Lizzie Borden Inn - Site of Ax murders
The Lizzie Borden Inn is located in Fall River Massachusetts. It was in this house that on the morning of August 4, 1892, Borden's father, Andrew Jackson Borden, and her stepmother, Abby Durfee Borden, were founded murdered by an ax. Today it is a bed and breakfast inn and with eight guest rooms, amoung them are Lizzie Borden's bed room, the John Morse room where here Abbey Borden's body was found. This inn rarely have vacancies as rooms were mostly booked many years in advance! For four hours each day the guest must leave their rooms and the inn becomes a museum opened for tours. Lizzie Borden was charged with the ax murders, but was acquitted. Nevertheless, like O. J. Simpson, most people still believed that she was the murderer.
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4 August 1892 | Fall River
Lizzie Andrew Borden (July 19, 1860 – June 1, 1927) was the central figure in the hatchet murders of her father and stepmother on August 4, 1892 in Fall River, Massachusetts. The murders, subsequent trial, and following trial by media have often compare with O. J. Simpson's Murder Trial, but the evidences against her were much weaker than the ones against O.J. Simpson. The timeline is as follows:
9:00 AM - Borden's guest, John Morse who was staying in the guest room left the house to visit some friends. Shortly after that, Andrew Borden left the house to take care some business. John Morse visited a lot of people and had plenty of alibi for his where about.
9:10 AM - Abby instructed the maid, Bridget Sullivan, a recent Irish immigrant, to wash all the windows inside and out
9:10 - ? - Some one killed Abbey Borden in the John Morse ( guest room ). Since the guest bed is between Abbey's body and door, no one could have seemed her body without entering the guest room.
10:45 AM - Andrew Borden left the bank as noted by the bank clerk.
11:00 AM - The maid Bridget opens the door and let in Andrew Borden, then went upstairs to take a nap. As she goes upstairs, she heard the town's bell ring eleven time.
11:15 AM - Bridget get awoken by Lizzie saying that her father has been murdered. Lizzie claimed that she just came in from the barn and found her father's body. The barn is a separate building from the house.
11:20 AM - Police were notified there has been a murder in Borden house.
11:25 AM - The first police arrived at the house, in the following minutes more police arrived and begin searching the house.. It was around noon that they discovered Abbey Borden's body in the guest room (John Morse's room), from the dried blood, it was apparent she has been dead for many hours.
That means Lizzie had only 15 minutes to give her father 11 to 13 whacks with a hatchet, clean herself of blood, hide the hatchet and wake up Bridget. This is why the guides at Lizzie Borden Inn believe it was a conspiracy. That Lizzie, maid Bridget, her sister Emma (out of town at the time) and the unknown killer were all in on the conspiracy. It was very interesting that everyone involved had excellent memory of the time, the maid Bridget, the bank teller and John Morse.
Although Lizzie Borden was acquitted, no one else was ever arrested or tried, and she has remained notorious in American folklore and the famous rhyme,
" Lizzie Borden took an ax and gave her mother 40 whacks, when she saw what she has done, she gave her father 41 whacks."
Note the whack counts are inaccurate as Andrew Borden only got about 11 to 13 whacks.
Lizzie Borden Trial
5 June 1893 | New Bedford, Massachusetts
The Lizzie Borden trial begun on June 5, 1893 in New Bedford Courthouse in New Bedford, Massachusetts. It most publicized criminal trial of its day, covered by newspapers from all other the country. It have often compared with the O. J. Simpson Trial. Unlike the Simpson trial, the evidences against Lizzie were mostly circumstantial, as only she and the maid Bridget were in the house at time. No murder weapon or bloody clothing was ever found.
Lizzie Borden with help from women's groups was able to hire a "dream team" for counsels. The lead counsel was George Robinson, former governer of Massachusetts and was elected as a representative in the United States Congress for four terms. His involvement in the case came as a result of pressure from the women's groups. Robinson handled virtually all defense trial matters in the Borden case.
Unlike the Simpson Trial, which lasted over a year, the Borden Trial lasted only nine days. Defenses in both trials used "issue" to their advantages, Simpson Trial used "race issue" very successfully and Lizzie Borden defense counsel Robinson used "gender issue". Robinson repeatly told the jury, "Do you think this women is strong enough and fiendish enough to kill people with a hatchet"?
Verdict - not guilty
14 June 1893 | New Bedford, Massaschuttes
A jury a twelve men deliberated an hour and a half before returning with its verdict. The clerk asked the foreman of the jury, "What is your verdict?" "Not guilty," the foreman replied simply. Lizzie let out a yell, sank into her chair, rested her hands on a courtroom rail, put her face in her hands, and then let out a second cry of joy. Soon, here sister Emma, her counsel, and courtroom spectators were rushing to congratulate Lizzie. She hid her face in her sister's arms and announced, "Now take me home. I want to go to the old place and go at once tonight." Note, jury in Simpson's trial deliberated for four hours before reaching a not guilty verdict.
When the juries were asked about the verdict. Two reasons were giving. First they didn't think Lizzie had enough time to kill her father then clean herself in less than 15 minutes. Two, they couldn't believe Lizzie had the strength to use the hatchet as Andrew's and Abbey's skulls were totally shattered by about 29 blows. The "gender issue" raised by the defense worked perfectly.
While Lizzie was acquited by the justice system, the public as juries founded her guilty as in the popular nursery rhyme, "Lizzie Borden toke an axis" and the folk music "you can't chop up your popa in Massachusetts" .
Death of Lizzie Borden.
1 June 1927 | Fall River, Massachusetts
After the trial, Lizzie Borden continue to live in Fall River and was never married. Lizzie inherited half of her father's estate (Emma got the other half) and bought a mansion for herself and Emma in Fall River's best neighborhood. Lizzie also gave a large sum of money to the maid Bridget so she can return to Ireland (silence her ?). In 1913, Emma abruptly moved out of the mansion and never spoke to Lizzie again ( did Lizzie fessed up to her sister ? ).
She died of pneumonia on June 1, 1927 in Fall River. The funeral details were not made public and few people attended her burial. Borden was buried in Oak Grove Cemetery under the name "Lizbeth Andrew Borden", her footstone reading "Lizbeth" and is next to Andrew Borden's grave. Her will, probated on June 25, 1927, left $30,000 to the Fall River Animal Rescue League. She also left $500 in perpetual trust for the care of her father's grave.