On the hot New England summer afternoon of August 4, 1892, a brutal double murder took place in the Victorian city of Fall River, Massachusetts, home to some of the wealthiest people in America. More than 100 years later, the crime is still one of the most studied in history. The woman at the center of the crime has become one of the most infamous personalities in American history, too. Her name: Lizzie Borden.
Lizbeth: A Victorian Nightmare is a documentary film about the legend and lore of Lizzie Borden, the woman accused - and acquitted - of killing her father and stepmother with an ax. The documentary looks at not only the facts of the murder, but at the "popularity" of the crime and the culture of those who follow it.
The film started as a master's thesis project two years ago by the director, Bristol Community College film instructor, Ricardo Rebelo. He said people are drawn to Lizzie for different reasons. For some, it's the Victorian-era that draws them; for others, it's the fact that an upper-class woman is at the center of the murder controversy. For still others, they like a good spooky story, or true crime element.
Lizbeth: A Victorian Nightmare will air on Rhode Island PBS on Halloween weekend, Saturday night, October 30 at 7 PM as part of Rhode Island Stories, and on October 31 at 11 PM.