“Woman Murderer Sneers at Sentence”

Some New York crimes attract a ton of media attention from the start, becoming even more notorious as time goes on. Others grab headlines early, then quickly fade into the margins of history.

The latter seems to be the case with this 1934 murder. Katherine Phelan, 52, was convicted in the slaying of her employer, Douglas Sheridan, 65, of 800 Riverside Drive. The “Irish housekeeper” bludgeoned Sheridan with a hammer; blood was found on her stockings and eyeglasses.

Phelan saved the best for last though. When the judge sentenced her to 20 years to life on December 18, 1934, she replied, “Thanks for the Christmas present.” The Daily News has the details here.

The title of this post was taken from the headline of a New York Times story about Phelan’s conviction. The Times published a handful of articles covering the case; this is the final one.

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