Who Was Martha Place? Why Did Martha A Get Death by Electrocution Penalty? – The true crime series “Deadly Women” on Investigation Discovery maintains the tone of the network by using both exclusive interviews and reenactments to explore the motivations of female killers. Therefore, it stands to reason that its season 11 episode 11, fittingly titled “Keep It In the Family” or “In The Family (2nd),” which details three horrifying domestic homicides, is no different. As a result, we now have the information you need to learn more about Martha Place and the historical legal repercussions of her offense. Her infamous 1898 case is one of them.
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Who Was Martha Place?
The first woman to die in the electric chair was an American murderer named Martha M. Place (September 18, 1849–March 20, 1899). On March 20, 1899, she was put to death at the Sing Sing Prison for the murder of her stepdaughter, Ida Place.
On September 18, 1849, in Readington Township, New Jersey, Martha “Mattie” Garretson was born. She was the daughter of Ellen (née Wyckoff) and Isaac V. N. Garretson. At the age of 23, Place was hit in the head by a sleigh; according to her brother, the incident left her mentally unstable, and she never fully recovered. Place was a dressmaker who resided in New Jersey. She had one husband, Wesley Savacool, but she divorced him after Ross Savacool was born. When Wesley left when Ross was three, Martha struggled and decided to give Ross up for adoption. Ross went to the Newark family of Ashenbach, who had just lost a son. He was given the name William.
Martha moved to New York in 1893 and began working as a housekeeper at 598 Hancock Street in Brooklyn for a guy by the name of William W. Place. Later that year, she became his wife. Martha requested that they hire Hilda Jans as a new housekeeper after their wedding.
Ida was the name of Place’s daughter from a prior union. Although it was later claimed that Martha was envious of Ida, William married Martha in order to have someone to help him raise his daughter. At least once, after his wife threatened to kill Ida, William called the police.
William Place was attacked by Martha, who was holding an axe, when he arrived at his Brooklyn, New York, home that evening on February 7, 1898. William managed to get away and seek aid. Martha Place was in critical condition when the police showed up. Gas from burners was leaking into the room as she lay on the floor with her garments covering her head. Ida Place, a 17-year-old girl, was found dead on a bed upstairs with blood streaming from her mouth. Ida’s eyes had been thrown out with acid by the perpetrator since William, an amateur photographer, used acid in his work. Ida Place apparently asphyxiated to death, according to later findings. Martha Place was taken to the hospital and detained.
How Did Martha Place’s Death Penalty Execute?
Despite having had his skull broken by Martha’s attack, William was thankfully able to flee and get assistance in time. However, when the police arrived minutes later, they discovered Martha unconscious in their home. She allegedly tried to kill herself by turning on the gas in their kitchen, according to “Old Sparky,” so both she and her husband were sent to a nearby hospital for treatment. In connection with her step-horrible daughter’s death, Martha was there when she was detained and accused of murder. Her husband’s testimony was important throughout the investigation.
Even though Martha admitted to throwing acid on Ida in the ID episode, she maintained her innocence for the capital case against her, and soon after her trial, a jury found Martha guilty. On March 20, 1899, at precisely 11:01 a.m., she was executed in the electric chair at the high-security Sing Sing Correctional Facility. Eyewitnesses report that despite receiving two consecutive shocks from electrodes put discreetly through a dress slit on her ankle; she died instantly and quietly. Martha Place was the first woman to ever pass away in an electric chair.