8 April 1899 – Martha Place

The first woman to be strapped to the electric chair was Martha M Place.

She was fried for murder and attempted murder after she force fed her step daughter acid and smothered her, before taking an axe to her husband.

Current thinking

William Place lived to testify against his axe-wielding wife, which ensured that she was found guilty and sentenced to death. She was sent to Old Sparky in Sing Sing, New York, aged 44.

Having never executed a woman in this way, the executioners had to do some thinking. Apparently they tried a new way of hooking her up to the electrodes. They were attached to her ankles – and by all accounts it worked as she is said to have died instantly.

Place was one of 26 women to be executed in the electric chair.

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One Response to “8 April 1899 – Martha Place”

  1. mike shoemaker Says:


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