Gruesome Lizzie Borden Axe Murders, was she GUILTY?

Gruesome Lizzie Borden Axe Murders, was she GUILTY?
The story of Lizzie Borden is gruesome, but was she Guilty or Not Guilty?

Despite the famous playground verse that leaves little doubt about her guilt, Lizzie Borden was never convicted of murdering her father and stepmother.

It was a sensational crime that captured the public imagination of late 19th century America. On the morning of August 4th, 1892, in Fall River, Massachusetts, the bodies of Andrew Borden and his second wife, Abby, were found slaughtered in the home they shared with an Irish maid and Andrew’s 32 year old daughter, Lizzie. A second daughter, Emma, was away from home at the time.

Although Lizzie was a devout, church-going Sunday school teacher, she was charged with the horrific murders and was immortalized in this popular rhyme.

“ Lizzie Borden took an axe
and gave her mother 40 whacks.
When she saw what she had done,
she gave her father 41.”


In reality, her stepmother was struck 19 times, killed in an upstairs bedroom with the same axe that crushed her husband’s skull while he slept on a couch downstairs. In that gruesome attack, his face took 11 blows, one of which cut his eye in two and another that severed his nose.

Andrew was one of the wealthiest men in Fall River. By reputation, he was also one of the meanest. The prosecution alleged that Lizzie’s motivation for the murders was financial, because she had hoped to inherit her father’s estate. Despite the large quantity of blood at the crime scene, the police were unable to find any blood soaked clothing worn by Lizzie when she allegedly committed the crimes.

Lizzie’s defense counsel successfully had their client’s contradictory inquest testimony ruled inadmissible, along with all evidence relating to her earlier attempts to purchase poison from a local drugstore. On June 19th, 1893, the jury in the case returned its verdict of not guilty.

Lizzie Borden Axe Murders


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