Death Row Women: Murder, Justice, and the New York Press

Front Cover
Praeger Publishers, 2008 - Social Science - 213 pages
0 Reviews

During the 20th century, only six women were legally executed by the State of New York at Sing Sing Prison. In each case, the condemned faced a process of demonization and public humiliation that was orchestrated by a powerful and unforgiving media. When compared to the media treatment of men who went to the electric chair for similar offenses, the press coverage of female killers was ferocious and unrelenting. Granite woman, black-eyed Borgia, roadhouse tramp, sex-mad, and lousy prostitute are just some of the terms used by newspapers to describe these women. Unlike their male counterparts, females endured a campaign of expulsion and disgrace before they were put to death. Not since the 1950s has New York put another woman to death.

Gado chronicles the crimes, the times, and the media attention surrounding these cases. The tales of these death row women shed light on the death penalty as it applies to women and the role of the media in both the trials and executions of these convicts. In these cases, the press affected the prosecutions, the judgements, and the decisions of authorities along the way. Contemporary headlines of the era are revealing in their blatant bias and leave little doubt of their purpose. Using family letters, prison correspondence, photographs, court transcripts, and last- minute pleas for mercy, Gado paints a fuller picture of these cases and the times.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.


Ruth Snyder and Judd Gray
Anna Antonio
Eva Coo and Murder on Crumhorn Mountain

4 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2008)

Mark Gado was a police detective in New York for over twenty-five years. His investigative work included murder, death cases, felony assaults, and sexual offenses, as well as hundreds of appearances in a courtroom setting. He was a federal agent with the D.E.A. from 1999-2001 and currently writes on criminal justice issues and true crime for Court TV's Crime Library. He is the author of Killer Priest (Praeger, 2006) and a contributor to Famous American Crimes and Trials (Praeger, 2005).

Bibliographic information