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The Borden family was among the earliest group of settlers to arrive in Fall River, Massachusetts. By the early 1700s, the Bordens owned most of the town. They had practiced many trades. The most notable was that they were mill owners although they practiced many other trades as well. When the 1800s came around, the Bordens were very wealthy and held a lot of power. Lizzie Borden was of this time, and she was respected because of the generations before her.

Lizzie Borden was born July 19, 1860. Her mother died when she was only two years old. Lizzie had red hair and a quirky smile. As her temper flared, everyone would exit because along with a bad temper, she was stubborn. The mixture of these two qualities could be a fatal combination. But most of the time Lizzie was very well behaved. She showed no discipline problems, even after her mother had died. A typical person would say that she had adapted quite well.

Emma Lenora Borden was Lizzie’s older sister. She was born March 1, 1851. Emma was nine years older than Lizzie, but no matter what the situation or circumstance, she gave her authority over to Lizzie. The combination was an odd one, but Lizzie would often get whatever she desired from her sister and took it as far as blaming her sister for things she had done wrong to spare her own punishment. The death of their mother was harder for Emma. She was old enough to remember certain things and did not adjust well after her mother passed.

Lizzie always claimed she was innocent. Her story always stayed the same and was flawless. The fateful day her father and stepmother were murdered, she claims that she was ironing and while waiting for her flats to get hot, she went out to the barn. While in the barn she went up stairs and started looking at the fishing line. She had not been fishing in more than two years. When she returned to the house, she looked in the parlor where she had left her father, alive and asleep. He was now dead from several blows to the head. In a panic, Lizzie yelled for the maid who was washing windows. Lizzie did not change her story or her plea of innocence during the whole trial.

Emma was out of town during the murders, which was odd considering that Emma had never stayed more than a night away from her home in Fall River: at this time, Emma had been away for two weeks. Another odd thing was that Emma and Lizzie's Uncle John had come to visit. His last visit was more than five years before.

The fateful day of August 4, 1892, was complex. Mr. and Mrs. Borden sat at the breakfast table and ate. The milk had been making them sick for the last couple of days, and they feared that someone was poisoning them. But instead of not drinking the milk, they opened a new jar and drank. Feeling queasy after breakfast, Mrs. Borden retired upstairs to her room to lie down, and Mr. Borden went into the parlor to lie on the couch for a while. Lizzie did not eat breakfast, and Uncle John was nowhere to be found. After her father had fallen asleep, theory number one is that Lizzie went into the basement to get her father's hatchet. Then, she quietly went up the stairs to find her stepmother. Lizzie’s room connected with a washroom as well as with her stepmother's room, so if Mrs. Borden had locked her front door as usual, Lizzie could still gain access. Opening the door quietly to see her mother standing in front of the mirror, Lizzie quickly and quietly entered. Lizzie, at this point, supposedly gave her stepmother a blow to the head. Mrs. Borden fell to the floor.

As with many murders, the murder did not stop there. Lizzie continued to hit Mrs. Borden until she was almost decapitated. After leaving the room, Lizzie went down the stairs, weapon still in hand. Standing behind her father, she then gave him a blow to the head and continued raining blows upon him. Putting the murder weapon down, Lizzie frantically ran outside and yelled for the maid. Lizzie told the maid that she had just come in from the barn to find her father on the couch, dead. The maid then ran to get help, and the authorities arrived. There was still no sign of Uncle John until late that evening.

Theory number two is much the same, except there was a lack of blood. Lizzie had no blood on her dress, stockings, or shoes. The theory is that after her father fell asleep, she went down to get the hatchet, took off her clothes, and committed the murder in the nude. Then, after the crime was finished, Lizzie went into the basement to retrieve her clothes, hurriedly getting dressed and making sure to get any blood wiped off. Then, she ran out to tell the maid what she had found.

Still another theory is that Uncle John was in the house. He was hiding upstairs waiting for Lizzie to come and tell him that the Bordens had fallen asleep. Emma, even though out of town, was too a part of this crime. She helped them plan it and made a quick departure. It was stated many times in police reports that the blows to the Borden’s heads were much too hard for a woman to make. Supposedly, Uncle John came in through Lizzie’s room and while Mrs. Borden was looking in her mirror, he hit her with the hatchet. Lizzie followed behind him and wiped up all the blood with a cloth, except for what was directly by Mrs. Borden’s head. The blow to Mr. Borden was just as quick. Standing behind him, Uncle John hit him twice and then ran downstairs to hide in the cellar. Again, Lizzie cleaned up the mess and then threw the clothes in the stove. (Because it was a fire stove, the evidence would have burned.) Making sure she had no blood on her, Lizzie ran out to tell the maid what had happened. No one ever found Uncle John in the house that day, but no one knew about the cellar until later in the week.

Lizzie Borden was arrested for the murder and stood trial. She was the main suspect because she had found the bodies. The trial lasted from June 5-20, 1893, and Lizzie Borden was found not guilty on all charges due to lack of evidence. Through the years, Emma and Lizzie got more and more distant. No one knows to this day why. Lizzie died old and alone on June 1, 1927.

Emma Borden never married and lived alone the rest of her life. It has been said that the murders haunted her for the rest of her life, but was it the murders or her guilt? Emma was never blamed for the murders, but many believed that she was a part of the planning. She distanced herself from Lizzie, and no known conversation between Lizzie, Uncle John, and Emma ever took place again. On June 10, 1927, Emma died.