Lizzie Borden took an axe
And gave her mother forty whacks.
And when she saw what she had done
She gave her father forty-one.
On August 4, 1892 Andrew and Abby Borden were viciously hacked to death in their refined home in Fall River, Massachusetts. The prime suspect? Their youngest daughter, Lizzie Borden.
Some proclaimed her guilty as sin, whilst others attested that such a sweet girl could never commit such a heinous act. The case has never been closed, and the story has become one of the greatest murder mysteries of all time. The crime has captivated minds of Americans for well over two hundred years, even to the extent that the Borden home where the grizzly murders were carried out has since become a popular Bed and Breakfast.
So did Lizzie do it?
The first person to find the bodies, Lizzie was considered the prime suspect and was tried for the murder of her parents. However evidence was thin. There was no murder weapon found and no blood stained clothing which would suggest the committing of a bloody murder. In addition to the lack of evidence against her, another axe murder had also occurred recently in which the perpetrator was a man. Lizzie Borden therefore had the good fortune of being acquitted after just one and a half hours of jury deliberation.
Public opinion did not agree with the verdict however, especially when it was discovered that Lizzie had unsuccessfully tried to purchase poison before her parents were killed and burned a dress in the oven in the days after the murder, claiming that she had smeared it with paint from a freshly painted base board.
After being acquitted of the murder, Lizzie was ostracised by the people of Fall River who believed her to be guilty. She and her sister moved out of the family home and were eventually estranged from one another. Lizzie died at the age of 66 in 1927 and was buried at Oak Grove Cemetery.
Staying at the Lizzie Borden B&B
Staying at the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast is something of a macabre affair. The John V. Morse room is the room where Abby Borden’s hacked up body was found, and as the Borden B&B website puts it: “the room has been meticulously decorated to transport you back to that fateful morning.”
The Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast boasts eight rooms in total, including the Bridget Sullivan room. Bridget Sullivan was the Bordens’ maid who some people thought may have committed the murders in a rage after being asked to clean windows on a hot day not 24 hours after experiencing food poisoning.
Seeking to immerse guests in the drama of the final hours of Andrew and Abby Borden, the B&B’s macabre theme extends to meal times with all guests staying at the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast being entitled to a breakfast similar to what would have been the Borden’s last meal: bananas, jonny cakes, sugar cookies and coffee.
It’s all enough to send more than a few shivers down even the most stalwart of spines, and you might not get the best night’s sleep at this B&B, but it is nevertheless certain that fans of crime, the paranormal and American history alike will enjoy a stay at the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast.