The Legend of Lizzie Borden

When Lizzie Borden discovered the hatched up bodies of her father Andrew Borden and his wife Abby Borden, word quickly spread about the wealthy couple. On August 4, 1892, would be the day that Lizzie’s life was changed forever as she was accused of killing them. Throughout time, there have been movies, television documentaries, and books theorizing on whether or not Lizzie did commit the murders. In the 1975 film The Legend of Lizzie Borden, we are introduced to the theories as they are portrayed by actors.

The film starts out with Lizzie discovering the bodies of her parents. From there, we watch as Lizzie is interrogated by the police, as well as her sister Emma and cousin. Yet, all the suspicion falls on Lizzie after an interview where she cannot remember the day correctly. As soon as Lizzie is arrested there are rumors that fly around about her. Some of them are wild, such as believing that her father had the heads of all the pigeon’s cut off. Others are fairly true about tensions that had arisen at home between Lizzie and her father and stepmother. You see right before the murders were committed, Andrew Borden had gifted his wife’s sister with a house and some money in order to save her from eviction. This did not sit well with Lizzie and Emma who took a stand. This story as well as ones used from a pharmacist involving Lizzie looking for poison and her burning a dress that was stained with paint would just add fuel to the fire. However, despite everything, Lizzie manages to receive the dream team in defense lawyers, while the prosecutions case remains solely circumstantial. As the trial comes to a close Lizzie maintains her innocence, a jury agrees and she is found innocent. After her not guilty verdict is revealed, Emma and Lizzie return to Fall River, Massachusetts where they learn that Lizzie has been ostracized. Shortly after, Lizzie and Emma sell their father’s house with Lizzie moving into a mansion on the “Hill”. The movie closes by stating that the Borden sisters became estranged and the murders of Andrew and Abby Borden have yet to be solved.

By today’s standards, there would have been more forensic science to solve the murders of Andrew and Abby Borden. None the less, Andrew’s daughter Lizzie became a folk legend quickly because of her indictment. On August 4 ,1892, the murders of Andrew and Abby Borden would change the life of Lizzie forever. Chronicled in the 1975 film The Legend of Lizzie Borden we are introduced to both theories of her innocence and guilt.


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