WARNING: This Wacky Wednesday Deals With A Horrible Crime. While Not Graphic, It Does Deal With A Murder Committed In A Brutal Manner. Please Do Not Read If This Blog Post If Such Material Is Offensive or Difficult For You. Like All Our Wacky Wednesday Material, It Is Based On True Events.

wacky wednesday; crazy trials; real life crime

Rhyme Crime: Real Life Murder Becomes a Nursery Rhyme.

Lizzie Borden Took an Axe

You probably know the rhyme that goes along with this story”¦ Lizzie Borden took an axe and gave her mother forty whacks. When she saw what she had done, gave her father forty-one. Most only know the rhyme, and they haven’t taken the time to look at the crime and the court case that followed. At the time though, it was one of the biggest cases the United States had ever seen, and the burgeoning newspapers at the time were eating up every minute of it. Let’s look at the crime and the court case to get a better understanding of what happened.

The Crime

Andrew Borden was one of the wealthiest and most successful businessmen in Fall River, Massachusetts. At the time, he was estimated to be worth more than half a million dollars. Andrew lived with his two adult daughters, Lizzie and Emma, as well as his second wife Abbie. On August 4th, 1892, both Abbie and Andrew were found dead. Abbie was upstairs in the guest bedroom, and Andrew was on the sofa located in the parlor. Both had been bludgeoned and hacked to death with what appeared to be an axe or a hatchet.

During the investigation, the police did not find any sign of forced entry into the home, and there did not seem to be any sign or robbery. They never found the murder weapon either. However, suspicion quickly fell on Lizzie. A few days before the murder, she had bought poison and claimed it was to kill rats. The night before the murders, Andrew and Abbie were ill, and Abbie thought that someone had tried to poison the family. A few days after the murder, a friend saw Lizzie burning a dress, which she claimed had some paint on it. Lizzie had a reputation as being hot tempered, so it did not surprise many when she was arrested for the crime.

The Trial

In June of 1893, Lizzie went to trial for the murder of her father and stepmother. The case prosecutors, Hosea M. Knowlton and William H. Moody tried to prove that Lizzie was the culprit, and that she was upset with her parents, and that this precipitated the murders. Many also believed that Lizzie wanted her inheritance. The defense attorney, George D. Robinson, argued that the case provided only circumstantial evidence against her. The jury deliberated for only an hour before they came back with the verdict of”¦ not guilty.

Even though the rhyme that we started this article with, not to mention public sentiment then and now, said that they felt that she must be the killer, a jury of her peers said otherwise. The truth of the matter is that we will likely never get a definitive answer as to who killed Andrew and Abbie Borden. Plenty of theories exist, including that Andrew’s illegitimate son, who was a butcher, did it, or that John Morse, Lizzie’s maternal uncle committed the murders. Sadly, we’ll never know, and this case will go down in the annals of time as a pure mystery.

Wacky Wednesdays are brought to you by Kahane Law Office in Calgary Alberta. Kahane Law Office is an award winning full service law firm.