was a Trial Attorney in the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section at the U.S. Department of Justice. In 2013, Chief Justice Roberts appointed Kerr to a 3-year term on the Advisory Committee for the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure. You can follow him on Twitter @orinkerr.

The Onion Poll: Would You Let Your Son Play Football?

Re-posted by Nicholas Stix

A tip ‘o that hate to Jamie Satterfield.

Would You Let Your Son Play Football?
Onion Poll • Sports • Opinion • ISSUE 50•29 • Jul 21, 2014

Possible Responses:

Yes. The risk of permanent injury just doesn’t outweigh the opportunity to inflict injury on others.

No way. There just aren’t enough long-term studies yet about the effects of repeatedly concussing your head.

Only if football is something that’s in his blood and you can’t take it out of him, if this whole town lives and dies by football, if football is all there is.

Yes, but only up until middle school or whenever I stop needing to live vicariously through my son.
Absolutely. How else will my son find a sense of belonging in high school as a chiseled, athletic teenager?

Definitely. Kids need outdoor activity and bonding with friends, and I can’t think of anything else that does that but football.

Wait, we can say no to our children?

47 Shot. 5 Dead. Chicago Officials Meet

By Reader-Researcher RC

Deja vu.

Deja vu.

Deja vu.

All over again.

N.S.: They’re trying to come up with a better method for “disappearing” crime.

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Jerry Goldsmith Memorial Concert: Come Celebrate the Maestro's Life on the Tenth Anniversary of His Death!


As a little boy

By Nicholas Stix

"The function of a score is to enlarge the scope of a film. I try for emotional penetration - not for complementing the action. For me, the important thing about music is statement. I can't describe how I arrive at the decision to make a statement, I simply feel it and react to it."

From Jerry Goldsmith Online

Jerry Goldsmith Biography

Jerry Goldsmith Online

Jerry Goldsmith was born on February 10th 1929 in Pasadena, California, growing up in Los Angeles. Jerry Goldsmith was the son of Tessa and Morris Goldsmith. Tessa was an Artist and Morris a Structural Engineer. Jerry Goldsmith had originally intended to become a concert hall composer, but he soon realised that the infrequency of concert hall commissions would never satisfy his hunger to write music. Jerry Goldsmith began studying piano at the age of 6 and by the age of 14 was studying composition, theory and counterpoint with Jacob Gimpel and Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco. He also became acquainted with legendary composer Miklos Rosza and attended his classes in film composition at the University of Southern California. It was Rosza's own score to Spellbound and the film's star Ingrid Bergman that had captivated Goldsmith back in 1945. Goldsmith recalled later how he joked about planning to marry Ingrid Bergman and having a career in writing music for film. Saying that one out of two wasn't bad.

Circa 1950

In 1950 Goldsmith was employed as a clerk typist in the music department at CBS. There he was given his first assignments as a composer for live radio shows such as Romance and CBS Radio Workshop and progressing on to live TV shows such as Climax and Playhouse 90.

He stayed with CBS until 1960, having already scored the cult sci-fi show The Twilight Zone. Then was hired by Revue Studios to score their Thriller series, which lead on to further TV commissions including the famous Dr Kildare theme, which gave the composer his only top ten hit of his long career. Goldsmith also wrote the memorable theme and a handful of episode scores for The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Goldsmith scored his first theatrical movie in 1957 - the little known western Black Patch.

Jerry Goldsmith, during the mid-1960s

In 1962 Goldsmith was awarded his first Oscar nomination for his acclaimed score to the poorly received John Huston biopic of Freud. At the same time, he met and became acquainted with the influential film composer Alfred Newman. Newman, recognising Goldsmith's talents, influenced Universal into hiring him to score the acclaimed Kirk Douglas western Lonely are the Brave in 1963.

From there Goldsmith established himself as a contract composer for 20th Century Fox, quickly re-defining the modern film score. Along with his close friend Alex North, Goldsmith established himself as a leading name in American film music, and by the beginning of the 1970's the composer had already written a number of landmarks scores that cemented his position and his reputation. These included A Patch Of Blue, Lilies Of The Field, The Sand Pebbles, The Planet Of The Apes, The Blue Max and Patton.

At the beginning of the 70's Goldsmith suffered a dry patch with assignments for the big screen and augmented his movie scoring with a plethora of TV assignments and remains one of the few composers to juggle film and TV scoring successfully.

