A crime scene photograph Lizzie Borden’ father, Andrew Borden, in Fall River, Mass., in 1892. Photo Credit: AP / Steven Senne Lizzie Borden — a Victorian New Englander tried and acquitted for the ax-murders her stepmother and father — whetted our national appetite for tales violent death. The swarming press and salacious public her the O.J. Simpson her day. She is memorialized in the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast Museum in Fall River, Massachusetts, where the crime stunned and stimulated a nation. The scene — skulls crushed among a prim, -to-do — defiled our cherished sense domesticity. And — 125 years later — she lingers in the jump-rope chant: Lizzie Borden took an ax And gave her mother forty whacks. When she saw what she had done, She gave her father forty-one. Our fascination continues partly because the mystery was never solved, the murder weapon never found. Its chief suspect shattered Victorian notions the feminine. The public could barely imagine a woman, let alone a daughter, capable poisoning — certainly never a bloody, effortful chopping. Scholars believe this failure imagination helped land Lizzie her acquittal. Now comes Sarah Schmidt, […]