I live adjacent to Fall River, Massachusetts, which is the city in which the infamous alleged axe murderess Lizzie Borden purportedly hacked up her father and stepmother on August 4, 1892. She was later acquitted of the crimes, at least in the eyes of the law, but in the eyes of society, she never escaped guilt. Her “guilt” was memorialized in a nursery rhyme:
Lizzie Borden took an axe
And gave her mother forty whacks.
When she saw what she had done
She gave her father forty-one.
In actuality, Abby Borden received 18 or 19 blows, and Andrew Borden 11. The house where the murders took place still stands. It has actually been restored as accurately as possible to the way it looked when the Bordens resided (and died) there. In fact, for a few hundred dollars, you can stay overnight there. You’ll even be treated to a breakfast similar to what the Bordens had on the morning of the murders. [Link at the end of the post]
When I first moved to the area (I grew up about 20 miles South of Boston), I was obsessed with finding out all I could about my new home city, and Lizzie Borden was one of the stories that intrigued me. (For the record, I’m convinced she didn’t commit the murders). There were also some ritual murders that took place in the 70’s that garnered my attention, but the stories of those were a bit too close for comfort (especially when I ran into one of the participants in my regular laundromat after she was released from prison). It was so much easier to immerse myself in the “whodunnit” of Lizzie Borden who by then had been dead for over 80 years.
I’ve visited her grave site a few times, driven past the house she resided in after the murders, toured the actual murder site, and even bought souvenirs (I am the proud owner of a vial of brick dust from the chimney in the basement, which was obtained during the restoration, and which was the site where a broken hatchet was supposedly found by investigators in 1892).
Well, now you too can be closer to Lizzie if you desire. Up for bid on eBay is a double cemetery plot at Oak Grove Cemetery in Fall River, the very cemetery where the illustrious alleged (and acquitted) axe murderess is laid to rest. I’m not sure how close the plots are to her actual grave site, but hey…same hallowed ground, you’re bound to run into each other in your ethereal afterlife wanderings, right? [Please note that this is not my auction; I just happened to come across it the other day and thought it may be of interest to some]
To learn more about Lizzie Borden and the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast:
Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast
The Trial of Lizzie Borden
9 Things You May Not Know About Lizzie Borden
The Lizzie Borden Collection