Lizzie is Arrested

In late afternoon on August 11, 1892 Lizzie heard the news that she would be heading to Taunton Jail. The newspapers reported that she became nauseous and was sick when she realized how her life would change forever. For a little time police officials were worried that Lizzie had provided herself with a possible way out in a desperate attempt at suicide, unable to face what was ahead. Having heard the testimony about Prussic acid, instantly there was a fear Lizzie herself had “taken something”. As it turns out, the shock and anguish set off a normal reaction. Lizzie was searched by Matron Russell later. What a horrific night of stress Lizzie had ahead. Meanwhile, in the holding tomb at Oak Grove, the headless bodies of Abby and Andrew Borden lay after the autopsy that morning.

“Nature could stand no more. She was seized with a violent attack of nausea. The kindly matrons were quick to do all possible for her relief but the sudden illness so alarmed them that they sent word to the marshal. The thought of poison flashed instantly in their minds. They knew of the story of Lizzie’s attempts to buy a deadly drug and of the theory that she desired it for suicidal purposes in case of her arrest. They feared that she had accomplished her purpose, but it is thought impossible that such an attempt will be made. Nature had given way, that was all.”

Lizzie was searched by Mrs. Russell to make sure there was no poison concealed on her person with which she might end her own life.

A pathetic scene is described as Lizzie realized to the full extent what will happen to her life going forward. In this newspaper description, she presents a sympathetic figure in the black lace dress she had worn to the funeral only a few days before..


    • Shelley

      I note that Mary Russell searched Lizzie to make sure there was no poison concealed on her person with which she might commit suicide. I never entertained this possibility. Seems unlikely but when nobody died on Tuesday night after dinner, did Lizzie want Prussic acid just in case her attempt was discovered and she went to prison? It would be one way out. Always something new to ponder….

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