How Did 19th-Century Ax Murderer Lizzie Borden Become a Household Name?
The Wealthy Yankee’s Brutal Crime Went Unpunished, Infuriating an Increasingly Diverse and Egalitarian Public
The Lizzie Borden murder case abides as one of the most famous in American criminal history. New England’s crime of the Gilded Age, its seeming senselessness captivated the national press. And the horrible identity of the murderer was immortalized by the children’s rhyme passed down across generations.
Lizzie Borden took an ax, / And gave her mother forty whacks. / When she saw what she had done, / She gave her father forty-one.
While there is no doubt that Lizzie Borden …