Thursday, October 23, 2014

Grave of Beth Doe

Posted by Stu On August - 12 - 2010

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Who is Beth Doe?  This question has remained unanswered since December of 1976, when a woman’s body, cut up and stuffed into 3 suitcases, was tossed from a bridge along Route 80 near White Haven.  There was no identification on her.  There were no leads.  Nobody ever reported anyone as missing.  She was labeled as Beth Doe, and she and her baby (she was pregnant at the time of her murder) were buried in a potter’s field in Weatherly.

To this day, nobody has any idea who she was.  In 2007, Doe’s body was exhumed to see if modern technology could help identify her.  A few possible leads arose, but her identity remains a mystery.

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Directly behind Beth is a Baby Jane Doe:

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Popularity: 15% [?]

Touro Park “Viking Tower”

Posted by Stu On August - 26 - 2009

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I had been meaning to get to this one for a number of years, but it was usually out of the way.  Since we were touring a mansion in Newport, I finally had a chance to get to the “Viking Tower” in Touro Park.  Nobody seems to be clearly sure of its age or who built it.  There are 2 major sides to the theory of this structure’s origin – some people think it’s the remains of some sort of mill from the 16-1700’s, while others feel it was built much earlier – around 1000 – by Vikings.

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The tower, windmill, or whatever it was sits in the middle of the park, surrounded by a small fence.  There are lights at its base, and a statue of William Ellery Channing – a prominent Unitarian from the 1800’s – is nearby.

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I found a 360-panoramic of Touro Park.  Kinda trippy.

…wow, ‘trippy’ isn’t in my spellchecker.

Popularity: 18% [?]

Grave of Aquila Henning

Posted by Stu On September - 27 - 2008

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Located in Albrightsville, PA, is one of the more unusual graves I’ve come across, and I’ve seen some interesting stuff – full size Mercedes replicas, graves with windows, etc. This stone actually tells a story, or at least one version of it. Pictured on the stone is Mr. Henning with a hunting rifle. Hidden in the bushes behind him are several men, who according to his side of the tale, ambushed and killed him. The stone does not have “died” next to his death date; “shot” is the word of choice. Also worth noting is that the illustration faces away from the road, so you have to walk around the grave to see it. From the road it just looks like a big headstone.

Nobody is sure what really happened that day. The only thing that is definitely known is that Robert Wilkinson shot and killed Aquila (the Hennings and Wilkinsons had somewhat of a family feud going on). Supposedly Aquila shot one of his rival Harry Wilkinson’s hunting dogs, and the mob killed him for it. Another variation claims the mob just plain shot him; he didn’t kill any of their dogs. Still another claims that Aquila was aiming his gun at Harry, and Robert felt he had no choice but to shoot him to save his brother’s life.

Whatever the case, this is an interesting sight to see. Mr. Wilkinson actually sued the makers of the tombstone because he felt its depiction of Aquila as an innocent was a flatout lie.

Popularity: 9% [?]

Lizzie Borden House & Grave

Posted by Stu On October - 21 - 2006

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“Lizzie Borden took an ax…” You know the rest. Or at least you should.
All the way back in 1992, my 6th grade class did a mock trial of Lizzie Borden at the Ocean County Courthouse. I played Dr. Bowen, who examined the bodies at the murder scene. Ever since, I was always interested in the case because it was never officially solved. Most think it’s pretty obvious Lizzie murdered her father & stepmother with an ax, but others think it could have been the maid. Some groups say they could solve the case using forensics, but the town likes the mystery and won’t allow the bodies to be dug up.

I’d wanted to visit the Borden House for a long time, but Fall River was always too out of the way to include in any of our previous trips. I made sure to include it in our ‘06 outing to New England. We were lucky and arrived roughly 5 minutes before the final tour of the day. I was surprised to find out the woman giving our tour knew about my trial 14 years earlier.


That ax did a heck of a job.


Andrew and Abby at the scene – and my ghost taking a pic of Andrew.

The house is pretty much the same as it was in the Bordens’ day; it’s been updated a bit since it’s now a bed & breakfast, and none of the furniture is original, but overall it’s the same house. After having read and heard about the case so many times, it was pretty odd being in the same rooms where Abby and Andrew Borden were killed.


For only $250, you can sleep where Abby Borden got nineteen, not actually forty, whacks.


Stairs leading to the attic.

Again, the official Lizzie Borden House website is www.lizzie-borden.com. Tours are a half hour to an hour, depending on group size, and cost $10.


We were delighted to find out the Bordens are all buried together not far from the house. Arrows are painted in the cemetery to bring visitors directly to their graves.


Later in life, Lizzie changed her name to “Lizbeth.”

There’s also an impressive Civil War section in the cemetery:

Popularity: 100% [?]

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