Corrine Sykes was 20 years old when she worked as a housemaid with Mrs.
Wodlinger in Pennsylvania, but like most black maids she was considered a
Corrine was of low intellegence, illiterate and prone to hysteria. When she
was hired she gave Mrs. Wodlinger an alias and phony references because
she had just been released from prison for stealing jewely.
One day Mrs. Wodlinger was found dead. She had been stabbed several
times and three rings, $50 in cash and a furpiece was missing.
Soon Corrine was arrested. She told conflicting stories, blaming different
men. She then admitted she was the murderer, retracted her admission, then
finally signed a confession.
The Judge, known as a "hanging judge" sentenced Corrine to die in the
On October 14, 1946 Corrine had to go
to the Pennsylvanian electric chair. It
was build in 1913 and nicknamed "Old
Smokey". She was only 22 years old!
Her last meal was a special menu,
prepared in the superintendent's private
Being female, the state had agreed only
to shave a spot on the back of Corrine's
head for the electrode to make contact.
Corrine walked strait to the electric chair
without showing fear. Her steps were
steady. She sat defiantly into the chair
and placed her arms on the armrests and
looked slowly around everyone there.
She watched everything and never
blinked once, when they placed the black
hood over her head and pulled the switch.
At 12.31 a.m. the 22 years old girl was
At the viewing, which was open to only
the family and close friends, more than
10,000 people stood in line in vain to see