LIZZIE BORDEN--THE UNTOLD STORY by Edward D. Radin

LIZZIE BORDEN--THE UNTOLD STORY

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

That familiar of criminal annals, the Borden case, which has haunted more writers than any other unsolved crime, has a new variant treatment here and Edward Radin has spent two years in exhuming further material and examining it closely. (He is a M.W.A. Edgar Award two-time winner, for previous fact-crime books.) Radin's case here, for Lizzie, is simultaneously a case against Edmund Pearson, her ""definitive historian"", who believed and attempted to prove her guilty- as did the legend which evolved around her. Still, the jury cleared her; so did the firsthand evidence of many who knew her- and still remember her; and Radin, in reviewing the evidence (and contrasting many of the small, conflicting versions of the testimony between the inquest and the later trial) shows now only the misrepresentation of her appearance, but of some of the more damaging points which were made (the burning of her dress; the rather flimsy story of her attempt to buy poison from a druggist the day before the savage slaughter; etc., etc.). At the close, Radin offers a new suspect- although here the evidence is sketchy, motive-wise... Whether or not this will prove to be a ""definitive expose"", it offers a rebuttal of accepted assumptions, reexamines the record closely, and presents his alternate case quietly, firmly.

Pub Date: May 26th, 1961
Publisher: Simon & Schuster