Lizzie Borden Thesis Research Paper

Lizzie Borden took an axe and gave her mother forty whacks. When she saw what she had done, she gave her father forty-ones, a skipping rope rhyme that rolled right off the tongues of many children over 120 years ago. A rhyme that told the gruesome endings of Andrew and Abby Borden’s lives. Leading to a case that was left a mystery and hundreds of unanswered questions. Even after so many years people still want answers. But the main questions are could Lizzie Borden be responsible for the murder of her own parents?  And are women capable of such a gruesome act? It states in The New Yorker that “about one in every six serial killers are women” and with more research Marissa Harrison and her colleagues identified  “female serial killers that were…

Andrew was found first by 32 year old, Lizzie Borden, the youngest of his two daughters. He was found lying to on the couch in the downstairs sitting room where he takes his routined naps. His face had been hacked into fragments with a hatchet and he was barely recognizable(Walter 61). He sustained 12 cuts in the face and skull( Walter 56). Later, second wife Abby Borden was found lying face down on the floor in the guest bedroom by neighbor Adelaide Churchill, who was there to comfort Miss Borden while police were looking for signs of an intruder(Linder). She suffered and died from multiple blows to the back of her head, also from a hatchet. It was recorded that Abby Borden was killed around 9:30, And Andrew an hour or so later. During the time of the murders Lizzie Borden and, maid Bridget  Sullivan, better known as “Maggie” by the family, were recorded to be at the Fall River’s home. Lizzie told prosecutor that she was in the barn during the time of the murder. After eating three pears she went to the second floor of the barn to look for sinkers for a fishing trip that was days away(Koorey), and Bridget  Sullivan was noted to have been lying in bed after she finished washing windows when ordered by Abby to do so(Linder). It was reported that when Lizzie called for Bridget after finding her father’s body that she did not…

As time passed the newspapers were sending out equations and detectives would follow upon them. For example it was said that Lizzie went to a drug store in attempt to buy a diluted sample of  very deadly prussic acid 36 hours before the murders(Walter 64). It was thought that she poisoned her family since she was the only one in the household to not get sick, but like most claims they all lead to a dead end. It seems as if the press sent police on a wild goose chase to either prove Lizzie’s innocence or find the person responsible. None of the evidence held up in court. Soon the press made it a battle of masculine versus feminine. During this time period women were seen as emotional beings that acted off of their feelings and not off of logic and so a in the minds of men, women did not have the potential to kill not only one person, but two, and not leave a single trace. Lizzie Borden made people question gender norms and rethink what women could possible be capable of. Women were seen as weak compared to men and had little rights. Femininity was defined by possessing qualities traditionally attributed to women such as demureness(Collins English Dictionary). Demureness means to be modest and reserved in manner or behavior(American Heritage Dictionary). Lizzie did posses qualities of a woman but most of all her demeanor throughout the entire case said otherwise. Her reaction to the death of her parents was almost…