Ruth Snyder
Ruth was taken to the chair wearing
a black house dress that was
scarcely more than knee length and
open in the neck, over it a tan
smock. She wore thin stockings and
grey slippers.
Her once blond hair hang limply
about her face in streaky brown
wisps. The hairdresser had clipped a
spot on the back of her head for the
One incongruous gayety about her
attire - when she sat down it was
seen that she wore bright green
bloomers pulled below her knees.
As she sat in the chair the matrons
fumbled with the straps. She
screamed when her cheststrap was
tightened, and it was loosened.
The executioner parted her bobbed
hair with his fingers before securing
the head electrode to her clipped
spot. Her right stocking was pulled
down and an electrode attached to
the calf of her leg.
Suddenly at 11.01 p.m. a lever was
pulled sending 1220 volts into her
body. The current crackled and
Ruth's legs strained back against the
chair. Her arms went stiff against
the fastenings. Ruth's chest rose
and fell because of the loose strap.
Her hands twiched, the left hand
was bend backwards like pointing at
The illegal photograph shown above was shot while the current ran through her body. Ruth was given 3
shocks of electricity before she was declared dead at 11.09 p.m. Judd Gray only needed two shocks. After
the electrocution the straps were undone. Her body was hoisted onto an autopsy table a few feet away and
wheeled into a room where a post mortem could start immediately. The authopsy was partly carried out to
prevent the planned attempt to restore Ruth's life.
Born in the US by Scandinavian parents 33
years old Ruth Snyder was a curvy, good-
looking blonde with blue eyes and tough
demeanour. She had married at young age,
but during the roar twenties she enjoyed
dancing and took a lover. Together they
killed Ruth’s husband, but they were
easily caught and both send to the  electric
During the media coverage of the trial and
the continuing reports on her fate, she had
become quite celeb. Ruth received 164
marriage proposals from her fans while on
Death Row.
A vain attempt was made to have Ruth's
body delivered immediate after the
electrocution in order to try to revive her.
As the plan was blown, Ruth was flattered
but had no illusions about the lost
possibilities of success: "This chair kills".
She was electrocuted in the Sing Sing
electric chair January 12, 1928 at 11 p.m.
The picture (below right) shows a
somewhat faded Ruth a few days before
her execution.