Shortly before 1 a.m. on 20 September 1957 Gwendolyn Hoyt, a 32-year-old Tampa housewife, lost any semblance of self-possession as she flew into a rage and crushed her husband's forehead and face with a baseball bat. Her subsequent trial for murder initiated a lengthy series of legal proceedings that highlighted the power of a shared assumption about the role of women in U.S. society during the 1950's. Despite the emergence of social, economic and intellectual forces to challenge such a conception, the notion of a legally sanctioned, prescribed woman's role informed the treatment of the case by attorneys, judges and jurors.
Crawford, George B.
"Murder, Insanity and The Efficacy of Woman's Role: The Gwendolyn Hoyt Case,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 89:
1, Article 5.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol89/iss1/5