It is barely known today, but in 1927 the public was fascinated with the Snyder-Judd murder case. It was unsurpassed in media coverage until the 1936 trial of Bruno Hauptmann for the Lindbergh baby's kidnapping and murder. In 1925, Ruth Snyder, an unhappy housewife from Queens Village in New York City, began an affair with Henry Judd Gray, a married corset salesman. Stuck in a loveless marriage, Snyder began to plan the murder of her husband, Albert, enlisting the help of her new lover, though he appeared to be very reluctant. (Ruth's distaste for her husband apparently began two days after their marriage when he insisted on hanging a picture of his late fiancée, Jessie Guishard, on the wall of their first home. He also named his boat after her!) Ruth Snyder persuaded her husband to purchase an insurance policy that paid double indemnity if an unexpected act of violence killed him.
According to Judd Gray, Ruth had earlier made at least seven attempts to kill her husband, all of which he survived. The culprits were not exactly criminal masterminds. On March 20, 1927, the couple garrotted Albert Snyder in his bed and stuffed his nose full of chloroform-soaked rags, then clumsily staged his death as part of a burglary. Detectives at the scene noted that the burglar left little evidence of breaking into the house. The behavior of Mrs. Snyder was wholly inconsistent with her story of a terrorized wife witnessing her husband being killed. Police quickly found the property Ruth claimed had been stolen hidden under the mattress of her own bed. A breakthrough came when a detective found a paper with the letters "J.G." on it. (It was a memento Albert Snyder had kept from former love Jessie Guishard.) They asked Ruth about it. Flustered, Ruth's mind immediately turned to her own lover, whose initials were also "J.G.," and asked the detective what "Judd Gray had to do with this." It was the first time Gray had been mentioned, and the police were instantly suspicious.
Gray was located in Syracuse, NY. He claimed he had been there all night, but eventually it turned out a friend of his had created an alibi, setting up Gray's room at a hotel. Gray proved far more forthcoming than Ruth about his actions. He was arrested because his railroad ticket stub was found in his hotel wastebasket!
Furthermore, Gray had escaped the murder scene by taking a taxi from Manhattan to Long Island. The cabbie easily remembered Gray because he had only tipped the driver a nickel on a $3.50 fare. He was charged with first-degree murder along with Ruth Snyder.
Snyder and Gray blamed each other for plotting the murder. Both were convicted and died in Sing Sing prison's electric chair on January 12, 1928. Snyder was the first woman executed in New York state since 1899. This photo, illegally snapped by a New York Daily News photographer with a hidden camera, was taken at the moment when Snyder was jolted by the electric charge. The Snyder-Judd murder case inspired at least one play and two Hollywood movies: The Postman Always Rings Twice and Double Indemnity.
Added: 26th November 2013
Posted By: Lava1964
On September 3, 1902, U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt and several other prominent politicians came within inches of being killed by a speeding trolley car in Pittsfield, MA. The president, riding in a horse-drawn carriage, was on his way to deliver a speech when the accident occurred. The carriage was knocked about 40 feet upon impact. Secret Service agent William Craig was fatally injured, becoming the first Secret Service agent killed in the line of duty. Roosevelt was knocked from the carriage and landed face first upon the street. He suffered superficial wounds to his face and leg. (The seriousness of Roosevelt's injuries was probably understated. Roosevelt's leg wound became infected and abscessed. He required surgery and was confined to a wheelchair for a short time. Although the leg wound healed completely, Roosevelt was bothered by the aftereffects of his injury for the rest of his life.)
David J. Pratt, the driver of the carriage containing the president, was severely injured. George B. Cortelyou, Secretary to the President, was severely bruised. Winthrop Murray Crane, Governor of Massachusetts, and George P. Lawrence, Representative in Congress from the First Massachusetts district, escaped with only a few bruises. All were in the carriage with Mr. Roosevelt.
A newspaper account said, "Under the sunniest of September skies the distinguished party was driving through the Berkshire Hills in a landau drawn by four white horses, the reins handled by Pratt, the President and his companions going from Dalton to Lenox. The carriage was struck squarely just behind the box on which Pratt and Craig were sitting. The vehicle was hurled 40 feet across the road.
Craig was instantly killed and ground under the heavy machinery of the car into an unrecognizable mass.
The President was thrown into the air and landed on the right side of his face in the roadway.
Mr. Cortelyou was thrown out and almost rendered unconscious.
Gov. Crane, who, next to Craig, was the nearest to the immediate danger line, was thrown out, but...escaped with only slight bruises." No one on the trolley was injured. According to reports, the trolley was speeding in an attempt to get to its destination ahead of Roosevelt's carriage. Euclid Madden was the trolley car's motorman. He received a six-month prison term for his role in the accident. James Kelley was the trolley car's conductor. In 2002, on the hundredth anniversary of the accident, the Secret Service held a special ceremony at agent Craig's grave where a marker was placed.
Added: 16th September 2014
Posted By: Lava1964
Issue Date: August 1970; Vol. 97, No. 580
Articles, subjects and contributors in this issue:
COVER: Bicycle Byway by Ralph Avery.
From Bach to Books by Jeffrey R. Haskell.
The Crow and the Oriole by James Thurber.
Boss of the Park -- Umpires -- by Bill Surface.
The Plains a Boy a Summer Day by Hal Borland.
41 Ways to Beat the High Cost of Living.
Russia's Menacing New Challenge in the Middle East by Joseph Alsop.
We Need Our Young Activists by John D. Rockefeller 3rd.
Portrait of a Mobster -- Carlos Marcello -- by William Schulz.
Sexual Inadequacy -- And What Can Be Done About It by Will Bradbury.
How to Talk With Your Teen Ager About Drugs by Herman W. Land.
Toward a Livable Environment:
I Victory in the Everglades by Jean George.
II A Sensible Plan for Future Development by James Nathan Miller.
The Car in the River by E. D. Fales Jr.
Bold New Directions for U S High Schools by Arlene Silberman.
Poverty at the Border by Lester Velie.
Try Giving Yourself Away David Dunn.
Japan -- All Asia Watches and Wonders by Carl T. Rowan.
The Gifts of Gregory Menn by Joseph P. Blank.
Better Living With Machinery by Charles McDowell Jr.
L Dopa Has Set Me Free by Floyd Miller.
Time to Knock Out the Vote Thieves! by Louis B. Nichols.
Provocative; Prophetic Margaret Mead by David Dempsey.
How to Murder Your Husband by Jean Mayer.
Rugged Idaho by Don Wharton.
They Go to Prison on Purpose Arthur Gordon.
What the Moon Rocks Reveal by Fred Warshofsky.
The Lesson of the Lemmings by Ola and Emily d'Aulaire.
Bottoms Up! by Jack Goodman and Alan Green.
The Duel That Changed Our History by Thomas Fleming.
Paper Magic of Origami by and Akira Yoshizawa by Leland Stowe.
KGB: The Swallows' Nest "KGB" by John Barron.
Added: 26th December 2014
Posted By: Cathy
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