Cora Dean was so depressed by the death of her husband that, to take her mind off her sadness, she used to drive into downtown Garden City, Idaho, to drink and play the gambling machines on Saturday nights. Her last night out on the town was on September 23rd, 1956.

When her body was found with 29 stab wounds next day, a pathologist determined that her throat had been slashed first and then the killer pushed his blade into the base of her skull to probe for the spinal cord. As soon as he found it, another quick slash severed it.

This manoeuvre had been performed so expertly that it was evidently deliberate.

It was then that Detective Frank Boor, of Garden City Police, remembered locking up a man for a night some years previously because he had threatened to cut his girl friend’s spinal cord. Acting on a hunch, Boor arrested the man, Raymond Snowden, and witnesses came forward to establish that Snowden was the last man seen talking to Cora in a downtown bar.

In his confession Snowden said that when Cora resisted his sexual overtures he took out his knife and gave her a grim choice: “Take your pick, honey, rape or death!” She screamed and resisted, and he slashed her throat.

He was hanged for his crime on Friday, October 18th, 1957.