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Lizzie Borden

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Lizzie Borden Case

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Lizzie Borden

  1. 1. Lizzie Borden { Maya Arthur
  2. 2. A widely known poem about Lizzie Borden, although it is not accurate. Andrew Borden received 10 or 11 whacks while Abby Borden received about 19 whacks. Lizzie Borden was the thirtythree year old daughter of Abby and Andrew Borden. Who was Lizzie Borden?
  3. 3. On August 4, 1892, in Fall River, Massachusetts. Lizzie Borden called the maid Bridget Sullivan to come down from her bedroom. When she came down she found the body of Andrew Borden , 70, “hacked almost beyond recognition.” A neighbor who came to comfort, Adelaide Churchill found the body of Abby Borden,, 65, Lizzie’s stepmother on the second floor of the house. Andrew’s body was warm. There was a wound on his left temple that made it seem like he was whacked with the dull edge of an axe. Abby’s body was cold. The Fall River Murders of 1892
  4. 4. Andrew Borden was a very wealthy business with a net worth of about $10 million in today’s money. Along with being wealthy, he was very unpopular. He made many enemies while climbing up the ladder to become head of one of Fall River’s largest banks and a substantial property owner. Possible Suspects included local businessmen, neighbors and even the maid Bridget Sullivan who was an Irish immigrant. Possible Suspects
  5. 5. Andrew Borden’s enemies were not outside his family as well. Andrew Borden was a frugal man with his wealth – he didn’t even have plumbing or electricity in their house! Also Andrew’s marriage to Abby Gray distanced Lizzie and her sister, Emma. On August 11, Lizzie was arrested. Police were curious about her actions for her parents’ murders. She seemed too calm and collected. She also gave contradictory testimonies to police and burned a dress she claimed was stained while doing housework. Lizzie Arrested
  6. 6. On June 5, 1893 in the New Bedford Courthouse, Lizzie was placed on trial. She was before a panel of three judges and a jury of twelve men. The prosecution claimed she was the only person who had the motive and opportunity to commit the double murders. The Commonwealth also stated that they didn’t need to show motive – circumstantial evidence was just as valuable as direct evidence. The Trial: Prosecution
  7. 7. The Trial: Defense The defense relied on the contradictions of testimonies made by witnesses. The defense also claimed that there were many plot holes in the story. - The difficulty to wash blood off a person and clothes and hiding the weapon in such a short amount of time before calling on Bridget Sullivan. - There was no proof that Lizzie attempted to purchase prussic acid to harm her family. Or that she contradicted herself at her inquest testimony.
  8. 8. The verdict was: NOT GUILTY
  9. 9. The trial was a media sensationalist frenzy. It was mysterious and had a great story in all its grotesqueness. News of the murders and subsequent trial were broadcast around the nation. After the trial, Lizzie and her sister Emma bought a house on “the Hill” which they called “Maplecroft.” She also changed her name to Lizbeth. She had an interest in theatre who attended many plays and befriended artists – one being Nance O’Neil. Lizzie lived in Maplecroft until her in 1927. She was 67 and was buried next to her parents, Andrew and Abby Borden at the Oak Grove Cemetrary. Life After The Trial
  10. 10. Honestly, this trial was very confusing for me. There were many plot holes to the origin story and the trial. Ultimately I think the verdict was fair due to the lack of evidence concerning the trial. There was no direct evidence to link Lizzie Borden to the murders. The prosecution relied to much on pressing her supposed motive and circumstantial evidence. You must have some actual evidence to back up your claims, no matter how obvious it seems. There was no murder weapon or anything. Some witnesses they also used were soon discredited (notably Hannah Reagan). My Take: Right or Wrong?
  11. 11. However, even with lack of evidence and a not guilty verdict., I believe there was some foul play with Lizzie Borden and the murders. Her actions after the deaths were very suspect as well as her actions after the trial. (She used the money to buy a swanky new home? She associated with bohemians and the arts?) It doesn’t actually show a woman emotional or mourning over someone’s death much less her parents. The only time she seemed to show emotion was during trial when she fainted seeing her parents’ skulls – which might’ve been for show. It’s such an odd case, she must have known something! But we’ll never know.

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