Lizzie Borden in 1890
In 1893 Lizzie Borden, spinster, of Fall River, Massachusetts, was tried for the ax murders of her father and stepmother. The little ditty survives to this day: Lizzie Borden took an ax, gave her father forty wacks/ When she saw what she had done, she gave her mother forty-one.
For the record, Ms. Borden was acquitted of the crimes. No one else was ever charged with the murders. By the time she died in 1927, her legend was firmly established.
Now, the house where the murders were committed is the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast and Museum. I am not going to link to their site because I felt rather soiled by contact with the whole idea. If you were wondering where bad taste ends and sheer depravity begins… it’s here.
You can sleep in the Murder Room, buy postcards showing genuine crime scene photos of the butchered victims, and even buy a Lizzie Borden bobble-head doll complete with cute little ax. Why anyone would want any of this is well beyond me. But this is a successful business, so it must have customers.
Uh, hello–anybody there? Two people were hacked to death in here. The last moments of their lives must have been unimaginably horrible. And if Lizzie, as the court found, didn’t kill them, imagine living the rest of your life with virtually everyone in America believing you did such a thing. And singing a song about it!
The human heart, wrote Jeremiah, is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? (Jer. 17:9)
This is why we need a Savior. Good thing we’ve got one.