Saturday Special (04/29/2023) Lizzie Borden: The Irish angle

I have always been fascinated by two of the biggest unsolved crimes of all-time. First, Jack the Ripper, the subject of a CBS-TV mini-series in 1988 that starred Michael Caine.

And Lizzie Borden, the most notorious axe murder.

Recently the website Irish Central published a thorough piece on Irish woman Bridget Sullivan, Lizzie Borden’s maid, the only witness to Borden’s horrific murder of her parents. Here’s a portion:

A key witness was Irish maid Bridget Sullivan, part of whose testimony is reproduced here. It also gives an invaluable insight into the lives of Irish domestics at the time.

The facts as they are known are that wealthy Falls River businessman Andrew Borden had breakfast with his wife and made his usual rounds of the bank and post office, returning home about 10:45 am. The Bordens’ maid, Bridget Sullivan, testified that she was in her third-floor room, resting from cleaning windows when just before 11:10 am. she heard Lizzie call out to her from downstairs, “Maggie, come quick! Father’s dead. Somebody came in and killed him.” (Sullivan was sometimes called “Maggie”, the name of an earlier maid.)

Andrew was slumped on a couch in the downstairs sitting room, struck 10 or 11 times with a hatchet-like weapon. One of his eyeballs had been split cleanly in two, suggesting he had been asleep when attacked. Soon after, as neighbors and doctors tended Lizzie, Sullivan discovered Abby Borden in the upstairs guest bedroom, her skull crushed by 19 blows.

Police found a hatchet in the basement which, though free of blood, was missing most of its handle. Lizzie was arrested on August 11, a grand jury began hearing evidence on November 7 and indicted her on December 2.

She was found not guilty and the murders were never solved.

Bridget eventually moved to Montana and died there aged 66, never again discussing the infamous case. Here is Bridget’s opening testimony:

Read it all here.


Like Jack the Ripper Lizzie Borden has been depicted in numerous media productions.

Elizabeth Montgomery portrayed Borden in a 1975 TV movie.

SPOILER ALERT: Here’s the conclusion…


One thought on “Saturday Special (04/29/2023) Lizzie Borden: The Irish angle

  1. I watched an expose on this topic. Spoiler Alert!!!!
    The reason why she was not found guilty was everyone in town was aware of the molestation she endured under her father.
    At least that was what the expose maintained.


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