Skip to main content

The Borden Murders: Lizzie Borden and the Trial of the Century

Review

The Borden Murders: Lizzie Borden and the Trial of the Century

You’ve probably heard the rhyme about Lizzie Borden. It goes like this: “Lizzie Borden took an axe, gave her mother forty whacks. When she saw what she had done, she gave her father forty-one.” But, I’ll bet you don’t know the real story behind it. I didn’t before, but now I do.

On August 4, 1892, Lizzie Borden found her father dead on the sofa; he had been brutally murdered. She called for help. A few minutes later, her stepmother was found dead on her bedroom floor; she had also been brutally murdered. At first, people sympathized with Lizzie, as she had just lost her parents. But, as the police investigated the murders, they came to one conclusion: Lizzie was the only person who could have committed them given the time frame and their relative positions in the house. The problem was, the police had no hard evidence against Lizzie to prove she did it. Nevertheless, Lizzie was arrested for the double murder. At her trial, she was acquitted from lack of evidence.

Miller makes convincing arguments for both the guilt and innocence of Lizzie Borden.

Author Sarah Miller played the role of an investigator when she decided to comb through the records of the infamous murders of Andrew and Abby Borden for THE BORDEN MURDERS. Many accounts have been written about this heinous crime, but Miller takes a different bent by not drawing conclusions. She leaves the verdict up to the reader. Did Lizzie really murder her father and stepmother?

Miller makes convincing arguments for both the guilt and innocence of Lizzie Borden. Ultimately, I don’t think Lizzie was guilty, but you’ll have to draw your own conclusions.  I promise you, the story is an interesting one, and the decision of Lizzie’s guilt or innocence will probably be a difficult one to make.

Reviewed by Christine M. Irvin on January 15, 2016

The Borden Murders: Lizzie Borden and the Trial of the Century
by Sarah Miller

  • Publication Date: January 12, 2016
  • Genres: Children's 10+, Crime, History, Law
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Schwartz & Wade
  • ISBN-10: 0553498088
  • ISBN-13: 9780553498080