James H. Snook

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James Howard Snook
James H. Snook in 1929.
Born James Howard Snook
(1879-09-17)September 17, 1879
South Lebanon, Ohio
Died February 28, 1930(1930-02-28) (aged 50)
Columbus, Ohio
Cause of death Electrocution by electric chair
Resting place Green Lawn Cemetery
Columbus, Ohio
Nationality American
Occupation Professor
Spouse(s) Helen M. Snook
Partner(s) Theora Hix
James H. Snook
Medal record
Men's shooting
Representing the  United States
Olympic Games
Gold medal – first place 1920 Antwerp Team 30 m military pistol

James Howard Snook (September 17, 1879 – February 28, 1930) was an Ohio athlete and veterinarian convicted and executed for murder.[1]


Snook was a member of the U.S. Olympic Pistol Team, which won a Gold Medal in the Men's 30 metre team military pistol event at the 1920 Olympics in Antwerp, Belgium.[2]

Later[when?], Snook was the head of the Department of Veterinary Medicine at The Ohio State University. He invented the snook hook, a surgical instrument which is still used in spaying animals. He also was a founding member of the Alpha Psi veterinary fraternity.[3]

Snook was convicted of murdering Theora Hix, a 24-year-old medical student with whom he had had a three-year sexual affair. Snook claimed at his Columbus, Ohio, trial that he had killed Hix because she was threatening to kill Snook's wife and family, and that he feared she would shoot him. The trial was considered shocking for the sexual activities discussed, including fellatio. The jury took 28 minutes to deliberate before finding Snook guilty, after which he was sentenced to death by electrocution.[3]

Snook was executed on 28 February 1930 at the Ohio Penitentiary, by means of the electric chair. He was buried in Green Lawn Cemetery after a short service at the King Avenue Methodist Church. His tombstone, on Lot 243 of Section 87, omits his last name, reading only "James Howard".[4]


  1. ^ "James H. Snook". Sports Reference. Retrieved 7 December 2014. 
  2. ^ Susan Wittstock. "For OSU alumnus/staffer, Olympics are a lifelong passion". oncampus.osu.edu. Retrieved 21 February 2010. 
  3. ^ a b "Dr. James Howard Snook". Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Retrieved 2011-09-27. 
  4. ^ Ohio Exploration Society. "Doctor James Howard Snook". OhioExploration.com. Retrieved 12 July 2005. 

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