Dead - the Story of Ruth Snyder and Tom Howard's Ankle Camera

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  • Topic: Ruth Snyder, Electric chair, Death Penalty
  • Pages : 3 (1066 words )
  • Download(s) : 700
  • Published : February 23, 2011
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DEAD!
1“DEAD!” is the title of the newspaper article that features the historical, very first picture of a woman being executed in the electric chair. The picture was taken by Tom Howard using his smuggled ankle camera that is now held in the Smithsonian Museum. The woman was Ruth Snyder, wife to Albert Snyder whom she murdered with the help of Judd Gray, a man with which she was having an affair with. 2Ruth Snyder was a house wife that lived in Queens Village, Queens, New York. Judd Gray was a corset salesman (MacKeller). In 1927 Ruth Snyder and her lover, Judd Gray, murdered Snyder’s husband, Albert Snyder who was a New York magazine editor (Shahid). Snyder and Gray were convicted in a triangle murder (Cheli). In the trial, it was said that Snyder and Gray strangled Albert Snyder with a picture frame wire and struck him in the head with a window sash weight. (Shahid). The trail was held at the Long Island City Courthouse. The case was nicknamed the “Dumb-bell murder” case and the “Cut Throat” case (MacKeller). Snyder and Gray’s execution was set for January 12, 1928 at the Sing Sing prison in New York (Shahid). 3Before the murder, Ruth Snyder convinced her husband, Albert, to purchase insurance. It was a $48,000 life insurance policy that paid extra if an unexpected act of violence killed the victim. The insurance agent who “signed” the Snyder’s insurance was fired and sent to prison for forgery. Ruth Snyder made multiple unsuccessful attempts to murder her husband before and on March 20, 1927 she finally succeeded. Snyder and Gray set up the murder of Albert to look like a burglary. Snyder and Gray did not succeed in getting away with the murder because detectives noted that there was little evidence showing that the house was broken into and Ruth’s behavior did not resemble a distraught wife who watched her husband die. Later, “stolen” property started showing up in the Snyder’s home. 4At first the detectives had no knowledge of a second murderer being...
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