12 January 1928 – Ruth Snyder

Ruth SnyderBlack widow Ruth Brown Snyder was strapped to the electric chair at Sing Sing for killing her husband.

Murderous Snyder was after her huband Albert’s $48,000 life insurance payout. So in 1927, after a number of ineffectual attempts, the American got together with her lover Judd Gray to kill her husband. They then tried to fake it to make it look like accidental death. But they should have thought about that before they incriminatingly garotted him and rammed chloroform rags up his nose.

They were naturally found guilty of the crime. Snyder was electrocuted on 12 January 1928, followed close behind by Gray.

In pursuit of a good story, her last death throes were captured on celluloid after ‘Chicago Tribune’ reporter Tom Howard strapped a camera to his ankle to record her death. The black widow’s dying moments were then plastered all over the front page of New York’s ‘Daily News’.

If you’re hungry for more perhaps you’d like to consider reading The Double Indemnity Murder: Ruth Snyder, Judd Gray and New York’s Crime of the Century.

Also on this day

1949 – Margaret ‘Bill’ Allen

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