March 20, 1899
Ossining, New York
Martha Place is executed for the murder of her stepdaughter, and becomes the first woman executed by electric chair in the process
Mrs. Place had originally been hired as a housekeeper for the widower Mr. Place and his daughter. After some time, Mr. Place married Martha, though she quickly became jealous of her husband’s affections towards his daughter.
On February 7, 1989, Martha hit her husband on the head twice with an ax, simply injuring him. He gathered the police who discovered Martha “attempting suicide” (possibly faking the act) in a gas-filled room. Her 17-year-old stepdaughter was dead in her bed with acid burns on her face and a gash from an ax which reached from the top of her head to her neck.
After her execution, the prisoner doctor found “no revolting feature” the electric chair occasionally generates, such as bulging eyes, and proclaimed it to be the “best execution that has ever occurred here.”
(Image source:Rare Newspapers)