This included the critically acclaimed and Emmy winning score to the first TV mini series QBVII, as well as the popular theme and early episode scores for the TV series The Waltons. By the middle of the decade things had moved on proving to be one of the composer's most successful periods with a combination of gritty thrillers and prestigious assignments like The Wind and the Lion, Chinatown, The Wild Rovers and Papillon. The late 70's brought Goldsmith his lone Oscar, as well as an Oscar nomination for best song (Ave Satani) for the avant-garde and ground breaking score to the classic Richard Donner horror The Omen. Never had a film score been so critical to the movie's atmosphere and dramatic power. Goldsmith's work proved a revelation and stands today as one of the greatest moments in film music with its dramatic mix of chilling chorus and heartbreakingly beautiful moments that conveyed the horror of a family torn apart by an unseen evil.

The decade finished with a series of the composer's most popular crowd pleasing scores, from the military action of the berated movie The Swarm, a sumptuous English caper score for The Great Train Robbery and the terrifying masterwork Alien.

And of course what is generally regarded as Goldsmith's greatest work - Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Here Goldsmith was tasked with re-inventing a franchise and creating a brand new theme. Goldsmith remarked that the theme was the toughest he ever wrote and remains a remarkable achievement. At the behest
of Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry it later became the signature theme for the popular Star Trek spin off The Next Generation. In 1995 Goldsmith would write a new theme for Star Trek Voyager, a further spin-off.

Interestingly Goldsmith's association with Star Trek may have started even earlier. In interview Goldsmith revealed he had been approached by Roddenberry back in the sixties to write the original TV series theme, but due to scheduling was unable to do so.

With his Oscar, 1980

At the beginning of the 80's Goldsmith took a break from his usual hectic scoring schedule with only a couple of assignments. This included the TV mini-series Masada in which the composer scored the first four hours and the rousing main theme, which garnered another Emmy for the composer. 

Handing the remaining four hours to friend and fellow composer Morton Stevens. Goldsmith also completed the Omen trilogy with an awe-inspiring work to The Final Conflict in which he completely transformed the choral and orchestral style he developed in the first two movies into a score that was as terrifying as it was beautiful. So magnificent it is regarded by many to be superior to even the first film score!

Goldsmith's abilities at being a musical chameleon served him well throughout his career and just as the decades before brought dramatic changes in style, the 80's also saw further development and transformations.


Notably with the robust and action packed First Blood and its spectacular, action-packed sequel score - Rambo First Blood Part II as well as the epic third score to Rambo III in which the composer bids a fond farewell to the Rambo character. Then came the animated splendour of The Secret Of Nimh, as well as critically acclaimed works to Under Fire, Poltergeistand the orchestral/electronic triumph to the sporting drama Hoosiers.


The mid-80's proved to be a mix of comedy and adventure scoring for big budget fare that included a series of assignments for Joe Dante, most notably the box office smash Gremlins, featuring the composer's infectious "rag" to cult hits Supergirl, Twilight Zone: The Movie and a stunningly rousing sequel score to the poorly received Star Trek V.

Late 1980s

This decade also saw further electronic development that had begun back in the 60's with Freud. In 1985 the composer tackled his first all-electronic score to Michael Crichton's minor sci-fi thriller Runaway. And later followed it up with courtroom thriller Criminal Law along with an un-used score to cult hit Alien Nation. Goldsmith finally fused orchestra with electronics proper in the 90's and remains one of the few silver age composers to spend so much time cultivating the technology without betraying the traditional orchestral world.

Circa 1990s

In the 90's Goldsmith started the decade with his action opus Total Recall. Goldsmith's mammoth score is nothing short of a symphony and remains the defining moment in action film scoring, and is now regarded as a classic of the genre. He also became friends with the film's acclaimed director, Paul Verhoeven and went on to collaborate on the difficult assignment Basic Instinct. The assignment remains a rare moment in the cut-throat business of Hollywood where a director showed total commitment to his composer and worked closely with him to encourage Goldsmith to fashion one of his most memorable scores. The decade also brought another of the composer's finest works, the beautiful score to The Russia House for director Fred Schepisi. Interestingly Goldsmith's Russia House theme had originally been composed for his aborted score for Wall Street and then tried out for another aborted effort Alien Nation. The theme finally found its rightful home though. Goldsmith's other noteworthy assignments during this decade included the critically acclaimed score to the minor true life sporting drama Rudy, along with further Star Trek sequels First Contact and Insurrection, action epics such as Air Force One and The Mummy, as well as more challenging assignments such as the big screen adaptation of Six Degrees of Separation (Fred Schepisi), and the critically acclaimed thriller LA Confidential (Curtis Hanson).

