Press: Death Pictures

Biggest news of its day was the world's first legal electrocution, at Auburn, N. Y. in 1890. To that event the New York World devoted whole pages, with details of the apparatus and its effect on the victim, who, through error, was literally fried alive.

Since then, despite the fact that sociologically the death penalty exists only as a horrible warning to others, most newspapers have soft-pedaled electrocutions. Newshawks, many of whom leave a death chamber retching, rarely report such details as the victim's mouth foaming, hair burning, flesh giving off sparks. Exception was the Ruth Snyder execution in 1928, when the...

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