The Evening Standard—Friday, August 5, 1892 Page 8
Mystery Enshrouds Killing
of Mr. and Mrs. Borden.
No Motive Known for the Foul
Crime in Fall River.
Work of a Maniac Seems to be as
Plausible as any.
Portuguese or Swede Farm Hand
Theory is Blasted.
All the Employes Found at Work at
Officers Still at Sea as to the
Whereabouts of Murderer.
Spatters of Blood Showing a Struggle
in the Sitting Room.
Bodies of the Murdered Couple
Mutilated Beyond Recognition.
Fall River, Aug. 4, — Andrew J. Borden and his wife, both over 65 years of age, were murdered this morning at their home, No. 92 Second street in this city.
No Trace of the Murderer
has been found up to this writing and the only suspicion falls upon
A Missing Swede,
who is said to be a farmhand; or perhaps upon some tenant with whom Mr. Borden is supposed to have quarreled.
The first intimation that the murder had been committed was received at about 11 20 this forenoon, and the Standard reporter repaired to the place at once.
Scene of the Murders
The house where the double tragedy was committed is a two and a half story residence, surrounded by trees and with a large yard and a barn in the rear of the house. On entering the house the reporter found Miss Lizzie Borden, a daughter of the murdered couple, in a semi-conscious condition. In the sitting room on the first floor, leading off the hall-way extending from the front door.
The Dead Body of Mr. Borden
was seen lying on a sofa with the head in one corner and the feet on the floor. Dr. Bowen, who had been hastily summoned to the scene, removed the sheet that had been thrown over the body and
Revealed the Horrible Sight.
The left side of the head and face, extending from the top of the skull to the neck, was cut in half a dozen places, many of the wounds being one and a half inches in depth. The skull was broken open and the brain matter was protruding from the gashes in places. The wounds had evidently been made with a heavy sharp instrument, like an axe or a cleaver.
Still Another Ghastly Find.
The officer and the others present then went upstairs to view the remains of Mrs. Borden, whom they supposed to have died from the result of a shock. Her body was found between the bed and a dressing-case in a spare room, and was lying at full length on the floor.
The physician pointed to it, and the officer and reporter pulled the bed toward the door. Blood and hair were noticed on her face, and on turning over the body, officer Doherty drew back and exclaimed with horror,
“My God, Doctor, Her Face is Crushed in.”
A closer examination of the body of Mrs. Borden showed that the unfortunate woman had been brutally murdered, the fiend probably using the blunt side of the instrument with which the husband had been killed.
Struggle Took Place in Sitting Room.
The officer ran to the station and made a detailed report to Marshal Hilliard, while the reporters commenced investigation on their own account. One of the first to look into the conditions of things as found at the Borden home was a Standard reporter. The struggle, whatever its nature, took place in the sitting room, in Mr. Borden’s case on the sofa.
The only trace was a spatter of blood on a white door. In Mrs. Borden’s case there were spatters of blood on the pillow sham. Not a trace of the instrument or murderer could be found.
Great excitement prevails over the revelations of the last few hours, and everybody is at a loss to account for this strange but most
Who did it? and what was the motive? Were questions at every turn. Can it be the work of a maniac? is the interrogation of those who have long known Mr. and Mrs. Borden.
All sorts of rumors are in circulation and the police at this writing are as much mystified as they were upon the discovery of the bodies. That such a crime could be successfully carried out right in the heart of the city in broad daylight, when everybody is about is a feature of the murder as full of mystery as the identity of the slayer of the unfortunate couple, who but a few of hours ago were in the enjoyment of health, and who believed they were surrounded by friends loyal and true.
It is said that word was sent to Mrs. Borden early this morning saying that a sick friend desired to see her very much but for some reason she did not go. Rumor says this was done in order to get her out of the house that Mr. Borden might the easier disposed of.
At the time the murder is supposed to have taken place, Lizzie Borden, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Borden, was in the barn, and made the discovery of her return to the house.
A servant girl was also engaged in washing windows nearby. Shortly before she entered the sitting room where Mr. Borden sat reading, and in reply to a question concerning his health he said: “I feel as well as usual.” She then went out of the room and the next that she learned
He Had Been Most Foully Butchered.
Lizzie Borden, the daughter, says that she was not aware that her father had an enemy in the world. Her father, she says, was on friendly terms with all of his tenants.
The police have sent over to Borden’s farm to learn about the Swede.
As before stated, everybody is at a loss in accounting for the crime, and until some satisfactory explanation is given murder will be the town talk.
Farm Hand Theory Blasted.
The Swede or Portuguese farm hand theory has been blasted, as all the former hands were at work. The police are still at sea as to the whereabouts of the murderer.
The Murdered Man.
Andrew J. Borden, the murdered man, was about 70 years of age. His wife, the other victim, was 62. Mr. Borden was born in Fall River September 13, 1822. In 1845 he was married to Sarah A. Morse. Three children, Emma L., Alice E. and Lizzie D., were the fruit of this union. In 1865 Mr. Borden married Abby D. Gray, the other victim of this forenoon’s tragedy. Mr. Borden was formerly a member of the firm of Borden & Almy, furniture dealers, and amassed a fortune. He was a heavy owner of Fall River real estate, and was allied with many of the city’s business enterprises.