Ruth Snyder

Birth Name:
Ruth May Brown
Birth Date:
March 27, 1895
Birth Place:
New York, New York
Death Date:
January 12, 1928
Place of Death:
Sing Sing Prison, Ossining, New York
Cause of Death:
Execution - electric chair
Cemetery Name:
Woodlawn Cemetery
Claim to Fame:
Crime and their Victims
Ruth Brown Snyder was a bored housewife from Queens, New York who, after 7 or so unsuccessful attempts, finally succeeded in killing her husband Albert Snyder with the assistance of her lover Henry Judd Gray. Although found guilt and executed in Sing Sing Prison, that is not what made her famous. During the execution photographer Tom Howard of the Chicago Tribune, with a small plate camera strapped to his ankle, took the infamous picture just as the electricity was running through her body and was published the next day in the New York Daily News.

When you first don’t succeed …

Ruth had previously made several attempts to kill her husband, including twice trying to kill him via disconnecting the gas line on their oven and again trying via running their car in the garage with the garage door closed in hopes of filling the house with carbon monoxide. Another time she poisoned his bootlegged whiskey, but it resulted in it tasting awful, so he dumped it out. (Incidentally, around this same time the U.S. government tried the same trick to stop people from drinking, resulting in the deaths of over 10,000 Americans. When this was revealed, Congress debated whether to ramp the program up to get rid of more undesirables, but better sense ultimately prevailed.)  In one instance while Albert was sick, Ruth also added various drugs to the medicine he was taking, hoping the combination would kill him.  She was unsuccessful in all attempts … well except for the final attempt using a combination of strangulation and chloroform.

Cemetery Information:

Final Resting Place:

Woodlawn Cemetery

4199 Webster Avenue

Bronx, New York, 10470


North America


Map of Woodlawn Cemetery in The Bronx, New York
Map of Woodlawn Cemetery in The Bronx, New York

Grave Location:

Arbutus, Section 181, Lot 16528

Grave Location Description

From Park Avenue turn left onto Myosotis Avenue where the Sellinger Mausoleum will be on your left. Drive 100 feet and park where Myosotis Avenue and Wintergreen Avenue intersect. Look for the Starr mausoleum on your left and the Brown family plot is 6 rows up the slight hill.

Grave Location GPS

40.88515211, -73.87485105

Visiting The Grave:



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