August 4, 1892
Fall River, Massachusetts
The bodies of Abby and Andrew Borden are found
Abby was making a bed in a guest room when her killer attacked. According to evidence, she had been facing her attacker just prior to being struck by a hatchet. The first strike hit the right side of the head just above her ear, spinning her and causing her to fall to the floor. The fall resulted in bruising to her nose and forehead. Then her killer stuck her 17 more times with the hatchet in the back of her head.
Andrew was found in the downstairs sitting room and had likely been sleeping at the time of his murder. He was struck 10 or 11 times with a hatchet or similar weapon. One of his eyes had been sliced in two, and when found his wounds were still bleeding indicating he had been murdered very shortly before being found.
Popular opinion was that Andrew’s daughter (and Abby’s stepdaughter) Lizzie had carried out the murders, citing circumstantial evidence including the fact Lizzie found her father’s body. She was also heard laughing, just prior to the bodies being discovered, in an area upstairs where she would likely have seen Abby’s body. Due to the lack of significant evidence against her, Lizzie was acquitted after an hour and a half deliberation. The murders were never conclusively solved.
Abby Borden’s body
Andrew Borden’s body