The Snyder-Gray Murder Case Part 3

About the Snyder-Gray murder case where wife Ruth Snyder hired Judd Gray to kill her husband for insurance money, the trial and verdict.


The Trial: By the time of the trial (April 25, 1927) the press was calling it "The Ruth Versus Judd Case." Both prisoners had confessed and the jury had only to determine if they were guilty of "Premeditated" murder. However, Ruth was now denying all. She said it was all Judd's idea. She hadn't even entered the bedroom during the killing. All she knew was that when Judd came out, he said, "I guess that's it." Judd, on the other hand, insisted that Ruth had "hypnotized" him and forced him to commit the murder by "drink, veiled threats, and intensive love." What's more, he now maintained that Ruth, not he, had tied the wire around Albert's neck, thereby causing his death.

The contemptible testimony was front-page news, both in the U.S. and Europe, for weeks. Ruth was called "the bloody blonde" and the "marble woman." Both murderers were obviously 2nd-rate monsters; and, on the basis of some of the testimony, Judd may even have been a little weak-minded. Or perhaps, subconsciously, he wanted to be caught. After he tied Ruth up and left the murder scene, he called attention to himself repeatedly. First he asked 2 men, one of them a policeman, when the next bus was due. Then he rode the bus to Jamaica and took a taxi to New York. The fare was $3.50 and Judd made a lasting negative impression on the cabby by adding a 5 cent tip.

The jury deliberated only an hour and a half. On May 9, 1927, Ruth Snyder and Judd Gray were convicted of murder.

The End: On January 22, 1928, Snyder and Gray were electrocuted at Sing Sing Prison. Just as the switch was pulled on Ruth, photographer Thomas Howard, sitting in the front row, crossed his knee and took a picture with a camera strapped to his ankle. The next morning, the New York Daily News devoted its entire front page to the horrifying execution shot. It is still considered one of the most famous tabloid photos in the history of yellow journalism. Thus, even in death, Ruth Snyder upstaged her paramour.

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