Jerry Goldsmith began the new millennium with a further collaboration with Dutch director Paul Verhoeven on the summer 2000 sci-fi thriller Hollow Man where Goldsmith's genuine love and affection for the director shone through with an enormous and complex thriller score. The next two years featured The Last Castlewhere Goldsmith's moving theme was adopted to remember the victims of September 11th 2001. Followed by the box office hit The Sum Of All Fears featuring an equally moving score. And a second outing with exciting director Lee Tamahori for the Morgan Freeman thriller Along Came A Spider. By this time the composer's health began to take its toll and prevented Goldsmith from working as much as he once did but he finished his work on the Star Trek franchise with Star Trek Nemesis, making this his third collaboration with editor turned director Stuart Baird.

Goldsmith's final scores were for friends. In the case of Timeline directed by The Omen's Richard Donner. Sadly a score that was not used in the finished film due to dramatic changes in the final cut of the movie. Donner tried to secure Goldsmith again to rewrite the score but the composer was unable to do so. Fittingly for his final score he was with Joe Dante, another close friend, for the comedy Looney Tunes Back in Action. Jerry Goldsmith passed away on July 21st 2004 peacefully in his sleep after a long and gallant battle against cancer.


Lonely are the Brave (1962)


Thanks to valdez244.

The Lilies of the Field (1963)


Thanks to johnwaynegodbless for recording and uploading his old LP!
A Patch of Blue (1965)


Main Theme

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Experimental Mix


Uploaded on Dec 16, 2010 by jazzysclassicjazz.

The Blue Max





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Royal Albert Hall: TV Themes Suite

Thanks to ScoreGuy1980.

Uploaded on Mar 30, 2011

Capricorn One (U.S., 1978)


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The Boys from Brazil (1978)


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Executive Decision (1996)

Thanks to COSMORICO.


What It Means to Care About Immigration: 18 Points



By Nicholas Stix

At Countenance.

Dan Markel Murder Update: Tallahassee PD: Killing was Not a Robbery, but a Premeditated Murder by Someone Who Knew Him; TPD Tip Line: 850-891-4462

Re-posted by Nicholas Stix

Some genius is going to point out that the TPD spokesman, Officer David Northway, didn’t say “premeditated murder,” or even “murder,” but “homicide.”

The term “homicide” is next to meaningless in this context. All it means is that one person killed another. Homicide is not necessarily a crime. People perpetually confound “homicide” with murder, and with good reason. The authorities speak of “homicide,” and the men assigned to solve them are called “homicide detectives,” not murder detectives. Logically, a policeman must investigate all homicides, nay, all deaths, to determine which ones are homicides and, within that class, which homicides are murders.

If you lawfully (obeying all traffic statutes and regulations) driving a vehicle, and a child suddenly darts into your path, you are unable to avoid hitting the child, and he dies as a result of your hitting him, that’s homicide, but it’s not a crime. It’s an accidental death. If, however, you were driving while intoxicated, or while speeding, running a red light or stop sign, and/or while distracted while texting or talking on a cellphone, it’s also homicide, but it’s a crime, e.g., vehicular manslaughter.

All that the term “homicide” means is that Dan Markel did not commit suicide or accidentally shoot himself to death. However, TPD spokesman Officer Northway also said that Markel was not killed in the course of a robbery or burglary, that the killing was “not random” (a code phrase for your standard, racially motivated, black-on-white murder), and that he was “the target.” “Homicide” + personally targeted = that he was victim of a planned murder, i.e., premeditated murder by someone who knew him. That would likely mean that Markel’s killer knocked on his door or rang his bell, Markel saw the person, and opened the door for him. Bang!

(TPD Chief Michael DeLeo later clarified matters, by calling the incident a “murder,” and saying that Dan Markel was “the intended victim.”)

Although the TPD has denied having a suspect, it almost certainly does have one, but doesn’t want to alert him, for understandable fear he will then flee justice.

In your typical “random” murder, a black shoots and kills a white (or Arab or Asian), and flees without taking anything. After the fact, the police and MSM invent a scenario, where the murder was a “robbery gone wrong.” However, there is no evidence of the black killer having attempted to rob his white (or Arab or Asian) victim. The just-so story of a “robbery gone wrong” is used, as a diversion tactic, with which to fool the white public. (The black public knows better.)

Considering that for the previous 3-4 weeks, Markel’s neighborhood had been deluged with black, Trayvon Martin-style criminals, the first hunch that would come to a rational investigator’s mind would be a black-on-white (“random”) murder.

That the TPD denies that the murder was of such character is due to its detectives and bosses having formulated an alternative theory. We will have to wait and see what that theory is, and on what it is based.

TPD says Dan Markel shooting appears to be a homicide

Capital One: No White Men Need Apply



By Nicholas Stix

Above is the photograph Capital One uses to promote itself as one of America’s best firms to work for, and which Fortune found just peachy keen.

