Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Murder of Albert Snyder

Albert in Love

Albert Schneider was an intelligent man who loved the outdoors and sports. He had six siblings and was close to his mother. Good with his hands, he would industriously paint walls and paper them for her. 

The boy grew into a man who was perpetually tanned from many hours of boating and fishing. There were few things Albert liked more than to be out on the sea with the wind blowing through his curly hair. He personified the hail-fellow of his time -- the early twentieth century.

Albert Snyder
Albert Snyder
His job as art editor of Motor Boating suited him perfectly. He also liked bowling. However, at 32, he felt something lacking in his life. It was time to find a wife.

Albert already had one tragic engagement with a young woman, Jesse Guishard. She had taken ill and died before they could marry. Albert had been at her bedside when pneumonia took Jesses life. He still longed for her even as he got on with his life and work. 

One day at work he grew irritated at a telephone operator who had intended to call a manufacturer. The angry art editor let loose a fusillade of harsh words.

Please excuse me, the distressed operator said in a sweet, melodious voice.

Albert was suddenly contrite about his temper. He was quick to anger but could put it behind just as fast. He wanted to apologize to the hapless operator in person. He asked where she worked.

The face-to-face apology was delivered a few hours later. When he saw the pretty blonde-haired 19-year-old, Albert was instantly captivated. Her name was Ruth Brown. Her co-workers playfully called her Brownie. Perhaps it was her ready smile or her mischievous blue eyes or her air of anticipating good and exciting things but Albert knew he wanted to see more of Ruth.

He began visiting the telephone switchboard regularly. Just a couple of weeks after meeting the lovely lady, he offered to help her get a job as a reader and copyist at Motor Boating. It sounded like a step up to Ruth and she eagerly accepted.

The two were soon dating regularly. Ruth was flattered by the older, sophisticated mans attentions. However, his repeated passes distressed her. She was a virgin and planned to remain one until her wedding night. 

For his part, Albert was frustrated at his inability to get the inexperienced young woman to succumb. Contraception in that era was fallible, and an unmarried womans pregnancy could ruin her stature. Ruth remained resistant to Alberts overtures. She was, in her own words, a self-respecting girl.

Eventually, Albert proposed marriage. Yes, was Ruths reply.

But Ruth had one request. The name Schneider sounded so Germanic. Could he change the name to something that sounded more American, like Snyder? He agreed and Albert became a Snyder, as did Ruth.

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