English Composition I
December 6, 2011
This paper will discuss Lizzie Borden’s life and the events that led her to kill her stepmother and father on August 4, 1892. Furthermore, examine her motive(s) and why she was ultimately acquitted for these brutal murders. It can be shown there was no way to connect her to the alleged murder weapon, along with evidence that was not allowed to be presented during her trial. We will also look at other possible suspects that could have been responsible for these horrible crimes; including the fact that prosecution could not produce a single eyewitness to testify at her trial. Therefore, with the circumstantial evidence and reasonable doubt, Lizzie Borden was rightly acquitted.
The story begins in Fall River, Massachusetts, with a daytime break-in and a double murder that took place in the three-story home on 92 Second Street. Lizzie Borden was an upper-class, unmarried, 32-year-old Sunday school teacher. Her mother died when she was two-years-old, leaving her older sister, Emma, to care for her (Gates, 1984). Her father was a wealthy banker and land owner that forced his family to live without running water or electricity. He later married Abby Gray. Lizzie did not like her stepmother and was always annoyed with her father, Andrew.
On August 4, 1892, Andrew and Abby Borden were axed to death in their home. Mr. Borden was discovered in the living room where he had been taking a nap, and Mrs. Borden was found in the upstairs guestroom, facedown and axed in the back. According to the blood clotting in each victim, it was determined that Abby had been killed about two hours before her husband (About Lizzie Borden, 2010).
During Abby’s murder, Bridget Sullivan (the maid), was outside washing windows. She had felt sick and went upstairs to her room to take a nap when Andrew was killed. Bridget’s alibi checked out. Emma was 15 miles away at a friend’s house....