A WASP Looks at Lizzie Borden (Classic Florence King!)

Re-posted by Nicholas Stix

August 6, 2004

“Lizzie Border [sic]--Wasp”
Another Friday with Florence.
By Florence King
August, 1992
National Review

[N.S.: My hunch is that this article was scanned off a hard copy of National Review, and the congenital idiot assistant editor assigned to proofread it failed to catch the scanning error, ;iekwise with the quotation marks in the first paragraph.]


EDITOR’S NOTE: Twelve [now almost 22] years ago this month National Review published what would become one of its most hosannaed articles–”A Wasp Looks at Lizzie Borden,” by none other than America’s most revered curmudgeons, Florence King. The multi-whacking ax murders of Andrew and Abby Borden, wrote Miss King, provided a perfect case study of Anglo-Saxon America. And the wonderful prose is the perfect case study of excellent writing. You absolutely must read this Tour de Force de Flo.

And you also absolutely must get the complete and unabridged collection of Miss King’s beloved NR columns: STET, Damnit, The Misanthrope’s Corner, 1991 to 2002. No Florence fan can be without this massive treasure chest of misanthropy. It is available only from NR, and may be order securely here.)

If you want to understand Anglo-Saxon Americans, study the Lizzie Borden case. No ethnologist could ask for a better control group; except for Bridget Sullivan, the Bordens’ maid, the zany tragedy of August 4, 1892, had an all-Wasp cast.

Lizzie was born in Fall River, Massachusetts, on July 19, 1860, and immediately given the Wasp family’s favorite substitute for open affection: a nickname. Thirty-two years later at her inquest she stated her full legal name: Lizzie Andrew Borden. “You were so christened?” asked the district attorney.

“I was so christened,” she replied.

Lizzie’s mother died in 1862. Left with two daughters to raise, her father, Andrew Borden, soon married a chubby spinster of 38 named Abby Durfee Gray. Three-year-old Lizzie obediently called the new wife Mother, but 12-year-old Emma called her Abby.

Andrew Borden was a prosperous but miserly undertaker whose sole interest in life was money. His operations expanded to include banking, cotton mills, and real estate, but no matter how rich he became he never stopped peddling eggs from his farms to his downtown business associates; wicker basket in hand, he would set out for corporate board meetings in anticipation of yet a few more pennies. Although he was worth $500,000 in pre-IRS, gold-standard dollars, he was so tightfisted that he refused to install running water in his home. There was a latrine in the cellar and a pump in the kitchen; the bedrooms were fitted out with water pitchers, wash bowls, chamber pots, and slop pails.

Marriage with this paragon of Yankee thrift evidently drove Abby to seek compensatory emotional satisfaction in eating. Only five feet tall, she ballooned up to more than two hundred pounds and seldom left the house except to visit her half-sister, Mrs. Whitehead.

Emma Borden, Lizzie’s older sister, was 42 at the time of the murders. Mouse-like in all respects, she was one of those spinsters who scurry. Other than doing the marketing, she rarely went anywhere except around the corner to visit her friend, another spinster named Alice Russell.

Compared to the rest of her family, Lizzie comes through as a prom queen. Never known to go out with men, at least she went out. A member of Central Congregational, she taught Sunday school, served as secretary-treasurer of the Christian Endeavor Society, and was a card-carrying member of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union.

What did she look like? Like everyone else in that inbred Wasp town. New York Sun reporter Julian Ralph wrote during the trial:

By the way, the strangers who are here begin to notice that Lizzie Borden’s face is of a type quite common in New Bedford. They meet Lizzie Borden every day and everywhere about town. Some are fairer, some are younger, some are coarser, but all have the same general cast of features–heavy in the lower face, high in the cheekbones, wide at the eyes, and with heavy lips and a deep line on each side of the mouth.

Plump by our standards, she had what her self-confident era called a good figure. She also had blue eyes, and like all blue-eyed women she had a lot of blue dresses–handy for changing .clothes without appearing to have done so. The case is a vortex of dark blue dresses, light blue dresses, blue summer dresses, blue winter dresses, clean blue dresses, paint-stained blue dresses, blood-stained blue dresses, and an all-male jury struggling to tell one from the other.

Five years before the murders, the Bordens had a family fight when Andrew put one of his rental houses in Abby’s name. Lizzie and Emma were furious, so they said politely: “What you do for her, you must do for us.” That’s the Wasp version of a conniption and Andrew knew it, so he took refuge in our cure-all fair play, buying his daughters houses of identical valuation ($1,500) to the one he had given his wife.

