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The Trial of Lizzie Borden

3.53  ·  Rating details ·  788 ratings  ·  312 reviews
The remarkable new account of an essential piece of American mythology—the trial of Lizzie Borden—based on twenty years of research and recently unearthed evidence.

The Trial of Lizzie Borden tells the true story of one of the most sensational murder trials in American history. When Andrew and Abby Borden were brutally hacked to death in Fall River, Massachusetts, in August
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published March 12th 2019 by Simon & Schuster
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3.53  · 
Rating details
 ·  788 ratings  ·  312 reviews

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Feb 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
"The trial of Lizzie Borden, according to the Providence Journal, would be 'one of the greatest murder trials in the world's history' The New York World more modestly declared it 'the trial of the most extraordinary criminal case in the history of New England.'"

Most people have heard the rhyme:

Lizzie Borden took an axe
And gave her mother forty whacks.
When she saw what she had done,
She gave her father forty-one.
**In reality Abby was hit 19 times and Andrew hit 10 or 11 times.

“Someone’s killed Fat
Apr 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio
In August of 1892, horrific dual murders occurred in the home of Andrew and Abby Borden in Fall Rivers, Massachusetts. At some point on the morning of the murders, while Abby was making the bed in an upstairs bedroom, someone approached and struck her 19 times in the head with a hatchet. About an hour or so later, the killer entered the home's living room where Andrew was napping on the sofa and bludgeoned him to death as well. These gruesome murders ultimately led police to arrest the youngest ...more
Mar 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"Lizzie Borden took an axe...gave her mother 40 whacks. When she saw what she had done...gave her father 41" ~Playground chant

In August 1892, the murders of Andrew and Abby Borden in their home in Fall River, MA created a media frenzy. Their daughter, Lizzie, was arrested for the crime and put on trial. The murder trial was an instant sensation. At the time, nobody could believe a woman would hack her father and stepmother to death with an axe.

After more than 120 years, many still wonder.....

Nov 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
A solid 4 stars. Lizzie Borden has always been a fascinating person-with the various books, shows, and movies based on her life, she is still someone that people find interesting even in present time. I found The Trial of Lizzie Borden to be an interesting and compelling book. For those who may not know, Lizzie Borden was accused of killing her father and stepmother by hacking them to death with an axe. An absolutely horrific crime, but especially in the late 1890s. I found The Trial of Lizzie B ...more
Valerity (Val)
The Trial of Lizzie Borden

This is a book that delves into the story of Lizzie Borden and the murders of her father Andrew and step-mother Abby. But it mostly focuses on the trial after the murders, once she’s been held and it’s been found that there is supposedly enough evidence against her to bind her over, and a grand jury has filed a true bill. This is a good retelling of the facts of the murders and Lizzie’s arrest and time in jail, especially the trial afterward. It’s very detailed and give
Deanne Patterson
Mar 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
Fall River,Massachusetts 1892 it is a bustling town with the usual shops,churches and neighborly visits. Those who could afford it had servants and lived up on the hill. While the Borden family did have domestic help, an Irish woman named Bridget they did not live on the hill and Lizzie resented this. The household consisted on Andrew Borden,his second wife Abby Borden, his two spinster daughters Emma and Lizzie and the domestic help Bridget.
This is author Cara Robertson's first book and she do
Feb 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
Most people are familiar with the murder that Lizzie Borden was accused of as there have been numerous books and movies based on it. In August of 1892, Lizzie’s father and stepmother were brutally murdered in their home. Lizzie was accused of the murder and the trial became a sensationalized spectacle. People then and now all have different opinions of what happened that day in Fall River, Massachusetts. Was Lizzie a guilty murderess or was she wrongly accused?

I have read many accounts of this
Mar 17, 2019 rated it it was ok
The truth is, I don't have much to say. This book bored me to tears.

While I admire the time and research involved in the making of this book, it was incredibly dry. I literally had to force myself to pick it up and keep reading. Admittedly, nonfiction isn't typically my genre of choice, but the Lizzie Borden story has fascinated me for years. I was genuinely curious about this latest installment which offered a new glimpse into her infamous life. The included pictures were a very nice touch an
Dec 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very informative about the Borden trial. Shows what living in the time period would be like. Has some comments from journalists. The remarks about her demeanor, and mood changes. The courtroom antics where fascinating a drama at it's most dramatic. Most of the book is of the trial, which is something I hadn't read much about before. If you're interested in learning about the Borden trial I recommend this book.
Thank you to the publishers for an early review copy
Nancy Oakes
Mar 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
I'm going with 4.5 here -- although I was worried about it since I haven't been impressed with a number of books on the topic, it turned out to be a good one.

