Lizzie Borden case: Images from one of the most notorious crime scenes in history

Andrew Borden murder
Fall River Historical Society

Over 100 years ago, Lizzie Borden was arrested and charged with the brutal murder of her father and stepmother. 

Here’s a look at what police found at the scene and what transpired at her trial. “48 Hours” takes a new look at the case Saturday, July 31 at 9/8c on CBS.


Andrew J. Borden was found lying on a couch in the Borden house on August 4, 1892, in Fall River, Massachusetts. His daughter, Lizzie, said she was outside in the barn when her father was killed. 

The Crime Scene

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Fall River Historical Society

Abby Borden’s body was found in the second floor guest room of the Borden house on August 4, 1892. She is believed to have been killed first.

The Murder Weapon?

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Fall River Historical Society

The “handleless hatchet” found in the basement was the suspected murder weapon.  

Inside the Borden Home

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CBS News

Also in the basement was a bucket with bloody cloths,not pictured. Lizzie claimed they were from what she described as her time of the month.

Inside the Borden Home

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CBS News

The day after Andrew and Abby’s funeral, Lizzie was seen burning a dress in this kitchen. Lizzie said she burned it because there was paint on it.

Prussic Acid

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Fall River Historical Society

A woman resembling Lizzie Borden made an attempt to purchase prussic acid the day before the murders. The woman said she needed it to put an edge on a seal-skin cape. Prussic acid, a lethal poison, was only available with a doctor’s prescription and so the pharmacist refused to sell it to her.

The jury would never hear about this incident at trial.

The Arrest

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Fall River Historical Society

After a police inquest, Lizzie Borden was arrested and charged with the murder of her father and stepmother on August 11, 1892.

Lizzie on Trial

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Boston Globe

The trial of Lizzie Borden was followed by people from all over the country. It was reported on daily by several newspapers.

Lizzie on Trial

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Boston Globe

The actual skulls of Andrew and Abby Borden were brought into the courtroom and used to show that the suspected murder weapon fit the injuries.

Lizzie on Trial

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Fall River Historical Society

The skull of Andrew J. Borden. He was struck 10 times.

Lizzie on Trial

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Fall River Historical Society

The skull of Abby Borden. She was struck 19 times.

Lizzie on Trial

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Boston Globe

Lizzie Borden fainted during the trial when the prosecution showed the skulls of her father and stepmother.

She did not testify and the only words she spoke aloud in the courtroom before the jury was charged were, “I am innocent. I leave it to my counsel to speak for me.”

The Verdict

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Fall River Historical Society

After a 3-week trial, this jury of 12 men found Lizzie Borden not guilty on June 20, 1893.

The Verdict

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Boston Globe

Lizzie Borden puts her head on the rail as the foreman blurted out “not guilty.”

Lizzie’s New House

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Fall River Historical Society

Lizzie Borden remained in Fall River after her acquittal. She moved to this house in the wealthier Hill District, where she had always wanted to live.

An Infamous Case

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Fall River Historical Society

Although acquitted of the charges against her, the question of whether Lizzie Borden committed the murders remains to this day.