Death Row Women: Murder, Justice, and the New York Press by Mark Gado

By Mark Gado

In the course of the twentieth century, basically six ladies have been legally completed via the kingdom of latest York at Sing Sing criminal. In every one case, the condemned confronted a technique of demonization and public humiliation that used to be orchestrated through a strong and unforgiving media. when put next to the media remedy of fellows who went to the electrical chair for comparable offenses, the click assurance of woman killers was once ferocious and unrelenting. Granite lady, black-eyed Borgia, roadhouse tramp, sex-mad, and awful prostitute are only the various phrases utilized by newspapers to explain those girls. not like their male opposite numbers, adult females continued a crusade of expulsion and shame prior to they have been positioned to loss of life. no longer because the Nineteen Fifties has manhattan placed one other lady to death.Gado chronicles the crimes, the days, and the media consciousness surrounding those instances. The stories of those dying row girls make clear the demise penalty because it applies to girls and the position of the media in either the pains and executions of those convicts. In those situations, the clicking affected the prosecutions, the decisions, and the choices of specialists alongside the way in which. modern headlines of the period are revealing of their blatant bias and depart little question in their function. utilizing family members letters, felony correspondence, photos, court docket transcripts, and final- minute pleas for mercy, Gado paints a fuller photograph of those instances and the days.

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Ruth then entered the bedroom, changed into a negligee and slipped into bed with Albert, who was already dozing. She lay quietly until she was sure 16 • Death Row Women he was sound asleep. Then she arose from the bed and joined Judd in the spare bedroom down the hall. Together, they drank the remaining whiskey and tried to encourage each other to follow through on their plans. Ruth handed Judd the sash weight and the bottle of chloroform which she had hidden earlier. She led the intoxicated Judd down the hallway into the bedroom where Albert lay under the blankets.

He raised up and started to holler . . I was over on top of him. He grabbed me by the tie. I hollered, ‘Momsie! Momsie! ”73 When closing statements by counsel were presented, one of Ruth’s attorneys, Dana Wallace, said Gray deserved no mercy. “This miserable filth of the earth is allowed to sit here, and before he makes his squealing appeal for mercy to you . . ” He pointed to Gray who was hunched over the defense table, his head resting on his hands. ”74 Gray’s attorney, William J. Millard, was no better when he attacked Ruth.

The press became convinced that she possessed a sexual prowess that was so irresistible, even a good man would kill for it. What chance could ordinary men have against such power? It may have been this deep, subconscious fear of female sexuality, emerging from under the shroud of Victorian protectiveness that generated the tabloid onslaught against Ruth Snyder. “The tabloids . . emphasized Ruth’s sexuality . . they also cited evidence of her insatiable lust . . the couple’s wild lovemaking .

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