Monday, August 04, 2008

Forty Whacks in 1892



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



On this day in 1892, Lizzie Borden was suspected of killing her father and stepmother by hacking them to death with a hatchet.

Apparently, life at the Borden house was uncomfortable. The sisters, Lizzie and Emma Borden, were upset with their father as he wanted to make a decision on what to do with his property before he died, and it didn't include them. This was the reason many believed she killed her parents. She even tried to buy some cyanide (called prussic acid at the time) the day before the murders, but was denied it by the local pharmacy. She and the housekeeper were the only ones in the house at the time of the murders; the housekeeper, Bridget Sullivan, had washed the windows outside in the sweltering heat of the summer and was resting afterward when Lizzie called out to her that her father had been murdered.

Even with the circumstantial evidence against Lizzie, there was no blood, no blood on her clothes, and no fingerprint evidence taken. She was aquitted. The all-male jury was suspected of not wanting to convict Lizzie, as they felt a young girl couldn't have done such a dastardly act.

Discover more about Lizzie Borden...

Encyclopedia Britannica Online

The Lizzie Borden "Axe Murder" Trial: a Headline Court Case

The Borden Tragedy: a Memoir of the Infamous Double Murder at Fall River, Mass., 1892

Spirituals; Fall River Legend: Ballet Suite

Lizzie Borden: the Legend, the Truth, the Final Chapter

1 comment:

schammond said...

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Student on the MA in Librarianship programme
Department of Information Studies
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http://www.shef.ac.uk/is/