The name Lizzie Borden is one that rings a bell for probably just about everyone, but for some of us, including me, I couldn’t call up any details, just that she was connected to a murder.
When I saw an advanced copy of Cara Robertson’s upcoming book called The Trial of Lizzie Borden, I snagged it as a chance to learn a little bit more.
Robertson’s book began as a thesis paper and evolved eventually to become the book. The book begins on a quiet morning in 1892 that quickly went south when two brutal murders were discovered in a quiet home on Second Street.
Robertson walks her readers through the police interviews and the inquest, then spends most of the book going day by day through the trial, presenting the case for and against Lizzie Borden. Though written in what I’d consider classic history/research paper style, the book still provides readers with a good deal of courtroom drama.
The prosecution endeavored to prove that Lizzie Borden was the only person who could conceivably have killed her father and stepmother, but her defense team poked holes through the prosecution’s case, and the jury returned a not guilty verdict (no, thats’s not really a spoiler unless you know absolutely nothing about the name Lizzie Borden. Also, the book will kind of give that away before you even start it.).
Though Lizzie was acquitted, there were never any other leads or suspects, begging the question, was she actually guilty?
The book presents the information to readers plainly, for the perspective of the two sides of the courtroom. The reader then gets to decide what weight to put on the evidence, like a jury member would. As I read, I found myself at times agreeing with both sides.
Well written, if a bit textbookish, Robertson’s book will be a must-read for true crime and history buffs when it hits the shelves in March.