In The Trial of Lizzie Borden, just so we're clear, the author does not endeavour to solve the mystery of who killed Abby and Andrew Borden, but rather to peel away the sort of mythical elements of this story and get down to realities of the crimes, the investigation, the trial and its aftermath. At
Dez Nemec
Feb 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
Lizzie Borden took an axe
And gave her mother forty whacks.
When she saw what she had done,
She gave her father forty-one.

On August 4, 1892, Andrew and Abby Borden were both brutally murdered in their home in Fall River, Massachusetts. After an investigation and inquest, which included her own testimony, Lizzie Borden was arrested and charged for the murder of Andrew Borden only. (This was later amended to add Abby Borden). What followed was the biggest US trial to date. Reporters were everywhere,
Jessica White
Jan 12, 2019 rated it liked it

That's what I've always said about Lizzie Borden.

That being said, reading the actual transcripts from her trial is incredibly aggravating.
Fall River Police BOTCHED this investigation.

Now that may just be my Criminal Justice/Forensics background coming out.
But honestly, there was no way in hell the jury could have found her guilty with the information that was presented to them. I honestly understand why so many people believe she's not guilty.

I, however, still think she is.

She had mo
Very detailed account of evidence.
Horribly boring audiobook narrator.
Janelle • She Reads with Cats
Many thanks Simon and Schuster for my free copy of THE TRIAL OF LIZZIE BORDEN by Cara Robertson

I love reading true crime and have always been fascinated by Lizzie Borden. I’ve read several books, watched movies and TV shows, but this is the first nonfiction book I’ve read. It’s right in my wheelhouse and I loved all of it.

Lizzie Borden lived a short life from 1860 to 1927. She was accused of the murder of her father and stepmother, who were hacked to death with an axe. While Lizzie wasn’t close
Donna Davis
“Oh, Mrs. Churchill, do come over. Someone has killed father.”

Lizzie Borden is the subject of one of America’s most enduring legends, and Robertson is a towering legal scholar, educated at Harvard and Oxford, and then at Stanford Law. She’s participated in an international tribunal dealing with war crimes, and has been researching the Borden case for twenty years. Here she lays it out for us, separating fact from innuendo, and known from unknown. My thanks go to Simon and Schuster and Net Galley
Tucker (TuckerTheReader)
Apr 17, 2019 marked it as review-copies-to-read
Shelves: owned-physical

Many thanks to Simon & Schuster for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review

You guys... I am so excited to read this. I can't even

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Mar 13, 2019 rated it liked it
I appreciate the meticulous research that has gone into this dark, remarkably well-documented story that took author Cara Robertson 16 years to publication. Chock full of fascinating historical information about Lizzie, her dysfunctional family relationships including living under the roof of a cruel father and a thorough reporting of the sensational trial that gripped the nation.

In searching for info about the author, I came across an interesting article in Publisher’s Weekly about the book’s l
Erin *Help I’m Reading and I Can’t Get Up*
3.5 stars. The book is exactly what it claims to be: an account, not of the murders, but of the trial. Anyone who loves the "Order" part of "Law & Order" will love it. Despite some tedious parts, there are interesting implications (which I wish had been slightly more fleshed out) about the evolution of 19th century law to 20th century law. This case's impact on Miranda warnings, for example, and the European idea of a "crime of passion."
Mar 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received this uncorrected proof in a Goodreads Giveaway. Thank you.

Very well-written, comprehensive account of one of the most notorious murders of the 19th Century. The author based her work on trial transcripts, historic newspaper accounts and the defense attorney's file. She includes photos of evidence and of the main characters. All in all, a really well researched book that also explains legal terms and theories along the way for the layman reader.

