Monday, October 10, 2016

October Frights 1: Lizzie Borden, Guilty or Innocent?

Today is Day 1 of the October Frights Blog Hop!!!

Be sure to stop by all 29 blogs for some freaky fun, free fiction, prizes and more!!

To kick off my blog today I'm sharing some thoughts on the infamous Lizzie Borden case. 

** Contest: There'll be a new question each day. Comment here on the blog to win a spooky skeleton hand bracelet! Must include email to contact you. Contest ends 10/15.

When Life Turns into a Horror Show

One of the review quotes someone gave me got me thinking: what would you do if your life turned into a horror show?
In the case of Lizzie Borden, going from a normal, if not staid and rather boring life as a Sunday School teacher and spinster, to someone accused of and on trial for murder was a real life nightmare. Let’s be honest: it was a horror show come to life.
Whether you believe her guilty or innocent, It’s bad enough becoming involved in such a heinous crime, much less being accused as the perpetrator.
Crime, of course, was as real in 1892 as it is now. But a woman, especially a well-brought-up woman and daughter of a respected (if not well-liked) business leader, brutally hatcheting her parents to death? To the Victorian mind, it may have seemed too horrific to consider. Impossible. Improbable that a woman could do that. The all-male jury couldn’t—and didn’t—convict her of a crime that would’ve sent her to the gallows.
The defense, of course, railed on the mistakes in the case—the lack of real evidence other than a broken hatchet head that couldn’t be, and wasn’t, officially linked to her or really anyone else. The traipsing of police and other people in and out of the crime scene. The lack of use of the new technology of fingerprinting. The lack of any blood found on her person.
Those facts, and maybe Victorian sensibilities, resulted in her being declared not guilty.
What’s most interesting to me is that throughout the trial, except for a brief fainting episode, Lizzie never showed her emotions to the public. She never broke down or shed a tear.
That takes someone strong. (Strong enough to kill, maybe?) But when your life is on the line, when you’re facing life or death, wouldn’t you do the same? Of course to those who say she did it, her lack of public emotion made her look cold and unfeeling.
So, did she do it?
Today, forensic tests have revealed the blood that soaked into the floors and walls, both upstairs and downstairs—perhaps where she or someone else washed off the evidence? Still, is it proof that Lizzie did it? Or as various theories claim, was she covering for someone else?
We’ll never really know, of course. But even if she was innocent, the public seemed to decide anyway that she was indeed guilty and treated her as a social pariah. Why she chose to remain in her hometown when she could’ve gone anywhere is a mystery, though it’s perhaps not too surprising.
Maybe it was her thumbing her nose at those who judged and considered her a killer; maybe it was the fear of moving away from familiar surroundings. Already in her 30s, she was perhaps set in her ways and with the murder and trial behind her, had already had enough upheaval and yes, horrors in her life. She wanted to live quietly in her new home.
In reality, even if she was found not guilty, as long as she stayed there, in that home, in that town, she remained a prisoner. Was it a small atonement for her sins? You decide.

Today's Question:  Did Lizzie do it? Was she guilty or innocent - and why?

* Another great review! "...Battling zombies is dirty work and this book does not shy away from this fact. Full of action, blood and gore, made this a well written, exciting story. If you like history meets fantasy than this is a great book to read. Move over Elizabeth Bennet, there is a new zombie hunter in town." -- Yvonne at Theresa Derwin's Terror Tree

  Read my take in Lizzie Borden, Zombie Hunter: 

Every family has its secrets…

One hot August morning in 1892, Lizzie Borden picked up an axe and murdered her father and stepmother. Newspapers claim she did it for the oldest of reasons: family conflicts, jealousy and greed. But what if her parents were already dead? What if Lizzie slaughtered them because they’d become... zombies? (Read with Kindle Library and Kindle Unlimited)


  1. I love the story of Lizzie Borden and the Ghost Adventures episode was one of the best. Personally, I think she did it - but I think she did it in a moment of complete insanity - she really is a fascinating character.
    Happy First day of the October Frights Blog Hop - one of my favourite author gigs of the year. See you around. Nice to meet you :)

    1. Good to meet you Katie and thanks for stopping by. I can't wait to visit all the blogs!

  2. I've often wondered if maybe there were family dynamics that never came to light. If she did do it, something terrible must've happened to make her snap. Great post.

  3. I think she probably did it. I'd love to know for sure and what the motive was. A mystery that will never be solved. Great post!

  4. probably did, maybe how she felt

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  5. I've always been fascinated by Lizzie's story. Your book is my Halloween read, now I just have to get reading.

  6. I can't decide...but your book sounds fascinating! And great post, too.

  7. Book's still on sale on Kindle! Limited time!

  8. Thanks for sharing that article on L.B. In truth, I didn't know too much about the case. I can't imagine staying in her hometown after that and all the sideways glances and gossip that probably followed her. Kids probably talked about her on Halloween to scare the crap out of each other whether she was guilty or not.

  9. I'm leaning toward guilty. She was so controlled with her emotions. Maybe she snapped. It could happen. I watched a movie, can't remember what it was called, where a woman snapped and killed her lover's wife with an axe. She was similar to Lizzie in how she acted afterwards.


  10. She did it! It's in the eyes. Based on recent documentaries, I believe it's highly probably she was being sexually abused by her father and went nuts.

  11. She did it to get the money. whitemagic(at)tularosa(.)net


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