Druce beat her 72-year-old husband Wiliam Druce to death, with the help of her daughter Mary. She then chopped up the body and boiled the remains. Druce alleged her motive was that her husband worked her too hard.
When Druce was sentenced to death, Herkimer County, New York state used suspension hanging for executions.
The process jerked the prisoner upwards by a weighted rope instead of the body dropping downwards through a trap door. But as Druce was a small woman, the force failed to break her neck leaving her to die agonizingly by strangulation.
The scene was so upsetting, officials decided to switch the primary method of execution in the state to the electric chair.