Now they were even-steven and everything was settled–except it wasn’t. Having failed to clear the air, everyone started smoldering and brooding. Emma and Lizzie stopped eating with the elder Bordens, requiring the maid to set and serve each meal twice. They never reached that pinnacle of Wasp rage called Not Speaking–”We always spoke,” Emma emphasized at the trial–but she and Lizzie eliminated “Abby” and “Mother” from their respective vocabularies and started calling their stepmother “Mrs. Borden.” What a cathartic release that must have been.

Lizzie ticked away for four years until 1891, when she committed a family robbery. Entering the master bedroom through a door in her own room (it was a “shotgun” house with no hallways), she stole her stepmother’s jewelry and her father’s loose cash.

Andrew and Abby knew that Lizzie was the culprit, and Lizzie knew that they knew, but rather than “have words,” Andrew called in the police and let them go through an investigation to catch the person the whole family carefully referred to as “the unknown thief.”

The robbery launched a field day of Silent Gestures. Everybody quietly bought lots of locks. To supplement the key locks, there were bolts, hooks, chains, and padlocks. Abby’s Silent Gesture consisted of locking and bolting her side of the door that led into Lizzie’s room. Lizzie responded with her Silent Gesture, putting a hook on her side of the door and shoving a huge clawlooted secretary in front of it.

The best Silent Gesture was Andrew’s. He put the strongest available lock on the master bedroom, but kept the key on the sitting-room mantelpiece in full view of everyone. Lizzie knew she was being tempted to touch it; she also knew that if the key disappeared, she would be suspect. In one fell swoop, Andrew made it clear that he was simultaneously trusting her and distrusting her, and warning her without saying a word. Wasps call this war of nerves the honor system.

Since Emma was a Silent Gesture, there was no need for her to do anything except keep on scurrying.

The Borden house must have been a peaceful place. There is nothing on record to show that the Bordens ever raised their voices to one another. “Never a word,” Bridget Sullivan testified at the trial, with obvious sincerity and not a little awe.

Bridget, 26 and pretty in a big-boned, countrified way, had been in the Bordens’ service for almost three years at the time of the murders. A recent immigrant, she had a brogue so thick that she referred to the Silent Gesture on the mantelpiece as the “kay.”

Bridget adored Lizzie. Victoria Lincoln, the late novelist, whose parents were neighbors of the Bordens, wrote in her study of the case: “De haut en bas, Lizzie was always kind.” Her habit of calling Bridget “Maggie” has been attributed to laziness (Maggie was the name of a former maid), but I think it was an extremity of tact. In that time and place, the name Bridget was synonymous with “Irish maid.” Like Rastus in minstrel-show jokes, it was derisory, so Lizzie substituted another.

Anyone who studies the Borden case grows to like Lizzie, or at least admire her, for her rigid sense of herself as a gentlewoman. It would have been so easy for her to cast suspicion on Bridget, or to accuse her outright. Bridget was the only other person in the house when Andrew and Abby were killed. The Irish were disliked in turn-of-the-century Massachusetts; a Yankee jury would have bought the idea of Bridget’s guilt. Yet Lizzie never once tried to shift the blame, and she never named Bridget as a suspect.

Scurrying Away

A WEEK before the murders, Emma did something incredible: she went to Fairhaven. Fifteen miles is a long way to scurry but scurry she did, to visit an elderly friend and escape the heat wave that had descended on Fall River.

That same week, Lizzie shared a beach house on Buzzards Bay with five friends. At a press conference after the murders, they showered her with compliments. “She always was self-contained, self-reliant, and very composed. Her conduct since her arrest is exactly what I should have expected. Lizzie and her father were, without being demonstrative, very fond of each other.”

They got so caught up in Wasp priorities that they inadvertently sowed a dangerous seed when the reporter asked them if they thought Lizzie was guilty. No, they said firmly, because she had pleaded not guilty: “It is more likely that Lizzie would commit a murder than that she would lie about it afterward.”

The most puzzling aspect of the case has always been Lizzie’s choice of weapons. Ladies don’t chop up difficult relatives, but they do poison them. A few days before she was due at the beach house, Lizzie tried to buy prussic acid in her neighborhood drugstore. The druggist’s testimony was excluded on a legal technicality, but it establishes her as, in the words of one of her friends, “a monument of straightforwardness.”

Picture it: In broad daylight in the middle of a heat wave, she marched into the drugstore carrying a fur cape, announced that there were moths in it, and asked for ten cents’ worth of prussic acid to kill them. The druggist was stunned. Even in the casual Nineties, when arsenic was sold over the counter, it was illegal to sell prussic acid. “But I’ve bought it many times before,” Lizzie protested.

The druggist’s astonishment mounted in the face of this stouthearted lie. “Well, my good lady, it is something we don’t sell except by prescription, as it is a very dangerous thing to handle.”

