Lizzie Borden: The Unsolved Mystery Of The Axe Murderer 

Lizzie Borden

Many still wonder and speculate whether the famous 19th-century axe murderer was Lizzie Borden or not. 

To this day, there are many discussions whenever historical mysteries and murders are taken into account whether Lizzie Borden was guilty or not. She was the prime suspect in the trial of her father and her stepmother’s brutal deaths. 

Some say gender stereotyping was to blame while others speculate that wealth and nativism had a role to play. In this article, we delve a little deeper into Lizzie Borden, her trial, Lizzie Borden’s house, and the overall mystery.

Details Of The Murder

Lizzie Borden’s stepmother was sixty-four years old at the time when she was murdered and Lizzie Borden’s father was sixty-nine. Some people incorrectly remember as an axe as the murder weapon but it should be known that a hatchet was served as the striking weapon. 

It was found out that a total of nineteen blows were struck on Abby Borden – the stepmother – and a total of ten on Andrew Borden – the father of Lizzie Borden. The battering of the victims was such that Andrew Borden’s face wasn’t recognizable after the crime. 

The murders took place ninety minutes apart from each other on the morning of 4th August 1892.

Children’s Rope Jumping Rhyme Relating To His Crime

This crime was also termed as a crime of the Gilded Age and is probably one of the most famous in American criminal history. It abides as one of the most remembered and famous crimes, as was evident by the coverage of the press at the time. 

In this regard, there is also a children’s rhyme, which has captured the crime and has stored it for generations to come. The rhyme goes something like this:

Lizzie Borden took an axe,
And gave her mother forty whacks.
When she saw what she had done,
She gave her father forty-one.

It should be noted that the rhyme incorrectly numbers the whacking carried out by the murderer. The correct number is nineteen and ten. 

Background Into The Murders

It has been documented and known till then that Lizzie Borden and her family did not get along. Lizzie and her Abby Borden both had a falling out years before 1892 – the year of the murder. Emma Borden, Lizzie’s sister also did not get along with their father and it is also said that they had disagreements over the distribution of wealth of their family’s property.

It should also be known that Andrew Borden was not a favorable man in their town – Fall River, Massachusetts. He was held responsible for killing Emma’s pigeons which she kept in the family barn. 

One interesting fact, which some people may know is that the entire family fell ill before the murder which led to the belief that foul play may be involved. Although Lizzie’s mother believed they had been poisoned, it was found out that they ate contaminated meat and had contracted food poisoning. 

The Arrest Of Lizzie Borden

Lizzie Borden was arrested on 11th August 1892, seven days after the murders based on her shifting statements and other factors. She was sent to the county jail where she stayed for nine more months.

The arrest created a national uproar in the country. Women’s groups rallied and supporters gathered together to protest. The Women’s Christian Temperance Union and suffragists along with others voiced that because they did not have the right to vote, women did not also have the right to be seated on juries. Therefore, Lizzie herself should not be judged by a jury of her peers. 

Lack Of Forensic Evidence

The fact that there was no forensic evidence still troubles many who learn about this mystery. There simply was no physical evidence, which tied Lizzie to the murders. The hatchet which was discovered as the probable murder weapon from Lizzie Borden’s house was cleaned and the handle was broken off. Lizzie was blamed for this by the police.

Fingerprint collection and testing were still being tried out and were not conducted in this inquiry by the police. The police stated that Lizzie Borden had attempted to purchase a highly poisonous acid just days before the murders. This was tried to link to a previous attempt to kill, but was regarded and unable to be presented.

Acquitting Of Lizzie Borden And Life Ahead

Based on lack of evidence and testimonies and the national coverage of the trial, Lizzie Borden was acquitted of all charges by the jury, who took ninety minutes to deliberate on the verdict. She gained immense notoriety and recognition from the murders and went free.

Neighbor’s whispers and her newfound fame followed Lizzie Borden throughout. She lived in Fall River for the remainder of her days when she and her sister Emma Borden inherited their father’s estate. The financial freedom which they both wanted was finally at their hands, and Lizzie even bought a new and bigger house.

She traveled to New York and Boston to pursue her love of theater. She and her sister had a falling apart and they both died just a few days apart in June of 1927. Both sisters are buried beside their murdered parents in their family plot in Oak Grove Cemetery. 

Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast

A fun and interesting fact at the end is that anyone can now go and stay at the Lizzie Borden house.

It has been more than a century since the murder and Fall River, Massachusetts continue to be a magnet for historical and mystery buffs. For those fascinated by the whole ordeal and Lizzie Borden house, they can spend a night at the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast. 

The house provides unique experiences to its guests, and they can also tour the property around the street. There is an annual coverage of the events, along with room bookings of Lizzie Borden, herself. They can also participate in the same place their breakfast where the family did so right on the morning of 4th August 1892 – the murder morning.

There is also a ghost hunting night and a ghost tour along with a house tour. The Morse (murder) room, Lizzie & Emma Suite along with Andrew & Abby Suite are available to book at the time of this writing. 

Also, there is another merchandise, which can be bought regarding this infamous trial. Such as a bobblehead, a bloody ax, a mug, and a newspaper of that time.  

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