The Borden case is without parallel in the criminal history of America. It is the most interesting and, perhaps, the most puzzling murder which has occurred in this country. There are in it all the elements which make such an event worth knowing more about since, in the first place, it was a mysterious crime in a class of society where such deeds of violence are not only foreign, but usually wildly impossible.
It was purely a problem in murder not complicated by scandals of the kind which lead to passional crime, nor by any of the circumstances of the political assassination. The evidence was wholly circumstantial. The perpetrator of the double murder was protected by a series of chances which might not happen again in a 1,000 years. And, finally, the case attracted national attention and divided public opinion as no criminal prosecution has done since and nor, to the best of my belief, as any murder trial in the United States had ever done before.
People have become disputatious, even quarrelsome, over the probability of a verdict, one way or the other, over the justice of a verdict rendered, or over the wisdom of a commutation of sentence, in cases where was no doubt at all as to the identity of the slayer. In many celebrated cases the actual murder has been done openly and in public.