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Lizzie Borden

Updated on September 24, 2014

Here in this photo is the Lizzie Borden House as it looked in 1892.

Here in this photo is how the Lizzie Borden House looked when the murders took place in 1892.
Here in this photo is how the Lizzie Borden House looked when the murders took place in 1892. | Source

Did Lizzie Get Away With Murder?

I'm sure you've all heard the nursery rhyme, She took an axe and gave her mother 40 whacks and when she saw what a good job she had done she gave her father 41. But how much do we really know about the murders.

All we really know is that on August 4th 1892 that two persons were murdered at 92 Second Street in Falls River, Massachusetts by person or persons unknown. And that really is all we know. Police at the time investigated the murder scene and it is believed that Abie Borden the stepmother of Lizzie Borden was making up the guest room at about 9.30 A.M. when she was attacked and beat to death with an axe or hatchet. She was struck in the head 19 times. A short while later Mr Andrew Borden was killed in the downstairs setting room.

Shortly after Lizzie Borden discovered first the body of her father and it was not until later that the body of Abie Borden was discovered in the guest bedroom upstairs face down in a pool of blood.

The Borden crime scene was one of the first crime scenes that was photographed. The photographs were later used in the trial of Lizzie Borden.

The Lizzie Borden Story, Murder In Fall River

Lizzie Andrew Borden was born on July 19th 1860. She was tried and found innocent of killing her stepmother and father with a axe. The case was famous especially on the US east coast when the murders occurred in 1892. Lizzie was held in prison while her trial was going on.

After her release from prison she chose to go on living in Falls River Massachusetts where the murders of her father and step mother has taken place. The citizens of Falls River were not at all happy with this decision and they had little to do with Lizzie for the rest of her life. She lived in Falls River until her death on June 1, 1927.

Up until the time of her death Lizzie Borden told anyone that would listen that she did not murder her father and step mother. But no one else was ever charged or brought to trial for the murders.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts was never to charge anyone else with the double murder and there is speculation to this day about who did commit the horrific murders. Most people believe that Lizzie Borden was the guilty party. Why not vote in our poll and let us all know what you think.

Did you know that the alleged murder weapon was discovered in the basement of the house? It was a hatchet head missing the handle. Who could have hidden that hatchet head in the basement where it was found. Did Lizzie Borden hide it there or was it the Irish Maid. Bridget the maid was washing the windows outside 45 feet from where the body of Abbie Borden was found. She should have heard the murder of Abbie take place but she claimed to have heard nothing that morning. Could the maid have killed the Borden's instead of Lizzie? What do you think?

Please Vote In Our Poll.

Do you think Lizzie Borden Was Guilty Of The Axe Murder Of Her Father And Stepmother?

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Lizzie Andrew Borden

The Jury Found Her Innocent, But Was She Guilty?
The Jury Found Her Innocent, But Was She Guilty?

More Of The Lizzie Borden Story

If you read the record of the inquest that was held at the time of the murders several interesting details can be found out. The families live in maid testified that Lizzie and her sister very rarely ate with their father and stepmother. And Lizzie and her sister refused to call their stepmother mother, they called her Mrs Borden. The live in maid further testified that neither sister got along well with their stepmother. Mrs Borden the stepmother had told the two sisters and the live in maid that the sisters were at no time to be in her bedroom. She told the maid to report to her if either sister was seen in her bedroom.

Andrew Borden Killed The Pigeons Of Lizzie Borden Shortly Before The Double Murder.

The maid went on to tell that not long before the murders happened that Andrew Borden had said that the pigeons that his daughter Lizzie was keeping in the barn were drawing intruders. He refused to explain his self but he took a hatchet and beat the pigeons to death. Lizzie was mortified a what her father had done to her pigeons and mourned about them for days.

Was The Same Hatchet Used To Kill The Pigeons Used To Kill The Borden's?

It is believed by most criminal researchers now that the weapon used in the axe murders was the same hatchet that had been used to kill the pigeons. Did she kill her father and stepmother because he had killed her pigeons? Andrew Borden sent the two sisters on a short vacation to New York City shortly before the murders. The two sisters had only been back from New York for 10 days when the murders occurred.

Did a person or persons unknown try to poison the Borden family?

It is also now known that the entire family including the maid were violently ill in the days leading up to the murders. The family doctor thought that it was food poisoning from oysters which had been served the night before everyone got sick. Some researchers have speculated that possibly someone had poisoned the family. If so then it probably wasn't Lizzie. The family doctor wrote in his notes that Lizzie was the sickest one of the family.

Could a distant family member have killed the Borden's?

There has always been speculation that another distant family member could have committed the murders. Andrew Borden had been giving gifts, some of them expensive to various family members. The family members he hadn't given gifts to were upset and mad and wondered what Andrew Borden was up to. He gave the two sisters, his daughters, a rental house but they sold it back to him for cash. John Vinnicum Morse who was the brother of the two Borden sisters deceased mother showed up at the house the night before the murders. The live in maid testified at the inquest that Mr Borden and Mr Morse had argued over land in the study and that then Mr Borden ordered Mr Morse out of the house telling him he would never get anything from him. It has been reported over the years that it was Mr Morse slamming the front door that broke the glass in the front door. The glass in the front door had been broken when police had arrived at the house and they thought that an intruder had broken into the house that way. At the inquest the state prosecutor made a point of showing that the glass had fell out doors and not indoors so the doors window had to have been broken from the inside.

