Unsolved Murders Day Three: Lizzie Borden — December 29, 2015

Unsolved Murders Day Three: Lizzie Borden


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

Unsolved Murders day two: Jack The Ripper —

Unsolved Murders day two: Jack The Ripper

jack-the-ripper1Its 1889, East London. A twelve week long reign of terror and sixteen dead bodies. This is the story of the most famous serial killer of all time: Jack the Ripper.

Our story starts April 4th, 1888, when the prostitute Emma Smith was attacked on Osborne Street, robbed and beaten. The survived the initial attack but died the next day in the hospital. This was the beginning of the White Chapel Murders, but  it was the 31st of August when the official “Jack the Ripper” murderers began.

Mary Nichols was one of the five Canonical victims of Jack the Ripper. Mary was seen on the corner of Osborne and Whitechapel. At around 3:40 a cart driver named Charles Cross found Mary lying on the ground in Bucks Row. He waited for a policeman to arrive and then left the scene. None of the residents had seen or heard anything suspicious before the body was found. She had been dead for around 30 minutes, her throat had been slit twice from left to right and her abdomen with  several incisions across, and three or four similar cuts on the right side caused by the same knife at least 6–8 inches long used violently and downwards. The surgeon who had been called to the crime scene said there was “about enough blood to fill two large wine glasses, or half a pint at the most.” This lead them to conclude that she had been murdered and then dragged there.

The police investigated and learned that all three attacked or murdered women had nicknamed a man “Leather Apron”, a person who extorted money from them over a 12 month period.Meanwhile, the second victim had been discovered. Her name was Annie Chapman. She was found with her face was swollen and turned on the right side. Her tongue was evidently swollen. Her throat was slashed as well as her abdomen, using the same instrument. The deceased had been dead at least two hours, and probably more. There was no evidence of a struggle.

On the 27th of September a letter titled “Dear Boss” arrived to the news agency, signed Jack the Ripper. It read “I keep on hearing the police have caught me but they wont fix me just yet. I have laughed when they look so clever and talk about being on the right track. That joke about Leather Apron gave me real fits. I am down on (them) and I shant quit ripping them till I do get buckled. Grand work the last job was. I gave the lady no time to squeal. How can they catch me now. I love my work and want to start again. You will soon hear of me with my funny little games. I saved some of the proper red stuff in a ginger beer bottle over the last job to write with but it went thick like glue and I cant use it. Red ink is fit enough I hope ha ha. The next job I do I shall clip the ladys ears off and send to the police officers just for jolly wouldn’t you. Keep this letter back till I do a bit more work, then give it out straight.

My knife’s so nice and sharp I want to get to work right away if I get a chance.

Good Luck.”

Two more murders of the same style occured within an hour on the 30th of September.  On the sixteenth Mr. George Lusk received a letter titled “From hell” containing half a kidney. Between the 9th of November and the 13th of February, four final murders occurred from the Ripper.

The number of Jack the Ripper Suspects now runs to well over a hundred. Some of them are highly possible contenders for the mantle of Jack the Ripper, others are ridiculous. Each year several books come out claiming that the authors have managed to crack the case and have solved the world’s greatest murder mystery. However, it, too, has never been solved.

Unsolved Murders, Day One: The Villisca Axe Murders —

Unsolved Murders, Day One: The Villisca Axe Murders


On june 10th, 1912, in Villisca Iowa, two overnight guest and the entire Moore family were murdered brutally with an axe. And the killer? He was never found.

The morning of the 11th, Mary Peckham, the Moore’ neighbor, realized that not only had the Moore’s not been outside nor the chores began, but that the house itself seemed unusually still. Between 7:00 and 8:00 a.m., Mary Peckham  went to the house  and no one answered, so  she tried  to open the door and found it locked from the inside.  Mary called to Josiah’s brother, Ross Moore.

Ross Moore looked through a bedroom window into the house, knocked on the door and shouted, and finally, used his keys to open the door.He found two bloodied bodies in the bedroom. He told  Mrs. Peckham to call the sheriff. The two bodies in the room downstairs were Lena Stillinger, age 12 and her sister Ina, age 8, children who had spent the night with the Moore’s. The  Moore Family were found in the upstairs bedrooms by City Marshall Hank Horton. Every person in the house had their skulls crushed in their slept. Josiah Moore, age 43, Sarah Montgomery Moore, age 39, Herman Moore, age 11, Katherine Moore, age 9, Boyd Moore, 7 and Paul Moore, 5…

The known facts about the case are the following: Eight people had been bludgeoned to death, probably with an axe found at the scene. testimonies of Mary Peckham and those who saw the Moore’s at the Children’s Day Exercise, it is believed the incident occurred sometime between midnight and 5:00 a.m. Doctors estimated time of death as somewhere shortly after midnight.All the windows that were not already curtained had been covered with clothing. The chimneys were turned off in both rooms, but kerosene lamps were found at the feet of both beds. A bloodied axe was found in the bedroom were the guest children were sleeping. Both of the ceilings had marks presumed to be made by the axe being swung back. There was a pan of bloody water on the kitchen table and a plate of uneaten food. All the doors were locked. There was a bloodstain on the inside of Lena Stillinger’s right knee and what appeared to be a defensive wound on her arm. Sara Stillinger’s shoe  had blood both inside and underneath it.The Coroner found a 2 pound slab of bacon wrapped in a dishtowel next to the axe.

There were many suspects. Reverand George Kelly confessed, but it was decided that confession was the result of torture, and he was not to be held accountable. William Mansfeild was thought to have been hired as a hit man by Frank Jones, but was released and won a lawsuit for $2,225. Perhaps most interesting, Joe Ricks was detained after coming in by train with shoes covered in blood.

The evidence and the case in general was grossly mismanaged. A local druggist had the insight to enter the crime scene with a camera, but was thrown out.They crime was not solved, and almost 100 years later, the Villisca Axe Murders remain a mystery.

*Now the house is a popular tourist attraction, and is largely considered to be haunted. You can take a tour, spend the night, or just take a virtual tour here: http://www.wolfcounselor.com/panoramas/villisca/slides/virtual_tour.html   (trigger warning I’d think)