Lizzie Borden

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The case of lizzie borden

The case of lizzie bordenDid she really give her parents whacks with an ax?

Most people only know

Lizzie Borden took an ax,And gave her mother forty whacks;When she saw what she had done,She gave her father forty-one.

What actually happenedNo one will ever truly know what happened on August 4, 1892, but we can examine the facts that are known.

FactsLisbeth (Lizzie) Borden lived in Fall River, MA with her wealthy father Andrew Borden, her step mother Abby Borden, her sister Emma Borden. On August 4, 1892 Andrew and Abby Borden were found dead in the house, killed by an ax. Lizzie was the prime suspect and was tried for murder, but found not guilty. The only other suspect was Bridget, the maid. This case was and still is in the media and attracts many people to the mystery of what really happened that hot summer day.

The trialThe trial was held on June 5th- 20th, 1892. Lizzie Borden hired the former governor as her defense attorney. This aided her defense since the people in the jury trusted the former governor. One of the main reasons she was acquitted was her incriminating testimony was not allowed in court. The judged ruled that she was under arrest while she gave it and did not have legal representation. Similar to not having her Miranda Rights read.

The TrialA key point of the trial was when the prosecutor brought the skulls of Lizzies father and step-mother into the court room to prove that the ax was the murder weapon. Lizzie fainted immediately. This made her look very feminine, which aided her case, since murder with an ax was considered a manly crime. A more feminine murder would be death by poison. Another testimony that was key, but not considered valid during the trial, was that of Eli Bence, a pharmacist. Lizzie went to his shop the day before the murder to buy prussic acid. She claimed that the poisonous substance was for cleaning a cape. The court ruled that it was not connected to the trial.

EvidenceEvidence in the trial included the ax and her parents skulls. There was also a dress in question. A witness claimed to see Lizzie burn a dress three days after the crime. She claimed it had paint on it, which could have very well been, but many people thought it was blood. People were also curious why the police did not find the dress when they search the house. That question will never be answered though.

Life after the VerdictLizzie Borden was found not guilty. Some believed she was the killer since she would gain her father inheritance. Others believed her innocence and supported her some even created a fan clubAfter the trial, Lizzie continue to live in Falls River until she died. She lived in isolation mostly, other than the few friends she had. For example she continued to go to church and sit in the family pew, but all the other pews around her were empty. She received many death threats, letters, and even marriage proposals. She died on June 1, 1927.

Affects of the mediaThis trial was the talk of the town with many news articles written about it. Some people believed Lizzie could not have done it because she came from such a prominent family, while others believed she did it for the money, as would some other of Andrews enemies have done. She became a legend as stories grew from the mystery that went unsolved. Thats how the twenty or so whacks that killed her step mother and ten or eleven whacks that killed her father turned into 40 and 41. Many books were written about Lizzie Borden and her house is now a Bed and Breakfast where many people come and survive the night in the haunted house.

OverviewThe case of Lizzie Borden is very interesting. Her defense included a lack of evidence and how this type of crime is one a woman would never commit. It shows just how far the justice system has come over 100 years. Comparing it to today, testimonies that were not allowed would be key today. Forensic evidence would have been used such as fingerprinting and DNA results. If this case occurred today, it may make headlines, but it would not be such a big deal because technology would make the case pretty easy to figure out and the mystery would be solved.