Food Toxins / Lizzie Borden & Salem Witch Trials

Hosted byGeorge Noory

Food Toxins / Lizzie Borden & Salem Witch Trials

About the show

Dr. Renee Dufault is a now-retired FDA investigator who took an early retirement because she was told to stop her investigation that revealed harmful levels of heavy metals were being allowed into various processed foods. In the first half, she shared updates on food toxins and how to protect yourself and your family. Regarding a recent report that found contaminants of lead and cadmium in various brands of dark chocolate, she expressed concern about this but noted that these findings have been known for some time. Mercury, she continued, has been discovered in infant formula (which often contains processed ingredients like corn syrup solids and vegetable oil).

According to Dufault, hundreds of studies have shown that lead buildup in blood is found in children with ADHD, and mercury and lead accumulation is present in every child diagnosed with autism in comparison to children without these diagnoses. Also, there is strong evidence that gene switches can be altered by diet, and passed on to the next generation, she cited, which may relate to why more children are being born with disabilities or impairments. Many studies show that if you improve these kids' diet and increase calcium intake, lead levels are reduced, she reported. Dufault recommends avoiding heavily processed items such as vegetable oils, corn sweeteners, food coloring, and refined foods made from bleached flour.


Author Rebecca F. Pittman is a former TV talk show host, muralist, and escape room owner who finds mysteries irresistible. In the latter half, she presented her research on the Lizzie Borden case, the Salem Witch trials, and the hauntings and history of Lemp Mansion. The Salem events of 1692-3 were related to a confluence of factors, including the lack of a legal system, restrictive puritanical strictures placed on young girls, and a strong belief that the Devil and witches were real. She recounted how girls started having fits and behaving strangely-- initially as attention-seeking behavior and to get out of their chores. The girls were asked who was causing their odd behavior, and one of them said she was bewitched by a slave woman named Tituba. Later, people such as Sarah Good, a poor woman without a family that adults in the village wanted to get rid of, were also named. The suspects began to multiply, and it wasn't until the governor's wife was accused that the witch hunt finally tapered off.

She discussed details and the timeline of the Lizzie Borden case, in which Lizzie was accused of axe murdering her parents in 1892. While Pittman is convinced of Lizzie's guilt, she noted that the jury couldn't believe a young woman was capable of such a vicious crime and that the Borden name was very respected. Lizzie's motivation may have been that she learned she was going to be disinherited from a parcel of land that was originally promised to her. Pittman suggested there were actually three axes involved in the crime, and pointed out that Andrew and Abby Borden's wounds were different from each other. She also recalled ghostly phenomena she observed firsthand when she stayed at the Lemp Mansion in St. Louis, and how the lore of several suicides is said to be connected to the hauntings.

News segment guests: Howard Bloom, Mish Shedlock

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