Dan Goddard, All Good Children, 2008

Saturday: Hills Snyder to be executed in Austin

The Chair awaits Hills Snyder

Sala Diaz proprietor Hills Snyder, who has long cultivated the look of a long-haired serial killer, is finally going to be punished for his crimes. Snyder is scheduled to take the hot seat 8:30 p.m. Saturday in Austin at Gallery 68, 2832 E. Martin Luther King Blvd., (512) 472-1219. According to the press release, Snyder is suspected in the murder of at least 16 known victims.

The evidence leading to his conviction was discovered at "Book of the Dead," his mazelike afterlife installation at Artpace in the summer of 2005. Someone named "Mike" left a shredded letter in a wastebasket that was discovered by San Antonio artist Kimberly Aubuchon, who pieced it together, leading to Snyder's capture.

Former Artpace director Kathryn Kanjo presided as judge at his trial with former Artpace curator Kate Green serving as prosecutor for the state. Snyder's list of victims includes Regine Basha, Annette Carlozzi, Mike Casey, Frances Colpitt, Anjali Gupta, Laurence Miller, Cynthia Toles and Catherine Walworth -- all prominent members of the Texas art mafia.

However, as the press release notes: "One of the more bizarre aspects of the case is that the cause of death was never determined for any of the victims, whose bodies were all discovered in their own homes, fully dressed and peaceful, as if sleeping, some smiling."

Art critic Elaine Wolff will escort the prisoner to the chair, while head Curator Nate Cassie will serve as executioner. Afterward, there's a wake scheduled at the Art Palace, 2109 Cesar Chavez, (512) 496-0687.

óDan R. Goddard, Art Beat, January 16, 2008

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