May 2, 2011

Lizzie Borden Has an Ax to Grind

Written by Rosa Morgan

Lizzie Borden

Father has always been a miser, making us live like paupers. With no indoor plumbing, I was an embarrassment to my sewing circle. He's seventy now, and giving away his property to those ungrateful relatives of my stepmother. Sister and I shall have hardly enough to live by. The last straw was that horrid mutton stew he forced on us for a week straight, making us deathly sick. I can't stand it any longer, and with Sister out of the house, it's now or never. If I'm to accomplish everything I want to this morning, then I'd better make a list and check it twice.

August 4, 1892
5:00 a.m. Finish crocheting scarf for demilune table.
Discard previous list on poisonings.
5:45 Empty those wretched slop buckets for the last time.

The Weapon
6:00 Find that old blue dress I won't mind burning later.
6:10 Sharpen ax that Daddy used to kill my beloved pigeons.
7:00 Eat breakfast. (Poached egg, 1 piece of toast; must keep my figure.)

Bridget Sullivan
7:15 Clean hurricane lamps on mantel.
Look at adverts for new house in more fashionable neighborhood.

7:45 Think of alternative suspects for police: Bridget the maid & William, my father's illegitimate son.
Create alibi: Looking for lead sinkers in barn loft for future fishing excursion.
8:20 Send Bridget outside to clean windows.

Abby Borden

9:00 Polish Sunday go-to-meeting shoes with blacking.
9:15 Have glass of mulberry wine to steady nerves and strengthen resolve.
9:30 Whack my horrid stepmother, Abby, in head with ax. (Best do it in the guest room, so as not to spoil the master bedroom)
10:10 Have another swig of mulberry wine
10:20 Finish reading Poe's Tell-Tale Heart

Andrew Borden

10:45 Wait for Daddy to return home from errands, and lie down for nap. (His groggy state will impair any defense.)
Ax Daddy to death
Change dress & hide bloody one.
Call to Bridget that someone has murdered Daddy. (Feign extreme distress)
Prepare for future notoriety and wealth.

Lizzie Borden had an axe
She gave her mother 40 whacks,
When she saw what she had done
she gave her father 41.

(Dear Reader, for those of you with an appetite for the macabre, you can view the crime scene photos
Please leave your comment. Is Lizzie Guilty or Innocent?)


  1. As always, an enjoyable informative read! I think Lizzie had a partner in crime. Bridget the maid probably had "an axe to grind" with dear Lizzie's stepmother & father. She was cleaning up the blood splatters instead of the windows.

  2. Hi Anonymous, Thanks for the comment and theory. Bridget was suffering from eating the two day old mutton stew that her frugal employers forced her to eat along with the rest of the family. And legend has it that Lizzie and her sister paid for Bridget to return to Ireland.

  3. I like how orderly and proper it all seemed to be planned out in your interpretation.. she seemed quite the lady. ;-)

  4. Premeditated murders do take some planning. More than one killer has been caught because he forgot to destroy his checklist.