Lizzy Borden Mystery

March 14, 2012 by staff 

Lizzy Borden Mystery, It had seemed like a cut-and-dry case: Back in 1892, Andrew and Abby Borden were found murdered in their home. A few days later, a hatchet missing its wooden handle was found and Andrew’s daughter Lizzie was talking about burning the dress she wore the day of the murders because she got “paint” on it. The day before the murders, Andrew’s daughter Lizzie had sought out cyanide at the pharmacy.

To “clean a seal skin cloak,” you see. But also, Andrew — known as being miserly and eccentric, refusing to install indoor plumbing — was giving Lizzie some trouble about how he was dividing up his property, namely, giving a lot of it to his second wife’s family and not his own daughters. And yet, a jury could not believe that this Sunday school teacher would hack up her family with an ax, so they acquitted her in a matter of an hour.

There were never any other suspects or arrests, and Lizzie became a bit of a recluse in the community until her death in 1927. This is the story we know. But now, new notes have been uncovered that once belonged to the Borden family lawyer. Was Andrew Borden really the stingy weirdo he’s been made out to be all this time? And was he really giving Lizzie every reason to kill him, as the prosecutors (and history) have led the public to believe? Oh, it’s all up in the air now. Let’s take an ax to this old tale and see what the pieces tell us!

The notes, which were acquired by the Fall River Historical Society in Massachusetts, belonged to Andrew Jackson Jennings, the Borden family attorney. Jennings’ grandson, who passed away last year, had left the society the documents in his will. And while Jennings did not serve as Borden’s defense attorney, these documents provided the defense a lot of material for their case. And apparently, it was effective.

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