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Where Thieves Go to Die: Sing Sing

October 12, 2009



Located on the banks of the Hudson River and just 30 miles fron New York City Sing Sing is one of the most famous prisons in the world. Sing Sing has been around since 1825  when the state bought the land fr0m the Native Americans. The Indians called the place Sinck Sinck” which translates to “stone upon stone.”  In its first year Sing Sing housed 100 prisoners, now it holds about 2,200 inmates.

Sing Sing will always be associated with “The Electric Chair”, it is the place where such practices were first originated. In the early 1890’s Harris A. Smiler was the first man to be electrocuted to death. Between then and 1963, 613 more men and women died in the prison’s chair.

In 1930, Willie Sutton, Jr., also known as “Willie the Actor,” a noted thief, was sentenced to Sing Sing and escaped in 1932. The Brotherhood salutes him.

For a complete history of Sing Sing Prison, please read Mark Gado’s article “All About Sing Sing” which can be found Here you will find extensive history of the prison including punishment methods, and a complete description of the prisons inner workings.


Old Cell Block at Sing Sing

Sing Sing prison cell

Sing Sing Prison Cell


Corridor at Sing Sing, circa 1910

The Warden

Warden T. M. Osborne

Electric Chair

Electric Chair


The Death Chamber which used to house the Electric Chair


Ruth Snyder, one of the few women sentenced to the Electric Chair at Sing Sing. This photo is taken at the moment of her electrocution, the young photographer smuggled a camera around his ankle and managed to take this picture as the first jolt of electricity was released.


Sing Sing   THEN


Sing Sing    NOW


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