Did Lizzie Borden get away with murder?

Over the many years since Lizzie Borden was found innocent by a jury of her peers people have argued that it had to have been Lizzie who committed the crime. Other people will tell you that it was someone else. Many people say that it was either John Morse or the live in maid who did the murders. While other people have speculated that it was a stranger who entered the house and committed the murders. Some people have even said it was the family doctor. Its for sure that we will never know who it was for sure. Who do you think committed the murders.

Lizzie Borden At Her Trial

Lizzie Borden At Her Trial.
Lizzie Borden At Her Trial.

Summary Of Important Parts Of The Trial

1. The State brought into evidence a hatchet head which had been found in the basement. The state prosecutor said the handle to the hatchet had been removed and burned because it was bloody. Two different police officers testified about this. One said that the hatchet handle was laying a few feet from the hatchet head and that it did not have any blood on it. Another police officer testified he did not ever see the handle to the hatchet. Why did the two police officers who were in the basement at the same time tell two different stories. Was the hatchet handle there or was it not?

2. There was no bloody clothing of Lizzie ever found but Lizzie did testify that she had burned a dress in the heater a few days after the murders because she had walked into wet paint The prosecutor tried to get her to admit the dress had been bloody but she stuck to her story. A workman on the property later told that Lizzie did in fact walk into wet paint where he was painting just days after the murders.

3. The skulls were removed from Lizzie's father and stepmother and the skin was boiled off them. The skulls were presented at trial and Lizzie fainted when she saw them. After the trial was over the skulls were buried in the grave of each person they came from at the foot of each grave. Modern scientists who have examined the photos of the skulls have said that they doubt that a woman could have created the amount of damage that was done to the skulls of the two Borden's.

4. Because of the illness the family had suffered just before the murders the bodies of Andrew Borden and his wife were both carefully checked for poison. No trace of poison of any type was found in either body. But it is a documented fact that just days before the murders that the family doctor who was called to the Borden house suspected that the family had been poisoned. If so who did it.

5. There was a very similar axe murder very close by just before the trial. That murder also has never been solved. Why did police not try to tie the murders together.

6. Lizzie Borden was acquitted of the murders and she was never in trouble with the law again. The prosecutor had tried to say she suffered from mental illness and didn't remember doing the crime. People who knew her always said after the murders and her acquittal that she never showed any sign of mental illness.

7. The jury said after they found Lizzie Borden not guilty that they did not hear any evidence that convinced them that Lizzie Borden had killed anyone. The one big thing was that Lizzie Borden was wearing the same clothes after the murder that she had been wearing that morning and that no blood was on her clothing. If she had committed the murders her clothing should have been drenched with blood.

8. If Lizzie did not kill her father and step mother then who did? Was it the Irish maid or was it someone that was never a suspect in the murders. Could it have been a distant relative of Andrew Borden. Or someone that hated him because he had thrown them off their property. It has been widely reported that Andrew Borden was known to loan people money and at the first missed payment he would seize the property and throw the person off the property.

9. Was it the older sister of Lizzie Borden who committed the murders? Did Lizzie Borden know who did the murders and did she know that it was her older sister? What do you think?

Please Vote In Our Poll.

Who Do You Think Killed Andrew Borden And His Wife?

See results

Lizzie Andrew Borden

Lizzie Borden House Where Murders Happened

The Lizzie Borden House
The Lizzie Borden House

Arnold Brown's Theory of the Lizzie Borden Case

American Justice: Lizzie Borden

Thanks For Reading My Hub Page On Lizzie Borden.

I appreciate you reading my Hub Page on Lizzie Borden. Thanks For Reading. I Hope You Will Post A Comment.

© 2007 Thomas Byers

Post your Comments to let us know what you think.

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    • Phyllis Doyle profile image

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 

      4 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Thanks, I appreciate that.

    • crazyhorsesghost profile imageAUTHOR

      Thomas Byers 

      4 years ago from East Coast , United States

      I'll see if I can find a link to it. They did it just like a cold case and did a time line on everyone. They concluded that it had to have been Lizzie or her sister and they implied it may have been caused by the actions of the father against Lizzie and her sister.

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 

      4 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      Wow ! I did not know that about the recent study. Were they able to find any blood samples on the bodies that matched Lizzie's blood? I know that may not be possible due to so may years have passed. But, what do those detectives base their answer on? I would like to read about that.

    • crazyhorsesghost profile imageAUTHOR

      Thomas Byers 

      4 years ago from East Coast , United States

      Thanks Phyllis. A recent study done by a group of former New York City and London UK detectives said Lizzie did it. But you could be right.

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 

      4 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      I voted wrong -- I believe the illegitimate son, William, killed the Borden's. I have always believed that. I am reading all about Lizzie Borden and came across this old hub or your CHG. I enjoyed reading it. I was going to write about the case, but, there already is a lot of coverage on it. Voted up and sharing.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      lizzie bordon makes me sick


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