Lizzie Borden is known for killing her parents with an axe; she was ultimately acquitted.
Born: Lizzie Andrew Borden, July 19, 1860, in Falls River, Massachusetts
Died: June 1, 1927
Father: Andrew Jackson Borden, 1822-1892.
Mother: Sarah Anthony Morse,1823-1863.
Step mother: Abby Durfee Gray, 1828-1892
Sisters: Emma Lenora Borden, 1851-1927.
Alice Esther Borden, 1856-1858.
On August 4, 1892, in Lizzie’s home town of Falls River, Massachusetts, Lizzie and the family maid, Bridget Sullivan, were the only two people in the home at the time of the murders.
On this legendary day Andrew Borden left home to runs errand in town, returning home about 10:45 that morning. The maid, Sullivan, in her room on the third floor of the home, resting due to an odd incident in which the whole household allegedly ate rotten food. Some theorized this was Lizzie’s first attempt to kill her parents. She supposedly had purchased prussic acid for cleaning purposes. Lizzie denies the purchase.
About 11:00 am Sullivan heard Lizzie calling out. She had found the body of her father in the down stairs sitting room, flopped over on his side on the couch. Sullivan found Mrs. Borden’s body in the upstairs guest bedroom. It is estimated that Mrs. Borden was hit with a hatchet 18 or 19 times and Andrew was hit 11 times. In addition, reports indicated that Andrew’s skull was cracked and his left eye cut in half.
Prior to this date, life at the Borden residence at 92 Second Street had developed into a tense situation. A division had arisen between the Borden sisters and their parents. The sisters were not happy about their father’s decision to allocate his large assets to other family members before he died. A summer home that the Borden sisters used to visit was given to their biological mother’s brother.
On August 11, 1892, Lizzie was arrested and charged with her parents brutal murders, although no forensic evidence was found implicating Lizzie. However, her story of what happened that morning was not dependable. It seemed to change with each telling. It is alleged that she burned one of her dresses several days after the murders, which could have been the clothing she wore to kill her parents.
A hatchet was found in the home, but it was not covered in blood as it should have been. In fact it was clean and missing it’s handle. The handle was later found but was not dusted for fingerprints, as the police did not believe in the new procedures at the time.
Lizzie Borden was acquitted on June 20, 1893, as there was no forensic evidence against her. A similar killing by Jose Correia had happened in the area not long before her trial started. Even though Lizzie was acquitted of the crime, the community did not forgive her. In fact, many stopped socializing with her.
Lizzie and her sister Emma had a disagreement over what some claimed was an affair with a female actress, Nancy O’Neil. Emma moved to a different residence. Lizzie died a spinster on June 1, 1927, due to pneumonia. She is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery located in Fall River, Massachusetts. After her trial Lizzie began using the name ‘Lizbeth.’ Her gravestone reads ‘Lizbeth Andrew Borden.’ In an unusual coincidence, Emma fell in her home and died on June 10, 1927.
Both of Lizzie Borden’s homes are open to the public. The 92 Second Street Home is a bed and breakfast, and the Maple croft Mansion is open for tours.
Many theories have circled around this case. Lizzie has become an icon.
The maid did it!
A illegitimate half brother, William Borden, killed Mr. and Mrs. Borden for revenge.