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Fall River, Massachusetts, USA
Place of Death
Fall River, Massachusetts, USA
Profile Bio Text
Lizzie Andrew Borden (July 19, 1860 – June 1, 1927) was a New England spinster who was the central figure in the hatchet murders of her father and stepmother on August 4, 1892 in Fall River, Massachusetts in the United States. The slayings, subsequent trial, and following trial by media became a cause célèbre. The fame of the incident has endured in American pop culture and criminology. Although Lizzie Borden was acquitted, she was widely believed to be guilty; no one else was ever arrested or tried, and she has remained notorious in American folklore. Dispute over the identity of the killer or killers continues to this day.
On the morning of August 4, 1892, Borden`s father, Andrew Jackson Borden, and her stepmother, Abby Durfee Borden, were murdered in the family home. The only other people present at the residence at the time were Lizzie and the family maid, Bridget Sullivan. Emma Borden, Lizzie`s sister, was away from home. The Borden sisters` uncle, John Vinnicum Morse, brother of Andrew Borden`s first wife, was visiting at the time, but was also away from the house during the time of the murders.
That day, Andrew Borden had gone into town to do his usual rounds at the bank and post office. He returned home at about 10:45 a.m. About a half-hour later, Lizzie Borden found his body. According to Sullivan`s testimony, she was lying down in her room on the third floor of the house shortly after 11:00 a.m. when she heard Lizzie call to her, saying someone had killed her father, whose body was found slumped on a couch in the downstairs sitting room. Andrew Borden`s face was turned to the right hand side, apparently at ease as if he were asleep.
Shortly thereafter, while Lizzie Borden was being tended by neighbors and the family doctor, Sullivan discovered the body of Mrs. Borden upstairs in the guest bedroom. Mr. and Mrs. Borden had both been killed by blows from a hatchet, which in the case of Andrew Borden, not only crushed his skull but cleanly split his left eyeball
Over a period of years after the death of the first Mrs. Borden, life at 92 Second Street had grown unpleasant in many ways, and affection between the older and younger family members had waned considerably if any was present at all. The upstairs floor of the house was divided. The front was the territory of the Borden sisters, while the rear was for Mr. and Mrs. Borden. Meals were not always taken together. Conflict had come to a head between the two daughters and their father about his decision to divide up valuable property among relatives before his death. A house had been turned over to relatives of their stepmother, and John Morse, brother to the deceased Sarah Borden (the mother of the Borden daughters), had come to visit that week. His visit was to facilitate transfer of farm property, which included what had been a summer home for the Borden daughters. Shortly before the murders, a heated argument had taken place which resulted in both sisters leaving home on extended "vacations." Lizzie Borden, however, decided to cut her trip short and returned early.
She was refused the opportunity to purchase prussic acid by a local druggist, which she claimed was for cleaning a seal skin coat. 
Shortly before the murders, the entire household became violently ill. As Mr. Borden was not a popular man in town, Mrs. Borden feared they were being poisoned, but the family doctor diagnosed it as bad food
Lizzie Borden was arrested on August 11, 1892, with her trial beginning ten months later in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Her stories proved to be inconsistent, and her behavior suspect. She was tried for the murders, defended by former Massachusetts Governor George D. Robinson and Andrew V. Jennings. One of the prosecutors in the trial was William H. Moody, future United States Attorney General and Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
During the police investigation, a hatchet was found in the basement and was assumed to be the murder weapon. Though it was clean, most of its handle was missing and the prosecution stated that it had been broken off because it was covered with blood. However, police officer Michael Mullaly stated that he found it next to a hatchet handle. Deputy Marshall John Fleet contradicted this testimony. Later a forensics expert said there was no time for the hatchet to be cleaned after the murder. The prosecution was hampered by the fact that the Fall River police did not put credence in the new forensic technology of fingerprinting, and refused to take prints on the hatchet.
No blood-soaked clothing was found as evidence by police. A few days after the murder, Borden tore apart and burned a light blue Bedford cord cotton dress in the kitchen stove, claiming she had brushed against fresh baseboard paint which had smeared on it.
Despite incriminating circumstances, Lizzie Borden was acquitted by a jury after an hour and a half`s deliberation. The
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Full Name at Birth
Elizabeth Andrew Borden
Lizzie Andrew Borden (July 19, 1860 – June 1, 1927) was an American woman who was tried and acquitted in the 1892 axe murders of her father and stepmother in Fall River, Massachusetts. The case was a cause célèbre throughout the United States. Following her release from the prison in which she had been held during the trial, Borden chose to remain a resident of Fall River, Massachusetts, for the rest of her life, despite facing significant ostracism. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts elected to charge no one else with the murder of Andrew and Abby Borden; speculation about the crimes still continues more than 100 years later.
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