The publisher asks readers to go to a web
Ashley Adams
Mar 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Everything I hoped for. The trial of Lizzie Borden was shocking, morbid entertainment at its time, which even today does not disappoint. Early forensics, criminal profiling, and gender politics make this notorious murder trial an absolute page-turner.
Amanda B
Mar 01, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arc-reads
I was very excited to read this because I am actually distantly related to Lizzie Borden. Sadly, this book was a bit hard for me to get through. I found the material dry because it was filled with a majority of direct quotes from research and not a lot of storytelling. I was also disappointed with the "new information" that wasn't really anything solid. I thought there was going to be this big reveal when really we were just told that there's more information out there but we don't know what it ...more
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
***Thanks to NetGalley for providing me a complimentary copy of THE TRIAL OF LIZZIE BORDEN by Cara Robertson in exchange for my honest review.***

I’ve been a Lizzie Borden aficionado since 1975 at age eleven, when I saw the movie with Elizabeth Montgomery (aka Bewitched). I’ve probably read every book ever written about her and seen every movie and TV show. I even saw an opera on PBS about her. In 2008, I stayed at her bed and breakfast in Fall River, Massachusetts, the home where her father and
The remarkable new account of an essential piece of American mythology—the trial of Lizzie Borden—based on twenty years of research and recently unearthed evidence.

The Trial of Lizzie Borden tells the true story of one of the most sensational murder trials in American history. When Andrew and Abby Borden were brutally hacked to death in Fall River, Massachusetts, in August 1892, the arrest of the couple’s younger daughter Lizzie turned the case into international news and her trial into a specta
Mar 19, 2019 rated it did not like it
I couldn’t finish it!!! It was so boring and repetitive I had to put it down. I’m so disappointed!! I wanted to love it!
Apr 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

I really enjoyed this one! I was wondering if it would be too disturbing, but the way Robertson handled everything worked for me (although a couple of the pictures were fairly graphic and some of the forensic descriptions aren’t great for lunch time).

If you’re interested in this, I would just say prepare for a very detailed account of the trial. I enjoyed Robertson’s writing style, so it was a fairly fast read for me, but I could also see how this could start to feel a bit like a textb
Amanda Van Parys
Like many people, I am aware of Lizzie Borden and always simply assumed she was guilty because that always seemed to be the pervasive spirit surrounding her alleged murdering of her father and stepmother.

This book doesn't presume to cast innocence or guilt upon Lizzie and I found that, as I read, I honestly didn't know if she'd been found guilty or not guilty. But seriously, the case itself is a mess. Who could have done it? Seriously, who? Almost everything points to Lizzie, but the whole clou
Feb 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
I have read a few books and articles that focused on the Lizzie Borden trial. Did she do it or not? This book by Cara Robertson, like the others, does not answer that question. We do not know definitively whether she is the murderer of her father and stepmother. However, this book lays out the trial, the attorneys and their cases are detailed, and the atmosphere in which the trial took place is superbly drawn out. I think the author did meticulous research and while the trial can be tedious to r ...more
Oct 16, 2018 rated it liked it
I expected so much more from this, and I ended up being bored. I love courtroom drama and true-crime stories, so it's no wonder that I got overly excited over the infamous Lizzie Borden. Still, the only thing that kept me going was the fact that I knew that this was a true event. Author Cara Robertson is a lawyer, which, I guess, is the reason why this book is so dry and fact focused. Still, if you'd like to read an excellent whodunit novel, I would recommend this one: His Bloody Project: Docum ...more
Mar 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction, history
Cara Robertson's extraordinary true account of Lizzie Borden's trial for the brutal murder of her father and step-mother is riveting. The author guides you through the entire ordeal and introduces you to the many witnesses, police officers, lawyers, journalists, prosecuting attorneys, physicians, medical examiners, judges, jurors, family members, friends, neighbors and acquaintances involved at the time of the trial. You meet them all and get to know them intimately.
Once you begin reading, you w
Mar 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Before reading this, all I knew about Lizzie Borden was that she was suspected of killing members of her family with an axe, she was found 'not guilty,' and that infamous rhyme. As I was reading this account, I was struck by the thought that, Lizzie was found 'not guilty' and many people (throughout history), myself included prior to reading this book, believe that she was, in fact, guilty (due to modern portrayals of her); however, had she been found 'guilty,' would the world today view her as ...more
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Cara Robertson is a lawyer whose writing has appeared in The Boston Globe, the Raleigh News and Observer, and the Yale Journal of Law and the Humanities. She was educated at Harvard, Oxford, and Stanford Law School. A former Supreme Court law clerk, she served as a legal adviser to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia at The Hague and a Visiting Scholar at Stanford Law Sch ...more