The Press: Death-House Hullabaloo

Not since the New York Daily News ghoulishly sneaked a picture of Murderess Ruth Snyder*dying in Sing Sing's electric chair, in 1928, had such a death-house hullabaloo stirred the U.S. press. Chicago's lusty, raucous Herald-American had started it by running a Page One "exclusive photograph" of the electrocution of "Mad Dog Killer" James Morelli, 22, who had killed four men in what crime-loving Hearst newspapers called "the worst Chicago mass killing since the St. Valentine's Day massacre."

Hearst's Heald-American had been on the street only a few minutes before Cook County Jail Superintendent Chester L. Fordney cried: "The picture is a fake!"


Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!