The Lizzie Borden Murder Case Part 1

About the case of Lizzie Borden who was charged with murdering her family with a hatchet, her history and biography.


The Murders: On the morning of August 4, 1892, in a quiet and most ordinary small New England town, a distraught spinster daughter found her elderly parents bludgeoned to death in their Victorian home. Andrew J. Borden, age 70, one of the leading citizens of Fall River, Mass., was a retired undertaker who had amassed $250,000 in his lifetime. He was a lean and spare man of few words, hard-working and thrifty by New England standards of the day, although somewhat obsessive and miserly by our own. He was found lying face down in a pool of blood on the black overstuffed horsehair sofa in the parlor. His face and skull were battered and crushed as if by a meat cleaver or a small hatchet. Half of his face was sliced clean off; an eye was slit from its socket and lay hanging near the crushed jaw. He had received a total of 10 blows. Upstairs in a spare bedroom lay the body of his 67-year-old wife, Abby Durfee Gray Borden. She had received 19 hatchet blows. Skull bones, hair, and face were pounded together in a bloody pulp.

The death notice in the local newspaper was quiet and unsensational. Funeral private, it read. Friends kindly omit flowers. But news of the murders spread through the community like a shock wave. People bolted their doors and avoided the streets. A grim shadow of suspicion and terror hung over the citizens of Fall River. In a hundred years' time, nothing out of the ordinary had disturbed the flow of serious commerce and Christian sobriety. But now all was changed; something unseen and unspeakable had erupted luridly in their midst.

The deceased couple left behind 2 unmarried daughters. The elder, Emma Borden, was 42 years old. She was away visiting friends at the time of the murder. The younger daughter, age 33, was Lizzie Borden. It was she who discovered the body of her father. The family maid of 3 years, an Irish immigrant girl by the name of Bridget Sullivan, was the only other person present at the house on the fateful morning.

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