Publication Date


Document Type

Survey Article


One hundred years ago, on a stultifyingly hot summer morning, Andrew Borden, a wealthy, eccentric miser, and his second wife, Abby, were brutally hacked to death in their tiny home in Fall River, Massachusetts.' The peaceful community was shattered by this gruesome event and by the sensational murder trial of Mr. Borden's younger daughter, Elizabeth Andrew Borden. Following her unexpected acquittal, the increasingly reclusive Miss Borden lived on in Fall River, enjoying her inherited wealth, but always a social outcast, taunted by the children chanting just beyond her garden wall:

Lizzie Borden took an ax, Gave her mother forty whacks. When she saw what she had done, She gave her father forty-one!

A century later, burdened with an oppressive number of torts cases and rigidly enforced page limitations, the writers of this survey must plead guilty to a similarly cold-blooded hatchet job. Unlike Lizzie Borden, however, we proceeded with no intention to sever anything vital.

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