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Fall 2006 CATALOG

The "Double Indemnity" Murder
Ruth Snyder, Judd Gray, and New York’s Crime of the Century

Landis MacKellar

Paper $24.95    |    0-8156-0824-1    |    2006

A history of the sensational New York City love triangle murder case that held the attention of the nation in 1927.

"MacKellar has produced not only the definitive account of one of the classic murder cases of the twentieth century but a genuine page-turner. Utterly gripping from page one, this exhaustively researched true-crime narrative has the lean style, headlong pace, and mounting suspense of a noir thriller. MacKellar has done a masterful job."
Harold Schechter, author of Savage Pastimes: A Cultural History of Violent Entertainment

"Landis MacKellar’s account is taut, gripping, lucid, as relentless as any thriller. It is definitive, the last word on the subject."
Luc Sante, author of Low Life, Evidence, and The Factory of Facts

Few incidents in crime history have been as notorious—yet mundane—as the 1927 murder of Queens suburbanite Albert Snyder by his wife and her lover. Resonant of the footloose Jazz Age, it made persistent headlines and led to a sensational trial, spawning a 1920s Broadway play and the classic noir film of the 1940s: Double Indemnity. This book assesses the entire case, from grisly slaying and shabby cover-up to sharp police work and aftermath. Moreover, it explores sociocultural questions that beg to be answered: what effect does news reportage exert upon high profile cases, and why did such a transparent crime earn such an enduring place in the popular psyche?

Landis MacKellar lives in Vienna and Paris. His interest in the Snyder-Gray murder began when he taught in Queens College in New York City.

6 x 9, 304 pages, 13 black-and-white illustrations, appendixes, index

"Double Indemnity" Murder: Ruth Snyder, Judd Gray, and New York’s Crime of the Century by Landis MacKellar

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