Special Sub-Topic: That Whacky Lizzie Borden!
|The "Lizzie Borden Legend" is fraught with misinformation and misconceptions about what actually happened inside the Borden residence on that hot August day in Fall River, Massachusetts in 1892. Top on the list is the common belief that an axe was used to kill Lizzie's father, Andrew Borden and her stepmother, Abby. In fact, another sharp object was used to kill the Bordens. What was it?|
A hatchet. Andrew and Abby Borden were both killed by hatchet blows. Abby was discovered face down on the floor of an upstairs bedroom, while Andrew was killed as he lay on a settee in a downstairs parlor. Andrew's face had reportedly been so brutally hacked that it was virtually unrecognizable to the police officers who arrived on the scene.
|Lizzie Borden hailed from a respected, upstanding family, but the stories that friends and family shared with police during the murder investigation indicated that Lizzie was a very unusual person. One unusual thing about her was the way in which she allegedly responded to the continuous meowing of a visiting family member's pet cat. What did Lizzie supposedly do to the crying cat?|
Kill it.. The allegation that Lizzie killed a crying kitty is not a proven one, but it is one of many eagerly offered anecdotes that were used to illustrate her somewhat anti-social behavior and supposed cold-heartedness.
|Lizzie Borden's family had an Irish maid named Bridget, also known as "Maggie", who was questioned about the murders of Andrew and Abby Borden, but not considered a suspect. Still, some historians who believe that Lizzie really did kill her parents also think that Bridget may have played a role as well. One reason for this is that, after her acquittal, Lizzie allegedly paid for Bridget to relocate and start a new life. Where did Bridget supposedly relocate?|
Ireland. Bridget, whom Lizzie and her older sister rudely referred to as "Maggie", left the area after the murders. Some believe that she relocated to Ireland on Lizzie's dime. Many of Bridget's statements concerning the day of the murders are a little shaky and sound somewhat contrived as though she is attempting to protect someone.
Maggie was the name of their previous maid and the Bordens were supposedly unwilling to learn the name of their new one. Maggie is also a derogatory term for an Irish woman.
|Shortly after the murders of her parents, Lizzie Borden was questioned by a police detective who asked her what she had been doing on that fateful morning. Lizzie responded by describing several activities. Which of the following activities did she NOT include in that morning's itinerary?|
Sketching a still life.. During the questioning that took place after the murder of the elder Bordens, Lizzie told the police that she spent the morning ironing and sewing linings for handkerchiefs, searching for sinkers for fishing lures in the hot, dusty barn and reading old magazines. But as busy and productive as she indicated she was on that fateful Massachusetts morning, she didn't mention anything about sketching a still life.
|After she was acquitted of the murders of her father and stepmother, Lizzie Borden used her inheritance money to do something that she had been asking her father to do for years. What did Lizzie do with the money her murdered parents left behind?|
Moved to a nicer house.. According to historians, Lizzie had always yearned to live in a more fashionable neighborhood and blamed her father and her stepmother for keeping her and her sister out of the hub of Fall River society. After her parents' deaths, Lizzie and her sister purchased a bigger, better, more fashionable home in a more upscale area of Fall Rivers, but the change of address didn't change the way that her fellow citizens felt about her. The Borden sisters continued to be treated as outsiders in their hometown and Lizzie never achieved her dream of being one of the small town elite.
|Like most middle class women in 19th century America, Lizzie Borden didn't work outside the home. However, she did have a non-paying "job" involving children. In what capacity did Lizzie Borden work with local kids before being charged and subsequently acquitted of double patricide?|
Taught Sunday School.. Upstanding citizen that she was, Lizzie Borden taught little children in the Sunday School classes held in her local Protestant church. One can't help wondering how those particular little Sunday Schoolers eventually turned out.
|Lizzie Borden had a noted aversion to her stepmother, Abbie Borden, In fact, following the murders of Abby and her father, Andrew, Lizzie responded very tellingly to a comment made by one of the local policemen investigating the crime. When he referred to Abbie Borden as her "mother", what did Lizzie say?|
She's not my mother.. When the detectives spoke with Lizzie following the murders of her parents, one of them made a reference to "your mother." Lizzie responded, "She's not my mother", making it very clear how she felt about her stepmother. But even though Lizzie was adamant about the lack of a biological connection between herself and the second Mrs. Borden, she insisted during her trial that she and her stepmother got along most of the time.
|At her inquest, Lizzie Borden answered endless questions about her relationship with her stepmother, her father's will and the clothes she was wearing on the day of the infamous murders. What did she say she was wearing on the fateful day?|
India silk skirt and navy blue blouse.. During her long (probably hot) inquest, Lizzie stated that on the day her parents were killed, she had been wearing an India silk skirt and a navy blue blouse. One of the many theories that have been broached about how Lizzie may have gotten away with the murders is that she carried out the killings while in the nude, thus avoiding blood spatter on her clothing. However, she was known to have burned a dress in the furnace on the day of the murders.
|The case against Lizzie Borden was largely circumstantial, which was a definite factor in her eventual acquittal. But prosecutors did come up with some incriminating evidence against her, such as the fact that she attempted to buy a certain kind of poison only days before the murders of her parents. What potentially lethal substance did Lizzie attempt to buy? |
Prussic acid. The local pharmacist refused to sell the prussic acid to Lizzie because it was an unusual purchase and he felt that it was inappropriately strong for the extermination of bothersome rodents.
|Following her death in 1927, Lizzie Borden's will revealed that she had left all of her money to a specific charity. What kind of charity benefited from the death of the infamous Lizzie Andrew Borden?|
Animal shelter. Lizzie died a socially ostracized spinster, who was never able to shake off the shadow of accused murderess that hung over her. She died within hours of her older sister, who had moved to another town by that time. Lizzie's original home still stands today and is operated as a bed and breakfast. The legacy of mystery and tragedy draws people to it from all over the country. Some of them have claimed to feel and even experience Lizzie's restless spirit still lingering in the rooms where the murders took place.
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