1892 Borden Murders Lizzie Borden Essay

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Both Andrew and Abby had been killed in a similar manner -- crushing blows to their skills from a hatchet (Tetimony of Bridget Sullivan in the Trial of Lizzie Borden).

Just prior to the murder there was a great deal of conflict at the Borden house. The two living Borden sisters, Lizzie and Emma, occupied the front of the house, while Andrew and Abby the rear. Meals were rarely served as a family; Andrew was very tight and rejected many modern conviencences and the two daughters, well past marriage age for this time period, argued with their Father about his decision to dive the valuable properties among extended relatives before his death instad of the estate going to them. Lizzie did not hate her step-mother, but did not really enjoy her company and the combination of Andrew's monetary views, the new social mores of the time, and Andrew's insistence that the family live as if the really had no money resulted in a clas severe enough that both sisters left the home for an extended vacation, which most see as a cooling off period for the entire family (Rehek).

The Police had no suspects, so speculated that someone in the home must have been the perpetrator. The maid reported seeing no one else on the road that entire day. In addition, there was some specifulation that Lizzie had tried to poison the family prior the murders as everyone was ill just a few days before, and Lizzie had indeed purchased some Prussic Acid, ostensibly for fur coat cleaning. Based on the gruesome nature of the murder, the public safety was in question and Lizzie Borden was sent to an inquest on August 9, and because of contradictory testimony, arrested and jailed on August 11, 1892; but the Grand Jury was not called until early November; the bill of indictment delivered on December 2, but the trial in New Bedford was not until 1893, at which time she was defended by former Massachusetts Govenor George Robin, Andrew Jennings and Melvin Adams. One of the prosecutors, ironically was future U.S. Attorney General and Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, William H. Moody (Linder).

By modern standards, the trial was a showpiece; skulls thrown onto the evidence table, contradictory testimony from physicians and family friends, some of which seemed to enjoy the limelight and harbored more resentment against Lizzie than they had reason. While the most compelling testimony came from family friend Alice Russell,

a newspaper account of the prosecution case likened it to "a pigeon shooting match in which District Attorney Moody kept flinging up the birds and defying his antagonist to hit them, while the ex-Governor (defense attorney Robinson) constantly fired and often, but by no mean always, wounded or brought them down. Robinson's performance impressed reporters, with one writing that the ex-Governor "is certainly without equal in New York City as a cross-examiner." Robinson seemed any to "turn more or less to his own account" nearly every government witness, according to one trial account. (Linder).

The prosecution's case

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