On this day, Dec. 14, in 1903, a nine-year veteran of the Brooklyn police force became the first member of the thin blue line to die in the electric chair.
William Ennis was executed for shooting and killing his estranged wife.
After a night of heavy drinking, Ennis, 31, broke into the home of his mother-in-law in a fit of rage. He shot and wounded his mother-in-law, then found his wife and sat her down in a chair. She begged for her life, and he shot and killed her. Ennis then fled to a hotel, where he was found by the police sleeping several hours later.
His attempt at an insanity defense failed.
-- Scott McCabe