Faces From The Past’xiv


Legally, the defendant was acquitted. Theoretically, her ordeal was over. But the public considered her guilty—guilty by innuendo, if nothing else. Not even her death in 1927 ended the trial of Lizzie Borden. Books and plays were written about her, eventually there were movies, a television show, a ballet. Finally, Edward D. Radin came to her defense with a fine book, Lizzie Borden: The Untold Story , that argues her innocence convincingly while revealing the falsehoods behind the legend. There the matter might rest at last, were it not for the cruel verse: “Lizzie Borden took an axe, and gave her mother forty whacks …”

—Richard M. Ketchum