Lizzie left, never dreaming that she might have called attention to herself.

At the beach, her friends noticed that she seemed despondent and preoccupied. They were puzzled when she suddenly cut short her vacation, giving as her excuse some church work, and returned to Fall River.

Back home in the stifling city heat, she sat in her room and brooded. Somehow she had found out that Abby was about to acquire some more real estate; Andrew was planning to put a farm in his wife’s name and install his brother-in-law, John Morse, as caretaker. This last was especially infuriating, for Lizzie and Emma were Not Speaking to Uncle John. He had been involved, so they thought, in that other real-estate transfer five years before. Now he was back, plotting to do her and Emma out of their rightful inheritance.

Something had to be done, but what? Lacking lady-like poison, Lizzie did what every overcivilized, understated Wasp is entirely capable of doing once we finally admit we’re mad as hell and aren’t going to take it any more: She went from Anglo to Saxon in a trice.

Miss Borden Accepts

ON THE day before the murders, Lizzie joined Abby and Andrew for lunch for the first time in five years–an air-tight alibi, for who would do murder after doing lunch? That evening, she paid a call on Alice Russell and craftily planted some red herrings. If Machiavelli had witnessed this demonstration of the fine Wasp hand he would have gone into cardiac arrest.

“I have a feeling that something is going to happen,” she told Alice. “A feeling that somebody is going to do something.” She hammered the point home with stories about her father’s “enemies.” He was such a ruthless businessman, she said, that “they” all hated him, and she would not put it past “them” to burn down the house.

When she returned home, Uncle John had arrived with plans to spend the night. Since she was Not Speaking to him, she went directly to her room.

The next day, August 4, 1892, the temperature was already in the eighties at sunrise, but that didn’t change the Bordens’ breakfast menu. Destined to be the most famous breakfast in America, it was printed in newspapers everywhere and discussed by aficionados of the murders for years to come: Alexander Woollcott always claimed it was the motive.

If Lizzie had only waited, Abby and Andrew probably would have died anyway, for their breakfast consisted of mutton soup, sliced mutton, pancakes, bananas, pears, cookies, and coffee. Here we recognize the English concept of breakfast-as-weapon designed to overwhelm French tourists and other effete types.

Bridget was the first up, followed by Andrew, who came downstairs with the connubial slop pail and emptied it on the grass in the backyard. That done, he gathered the pears that had fallen to the ground.

After breakfast, Andrew saw Uncle John out and then brushed his teeth at the kitchen sink where Bridget was washing dishes. Moments later, she rushed out to the back yard and vomited. Whether it was the mutton or the toothbrushing or something she had seen clinging to a pear we shall never know, but when she returned to the house, Abby was waiting with an uncharacteristic order. She wanted the windows washed, all of them, inside and out, now.

Here is one of the strangest aspects of the case. Victoria Lincoln writes of Abby: “Encased in fat and selfpity, she was the kind who make indifferent housekeepers everywhere.” Additionally, the Wasp woman is too socially secure to need accolades like “You could eat off her floor.” Why then would Abby order a sick Bridget to wash the windows on a blistering hot day?

Because, says Miss Lincoln, she was getting ready to go to the bank to sign the deed for the farm, and she feared a scene with Lizzie, who, knowing Abby’s hermit-like ways, would immediately suspect the truth. The mere thought of “having words” in front of a servant struck horror in Abby’s heart, so she invented a task that would take Bridget outside.

That left Lizzie inside.

Around nine o’clock, Abby was tomahawked in the guest room while making Uncle John’s bed. Andrew was to meet the same fate around 11. Lizzie’s behavior during that two-hour entr’acte was a model of Battle-of-Britain calm. She ironed handkerchiefs, sewed a button loop on a blouse, chatted with Bridget about a dress-goods sale, and read Harper’s Weekley.

Andrew came home at 10:30 and took a nap on the sitting-room sofa. Shortly before 11, Bridget went up to her attic room to rest. At 11:15 she heard Lizzie cry out: “Maggie! Come down quick! Father’s dead. Somebody came in and killed him.”

Somebody certainly had. The entire left side of his face and head was a bloody pulp; the eye had been severed and hung down his cheek, and one of the blows had bisected a tooth.

Lizzie sent Bridget for Alice Russell and Dr. Bowen, then sat on the back steps. The Bordens’ next-door neighbor, Mrs. Adelaide Churchill, called over to her and got a priceless reply: “Oh, Mrs. Churchill, do come over. Someone has killed Father.”

Mrs. Churchill came over, took a quick look at Andrew, and asked, “Where is your stepmother, Lizzie?”

