Lizzie Borden might be innocent — or she might have gotten away with two gruesome murders.
Back in 1892, Lizzie Borden was the main suspect when her father and stepmother were axe murdered. Even though Lizzie was eventually acquitted, there are still hundreds of people who are convinced she was involved.
Lizzie is a psychological thriller based on the real murders in the Borden family. The film is currently available to watch on Shudder, a video on demand service owned by AMC Networks.
Before you check it out, here are a few unsettling facts about the Borden family to get you excited about watching the story unfold:
1. Lizzie’s father, Andrew, made his money by selling household furniture — and caskets.
2. One evening, Andrew murdered pigeons in his barn with a hatchet. Lizzie had built a roost for those pigeons and was allegedly upset with her father for hurting them.
3. When Andrew got remarried to a woman named Abby, it was assumed she entered the family for wealth, not love. In the months before the murders, Andrew gifted her family with real estate, which caused tension with Lizzie and her sister.
4. Days before the murders, the entire family came down with a mysterious illness. Abby was worried the food had been poisoned because her husband was not well-liked among the community. However, during their eventual autopsies, no traces of poison were found.
5. The Borden murders occurred on August 4, 1982. Abby was the first victim of the morning. Between 9:00 and 10:30, she went upstairs to make the bed and was struck on the side of the head by a hatchet. This left a cut above her ear and caused her to fall facedown on the floor. Her killer proceed to hit her seventeen more times in the back of the head.
6. When Andrew returned from his morning walk, the front door was jammed. The maid, Bridget, helped him inside. While at the door, she claims to have heard Lizzie laughing from upstairs — which would have been in clear view of the dead body.
7. At 11:10 AM, Lizzie called Bridget downstairs, yelling about how someone came in and killed her father. He was struck 10 or 11 times with a hatchet. He was clearly sleeping at the time of the attack, since one of his eyeballs was split in two.
8. When Lizzie was questioned by police, she gave contradictory information. At one point, she told the police she heard nothing. At another point, she told them she heard scraping and groaning. During her testimony, when she was asked what she was doing at the moment when her father came home, she said she was in the kitchen reading a magazine. Then she said she was in the dining room ironing. Then she said she was coming down the stairs.
9. The police ended up being criticized for the way they handled the case. Even though Lizzie kept changing her stories, they never bothered to check her for bloodstains or do a thorough inspection of her room.
10. Two hatchets, two axes, and a hatchet-head were discovered in the basement. The police suspected the hatchet-head was the murder weapon because there was a break in the handle and the head was coated with dust. It looked like someone had deliberately dirtied the tool to make it seem like it hadn’t been touched.
11. The morning after the police informed Lizzie she was suspected of murder, she was caught tearing up a dress to throw in the fireplace because it was covered in “paint stains”.
12. Even though Lizzie was acquitted, many people still believe she was responsible for the murders. There is no evidence of physical or sexual assault, but some people assume her father abused her, which led to the attacks. Others assume Lizzie was in a same-sex relationship with the maid, was discovered by a disgusted Abby and Andrew, and murdered them out of rage.
13. When Bridget died in 1948, she allegedly confessed she changed her testimony on the stand in order to protect Lizzie. Lizzie herself died on June 1, 1927 — but she never admitted to a thing.