2nd November, 2002. 3:25 pm. Lizzie Didn't Do it! I have always been fascinated with the case of Lizzie Borden. I just finished reading a book entitled "Lizzie didn't do it" by William Masterton. His great aunt lived in Fall River, Massachusetts in 1892 when the Bordens were murdered. You probably remember the rhyme you used to chant as a little child: "Lizzie Borden took an axe and gave her mother 40 whacks When her father saw what she had done She turned and gave him 41" To be specific, it was a hatchet, not an axe and it was only 10 whacks for the father and 19 whacks for the step-mother. A few years back I saw a documentary on Lizzie Borden on A&E that suggested that Lizzie murdered her parents while she was naked. This is preposterous because there would not have been enough time to dispose of the murder weapon and wash off the blood from her naked body. Her house did not have indoor plumbing excepting two cold water taps. In order for Lizzie to take a bath (not a shower) she would have had to boil gallons of water in order to do so. The prosecution could never attach Lizzie to a single piece of evidence from the crime scene. There was never found any blood on her face, skin, or clothing immediately after the murders or during the police investigation of the premises that immediately followed. The police could not find a bloody murder weapon and settled on a broken hatchet with no handle covered in dust in the cellar because its axe head was 3.5 inches and matched as close as possible the cuts in the Borden's skulls. Experts estimated the hatchet blade to be between 3.5 and 4 inches long. Abby Borden was hit from behind and forensics showed that the assailant had to have been at least 6 inches taller than her. Lizzie was only 5' 4, her stepmother was 5'3". However, the actual murder weapon was a brand new hatchet with gilt coating because gilt was found in the wounds. Lizzie was in the barn behind her house at the time the murders were taking place around 11:10 AM. Her alibi was substantiated by an ice cream salesman who was driving his horse and carriage down 92nd street where Lizzie lived and he saw a young woman coming out of the barn and entering the house soon after 11:00 AM. He knew it wasn't the house keeper because he personally knew her, and it wasn't the step-mother, Abby Borden because she was 64 years old and weighed 200 lbs. The prosecution kept insisting that Abby Borden died about 90 minutes before her husband based on witness testimony that her body was colder than Lizzie's father, her blood was more coagulated and that the contents of her stomach were less digested than that of her father. However, even today, forensics cannot be definitive about the time of death for any person outside of a few hours. Even with Nicole Brown Simpson, coroners could not estimate any more than that she died between 9:40 PM when talking to her mother on the phone and 12:13 AM when her body and that of Ronald Goldman was found. There is no reason to believe that Lizzie killed her stepmother and then waited 90 minutes for her father to come home and then brutally murdering him (while sleeping) all the while undetected from the housekeeper and walking around stained with blood. Lizzie was acquitted at trial 9 months later. A year after the murders, the murder weapon was found on the roof of the neighbor directly behind Lizzie's house. It was a new hatchet with a 3 3/4 inch blade. It's only wear and tear was from enduring a cold Massachusetts winter and it had suspicious stains on the handle with gilt still on the blade. Interestingly, there were several doctors that lived in and around Lizzie's streets. Doctors are trained to be observers. One Dr. said he was driving down 92nd Street in his carriage and saw a very pale faced man, 24 years old or so, dressed nicely, medium height, walking up and done the street in front of Mr. Borden's house highly agitated about 15 minutes before Lizzie found her father murdered in the sitting room. Earlier that day Lizzie had heard a heated conversation between her father and someone who wanted to do business with him. Mr. Borden eventually ordered him out of the house. Mr. Borden was known to be miserly and was generally disliked by many of the town folk. He was very wealthy and very harsh. He was a prominent business man who was President of one of the town banks and had substantial holdings in two others. During the months before and after the murders there was an embezzler found out at one of the banks in Falls River. He was a teller who when receiving a large sum of money from a depositor would deposit 80% into his till and 20% into his pocket. The only person that would learn of the discrepancy would be the depositor because the embezzler's till always balanced. He disappeared a few months before Lizzie's trial. When investigating his disappearance, the bank found the evidence that he had been embezzling for 14 months. Mr. Borden was definitely a depositor who would have noticed the discrepancies between his deposit slips and his bank holdings. He could have easily confronted or blackmailed this man. He turned himself in 4 weeks later and was sent to prison. His attorney? The same one Lizzie Borden would have at trail a few months later. The embezzler was 30 years old, 5'9" (remember the 6" difference in the attack?), had a chalk-like complexion and was thin, well dressed. He exactly fits the description of the pale-faced man seen pacing outside the Bordens house by the Dr. The theory is Mrs. Borden let in the embezzler and then went upstairs to finish cleaning the guest room as it was her custom to leave the room when her husband was conducting business. The embezzler went into the sitting room and found Mr. Borden sleeping. By his side was a new hatchet he had purchased that same day. In a violent rage he closed his eyes and whacked Mr. Borden ten times. The only other person who could identify him was Mrs. Borden who had let him in. He followed her upstairs and attacked and killed her from behind, striking her 19 times. He slipped out the side kitchen door (which Lizzie found open on the way back from the barn) and threw the murder weapon over the fence onto the neighbor's roof. Even though Lizzie was acquitted, Fall River Society treated her as guilty. They refused to talk to her or sit next to her in church. She proudly attended the same church and sat in the same pew until the day she died. Her father had left her and her sister a sizable estate. If it had been proven that her father had died first (which he did), a large portion of that estate would have gone to Abby's relatives. Lizzie and her sister settled with Abby's living relatives quietly. Lizzie's attorney, the same attorney for the embezzler, said he had a clue who committed the murders after her acquittal. Hmm. What do you think???