...and gave her mother forty whacks
Ah, yes, Lizzie Borden–America's favorite...nursery rhyme? On a hot August day in 1892, Fall River, MA, landed on the map when two residents were brutally murdered in their home, and their daughter was accused. The brutal deaths of Mr. and Mrs. Borden are as famous now as they were then. Perhaps because no one was convicted, their deaths remain one of American history's most famous cold cases.
Naturally, like any story, the murders have been remembered a bit differently. Lizzie (or whoever did it) "only" gave the Bordens 29 whacks and did so with such stealth. Lizzie was relatively calm when police showed up and completely absent of blood, not making her an immediate suspect. Her behavior later would cause police suspicion, but she would never be convicted due to the lack of evidence.
Furthermore, they never did find the axe, as legend states. They found AN axe, but it was proven not to be the murder weapon. While the consensus continues to be that it was Lizzie, after visiting the home and listening to the docent–who was very objective–I can see why she was never convicted and why others have been suspected. I do not want to give too much away from the tour regarding what the docent said, but I will encourage you to visit the home sometime and hear for yourself!
One key point that stood out was the number of people with motive and opportunity. A book recommended to me and is now on my reading list is The Trial of Lizzie Borden by Cara Roberston. If you are interested in learning more and do not have a chance to "swing" by the Borden house, perhaps that book may interest you. To be clear, I am not saying I believe Lizzie is innocent, nor am I saying definitely that she did; it is not my place to say.
To get a glimpse into the room, check out my video below!