LOVELAND – A local best-selling author is getting some national attention after discovering new evidence in a 127-year old murder mystery. Rebecca Pittman studied and researched the Lizzie Borden case for five years before writing “The History and Haunting of Lizzie Borden.”
She said, “I read 5,000 pages of trial reports, coroner transcripts, police statements, witness statements three times each. You wouldn’t believe how much there is. By the time you read it twice, you start seeing the lies and inconsistencies and by the third time, you’ve got it.”
Most people recognize the infamous nursery rhyme “Lizzie Borden took an axe, gave her mother 40 whacks, when she saw what she had done, she gave her father 41.” Pittman says there’s much more to the story. She said, “This was 1892, there were horses going by and lots of pedestrians. Abbey was murdered at 9:30 in the morning, Andrew at 11, but nobody heard anything. None of the pedestrians or the maid heard anything. Abbey had 18 blows to the head with a hatchet. Andrew had 11.”
Abbey was Lizzie’s stepmother. Andrew was her father. Lizzie was accused of killing both with a hatchet. “A lot of people believe this was an act of passion that it was spontaneous and happened the morning out of rage, she had been planning it since April. The murders in August. There had been barn break ins, poisonings, a hatchet stolen. She’d been planning it a long time,” Pittman said.
They were brutally killed in their home in Massachusetts. Lizzie was tried and acquitted. Pittman said, “It’s been compared to the OJ Simpson trial. There were two murders, killed with a sharp object and the police bungled it. In an 8 minute window of time, she not only killed her father, she did all that with hatchet and burned the deed in the stove and there wasn’t a drop of blood on her, which is part of the reason she got off.”
Pittman discovered new evidence recently that helped her piece together the puzzle of who did it. She even identified a mystery man seen at their home days before the murders. Pittman said, “All these years, 127 years no one ever found out who he was. I found him, so I was very excited.”
Pittman wrote a book, made a card game, and will now be featured on a new CW show called “Mysteries Decoded”. It’s an the investigative documentary series that delves deeper into some of America’s greatest unsolved mysteries. “They’ve done the Bermuda Triangle, the Salem Witch Trials, Area 51, so they’ve gone after some really big mysteries and I’m excited for it” Pittman said. The first episode, featuring Lizzie Borden’s story is scheduled to air on Tuesday, August 13th on Channel 2.
She has also written a book on the Stanley Hotel and is finishing up her next book on the Salem Witch Trials, which should be out later this year.