Wednesday, September 10, 2008


This is a painting by Beppi. I love this piece because of the pigeons and because it deals with Lizzi Borden.

"Lizzie's Pigeons" -
acrylic painting. The
story goes that Lizzie
Borden's father killed
all of her pet pigeons at
the behest of her
stepmother. Lizzie got
revenge. This piece has
a compcnion piece.

Lizzie Andrew Borden (July 19, 1860 – June 1, 1927) was a New England spinster who was the central figure in the hatchet murders of her father and stepmother on August 4, 1892 in Fall River, Massachusetts in the United States. The slayings, subsequent trial, and the following trial by media became a cause célèbre. The fame of the incident has endured in American pop culture and criminology. Although Lizzie Borden was acquitted, she was widely believed to be guilty; no one else was ever arrested or tried, and she has remained notorious in American folklore. Dispute over the identity of the killer or killers continues to this day.

Over a period of years after the death of the first Mrs. Borden, life at 92 Second Street had grown unpleasant in many ways, and affection between the older and younger family members had waned considerably if any was present at all. The upstairs floor of the house was divided. The front was the territory of the Borden sisters, while the rear was for Mr. and Mrs. Borden. Meals were not always taken together. Conflict had come to a head between the two daughters and their father about his decision to divide up valuable property among relatives before his death. A house had been turned over to relatives of their stepmother, and John Morse, brother to the deceased Sarah Borden (the mother of the Borden daughters), had come to visit that week. His visit was to facilitate transfer of farm property, which included what had been a summer home for the Borden daughters. Shortly before the murders, a heated argument had taken place which resulted in both sisters leaving home on extended "vacations." Lizzie Borden, however, decided to cut her trip short and returned early.
She was refused the opportunity to purchase prussic acid by a local druggist, which she claimed was for cleaning a seal skin coat.
Shortly before the murders, the entire household became violently ill. As Mr. Borden was not a popular man in town, Mrs. Borden feared they were being poisoned, but the family doctor diagnosed it as bad food.

During the police investigation, a hatchet was found in the basement and was assumed to be the murder weapon, but the prosecution was hampered by the fact that the Fall River police did not put credence in the new forensic technology of fingerprinting, and refused to take prints on the hatchet.

No blood-soaked clothing was found as evidence by police. A few days after the murder, Borden tore apart and burned a light blue Bedford cord cotton dress in the kitchen stove, claiming she had brushed against fresh baseboard paint which had smeared on it.

Lizzie Borden was acquitted by a jury after an hour and a half's deliberation.

Several theories have been presented over the years suggesting Lizzie Borden may not have committed the murders, and that other suspects may have had possible motives. One theory was that any number of townspeople could have carried out a grudge against Mr. or Mrs. Borden. Another theory is that the maid, Bridget Sullivan, did it, possibly out of outrage for being asked to clean the windows, a taxing job on a hot day, just a day after having suffered from food poisoning. Another potential culprit was forwarded by Arnold R. Brown in his work, Lizzie Borden: The Legend, The Truth, The Final Chapter, in which Brown theorizes that the true culprit was an illegitimate paternal half-brother named William Borden, as a revenge killing in his failed efforts to extort money from his father.
Yet another theory is that Borden suffered petit mal epileptic seizures during her menstrual cycle, at which times she entered a dream-like state, and unknowingly committed the murders then.

PLUS the most fun thing of it all:
The house on Second Street where the murders occurred is now a bed and breakfast!

No comments: