Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Execution Leaves Black Feeling Blue

Johnny Dale Black was executed tonight by the state of Oklahoma. As a convicted killer, you would think Johnny would be the—uh—“Black Sheep” of his family. But apparently ALL the sheep in the Black family were black, because Johnny’s two brothers were accomplices in the same crime that earned Johnny his death penalty conviction.

Along with two other friends, brothers Johnny Dale Black, Jesse Jay Black, and Jimmy Lee Roy Black were all accused of murdering a horse trainer in 1998. (The trio is apparently no relation to Johnnie Walker Black, a popular guest at many parties they probably attended) Brothers Jesse Jay and Jimmy Lee Roy were given long prison sentences while Johnny Dale, who inflicted the most injury on the victim, was sentenced to death.

Black used his final statement to display obvious displeasure about his impending demise. “This isn’t accomplishing anything,” he said while strapped to the lethal injection table. “It’s just another death, another family destroyed.” Black did not admit his guilt or apologize to his victim’s family.

For his last meal, Johnny Dale Black had a 3-piece catfish dinner, a double order of french fries with catsup, a slice of blackberry cobbler, and a bottle of Pepsi. In Oklahoma, an inmate’s last meal can cost no more than $15 and must be ordered from local restaurants.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Nicklasson Nibbles Non-Nutritious Nourishment

Convicted killer Allen Nicklasson's early life was bizarre and somewhat nauseating; it's little surprise, then, that the last meal he chose before his execution today in the state of Missouri was equally bizarre and nauseating.

Nicklasson's mother was a mentally-ill stripper who shot up heroine in the home, fed her son Alpo dog food for dinner, and once coerced him into fighting a Doberman Pinscher for money. When Allen grew up, he found himself homeless and addicted to drugs. He and two other men went on a crime spree that ended with three people dead, including a good samaritan who was shot to death when he stopped to help the men fix their broken car.  

For his last meal, Nicklasson ordered a meat pizza, gummy bears, M&Ms, and orange juice--hopefully not all mixed together in a big bowl.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Lott Only Eats a Little

Convicted two-time killer Ronald Lott was executed tonight by lethal injection in the state of Oklahoma. Lott was found guilty of the brutal rape and murder of two elderly women, crimes which another man was convicted of until DNA evidence later proved Lott was the killer.

Because of some of the massive last meals ordered in the past, it would have been appropriate if Lott had ordered--well, a lot of food for his own last meal. But since Oklahoma only allows inmates to order their final meal from local restaurants, with a mere $15 spending limit, Lott only ate a little.

Ronald Lott's last meal was an order of fish, french fries, and hush puppies from Long John Silver's, with ketchup and tartar sauce on the side. He had no last words.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Martin Has Beef, But Has No Beef With the Justice System

Jerry Martin, executed by the state of Texas tonight, did something few death row inmates have done; he admitted his crime and apologized for it.

Martin was serving a 50-year jail term for attempted murder when he and another inmate stole a truck and tried to escape from a prison work detail. A 59-year-old female corrections officer was killed during the attempt, and after Martin was re-apprehended a short time later, he was sentenced to death.

A condemned inmate's last days are normally a log jam of legal maneuvers, but Martin accepted his death sentence and requested that no appeals be filed on his behalf. "I didn't mean for it to happen, but it happened," he said in his final statement. "I take full responsibility."

Since Texas no longer allows inmates to request special last meals, Martin was served the same food as others in his unit. For his last meal, Jerry Martin had BBQ chopped beef, macaroni & cheese, peas & carrots, pinto beans, and sliced bread. He was given a choice of lemonade, tea, and water to drink. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Fiendish Franklin Forgoes Final Feast

Serial killer, white supremacist, and man of many hairdos Joseph Paul Franklin was executed today by the state of Missouri after the US Supreme Court denied a last-minute stay. Franklin is believed to have killed between 18-22 people, mostly in sniper-style attacks which were racially motivated. He also shot and injured Hustler Magazine publisher Larry Flynt, although he was never convicted of the crime despite his confession.

Franklin gave no last statement and requested no last meal, which is a shame; former Missouri death row inmates have dined on steak, seafood, and other succulent fare. Perhaps if Franklin had read a copy of Last Suppers during his incarceration, he would have changed his mind.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Supreme Court Leaves Jamie McCoskey in the Lurch

Apparently, everything really IS bigger in Texas--including their deranged killers! Tonight the state executed Jamie McCoskey, whose case the US Supreme Court refused to review earlier this year. The 6-foot 7-inch McCoskey, known as "Lurch" to his pals, was convicted of raping a pregnant woman then killing her fiancee. One of McCoskey's lawyers claimed the man was "clearly ill, not normal," but that's the understatement of the year. In addition to his capital crime, McCoskey also served time for kidnapping, assault, and drug possession. He once cracked another inmate's skull with a chisel, and another time threw a heavy chair at a group of prosecutors during a court session.

Since Texas no longer allows special last meals, Jamie McCoskey was served the same food as others in his unit. He dined on chicken patties, mashed potatoes with gravy, carrots, sliced bread, and had a choice of tea, lemonade, or water to drink.

Dinner of Darius Would Destroy Digestive System

The time convicted killer and rapist Darius Kimbrough served in prison was never easy. First he had to wait 19 years on Florida's death row until his execution date rolled around. On top of that, judging from this photo, he was forced to serve his time while wearing the most unfortunate pair of glasses ever designed. And on his very last day, we're guessing Kimbrough suffered from a heavy dose of self-inflicted indigestion prior to his lethal injection.

For his last meal, Kimbrough ordered two slices of pizza, fried green tomatoes, fried chicken, chicken gizzards, chocolate chip ice cream, and fruit punch. Most of the menu items sound pretty tasty (perhaps minus the gizzards), but when you mix them all together, serve them at 9:45 in the morning, then top them off with a splash of pre-execution anxiety, that's a recipe for indigestion just waiting to happen.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Robert Jones Not Jonesing for Anything Special

Some people don't get excited on their birthdays. Others don't make a big deal about Christmas. But most of us would make a pretty big deal about our final day on Earth.

That wasn't the case for Robert Glen Jones Jr, who was executed today by the state of Arizona. Despite the freedom to order just about anything he wanted, Jones turned down the offer of a special last meal. "It's just another meal, and there's nothing special about the day to me," he said.

The final meal that Jones ate--making it his technical "last meal"--was Tuesday night's standard dinner of beef patties, mashed potatoes with gravy, carrots, two slices of wheat bread, a slice of glazed cake, and a powdered juice drink.

Jones was convicted of killing a total of seven people, including four at a social club robbery, two in a smoke shop, and one in a home invasion. Jones used some of his stolen loot to buy pizza and cowboy boots, but a clerk became suspicious when Jones and an accomplice tried to restock their supply of ammunition at a gun store. A high-speed chase soon ensued and Jones was apprehended and convicted of all seven murders.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

No Death by Chocolate for William Happ

Forrest Gump said "Life is like a box of chocolates," but sometimes death is like a box of chocolates, too. At least that was the case for William Happ, executed today by the state of Florida for a rape and murder committed in 1986. 

For his last meal, Happ asked for a 12-ounce box of assorted chocolates and one and a half quarts of German chocolate ice cream. If his intention was to induce the often joked about "Death by Chocolate," Happ's plan was unsuccessful. Instead, he was later executed by lethal injection using a new cocktail of drugs which made their debut for the first time today.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Texas Completes Execution Double-Header

October is here, and baseball fever is in the air. To commemorate the Fall Classic, Arizona and Texas hosted a special day/night execution double-header. 

Arizona began the day by executing Edward Schad, and Texas performed the nightcap with the execution of Michael Yowell. Yowell, who was given the death sentence for killing his parents, also caused an explosion that left his grandmother dead as well. As he lay strapped to the lethal injection table, Yowell commanded the prison warden to "punch that button."

Since Texas no longer allows special last meal requests, Yowell was given the same food as the other prisoners in his unit. Sometimes condemned inmates are served lunch and dinner at the same time and can pick and choose what they want from each tray. This was the case with Yowell, who was served chicken patties, a hamburger steak, mashed potatoes with gravy, squash, pinto beans, peas, carrots, macaroni and cheese, sliced bread, and cornbread. He had a choice of tea, punch, or water to drink.

Edward Schad Has a 12-Inch...Sandwich

In some ways, Edward Schad was not your typical death row resident. The 71-year-old man, who spent nearly half his life in an Arizona prison cell, liked to spend his jail time crocheting and illustrating children's books. But in other ways, Schad was very typical. In two separate trials, he was convicted of strangling two male lovers to death--supposedly "accidents" that happened during their intense bouts of sex.

Schad was executed by the state of Arizona this morning by lethal injection.

For his last meal, Edward Schad asked for 12 inches--and got it. He requested a 12-inch meatball submarine sandwich, french fries with catsup, two ears of corn on the cob, cranberry sauce, a slice of apple pie, and a vanilla milkshake.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Four for Gore, But No More

The fourth time was a charm for Marshall Lee Gore, a repeat killer who was executed tonight in Florida after three previous execution dates were cancelled at the last minute.

Gore was found guilty of murdering two different women, and was given a death sentence for each homicide. Gore tried to escape his fate several times by claiming insanity, but his rants about Satan, the Illuminati, human sacrifices, and an unnamed senator who wanted to kill Gore and rip out his eyeballs failed to sway the legal system in his favor.

Because of his on-again, off-again execution schedule, Gore actually received multiple last meals. Back in July, he was served a steak, baked potato, and a Coke. For his last meal today, Marshall Gore asked for a sausage and pepperoni pizza and a Coke. He drank the Coke but left the pizza untouched.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Diaz Dies from Dubious Dose of Dwindling Drug

“I’ve never been a violent person,” Arturo Diaz said in a recent interview. But Diaz was convicted of tying a man up with his own shoelaces then stabbing him 94 times before stealing $50 from the victim. Possible explanation? At his trial, a psychologist testified that one bad car accident and too many fistfights might have caused so much head trauma that Diaz could no longer “perceive reality.”

Ah, that must be it.

Diaz was executed by the state of Texas tonight, which recently ran out of the lethal drug pentobarbital supplied by a company in Denmark. Many other states have run out of pentobarbital as well, prompting some to put their executions on hold. But Texas managed to obtain a new supply of the drug from a mysterious unnamed source, so there was no change to their execution protocol.

Since Texas did away with special last meal requests in 2011, Diaz was served the same food as others in his unit. For his last meal, Arturo Diaz had Salisbury steak, steamed rice, brown gravy, mixed vegetables, corn, pinto beans, sliced bread, and a choice of lemonade, tea, or water to drink.  

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Monstrous Meal for Mitts

In prison, where even a tiny square of cake from the cafeteria is considered a prized commodity, it's common to hear one inmate say to another, "Hey! Keep your hairy mitts off my food!"

Imagine, then, the commotion that would've erupted if any of Ohio's other inmates had glimpsed the final meal ordered by condemned killer Harry Mitts Jr. prior to his execution today: steak with sauteed mushrooms and onions, Caesar salad with Ranch dressing, Italian bread, French fries, peach pie, butter pecan ice cream, and Dr. Pepper. Harry Mitts would've spent the entire day yelling, "Hey! Keep your "me" off of my last meal!"

Mitts earned his death sentence for a rampage in 1994 that resulted in the deaths of both a neighbor and a police officer. Two more police officers were shot and wounded at the scene.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Nothing But Bare Bones for Robert Garza

In a recent death row interview, Robert "Bones" Garza told a reporter that he wanted ice cream as part of his last meal. Garza apparently missed the memo about Texas inmates no longer having the privilege of ordering a special last meal, a rule that's been in effect for two years now. That means no t-bone steak, no bone fish, nor any other food that might whimsically tie in with the inmate's nickname.

The error regarding last meals wasn't the first mistake Garza ever made. He was part of a gang that had been ordered to kill a waitress from a local bar before she testified against their boss in court, but the gang killed four different waitresses from that bar by mistake. 

Because Texas doesn't allow special last meals, inmates are given the same food as everyone else on their unit. For his last meal, Robert Garza had chicken patties, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn, navy beans, and sliced bread. His beverage choices were punch, tea, or water.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Bear Claws for Banks

Anthony Banks was executed tonight by the state of Oklahoma for the rape and murder of Sun "Kim" Travis in 1979. Banks was already in jail serving a life sentence for an unrelated murder when DNA evidence linked him to the death of Travis.

As our fans know, Oklahoma only allows inmates to order food from local restaurants or stores for their last meals, and the spending limit is a mere $15. For his last meal, Anthony Banks asked for three apple-filled bear claws and two 16-ounce bottles of water.

Why such an unusual last meal request, you may ask? We've come up with several options.

1.) Banks believed that breakfast was the most important meal of the day, even if it's your last day.

2.) By ordering something commonly found in a doughnut shop, Banks was making an abstract statement about the universal oneness between criminals and policemen.

3.) Banks thought he would receive actual bear claws, which he could then fasten to his hands like Wolverine in order to fight his way out of prison.


Sunday, September 1, 2013

Last Meals of Lethal Ladies

Teresa Lewis
Ever wondered how the last meals of condemned women compare to their male counterparts? Check out my new article on the Criminal Element website!

"Last Supper of a Black Widow and More Women of Death Row."

Monday, August 5, 2013

Ferguson's Figments Fuel Firestorm

The execution of John Ferguson by the state of Florida tonight caused quite a bit of controversy. During more than three decades on death row, Ferguson’s mental competence was constantly challenged. The convicted killer—who was involved in the deaths of at least eight people—referred to himself as the Prince of God and claimed that he will come back to life after his execution to help foil a communist plot against America.

Sounds crazy, right? A federal appeals court thought so, but also added that even though most people would label Ferguson’s beliefs “crazy,” someone who holds those beliefs could still be deemed competent enough to be executed.

We’re still trying to figure that one out.

Ferguson was nearly executed back in October of 2012, but was given a last-minute stay. He had already eaten his last meal when the execution was canceled, though. At the time, Ferguson asked for nothing more than a country-fried chicken sandwich and iced tea. Tonight, Ferguson ate the same menu as others in his unit. We’re not sure if that was by choice, or if the prison refused to grant another special request. Ferguson dined on meat and vegetable patties, white bread, steamed tomatoes, potato salad, diced carrots, and iced tea.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

For Douglas Feldman, It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World

You know how some people always seem a little bit grumpy? Well, Douglas Feldman, executed tonight by the state of Texas, wasn’t like that. Douglas Feldman was REALLY grumpy. All the time. And he didn’t try to hide it, either. In a letter to a former girlfriend, Feldman once wrote, “I have come to hate every single person on this planet with all my heart and soul.” He went on to say, “If I had a button which would kill every single person on this planet, I would push it with no hesitation whatsoever!”

It’s no surprise, then, that someone with such a huge chip on his shoulder was executed for crimes of rage. Feldman was riding his motorcycle in August 1998 when he became angry at a truck driver who cut him off on the highway. Feldman fired multiple shots at both the truck and the driver, killing the man. A few miles down the road, Feldman saw another truck driver filling up his rig at a gas station; he shot and killed that man as well. One week later, Feldman shot and injured another man who was standing outside a fast food restaurant. That man survived and gave Feldman’s license tag number to the police.

It's no surprise that Feldman was dubbed the "Road Rage Killer."

Since Texas did away with special last meal requests in 2011, Douglas Feldman was served the same food as others in his unit. He was given his lunch tray and dinner tray at the same time, and was able to eat whatever he wanted from each. The first tray contained BBQ chicken, sliced bread, potato salad, and pinto beans. The second tray contained baked pork chops, macaroni & cheese, mixed veggies, butternut squash, Great Northern Beans, cornbread, and yellow cake with chocolate icing. He had a choice of lemonade, punch, tea, and water to drink.

We're not sure if Feldman had access to TV, magazines, or video games during his final hours, but if given the opportunity, we’re guessing he would have spent the time watching Mad Men, reading Mad magazine, and playing Angry Birds.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Lackey's Last Meal is Lacking

Last meal aficionados probably weren't shocked by the--shall we say, rustic--meal ordered by Andrew Lackey prior to his execution today in the state of Alabama.

First of all, the murder that earned Lackey his death sentence wasn't exactly an act of criminal genius. Lackey shot, stabbed, and beat an 80-year-old man to death in 2005 because the victim's grandson told Lackey that his grandfather had a secret vault in his basement filled with money and gold bars. Believing the tale, Lackey invaded the home and killed its resident when the aforementioned vault turned out to be nonexistent. Because of this, one would expect Lackey's tastes to be--shall we say, simple

Second, the last time we checked, Alabama was ranked 53rd on the list of US states with the greatest appreciation for gourmet cuisine. Therefore Lackey's choice of grilled cheese and turkey bologna sandwiches, with a side of French fries, seems utterly apropos.   

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Ross Can't Resist Resentful Rant

Vaughn Ross, executed today by the state of Texas for a double murder in 2001, couldn't help getting a little testy in the middle of his last words. He began his statement with a loving message to his family:

"I want to thank my family for supporting me through this. I love y'all. I don't fear death. I'm fine. I'm okay. To my friends and my loved ones, Miriam, I love you, thanks for being here for me."

But then Ross gave a last minute sucker punch to the legal system that convicted him:

"This is what it is. I know this is hard for y'all, but we are going to have to go through it. We know the lies they told in court. We know it's not true."

Ross, who moved to Texas from St. Louis as a young man, once remarked that the state's vigorous death penalty was one of the first things he noticed about it.

"I noticed how many executions were being carried out in the state and I was like, 'Man, I might get put on death row for jaywalking or something.' It was a silly joke, and then bam, I'm here."

Since Texas did away with special last meals in 2011, Ross was served the same food as everyone else in his unit. For his last meal, Vaughn Ross had baked chicken, corn, steamed rice, sliced bread, with tea and water to drink.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

No Quarter for Quintanilla

After a flurry of failed last-minute appeals, John Quintanilla has been executed by the state of Texas. Quintanilla was sentenced to death for shooting and killing a retired deputy sheriff during an armed robbery. That crime took place just months after Quintanilla was released from jail after serving time on other robbery charges.

Since Texas did away with special last meals in 2011, Quintanilla was served the same food as others in his prison unit. His final lunch was chili mac, sweet peas and carrots, pinto beans, and cornbread. Quintanilla's last meal was Salisbury steak, mashed potatoes with brown gravy, and sliced bread, with lemonade, punch, tea, and water to drink.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Kimberly McCarthy Joins the Misfortune 500

Ever since the death penalty was reinstated after a brief moratorium in the mid-1970's, Texas has easily outpaced every other state in the nation when it comes to executions. Tonight, Kimberly McCarthy became the 500th inmate put to death in the Lone Star state since executions resumed--the newest member of the "Misfortune 500," so to speak.

McCarthy earned her death sentence for killing and robbing an elderly neighbor. On the pretense of borrowing a cup of sugar, McCarthy entered the woman's apartment where she stabbed the victim with a butcher knife and bludgeoned her with a candelabra. During the robbery, McCarthy cut off the woman's finger in order to steal her wedding ring.

McCarthy was also suspected in the deaths of two other elderly women. One was stabbed and bludgeoned with a hammer, while the other was stabbed and bludgeoned with a meat tenderizer. Anyone else see a pattern here?

Since Texas no longer allows inmates to place special orders, McCarthy was served the same food as everyone else in her unit. Her last meal was pepper steak, mashed potatoes and gravy, mixed vegetables, white cake with chocolate icing, and a choice of tea, coffee, juice, or water to drink.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Davis Duplicates DeRosa, Disses Dinner

There's something in the air in Oklahoma. For the second time in a week, a death row inmate turned down the chance to order a special last meal. Just like James DeRosa, executed seven days ago, Brian Davis said "thanks but no thanks" to one of those tasty $15-or-under fast food banquets allowed by the state. Davis was convicted of raping and killing his girlfriend's mother 12 years ago, and was DeRosa's cellmate during part of his time on death row. Maybe the two formed a last-minute weight loss pact? Decided to count calories while counting their final days? Promised each other to ban the burgers and forgo the fries?

Here's the difference, though; unlike DeRosa, Davis ate the prison's daily meal before he was executed. This consisted of BBQ bologna, bread, rice, cookies, and lemonade. Not exactly a health-conscious felon's dream feast. And not a good reason to turn down a special last meal--unless that was some really, really good BBQ bologna.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Marshall Gore: Fed But Not Dead

When is a last meal not a last meal? When dinner is served but the execution is cancelled. That's what happened to Marshall Gore, a two-time killer who was due to be executed by the state of Florida today. Instead of a stake in the heart, the viscous murderer got a steak on a plate; a rib-eye, that is, along with a frosty Coke. Gore had already eaten his last meal and was less than an hour away from execution when his lawyers won him a last-minute appeal. Oral arguments are scheduled for later this week, and the execution might still go forward as planned.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

DeRosa Declines Distinct Dinner

Fast food might not be gourmet cuisine, but it sure beats the heck out of prison food. Why, then, would James DeRosa--executed tonight by the state of Oklahoma--fail to order a special last meal? Oklahoma only allows its condemned inmates to order from local fast food restaurants, with a meager $15 spending limit, but DeRosa apparently wasn't hungry. The convicted killer, who was given a death sentence for his part in the robbery and murder of an elderly couple, also had no last words.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Van Poyck Apparently Not Peckish

Our faithful readers already know that Florida serves up one of the best last meals in the country. The state allows a generous $40 spending limit, and the only rule is that the ingredients for the meal must be available at local stores. Steak is allowed. The same with lobster. Appetizers, salad, desserts? No problem. Prison chefs do the shopping then lovingly craft a tasty, succulent last meal for the condemned prisoner. But every once in a while, one of the death row inmates says "thanks but no thanks." Such was the case today before William Van Poyck was executed.

Van Poyck--which is pronounced "Van Poyk," according to countless news reports--so thanks for clearing that up--was convicted as the mastermind of a failed plot to free another inmate who was being transported in a prison van. One of the guards was killed, but Van Poyck always denied pulling the trigger himself and blamed the guard's death on his accomplice.

His final words were "set me free."