Lizzie Andrew Borden (July 19, 1860 – June 1, 1927) was a New England spinster who allegedly killed her father and stepmother with a hatchet on August 4, 1892, in Fall River, Massachusetts, in the United States. Although Lizzie Borden was acquitted, no one else was ever arrested or tried and she has remained a notorious figure in American folklore.
Lizzie Borden took an axe
And gave her mother forty whacks.
When she saw what she had done
She gave her father forty-one.
On a hot August 4, 1892 at 92 Second Street in Fall River, Massachusetts, Bridget (“Maggie”) Sullivan, the maid in the Borden family residence rested in her bed after having washed the outside windows. She heard the bell at City Hall ring and looked at her clock: it was eleven o’clock. A cry from Lizzie Borden, the younger of two Borden daughters broke the silence: “Maggie, come down! Come down quick; Father’s dead; somebody came in and killed him.” A half hour or so later, after the body—"hacked almost beyond recognition"—of Andrew Borden had been covered and the downstairs searched by police for evidence of an intruder, a neighbor who had come to comfort Lizzie, Adelaide Churchill, made a grisly discovery on the second floor of the Borden home: the body of Abby Borden, Lizzie’s step-mother. Investigators found Abby’s body cold, while Andrew’s had been discovered warm, indicating that Abby was killed earlier—probably at least ninety minutes earlier—than her husband.
A Herald reporter who visited the crime scene described the face of the dead man as “sickening”: “Over the left temple a wound six by four had been made as if it had been pounded with the dull edge of an axe. The left eye had been dug out and a cut extended the length of the nose. The face was hacked to pieced and the blood had covered the man’s shirt.”