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Ep 89: Forty Whacks: Lizzie Borden

  • Broadcast in Culture
Just A Story Urban Legend Podcast

Just A Story Urban Legend Podcast


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We all know that Lizzie Borden took an axe. We know she gave her father forty whacks; her mother forty-one; and that she got away with murder. Or do we? Her father received under twenty axe wounds, her STEPmother under ten. The murder weapon was probably a hatchet; not an axe, but nothing rhymes with 'hatchet' in the same catchy way. If we are honest about the number of whacks we lose that attractive assonance with 'Borden' and 'forty'. Do these poetic elements justify Lizzie's bad wrap? What really happened on  August 4, 1892 in Fall River, Massachusetts? Join us this week as we take a look at the famous unsolved murders of Abby and Andrew Borden, and the things about their daughter Lizzie that made people believe she was just dangerous enough to be suspected. We will take a look at the cultural ideas of spinsters, and the rise of the independent women in America; as we try to separate fact from fiction.

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