The Borden Murders: Lizzie Borden and the Trial of the Century Reviews

UPDATE TIME: 2019-09-08 
Review Score: 4 out of 5 star From 42 user ratings

" I have always been oddly fascinated by the Lizzie Borden story. Maybe because the crime occurred on my birthday?!? Or maybe because nobody really knows who did it! You may feel strongly a certain way after reading this book as it gives you as much evidence and background as is possible. I know what I believe.... " said.

" The author did a very through investigation into the sensational trial of Lizzie Borden. After reading the story, I think the acquittal of Lizzie Borden was the correct verdict. There was never any real evidence against her, but the town mostly believed her guilty. That she continued to live the rest of her life in the town, surprised me. She did move to another house, but still was unwelcome by many in the town. I guess we will never know for sure, but I for one think she was innocent. " said.

"Ms. Miller has mastered keeping the story of Lizzie Borden alive for middle school/early high school reader, even though I must say that as an adult I found this book fascinating. Clearly researched, even given the younger audience, Ms. Miller focused lightly on the actual crime and more on the aftermath, including the trial.

The book flowed well and allowed me to read it quickly because of the author's writing style.

I think this book would lead to interesting discussions in the classroom, not only on guilt/innocence, but also the American judicial system. Targeted towards the younger reader, Ms. Miller kept the true aspects/forensics of the crime limited for more sensitive readers.

Reviewed for publisher through Netgalley
" said.

"It was highly informative. Highly. Like loaded with it.
But that's all it was.

And while interesting, it was kind of bland.
For a non-fiction book directed to younger readers I didn't really see how it would grab their attention.

I remember reading about Lizzie Borden in middle school and knowing myself at the time I would have turned to a book like this one to learn more. And maybe if that had been the case when I started it my thoughts would be different.

But reading it I just started feeling like why do I even want to know more; knowing what I know about this case, it just seemed like I was being told what I already knew. There wasn't much of a "Whoa, tell me more!" moment.

This is a book about a woman who brutally murdered her parents with an ax, how does that moment not exist?

I received this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
" said.

"I never had any interest in this true crime story, and it always gave me chills to think that it really happened. I picked this book up because it had excellent reviews and it peaked my true crime interest. I was very surprised at how much I enjoyed this book and was fascinated by the story. It was very well researched with a full bibliography, index and haunting photographs. The first half of the book was about the crime and Lizzie Borden as a person, humanizing her and setting up the scene. The second half of the book was about the police investigation and court trial, a much less exciting part of the book, but still good. I thought the author took a complicated true crime case and almost brought it back to life, as I was able to imagine myself in the time period contemplating the facts. There were some graphic parts of the crime, and some photos, but nothing that shocked me considering what the book was about. I would recommend it for older readers.
" said.

"What a way to start off the new year of reading! A non-fiction story of a murder. Years ago I saw the movie of Lizzie Borden portrayed by Elizabeth Montgomery(from the show Bewitched), and it portrayed Lizzie as guilty. I didn't realize what a mess the whole investigation was! In this book the author separates facts from fiction and legend. I found the whole story very interesting. I think that I, like most people, assumed that Lizzie Borden got away with murder, after all, if you are anyone around my age or older you grew up hearing the old rhyme:

Lizzie Borden took an axe,
Gave her mother forty whacks.
When she saw what she had done,
She gave her father forty-one.

The author of The Borden Murders presents what evidence, and transcripts from the trial are still available. While I think the idea was to present unbiased information and to debunk myth and legends surrounding Lizzie's life, I did get the impression that the author probably believes that Lizzie was innocent of the murders of her parents. Nobody will ever know the truth of what happened that day in 1892, if Lizzie was guilty she took that secret with her to her grave.

This book is marketed as a middle-grade book. I'm not sure I agree with that. Maybe I am selling the middle graders short, but I don't see that age group being interested in something that happened in the 1800's let alone being interested in reading about the trial. I on the other hand found it a very interesting read and was totally engrossed while reading.
" said.

"Lizzie Borden had three major misfortunes:

1. Her parents were brutally murdered
2. She was incriminatingly close to the scene of the crime and had an alibi that seemed curious in the best of circumstances
3. She didn't play the part of the fragile Victorian woman

This book takes up all three misfortunes and lingers on the third, which presents an interesting sort of paradox for women in the Victorian era: in order for them to be respected, they must act weak.

Lizzie's culpability was noted on in the case, in part because, according to police notes...

"There was not the least indication of agitation, no sign of sorrow or grief, no lamentation of teh heart, no comment on the horror of the crime, and no expression of a wish that the criminal be caught."

Borden, who Miller describes as "a combination of frankness and fearless honesty," is a character of scant written record but of much depth. She is woven well into this sprawling narrative of a horrific murder and the almost-as-horrific obstructions of justice and rumor-mongering in the press in the follow-up criminal proceedings. Without Miller's attention to character, this book would be exceedingly procedural and dry, as the case of the Borden murders rested on many technical details.

As is, this book is a little too technical for most middle school readers, but I wouldn't be surprised if I found a reader or two who delighted in this story as much as I did.

For high school readers, I'd be interested in a full-scale comparison between the police's treatment of Lizzie based on her "acting guilty" and contemporary police confrontations with young African-American men.

" said.

"I knew the vague telling of the story but not the details of it and the subject has always fascinated me so I was happy to take a look at this book to find out more.

Lizzie and her family had recently been a bit sick, which later led to speculation that someone had been poisoning the family. I have heard all kinds of stories about a bastard son trying to get Mr Borden's money by killing the others, Lizzie doing the poisoning or it just being a simple matter of food poisoning. In this book a man claims to have refused to sell a poison to someone he said was Lizzie, which her lawyer hotly denied.

A number of days later, Lizzie's father and stepmother were both found in the house brutally attacked and killed by numerous blows with an axe. It barely took the police any time to decide that Lizzie had done it based on the fact that they didn't like the way she answered the questions. I found the so called investigation shocking and the police case was very quick to unravel as the court case went on. Public opinion was against Lizzie on the basis that she looked too calm and controlled during the crisis so hey, she must have done it! I'm not going to detail every aspect of the case but the missing dress, the footprints in the other building and the house layout were three of the many bizarre bits of evidence put against Lizzie.

Anyone interested in the case of course knows the end result was Lizzie going free but really when you read this you wonder how it ever got to court in the first place. The men seemed to dislike Lizzie as a woman and did everything they could to convict her for something she didn't do. The trial itself was fascinating to read about and there is a lot of detail on it. We also get an insight into the Borden family and Lizzie's life after being found not guilty, where most of the town made her a pariah despite the verdict.

If you have an interest in Lizzie Borden and her trial, I would recommend it.
" said.

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