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Lizzie Borden

Preliminary Hearing and Trial

Affairs moved quickly in the case. An inquest, closed to the public, was conducted between August 9 and August 11, 1892, to consider what evidence police had gathered and what general conclusions had been made from that evidence. On the last day of the inquest Lizzie was arrested by Marshal Hilliard. It had now become apparent that Fall River was putting the blame for the crimes on Mr. Borden’s daughter. On August 12, 1892 Lizzie entered a plea of “Not Guilty” to the murders and was moved to a jail in the town of Taunton, located about eight miles north of Fall River.

Between August 22 and 23 of 1892 a preliminary hearing was conducted to see whether the amount of evidence collected was sufficient to charge her. The judge, Josiah Blaisdell, finds that there is enough of a probable cause to try Lizzie for the murders. On December 2, 1892 a grand jury issues an indictment against Lizzie for the case of murder. For what many would refer to as the trial of the century, Lizzie Borden’s began on June 5, 1893 in the New Bedford courthouse.


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