The safe thing to say was “I don’t know,” but the people who invented the honor system are sticklers for the truth. “I don’t know but that she’s been killed, too, for I thought I heard her come in,” Lizzie blurted.

Bridget returned with Miss Russell and Dr. Bowen, who examined Andrew and asked for a sheet to cover the body. Lizzie told Bridget to get it. Whether she said anything else is in dispute; no one present testified to it, but the legend persists that our monument of straightforwardness added, “Better get two.”

Bridget and Mrs. Churchill decided to search the house for Abby. They were not gone long. When they returned, a white-faced but contained Mrs. Churchill nodded at Alice Russell.

“There is another?” asked Miss Russell.

“Yes, she is upstairs,” said Mrs. Churchill.

The only excited person present was Bridget.

By the Way. . .

BY NOON, when Uncle John returned for lunch, the cops had come, and a crowd had formed in the street. Knowing of the hatred between Lizzie and Abby, Uncle John must have guessed the truth, but he chose to exhibit so much nonchalance that he became the first suspect. Instead of rushing into the house yelling, “What’s the matter?” he ambled into the back yard, picked up some pears, and stood eating them in the shade of the tree.

Meanwhile, the police were questioning Lizzie, who claimed that she had gone to the barn and returned to find her father dead. What had she gone to the barn for? “To get a piece of lead for a fishing sinker.”

It was the first thing that popped into her head, less a conscious deception than an ink-blot association triggered by her seaside vacation. She was playing it by ear. It never occurred to her that she could have stalled for time by pretending to faint. Women often fainted in those tightly corseted days, but she even rejected the detective’s gal- lant offer to come back and question her later when she felt better. “No,” she said. “I can tell you all I know now as well as at any other time.”

A moment later, when the detective referred to Abby as her mother, she drew herself up and said stiffly, “She is not my mother, sir, she is my stepmother. My mother died when I was a child.” Before you start diagnosing “self-destructive tendencies,” remember that the English novelists’ favorite character is the plucky orphan, and she had just become one.

Miss Russell and Dr. Bowen took her upstairs to lie down. Lizzie asked the doctor to send a telegram to Emma in Fairhaven, adding, “Be sure to put it gently, as there is an old person there who might be disturbed.” It’s all right to disturb your sister as long as you don’t disturb strangers; Wasps haven’t kithed our kin since the Anglo-Saxon invaders wiped out the Celtic clan system.

Dr. Bowen must have sent the gentlest wire on record, because Emma did not catch the next train, nor the one after that, nor the one after that. She didn’t return until after seven that night.

When Dr. Bowen returned, Lizzie confided to him that she had torn up a certain note and put the pieces in the kitchen trash can. He hurried downstairs and found them; he was putting them together when a detective walked in. Seeing the name “Emma,” he asked Dr. Bowen what it was. “Oh, it is nothing,” Dr. Bowen said nonchalantly. “It is something, I think, about my daughter going through somewhere.”

Before the detective could react to this bizarre answer, Dr. Bowen, nonchalant as ever, tossed the pieces into the kitchen fire. As he lifted the stove lid, the detective saw a foot-long cylindrical stick lying in the flames. Later, in the cellar, he found a hatchet head that had been washed and rolled while wet in furnace ash to simulate the dust of long disuse.

Lizzie had been in the barn, but not to look for sinkers. The barn contained a vise, black-smithing tools, and a water pump. Blood can be washed from metal but not from porous wood. She knew she had to separate the hatchet head from the handle and burn the latter. She did all of this in a very brief time, and without giving way to panic. Victoria Lincoln believes that because she really had been in the barn, her compulsive honesty forced her to admit it to the police. Then she had to think of an innocent reason for going there, and came up with the story about looking for sinkers. “She lied about why and when she had done things, but she never denied having done them,” writes Miss Lincoln.

Alice Russell displayed the same tic: “Alice’s conscience forced her to mention things at the trial, but not to stress them.” The Wasp gift for making everything sound trivial, as when we introduce momentous subjects with “Oh, by the way,” enabled Alice to testify about a highly incriminating fact in such a way that the prosecution missed its significance entirely.

On one of Alice’s trips upstairs on the murder day, she saw Lizzie coming out of Emma’s room, and a bundled-up blanket on the floor of Emma’s closet. What was Lizzie doing in Emma’s room? What was in the blanket? Victoria Lincoln thinks it contained blood-stained stockings, but the prosecution never tried to find out because Alice made it all sound so matter-of-fact. The same technique worked for Dr. Bowen in the matter of the note; we happy few don’t destroy evidence, we just tut-tut it into oblivion.

