Throughout the years, many readers will have heard the rhyme:
‘Lizzie Borden with an axe,
Gave her mother forty whacks.
When she saw what she had done,
She gave her father forty-one.’
(Or some variation thereof)
Perhaps, like myself, you never knew of the actual verdict or trial. I had always assumed she’d done it. In truth, the gruesome double murder of Abby & Andrew Borden is a deep-rooted, unsolved mystery.
Troy Taylor details the entire debacle in ‘One August Morning’, a part of his ‘Dead Men Do Tell Tales’ Series. Jump in your mental time machine, journeying back to the 1890’s. Shake your head at the prejudiced judicial system. Prepare you brain for a bit of a workout as you try to determine what many like you have failed to do- decide what really happened to the Bordens of Fall River, Massachusetts.
Spinster, Lizzie Borden, her older sister, Emma, maid, Bridget, and parents lived together on Second Street. Wealthy businessman, Andrew, took Abby as he’s second wife after being widowed. Despite the fame of his business dealings, not much is known of the family. Living well beneath their means, Irish immigrant, Bridget, was their only staff.
Infamy arrived to the family in the form of the homicide of both Abby & Andrew. Emma was away. However, Lizzie & Bridget were at home, resulting in Lizzie ‘discovering’ Andrew’s mangled body. At this point in her life, civility ends & an all out circus begins. Watching through the mind’s eye, we see a media swarm second to none converge upon the house within hours of the murders being reported. A revolving door of patrolmen & marshalls move in & out of the house. Successful busybodies tramped all over the home, yard , & barn. NO DNA testing, remember, it’s the 1890s.
With little evidence other than hunches & personal opinions, Lizzie is hauled in & paraded to trial. Doing little to quench the thirst of the public hysteria, law enforcement insists this is the end. However, as Troy Taylor presents valid & unbiased evidence, readers may very well change their opinions. In addition, Taylor offers a convincing theory on who he believes really killed the Bordens & why.
Anyone who enjoys a good mystery, especially an open-ended one, will enjoy this book. While at times there is an incredible amount of repetitive testimony, for the most part, it was riveting. Despite the lack of technology, the inept investigation is mind-boggling. If you’ve every wondered what the whole story was really about, you’ll not find a better prepared & thorough account of the case. For anyone curious, I highly recommend you give it a try. It is am investment in time, but I felt, worth it so I give it 4 stars.