I started off my research by first investigating crime, race, and socioeconomics in Massachusetts during the time of the Lizzie Borden trial. I knew I wanted to break down my website by each of the following characteristics. When I started my research I realized that my website would be easier to navigate if I linked some of the characteristics into the same tabs. I linked gender and race in my introduction tab. In this tab I also merely introduced how socioeconomics and the type of crime played a role. I then created a tab with the type of crime. I thought this was important to have its own page because I wanted to create graphs to visually represent the extent of the numbers of each of these crimes. I then moved into the relation of crime and socioeconomic status. I mapped the proximity of the Borden residence to areas of high crime and the motive for the murders; money. I separated these into a new page to differentiate the difference between the types of crimes committed and the crime committed because of wealth.
I did face a few challenges throughout this project. I initially wanted to create a map of the crimes, similar to the in-class Chicago homicide map, but I could not find data for Massachusetts in the 1890s to support my argument. To overcome this, I found the data for the annual number of each type of crime and the total crimes committed for Massachusetts in the 1890s. It was not exactly what I was hoping to do with my project, but I took the information I had and made it work. I am really happy with how I used this information in my final project. It actually worked to my advantage. Having a specific breakdown of what gender and race committed what crime would have been ideal, but unfortunately that did not work out for me. I had also wanted to create another timeline for this project. When I started doing my research and forming how I wanted present it, I realized that a timeline would not be the best visual element because my research question did not focus on the what, but more of how the characteristics impacted Lizzie Borden’s acquittal; and because of this reason I knew a timeline would not be the best way to present the information I had. Other than my data search issues and my map and graph not being exactly how I had envisioned them, I am overall extremely happy with how my project turned out and how I used my research to prove my argument that sex, race, socioeconomic status and the type of crime influenced the trial.
By: Tara Askew