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Forty whacks…well, nearly twenty, anyway

Hey, I bought a Lizzie Borden hatchet! We went to a big nursery today, set in an old Victorian walled garden with beautiful ornate greenhouses. It was part of a gorgeous old estate, now a school. That would have been an awesome thing to post about but, ummm…I forgot to take pictures, so here’s the thing I bought from the antique tool shed.

I used to be a Lizzie Borden aficionado. I’m not usually a fan of (technically) unsolved cases, but you have to love a prim Sunday-school-teaching spinster who wakes up one fine August morning and takes a hatchet to the old folks.

I do think she did it, though she was acquitted. Everyone in Fall River thought she did it, too, which made her later life a misery. Though her father left her rich, she was nicked for shoplifting not long after the murders. And may or may not have had a fling with a famous actress of the day. What’s not to love?

Well, in the end, lots. I lost interest after many years readying when it dawned on me that most of the mystery surrounding the case was due to the extreme incompetence of the police. Even by the standards of the day, they sucked. They didn’t search the house or anybody in it for days, didn’t verify the whereabouts of the principals. The whole business would be a lot more fun if it weren’t full of stupid, unnecessary holes.

Still, the sheer lousiness of the investigation has made the Borden murders a healthy cottage industry for upwards of a hundred and twenty years. I was amazed when I did an images search just now, how much stuff has come to light just since I last looked into it just a few years ago…including an autopsy photo of Andrew Borden. You can search for yourself, if you’ve a mind-ta.

As for the hatchet, it was never proved to be the murder weapon. It was found in the basement, snapped off just below the blade, covered in ashes. Still, I’ve always had a hankering for one like it. And not to bury in any particular skull, neither.

September 2, 2013 — 9:22 pm
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