Life After Trial Murder and Lizzie Borden Part 2

About Lizzie Borden, a young woman accused of killing her family with a hatchet and found not guilty, life after the trial.

LIZZIE BORDEN (1860-1927)

And After: After her acquittal, Lizzie made a brief statement to the press. It was typical of her inbred stubbornness and strength: "A good many persons have talked to me as if they thought I would go and live somewhere else when my trial was over. I don't know what possesses them. I am going home and I am going to stay there. I never thought of doing anything else."

After that she never spoke to members of the press, and they resented her for it. Because she was so silent, reporters camped out in front of her house, hoping to see something to satisfy Borden-hungry editors and readers.

Lizzie and Emma remained in the murder house only long enough to settle their father's estate. Then they sold the modest house and purchased a mansion-Maplecroft-that they considered much more compatible with their wealth and class; their father had been a rich and notoriously stingy man. Still, they stayed in Fall River.

Lizzie returned to her previous activities-mostly charity work-but demanded secrecy from her beneficiaries. She is said to have financed several college educations.

Romance may have come to Lizzie about three years after the trial. A rumor circulated about a schoolteacher in Swansea, but if there was anything to it, publicity soon put a stop to the relationship. She died unmarried and almost certainly a virgin.

Being a cultured woman, Lizzie made regular trips to New York and Boston to take in the theater and concerts. In 1905 she invited actress Nance O'Neil and her theatrical troupe to Maplecroft for a party. Fall River's old families were scandalized that anyone, especially Lizzie Borden, would entertain actors, who at that time were considered little more savory than thieves. Emma, who still lived with Lizzie, was extremely upset, and shortly thereafter moved out. Lizzie and Emma never spoke again.

Lizzie lived well, employing a housekeeper, a maid, and a chauffeur. She gave money freely to charities and was always kind to anyone who had reason to meet her. She supplied cold drinks for workmen around her house and gave them time off with pay when the heat was unbearable.

She loved animals. She had a bull terrier and several cats, and she could often be seen scattering peanuts on the lawn for squirrels. When she died, on June 1, 1927, she left $30,000 in cash and a wealth of stock holdings to the Animal Rescue League of Fall River. She also left a hefty sum to the Washington, D.C., branch of the league. As she explained in her will, "I have been fond of animals and their need is great and there are so few who care for them."

Interestingly, though she left sums of money ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 to friends and servants, she left nothing to Emma. "I have not given my sister, Emma L. Borden, anything," she wrote in her will, "as she had her share of Father's estate and is supposed to have enough to make her comfortable." Emma, who died 10 days after her younger sister, did leave some property to Lizzie in her will. Lizzie died a much wealthier woman than Emma, though Lizzie lived in much higher style. Throughout her life she was a cool, strong, intelligent business-woman.

Lizzie Borden was buried in the family plot alongside her father, mother, and stepmother

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