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Ruth Snyder

AKA Ruth Brown

Born: 27-Mar-1895
Birthplace: Manhattan, NY
Died: 12-Jan-1928
Location of death: Ossining, NY
Cause of death: Execution
Remains: Buried, Woodlawn Cemetery, Bronx, NY

Gender: Female
Religion: Roman Catholic
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Criminal

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Electrocuted for murdering husband

Suburban housewife Ruth Snyder murdered her husband, Albert Snyder, with the collaboration of her lover, salesman Henry Judd Gray. Their felonies served as the basis for James M. Cain's terrific novel Double Indemnity, and the famous film noir adaptation by Raymond Chandler and Billy Wilder, with Barbara Stanwyck as the fictionalized Snyder and Fred MacMurray as her scheming boyfriend. Most of Cain's fiction involved making their conspiracy and crime seem well thought-out -- in reality the killing was clumsy and took several attempts, and Snyder and Gray both implicated each other under police interrogation. Their trial was covered in lurid detail, and ten months after the murder they were executed at Sing Sing Prison in the same electric chair on the same day, Gray ten minutes after Snyder.

Father: Harry Sorenson (changed name to Harry Brown)
Mother: Josephine Anderson
Brother: (older)
Husband: Albert Snyder (editor, Motor Boating magazine, m. 1915, d. 20-Mar-1927, murder)
Daughter: Lorraine (b. 1918)
Boyfriend: Henry Judd Gray (b. 1882, affair 1925-27, d. 12-Jan-1928, execution)

    Murder Queens Village, NY (20-Mar-1927)
    Inmate: Sing Sing Prison
    Converted to Catholicism
    Norwegian Ancestry Paternal
    Swedish Ancestry Maternal
    Risk Factors: Epilepsy, Appendicitis

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