Lizzie Borden Lizzie Borden took an ax And gave her mother forty whacks. When she saw what she had done, She gave her father forty-one.
Lizzie’s Father • Andrew Borden • 1822-1892 He was 70 years old when he died. He was a miser and a slumlord. His miserly reputation dated back to his undertaking days when, it was whispered, he bought abbreviated coffins at abbreviated prices and chopped off the feet off the corpses to assure a good fit.
Abby Borden1828-1892 Andrew’s second wife; Lizzie’s stepmother. A friendless, grossly overweight frump whom Andrew had married when Lizzie was four and her older sister, Emma, was fourteen.
Emma Borden1849-1927 Emma was forty-two when her parents were killed. She was timid, straight-laced, and extremely single.
Bridget Sullivan An Irish maid, who in 1892 was in her third year of service with the Bordens.
John Morse Uncle John was the brother of Andrew’s first wife. He had arrived on very short notice the day before the murders and had spent the night in the Borden home.
Lizzie Borden1860 - 1927 Lizzie was much more outgoing than her sister. She was very active in church and charitable organizations, and had made the grand tour of Europe with a circle of spinsters who called themselves “the girls”.
Floor Plan of Borden Home Ground Floor
Floor Plan of Borden Home Second Floor
Victim’s Bodies Andrew Borden Abby Borden
Skull of Andrew Borden Andrew’s face had been cut by eleven blows. One eye had been cut in half and was protruding from his face; his nose had been severed.
Possible Murder Weapon Hatchet’s handle had been recently broken. Hatchet was also covered in ashes.
Fall River District Attorney Hosea M. Knowlton Hosea Knowlton was a reluctant prosecutor, forced into the role by the politically timid Arthur Pillsbury, Attorney General of Massachusetts. As Lizzie’s trial date approached, Pillsbury felt the pressure building from Lizzie’s supporters, particularly women’s groups and religious organizations.
The Trial New Bedford Courtroom The Borden Jury
Assistant District Attorney William Moody William Moody made the opening statement for the prosecution. He presented three arguments: Lizzie was predisposed to murder her parents and she planned the murders. Lizzie did in fact commit the murders. Lizzie’s behavior and contradictory testimony was not consistent with innocence.
Defense Team Andrew J. Jennings Melvin Adams
Lizzie died on June 1, 1927 Five weeks after the trial, Lizzie and Emma purchased a large Victorian house on French Street, located on “The Hill”, the fashionable area of Fall River. It was at this time that Lizzie began to refer to herself as “Lizbeth”. She died at the age of 67 from complications following gall bladder surgery. Nine days later, Emma died when she fell down the back stairs of her home in Newmarket, NH.
Floor Plans Ground Floor Second Floor