Everyone who saw Lizzie after the murders testified that there wasn’t a drop of blood on her. How did she wash the blood off her skin and hair in a house that had no running water? What trait is cherished by the people who distrust intellectuals? Common sense told her to sponge herself off with the diaper-like cloths Victorian women used for sanitary napkins and then put them in her slop pail, which was already full of bloody cloths because she was menstruating that week.

Now we come to the dress she wore when she murdered Abby. Where did she hide it after she changed? Some students of the crime think she committed both murders in the nude, but Victoria Lincoln disagrees and so do I. Murder is one thing, but . . .

Where would any honest Wasp hide a dress? In the dress closet, of course. Like most women, Lizzie had more clothes than hangers, so she knew how easy it is to “lose” a garment by hanging another one on top of it. Victoria Lincoln thinks she hung the blood-stained summer cotton underneath a heavy winter woolen, and then banked on the either–or male mind: the police were looking for a summer dress, and men never run out of hangers.

She got no blood at all on the second dress. Her tall father’s Prince Albert coat reached to her ankles, and common sense decrees that blood on a victim’s clothing is only to be expected.

Mistress of Herself

AFTER her arrest Lizzie became America’s Wasp Princess. People couldn’t say enough nice things about her icy calm, even the Fall River police chief: “She is a remarkable woman and possessed of a wonderful power of fortitude.”

A Providence reporter and Civil War veteran: “Most women would faint at seeing her father dead, for I never saw a more horrible sight and I have walked over battlefields where thousands were dead and mangled. She is a woman of remarkable nerve and self-control.”

Julian Ralph, New York Sun: “It was plain to see that she had complete mastery of herself, and could make her sensations and emotions invisible to an impertinent public.”

To ward off a backlash, Lizzie gave an interview to the New York Recorder in which she managed to have her bona fides and eat them too: “They say I don’t show any grief. Certainly I don’t in public. I never did reveal my feelings and I cannot change my nature now.”

I find this very refreshing in an age that equates self-control with elitism. If Lizzie were around today she would be reviled as the Phantom of the Oprah.

Wasp emotional repression also gave us the marvelous fight between Lizzie and Emma in Lizzie’s jail cell while she was awaiting trial. Described by Mrs. Hannah Reagan, the police matron, it went like this:

“Emma, you have given me away, haven’t you?”

“No, Lizzie, I have not.”

“You have, and I will let you see I won’t give in one inch.”

Finis. Lizzie turned over on her cot and lay with her back to Emma, who remained in her chair. They stayed like that for two hours and twenty minutes, until visiting time was up and Emma left.

When Mrs. Reagan spilled this sensational colloquy to the press, Lizzie’s lawyers said it was a lie and demanded she sign a retraction. Doubts arose, but Victoria Lincoln believes Mrs. Reagan: “That terse exchange followed by a two-hour-and-twenty-minute sulking silence sounds more like a typical Borden family fight than the sort of quarrel an Irish police matron would dream up from her own experience.”

The Last Word

AFTER her acquittal, Lizzie bought a mansion for herself and Emma in Fall River’s best neighborhood. Social acceptance was another matter. When she returned to Central Congregational, everyone was very polite, so she took the hint and stopped going.

She lived quietly until 1904, when she got pinched for shoplifting in Providence. This is what really made her an outcast. Murder is one thing, but. . .

In 1913, Emma suddenly moved out and never spoke to Lizzie again. Nobody knows what happened. Maybe Lizzie finally admitted to the murders, but I doubt it; the Protestant conscience is not programmed for pointless confession. It sounds more as if Emma found out that her sister had a sex life.

An enthusiastic theatergoer, Lizzie was a great fan of an actress named Nance O’Neill. They met in a hotel and developed an intense friendship; Lizzie threw lavish parties for Nance and her troupe and paid Nance’s legal expenses in contractual disputes with theater owners. Nance was probably the intended recipient of the unmailed letter Lizzie wrote beginning “Dear Friend,” and going on to juicier sentiments: “I dreamed of you the other night but I do not dare to put my dreams on paper.” If Emma discovered the two were lesbian lovers, it’s no wonder she moved out so precipitately. Murder is one thing, but…

Lizzie stayed in Fall River, living alone in her mansion, until she died of pneumonia in 1927.

Emma, living in New Hampshire, read of Lizzie’s death in the paper but did not attend the funeral or send flowers. Ten days later, Emma died from a bad fall. Both sisters left the bulk of their fortunes to the Animal Rescue League. Nothing could be Waspier, except the explanation little Victoria Lincoln got when she asked her elders why no one ever spoke to their neighbor, Miss Borden. “Well, dear, she was very unkind to her mother and father.”