Enquirer: Salacious testimony of 1929 murder at UC rare books library

Blegen Library's collection features 1929 chronicle of 'trial of century'

The Cincinnati Enquirer highlighted a rare book in the collection of the University of Cincinnati's Archives and Rare Books Library that chronicled the "trial of the century" in 1929.

"The Murder of Theora Hix" published in 1929 detailed the sensational testimony provided during the murder trial of Dr. James Snook, a veterinarian and Olympic gold medalist on the U.S. pistol team accused of killing Hix, a student with whom he allegedly had a long-term relationship in Columbus, Ohio.

The book, subtitled "The Uncensored Testimony of Dr. Snook," is one of many rare tomes in UC's Archives and Rare Books Library at Blegen Library. The library curates UC's collection of more than 50,000 rare books, university archives, local government records, urban studies and German-Americana collections.

The trial captivated the nation's attention. The New York Times and other national newspapers published daily trial coverage with breathless headlines like: "SNOOK SWEARS GIRL MOVED TO KILL HIM; Struck Her With Hammer When She Reached for Pistol."

According to the Enquirer, the trial testimony was deemed far too salacious at the time for even most newspapers to publish verbatim, which prompted an enterprising court stenographer to compile trial testimony in a book for a national audience.

Snook was convicted at trial and was executed by electric chair in 1930.

Read the Cincinnati Enquirer story.

Featured image at top: A bas relief decoration on display at Blegen Library. Photo/Joseph Fuqua II/UC

Take a virtual tour at Blegen Library

"The Murder of Theora Hix and Trial of Dr. James. H. Snook" is just one of many rare books found at Blegen Library. Take a virtual tour of UC's John Miller Burnam Classics Library at Blegen Library to see some more examples.

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