from Verdict in Dispute
The charge against Lizzie Borden was inconceivable. That was the enduring strength of her defense. No matter how cogent the evidence, no matter how honest the witnesses, how could anyone credit the prosecution's case? That a woman, gently bred and delicately nurtured, should plan a murderous assault upon her stepmother; that she should execute it in the family home with such ferocious and demoniac force that the victim's head was smashed almost to pulp; that, having gazed upon her sickening handiwork, she should calmly wait an hour or more for her father to return; that she should then slaughter him with even greater violence so that hardened physicians shuddered at the sight; that neither loss of nerve nor pricking of remorse seemed to follow in the wake of such unnatural butchery--this was a tale that not merely challenged but defied belief. It was like asking one to accept the testimony of others that a horse recited Shakespeare or a dog had solved an anagram.
Everything combined to make this strain upon credence almost insupportable. At the eighteenth century's lowest moral ebb, some slatternly wanton such as Hogarth drew might have done these murders in a fetid slum, and still relied on incredulity giving the most unthinking jury