Ruth Snyder and Judd Gray

Nickname: Granite Woman and Putty Man

Date of Crime: 19th March 1927

Motive: Money. Also Snyder had had enough of the victim.

Crimes: Murder of Albert Snyder, Ruth Snyder's husband, in Manhattan.

Method: Gray hit him over the head with a sash weight. When this didn't work, he tried to suffocate him with a pillow. When Albert fought back, Ruth hit him over the head with the sash weight several times. She then chloroformed him and garrotted him with a picture wire.

Sentence: Both received death sentences and were executed by electrocution on 12th January 1928.

Interesting facts: Snyder and Judd had started to have an affair in 1925. They were opposite personalities - Snyder was a domineering character, and Judd preferred to be dominated. He did everything she told him, hence their nicknames.

The pair attempted to make the murder look like a bungled robbery, and even tied up and gagged Snyder. However, it was immediately obvious that it was not a robbery. Gray's tie pin was found on the floor, their clothes and the bottle of chloroform were found hidden, and Snyder's jewels were hidden under a mattress, not stolen. Also, Snyder had only alerted her 9 year old daughter the next morning, and not in the middle of the night when the murder took place.It was also discovered that Snyder had taken out an insurance policy on her husband's life with a double indemnity clause that if he died a violent death, the policy would increase to $96,000.

A photographer smuggled a camera into Snyder's execution and took a photo as she was executed. The picture appeared on the front page of a newspaper the next morning. Following this, security of executions was increased and all witnesses had to undergo a full body search.

A book and two films have been inspired by this crime: the book Double Indemnity, a film by the same name, and the film Body Heat.