Lizzie Borden Document Shared by Bristol County Sheriff’s Office
You never know what you’re going to find around the house or the office, as the Bristol County Sheriff’s Office recently proved when it shared some of the documents discovered in its office.
Running the House of Correction in Dartmouth is one thing, but the BCSO also operates New Bedford’s historic Ash Street Jail – and is a steward for the 135-plus years of history encompassed within its stone walls.
We recently told you about how Fall River accused ax murderer Lizzie Borden spent time in the matron’s quarters of the Ash Street Jail during her 1893 trial for the murder of her father and stepmother the year before. After a 12-day trial, she was acquitted of all charges.
Among the historic documents the BCSO shared in a recent Facebook post was the original mittimus for Lizzie Borden. A mittimus – a Latin word meaning “we send” – is the document that charges a sheriff or law enforcement agent to deliver a person named in a warrant to prison.
What’s interesting about the mittimus for Lizzie Borden is that there are two times the word “him” appears in the typed portion of the form, and both times they were written over to read “her.” That shows how uncommon it was for a woman to be arrested for a crime in 1892, that the forms were printed with the assumption that the suspect being taken to prison would be male.
Bristol County Sheriff Paul Heroux mentioned on his own Facebook page that the document was being turned over to the Fall River Historical Society, which has an extensive collection of documents and items related to the Borden case.
Heroux, who has announced a plan to close the Ash Street Jail, also pointed out it wasn’t the first “famous” person’s documents he has dealt with.
“When I was at the Department of Correction, Malcolm X’s files were in my office,” he wrote.
The documents were posted on Friday, March 3, and Heroux updated the post on his page on Tuesday, March 7 with a photo of the Lizzie Borden House in Fall River, where the murders took place.
“What a small world,” he wrote. “I came out of a meeting with the district attorney just now and the house where Lizzie Borden allegedly killed her parents is right outside across the street from the back door of the district attorney’s office in Fall River.”
Wonder if he’s found the bed that Lizzie supposedly slept on that’s tucked away at the Ash Street Jail?