Sunday, October 14, 2007


The "insignificant" Gray Snyder murder case was mentioned in the last post in quote from a book published in 1931, Only Yesterday by Frederick Lewis Allen.

The following is from the Syracuse University Press site:

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?

What effect does news reportage exert upon high profile cases? A question just a relevant for cases in 2007 as in 1927.


Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Interesting that the blurb neglects to mention the novel on which the movie was based, indicative, perhaps, of the esteem in which even publishers hold books.

Interesting, too, that academic publishers may be researching historical roots of the blame-the-press-for-everything attitude prevalent from Spiro Agnew in the U.S. to the French prosecutors investigating Princess Diana's accidental death.

Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"

3:40 PM  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Actually it is not French prosecutors investigating Princess Diana's "accidental" death but a British inquest. The jury were flown to Paris to see the hotel and the Alma tunnel at great cost to the taxpayer ten years after the event. The total cost of this exercise is going to be £10 million.
The jury will have to decide whether it was an accident or something more sinister.

8:02 AM  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I had in mind not the current inquest but rather the French investigation some years ago of the possibility that paparazzi and celebrity reporters were to blame for the car accident. At least that investigation had some plausible basis in the greater premium that the French place on public figures' privacy than do either the British or the Americans.

I suspect that the current inquest to which you refer ought to put to rest any thoughts that the British establishment is prejudiced against the Fayed family for its ethnicity and religion. The British will apparently spare no expense to bend to the wishes of a constituent who has lots of money.

Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"

12:34 PM  

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