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The Borden Tragedy:
A Memoir of the Infamous Double Murder at Fall River, Mass., 1892
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Lizzie Borden Took An Ax

The day is stiflingly hot, over one hundred degrees, even though it is not yet noon. The elderly man, still in his heavy morning coat, reclines on a mohair-covered sofa, his boots on the floor so as not to soil the upholstery. As he naps in the August heat, his wife is on the floor of the guestroom upstairs, dead for the past hour and a half, killed by the same hand, with the same weapon, that is about to strike him, as he sleeps.

"... one of the most dastardly and diabolical crimes that was ever committed in Massachusetts... Who could have done such an act? In the quiet of the home, in the broad daylight of an August day, on the street of a popular city, with houses within a stone's throw, nay, almost touching, who could have done it?

"Inspection of the victims discloses that Mrs. Borden had been slain by the use of some sharp and terrible instrument, inflicting upon her head eighteen blows, thirteen of them crushing through the skull; and below stairs, lying upon the sofa, was Mr. Borden's dead and mutilated body, with eleven strokes upon the head, four of them crushing the skull."

(From the closing arguments for the defense of Lizzie Borden, made by her principal attorney, George D. Robinson.)


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