Lizzie Bordon took an axe, gave her mother forty whacks. When she saw what she had done, she gave her father forty one. Many of you have probably heard this very creepy children’s song, but did you know it was based on a real event?
On the fourth of August, 1892, Andrew and Abby Borden were murdered in their home. Lizzie alerted the maid alerted the maid of her father’s dead body. He was killed while asleep on the sofa. A search of the home resulted in uncovering Abby’s body upstairs. Both had been mutilated with a hatchet.
Policeman immediately suspected Lizzie, but did not take her into custody. Her sister, Emma, was out of town and therefore, not a suspect. The investigators believed that the ferocity of the crimes excluded female suspects, as no woman could possibly muster the kind of fury and strength needed to commit them.After the murders Lizzie burned a dress that she claimed was stained with paint. It is thought that the dress was stained with blood, and that Lizzie burned the dress to cover up her crime.
Lizzie Borden was arrested on December 2, 1892. Her publicized trial began the following June in New Bedford. Lizzie’s dislike and contempt for Abby was thoughtfully analyzed, with various witnesses testifying to her refusal to call her “mother.” It was noted that relations grew cold when Andrew gave Abby half of the house where Abby’s sister was living, which seemed to have infuriated Lizzie. Borden did not stand in her own defense and her testimony was not admitted into evidence. The testimony provided by others were inconclusive. On June 20, 1893, Lizzie Borden was acquitted and no one else was ever charged with the crimes. speculation about the crimes still continues more than 100 years later.
*there is a great episode of the Alfred Hitchcock show that depicts Lizzie’s sister Emma as the real killer. Watch it free here: http://www.imdb.com/video/hulu/vi789577753