A private disgrace

Lizzie Borden took an axe, And gave her mother forty whacks, When she saw what she had done, She gave her father forty-one. . . Lizzie Andrew Borden (b. 1860 &ndash, d. 1927) was tried and acquitted in the 1892 axe murders of her father and stepmother in Fall River, Massachusetts. ,Media coverage of the case created a furor throughout the United States reminiscent of the Rosenberg, Claus von Bulow and O. J. Simpson trials. No other suspect was ever charged with the double homicide, and speculation on the case continues to this day. The case is curious because there was no physical evidence linking Lizzie to the murder. The broken axe the police found in the basement was clean of blood and the police refused to use forensic testing for fingerprints (a science then in its infancy). The defense raised evidence that Andrew Borden was a hard businessman who had made many enemies. On the other hand, the atmosphere in the Borden household was tense, Lizzie resented her stepmother, she was prone to mental instability, and she had purchased poison a few days before the murders which police suspected was the cause of food poisoning. There was a financial motive

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