August 3, 2021
We all know, from the children’s ditty, what crime Lizzie Borden was accused of. According to the rhyme, she axed her parents with dozens of powerful and deadly whacks on the fateful morning of August 4, 1892. In all likelihood, Lizzie, shown her in a colorized photograph from the time, did murder her parents in a violent manner.
On June 20, 1893, ten months after the murders, however, Lizzie Borden was found not guilty on the charges. Her acquittal, as we will see, had more to do with gender stereotypes than it did with hard evidence.
It was a crime that shocked Victorian New England. A prominent resident of Fall River, Massachusetts, 69-year-old Andrew Borden and his second wife, 64-year-old Abby Borden, were found brutally slaughtered in their modest home. Andrew Borden’s 32-year-old spinster daughter, Lizzie, was the person who discovered the bodies. She was also home at the time of the murders but claimed she did not hear anything unusual that morning. Who could have committed such a horrible deed?