All Evidence Points Towards… Probably? Maybe?
In Episode 19, Curator #135 digs through the facts surrounding the murders of Andrew and Abby Borden. The trial was completely botched by the prosecution. They failed to take away any reasonable doubt from the twelve man jury who quickly came back with an innocent verdict.
Lizzie Andrew Borden was born July 19, 1860, in Fall River, Massachusetts. Her mother, Sarah Anthony died in 1863 and her father, Andrew Jackson Borden was one of two people murdered by hatchet in 1892.
The popular children’s rhyme was created during the court proceedings and can still be heard on playgrounds today.
Reporters were allowed into the crime scene with police officers and doctors. Everyone in town wanted a look at the grisly murders.
Autopsies of both bodies showed that Abby Durfee Borden, Lizzie’s stepmother was murdered at least an hour before Andrew. Abby took most of her blows to the back of her head, Andrew suffered his in the face.
The twelve, all white, male jurors were selected out of a pool of around 140 men. Women were not allowed to serve on a jury until five years later and didn’t appear regularly until around 1930. While many men found a way out of serving by saying that they’d already formed an opinion or were too old, these twelve Massachusetts citizens performed their duties and found Lizzie Borden not guilty.
After the trial, the Borden sisters stayed in Fall River. They moved into a large house together in ‘The Hill’ neighborhood. Lizzie began using the name Lizbeth and the pair dubbed their new home, “Maplecroft”. They had enough money from their father’s estate that they were able to hire live-in maids, a housekeeper, and a coachman.
Borden was ostracized by the residents of Fall River. In 1905, shortly after an argument over a party that Lizbeth had given for actress Nance O’Neil, Emma moved out of the house. She never saw her sister again.
Life After Death
Borden fell ill in 1927 after the removal of her gallbladder. She died of pneumonia on June 1, 1927. Few folks attended the funeral and even less details were given when she passed. Days later, her sister Emma died from chronic nephritis at the age of 76. Neither sister ever married and they were buried side by side next to their parents in Oak Grove Cemetery.
The Borden Home is now a Bed & Breakfast that adventurous types may stay the night in. For more information visit https://lizzie-borden.com/ – According to the website, “Today, the Lizzie Borden compound is many things to many people. It operates as a museum, bed, breakfast, and drinking establishment; one of the most haunted places in the United States; and host of fun events year-round including Victorian dinners, murder mystery nights, an escape room, a wedding venue, and even a place where you can now throw an ax yourself!
The home is a fun and enriching experience for everyone who visits. Whether you’re here in person or visiting remotely, the Lizzie Borden house has something for you. Join us for an experience you’ll take with you to the grave. We look forward to meeting you!”