Episode 10: Lizzie Borden, LLC


We all know the story: Lizzie Borden may or may not have taken an ax (okay, a hatchet) and given her mother (okay, stepmother) forty whacks (okay, nineteen). We know for sure that there were two deaths, and a lot of blood. But something sprung to life the day of those brutal double murders: the Lizzie Borden industry.

For the very special tenth episode of Criminal Broads, let’s dive into the wild and endlessly enduring legend of alleged ax murderess Lizzie Borden, tackling her not as a killer, but as a cultural touchstone. We’ll cover the crimes themselves, but also the myths, misinformation, and weird products that have sprung up around the Lizzie Borden biz. Today, you can buy a pair of Lizzie Borden earrings, watch a Lizzie Borden rock opera, see a couple of Lizzie Borden-themed horror movies, go to a Lizzie Borden ballet, buy a Lizzie Borden Candle, drink a Lizzie Borden Cocktail, and stay at the Lizzie Borden B&B—but the one thing you can never, ever do is know exactly what Lizzie Borden was thinking on August 4, 1892.


“Guilty” by Ruth Etting, via archive.org

“Gnossiennes no. 1” by Erik Satie, via musopen.org

“Lizzie Borden” by Michael Brown

Tori Telfer