Historic Unedited Photos They Don't Want You To See
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Historic Unedited Photos They Don't Want You To See
Lizzie Borden was tried but never convicted for the murders of her father and step-mother. Although she was acquitted of the axe murders, she remains the prime suspect.
You might remember that old folk rhyme about Lizzie Borden and the fact that she had used an axe to take her parents’ lives with 40 and 41 “whacks.” Though Borden has always been associated with this act, many people these days might not realize that she wasn’t actually found guilty of murdering her parents. To this day, there’s a mystery that surrounds the case as criminal investigations certainly weren’t as thorough as they are now. It’s been nearly a century since Borden passed away, but almost everyone still knows her name thanks to that classic playground rhyme.
Borden was born in Fall River, Massachusetts on July 19, 1860 to her parents Sarah and Andrew. Andrew had become quite successful in the business field, owning multiple companies and several properties. Despite their wealth, the Borden family was considered to be quite normal, especially for the time. The relationship between Borden and her father had started to deteriorate when her mother passed away and he started a relationship with a new woman.
Andrew was giving away quite a bit of money to his new girlfriend while Lizzie and her sister hadn’t been receiving much money themselves. Then, on August 4, 1892, things would become very grim in the Borden household. At that point, Andrew had been remarried to his new wife Abby, who would meet a tragic demise that morning. When she walked upstairs to clean, she was hit with an axe that knocked her down, and was repeatedly slashed with the weapon with more than a dozen hits (not 40 like the old rhyme goes).
Shortly after Abby had been killed that morning, Andrew returned from his daily walk to take a nap. Then, the housekeeper heard a cry from Borden that said that Andrew had been killed that morning by an intruder. Just like his wife, Andrew had been struck down with an axe, ending his life. The police were then brought in to investigate what had happened and immediately questioned Borden, who maintained that it was an intruder that came into the home to commit the crimes.
The police stuck around the home for a couple of days to continue their investigation. They grew more suspicious of Borden because of her behavior in the time that followed the murders, and the fact that her story had changed multiple times during questioning. Many had come to the conclusion that it was indeed Borden that had murdered her father and her stepmother, especially as she was arrested and charged with the crimes.
“I don’t know what I have said,” Borden told investigators. “I have answered so many questions and I am so confused I don’t know one thing from another. I am telling you just as nearly as I know.” She claimed that the murderer was a male, and that “I think he came to the front door and rang the bell, and Maggie let him in, and he said he had forgotten his key; so I think she must have been downstairs…I was on the stairs coming down when she let him in.”
Some of the evidence that was compiled included Borden being accused of visiting a general store to purchase poison in the days before the murder. This was reported in the newspapers, saying that “Lizzie and her stepmother never got along together peacefully, and that for a considerable time back they have not spoken,” however they added that “From the consensus of opinion it can be said: In Lizzie Borden’s life there is not one unmaidenly nor a single deliberately unkind act.”
Borden became the topic of many headlines surrounding the murders as the trial had become a big topic. The following summer, the trial officially began with Borden maintaining her innocence. Though there were many that thought that Borden was guilty, the jury didn’t see it that way. After speaking for under two hours, the charges against Borden were dropped, which was said to cause her instant relief. Still, there was the question of who the actual murderer was, especially as there had been a similar crime committed shortly before Borden’s parents were killed.
People offered up their theories on what happened, with plenty of them still saying that Borden should’ve been the prime suspect. Regardless of how people felt about the trial, Borden was able to live her life normally among the public. Not many took to her personally, though, because of the assumed guilt. She stayed in her hometown of Fall River and remained a highly talked about name in the local papers, as well as on a national basis, as her trial had been covered around the country despite not having 24 hour news television at the time.
Borden would ultimately pass away at the age of 66 on June 1st, 1927 when she contracted pneumonia following a surgery. She didn’t die without having a lot of money, though, having been what would equate to being a multi-millionaire when adjusted for inflation. There was a funeral for Borden, but it was a very small and private one. Even years after her death, the name is well known across the United States as she remained a popular reference in pop culture. There still isn’t full closure for the crimes that were committed all those years ago, but Borden is still considered innocent by the court system. How many people truly believed that, though, is certainly up for debate.
“Most of what is known about Lizzie Borden is based on legend, innuendo and outright lies,” said Michael Martins, who had curated many of the letters that Borden wrote during her time in jail. “Fact has been suppressed by fiction, and the fiction is much more interesting to a lot of people.”