Lizzie was a pretty normal kid by most accounts, but her parents were very strict. In fact Lizzie called her stepmother Mrs. Borden as a sign of respect. Lizzie and her sister were often sent away on long vacations to New Bedford. Both girls were very distraught over the death of their mother and of their father's relationship with their stepmother. Could Lizzie and her sister have been victims of abuse? It wasn't very common to report child abuse in those days. All of this came up in the trial.
The story goes that a week before the murders the entire Borden family was very ill. Speculation has said that it could have been from rotten Mutton or it could have been the killers first attempt at taking lives. On the day of August 4th 1892 both Abby Borden (Lizzie's stepmother) and Andrew Borden (Lizzie's father) were found hacked to death with a hatchet. The police suspected Lizzie and she was tried for the crime and eventually acquitted.
Lizzie was 32 years old at the time of the murder. She claimed that she was in the loft of the family barn for 20 minutes before discovering the bodies. The 20 minutes coincided with the time of the murders, yet the day was hot, very hot. Investigators said that it was over 100 degrees and that the loft of the barn would have been too hot for a human to spend any length of time. Also the dust on the floor in the loft of the barn hadn't been disturbed in weeks. Lizzie also changed her story about her whereabouts and the time frame a number of times.
Even with evidence against Lizzie she was acquitted. I wonder if these murders weren't committed by both Lizzie and her sister Emma Borden. Emma's story was that she was sleeping at the time of the murders. By most accounts both Lizzie and Emma had heated arguments with their father. Their were fights over money and over the house. They both had motive.
Lizzie spent the remaining years of her life in the home in Fall River and had suffered from being the town pariah often hearing the taunts: "Lizzie Borden took an axe and gave her mother 40 whacks, when she saw what she had done she gave her father 41."
Of course the rhyme was wrong on many accounts, the murderer only struck Abby Borden 19 times and Andrew was struck only 11. Also it was Lizzie's stepmother not mother. Not to mention it was a hatchet not an axe. The question though is whether or not Lizzie was the murderer and whether her vengeful spirit still haunts the house in Fall River. Her spirit may still be mad for the poor treatment by the town folk.
Recently on the Podcast that I co-host The Megapods we interviewed Jeff Belanger from The Travel Channel's "Ghost Adventures. He told us that The Borden House was one of the most active places he has ever been. They heard footsteps running across the floor and had some pretty cool temperature readings.
Horror Question of the Day: Did Lizzie Borden kill her parents? Do you believe that her spirit or the spirits of her hacked up parents could be haunting the house in Fall River?
News: My Novel "Wormwood" is ready for publication. The proofs of the book are being shipped to me so that I can make sure everything looks good before it goes on sale. The novel will be available for pre-order before it goes live on Amazon. I will happily sign any copies of the novel at your request. Also my short story "The Manuscript" has received a face-lift. The new cover is on the home page.