Most people believe Lizzy Borden got away with a double murder, that of her father Andrew and her stepmother. I’m not so sure she did.
Theoretically, at the time of the murders, Lizzie was in the backyard. The maid was upstairs trying to take a nap. Andrew was taking a nap. And stepmother Abby was supposed to be at the doctor’s office, so it’s never been explained why Abby was upstairs in the guest room.
Based on the released information, I have never believed Lizzie killed her father and stepmother. I also don’t believe that Andrew was killed first, like investigators claimed.
This is mostly based on the fact that Lizzie supposedly heard Abby come home while she was in the backyard. I can’t help but wonder if what she actually heard was the killer leave. If Abby was attacked first and killed upstairs and then the murderer crept downstairs and killed Andrew and then exited the house, it is possible that Lizzie heard the killer leave, not Abby come home.
Lizzie was really the only suspect from the beginning of the investigation. She and Abby had many fights, mostly about Lizzie’s love life or lack thereof and the purchase of a house for Lizzie and Emma’s half sister. Emma was 9 years older than Lizzie and both were unmarried. Lizzie and Emma both blamed Abby for them becoming spinsters. They claimed that Abby was determined to make sure neither Emma or Lizzie married so that the Borden estate would go to her daughter, Lizzie and Emma’s half sister.
Some interesting things that were ignored; Emma had just as much of a motive as Lizzie to murder Andrew and Abby Borden. Also, Lizzie and Emma’s half sister was not happy with her father Andrew because the first time she fell in love, Mr. Borden forbid the couple from seeing each other. Abby’s brother may also have a had a financial motive. He had stayed at the house the night before the murders and his alibi could not be proven, but could be disproven. Maggie the maid managed to not hear the murders, even though she testified that she was not yet asleep, which made some wonder if she was involved in the murders.
These things are actually the reason Lizzie was acquitted. The jury felt that the police bungled the investigation by immediately focusing on just Lizzie and that the other suspects were as likely to kill Andrew and Abby as Lizzie. As a matter of fact, many believed John Morse, Abby’s brother had the strongest motive to kill as he did inherit money from Andrew’s will and he had a business that was failing when Abby and Andrew were murdered.