Dennis presented “Lizzie Borden: Her Side of the Story” at Bristol Community College on Monday night to a packed lecture hall of Borden buffs all looking for the answer to the 117-year-old question: Did she do it?
The lecture was part of the Historical Society’s “Lizzie A. Borden: The Lecture Series.”
Clairvoyant Dennis, of Calgary, explained her tale of receiving a visit last year from Lizzie in her living room at home. Dennis, who considers herself a natural born medium, has lived a life of predicting the future, communicating with the spirit world and having out-of-body experiences.
The afterlife, Dennis said, “feels incredible. There’s a sense of peace and colors that don’t exist” to us. “Words can’t describe it. There’s harmony and unconditional love. We do survive this and go to a better place.”
In her 20s, Dennis began to learn more about her psychic powers and her ability to speak to spirits. She started to give free readings and then found herself on Canadian radio and television. She’s authored a book and is working on a second. She volunteers her time to help find missing children.
On the night she met Lizzie, Dennis had just finished a reading on a woman named “Lizzie,” who said children used to chant the “Lizzie Borden took an ax” rhyme to her as a child.
Dennis said the woman left and she felt that a soul remained in her house. She had a vision of someone wearing a long gray/blue dress and the name “Lizzie Borden” came to mind. Dennis called a journalist friend, Donna Gray, and told her to come over and bring a notebook.
Once the two were in the living room, Dennis attempted to channel Lizzie to see if she’d come through — and she did.
“The first thing she said is that she did it,” Dennis said.
Dennis said Lizzie revealed some details of what the Borden house at 92 Second St. looked like and gave her some other information about her family that Dennis was able to confirm.
Lizzie told Dennis she wanted to kill her stepmother Abby, but not her father Andrew. She said she felt she had to kill him too or she’d be caught.
Dennis and Gray after that meeting came to Fall River and stayed at the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast and spoke with the curators of the Fall River Historical Society.
Once again, Dennis channelled Lizzie.
“She made her presence known,” Dennis said.
Lizzie, according to Dennis, directed her around the house and basement and made her see what it looked like in 1892, what walls had been moved and where tools once hung. Dennis said she had a taste of rancid fowl in her mouth and later found out it was due to Andrew killing Lizzie’s pet pigeons and the family dining on them for supper.
Lizzie told Dennis she attempted to kill her stepmother some weeks before, probably with poison.
On the day of the murders, Lizzie and Abby ate breakfast together, Dennis said, and had some sort of disagreement, leading Lizzie to choose that day to kill her stepmother. After she murdered her, Lizzie went to the basement and stripped off her dress and washed herself, Dennis said. She had another similar dress and put that on. After also killing her father, Dennis said Lizzie changed once again and most likely burned one dress and hid the other.
“He saw her just before the hatchet (hit), but had time to react,” Dennis said.
Andrew’s spirit, Dennis said, was circling the Borden property during her visit, but never came inside the house.
Dennis said her feeling from Lizzie was that the police didn’t really conduct a full search of the house on the day of the murders, giving Lizzie time to dispose of the second dress and the hatchet she’d hidden.
“I think she had psychotic tendencies,” Dennis revealed. “She had abandonment issues” because her biological mother died when she was a child. “She was able to shut off her emotions. It was difficult for her to love or feel.”
There have long been rumors that Lizzie may have been abused in some way by her father. Dennis said she didn’t feel it was sexual, but rather mental abuse, that she felt she had been abandoned by her father, too as he always sided with Abby.
“She had sociopathic tendencies,” Dennis said. “Emotionally she had disconnected from her family.”
And when the murders were done, Dennis said Lizzie felt relief and believed she had done it for her sister Emma, too.
“She was shocked by Emma’s grief and may have felt remorse then,” Dennis said.
Lizzie was somewhat nervous about being convicted for the murders, according to Dennis. After her acquittal, she lived out her life at Maplecroft in the city in which she was shunned because she somehow felt comfortable and perhaps even enjoyed being infamous, Dennis said.
Dennis, who added a new piece to the intoxicating puzzle that is the Lizzie Borden mystery, said she wanted to tell Lizzie’s side of the story so she can find peace. Because the case and Lizzie’s life has garnered such high interest, Lizzie has been continually pulled back to the crime and to Fall River.
“When we yank at them all the time, it’s difficult to move on,” Dennis said. “It keeps them at this level. She wants us to know she did it so she can move on.”
Perhaps back to the living world. Dennis said she’s found that in channelling spirits, they’re around for about 150 years before they are eventually reincarnated and sent back to human life.
“We have many lives ahead of us,” Dennis said.
To learn more about Dennis, visit www.clairvoyantkim.com.
Two more lectures will be held in the Historical Society series. They are being offered at BCC in Building C, Room C111 at 6:30 p.m.
On Oct. 26, award-winning actress Jill Dalton will present “Lizzie Borden Live: From the Page to the Stage.”
On Nov. 2, filmmaker Ricardo Rebelo will offer “The Myth and Media of Lizzie Borden.”
E-mail Deborah Allard at firstname.lastname@example.org.