After all the entries and careful deliberation, Deb Allard with the Fall River Herald in Fall River, Massachusetts, and I, have chosen the three winners for the Lizzie Borden Rhyme Contest. Our participants were asked to take the famous rhyme "Lizzie Borden Took an Ax..." and rewrite the lines to depict the famous Borden murders. Many, many creative poems were turned in, but it finally boiled down to these three winning entries. Thank you to all who participated, and to Lee-Ann Wilber with The Lizzie Borden B&B Museum, where the winning entrants are selecting their prizes. The first place winner will also receive an autographed copy of The History and Haunting of LIzzie Borden.
So, without further delay, here are our winning poems:
Perpetrator Still Unknown
--by Brenda Kern
On a Thursday in an upstairs room
A woman was cornered, sealing her doom.
Her husband was killed while he took a nap
Just downstairs, after a ninety-minute gap.
The two others present, daughter Lizzie and a maid,
Were soon suspected of wielding the blade.
No motive could be found for the maid to have killed;
The daughter was arrested, journalists were thrilled.
Lizzie was acquitted and no one else was tried.
The case is still studied; theories are applied.
But somebody killed those two people that day--
the secret answer is buried, and there it will stay.
Did Lizzie Take an Ax?
--by Rusty Judd
Did Lizzie Borden take an ax?
The police dept sure was lax
Let the public mess up clues
Uncle John asks, “What’s the news?”
While Bridget was alone upstairs
And Lizzie busy eating pears
Abby got whacked by the bed
Andrew got it in the head
Prussic acid, burning dresses
All these things are naught but guesses
Concrete proof? T’was not one bit.
Which led them to one word --- ACQUIT!
The Story of Lizzie Borden
--by Kim King
There once was a woman named Lizzie
Who put Fall River, Mass in a tizzy
She killed her stepmother first
And next her father was cursed
But she swore for both deaths she was "busy".
In the basement, a hatchet was found
But not many clues were around
Lizzie burned up her dress
To hide that bloody mess
And after that never uttered a sound.
But off to jail poor Lizzie went
Where much of her time was spent
But in the end, she was freed,
Although the town disagreed
And off to Maplecroft she went.
Again, thank you to all who participated and helped us commemerate the 125th Anniversary of America's most famous murder mystery.
Rebecca F. Pittman