Thursday, July 6, 2017

Finding Nemo's Last Meal

Despite a flurry of protests, convicted killer William Morva was executed by the state of Virginia tonight. Morva earned his death sentence for killing a hospital security guard and a deputy after he escaped from jail while serving time for attempted robbery.

Most of the protests surrounding Morva’s execution were related to his questionable mental health. While incarcerated, Morva was diagnosed as having a personality disorder that manifested in “odd beliefs.” In Morva’s case, that meant going barefoot most of the time, eating pinecones and large quantities of raw meat, and professing that President George W. Bush was plotting his murder. Morva also renounced his legal name at one point, calling it a “slave name,” and went by the name of Nemo instead—although there are few similarities between Morva and the beloved cartoon fish.

As readers of our book already know, Virginia’s last meal tradition is one of the most disappointing in the nation. Inmates may only choose from food available in the prisoner kitchen at the time, and they may also choose to keep their last meal hidden from the press. We’re still trying to find “Nemo’s” last meal, so check back soon for updates! 

Separated at birth, or no similarity whatsoever? You make the call!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

No Meal or Monologue for Melson

A big thank-you to sharp-eyed fans of the blog who pointed out our omission of the execution of Robert Melson, which took place in Alabama last week. Due to a flurry of last-minute stays and appeals, this one came in under our radar.

Melson received his death sentence for his part in a triple murder that took place in 1994. Melson and an accomplice robbed a Popeye's fast food restaurant and shot four of its employees, killing three of them. The two men netted just over $2,000 in the robbery.

Melson's execution was relatively uneventful, and from the perspective of a blog that chronicles last meals and last words, it was also lacking in interesting trivia. One can always hope that an inmate's last meal or final statement will be evocative, or unusual, or somehow related to the killer's past history or the crime itself. For instance, John Wayne Gacy ordered Kentucky Fried Chicken as part of his last meal, which was ironic because the famous serial killer who dressed like a clown was also a former KFC employee. In that same vein, Melson could have ordered Popeye's chicken for his last meal. He also might have requested a heaping helping of spinach for his final dinner, than announced "I yam what I yam and that's all that I am," as he lay strapped to the execution table. Unfortunately, though, ironies such as these apparently weren't on Melson's mind during his final hours, as he requested no last meal and spoke no final words.  

Friday, May 26, 2017

Eighth Time is a Charm for Thomas Arthur

Alabama's Thomas Arthur probably thought he would never be executed. After all, the two-time convicted killer had been on death row for 34 years and had faced execution seven previous times. But in each of those cases, Arthur danced away from the Grim Reaper's grasp at the very last second by winning various appeals.

The Grim Reaper finally caught up with Arthur last night, however, when the man was finally put to death on the eighth try. 

Despite the fanfare involving his execution, Arthur did not order or eat a last meal. "I don't believe in that last meal baloney," he told a reporter. "I never have the appetite. When they're trying to kill you, you're not hungry."

Coincidentally, Last Meal Baloney was the name of a product put out by Oscar Mayer in the 1990s as part of its ill-fated Criminal Cold Cuts line of deli meats. 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Georgia Takes Out the Trash

Convicted killer J.W. Ledford was executed by the state of Georgia last night, and we just have to say it: the J.W. might as well stand for “Just Weird,” because that’s what this guy’s case was.

Ledford was sentenced to death for the murder of his neighbor, Dr. Harry Johnston, who was also the same doctor who delivered Ledford when he was born. On the day of the killing, Ledford asked Johnston for a ride to the grocery store. Johnston agreed, but then changed his mind because he thought Ledford had stolen something from him. Back at Johnston’s house, Ledford apparently took a knife from Johnston and killed the doctor with it, nearly severing the man’s head in the process (according to Ledford’s confession, he “cut the shit out of him.”) Ledford then invaded the house, tied up Johnston’s wife, and stole some guns and money, claiming he needed it to buy drugs.

Ledford, who went by the nickname “Boy” for some odd reason, tried to force the state of Georgia to execute him by firing squad instead of lethal injection, but failed.

Ledford ended his final statement with the words, “You can kiss my white trash ass.”

For his last meal, Ledford asked for a gut-busting dinner of filet mignon wrapped in bacon with pepper Jack cheese, a large order of French fries, 10 chicken tenders with sauce, a fried pork chop, a bloomin’ onion, pecan pie with vanilla ice cream, sherbet, and Sprite.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Arkansas 4, Killers 0

Arkansas wrapped up its month of "speed executions" with number 4 last night when Kenneth Williams shook hands with the Grim Reaper. Williams had been imprisoned for murder when he escaped in 1999 and consequently caused the deaths of three other people.

Williams asked to receive Communion before his last meal, which included two pieces of fried chicken, barbecue beans, sweet rice, whole kernel corn, stewed seasoned tomatoes, two cinnamon rolls, two cookies, four slices of bread and fruit punch.  

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Arkansas Hosts Rare Execution Double Header

Arkansas managed to complete its execution double header on Monday night when it executed Marcel Williams just hours after executing Jack Jones.

Williams earned his death sentence for raping, robbing, and killing a young mother in 1994.

For his last meal, Williams followed Jones' lead by ordering a heartburn-inducing dinner of three pieces of fried chicken, potato logs with ketchup, nachos with chili cheese and jalapeno peppers, banana pudding, and two Mountain Dews.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Jack Jones Ingests Jerky and Other Junk

As Arkansas continues its bid to execute as many prisoners as possible before its supply of execution drugs expires, the state put Jack Jones to death tonight. Jones earned his death sentence after he raped a young mother and strangled her with the cord from a coffee pot in front of her child. He also tried to murder the 11-year-old child by choking her and hitting her in the head with the barrel of a BB gun, but the girl survived.

Jones, who suffered from diabetes and other ailments and once claimed that he was too unhealthy to be put to death (We know. Go figure.) ordered a stomach-churning last meal that included three pieces of fried chicken, potato logs with tartar sauce, beef jerky bites, three Butterfinger candy bars, a chocolate milkshake with Butterfinger pieces, and fruit punch.

Friday, April 21, 2017

From Deadly to Dead Lee

As our loyal readers already know, the name "Lee" is synonymous with trouble. The number of death row inmates with a first, last, or middle name of Lee is staggering. But thanks to Arkansas, the public now has one less lee to worry about. 

Last night, the state executed convicted killer Ledell Lee, who earned his death sentence for sexually assaulting then murdering a 26-year-old woman in her own home. Lee was one of eight men originally scheduled to die in Arkansas this month, before a flurry of stays and appeals put a halt to many of those executions. Arkansas, which hadn't executed a prisoner since 2005, was worried that its supply of execution drugs was about to expire and wanted to use the chemicals before they went bad. 

We've said it before, and we'll say it again; if a drug designed to kill someone "goes bad" and becomes harmful, what exactly does that mean?

For his last meal, Ledell Lee asked to be given holy communion. 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Big Day for Bigby

James Eugene Bigby was executed by the state of Texas tonight for a horrific double murder committed in 1991. The former auto mechanic killed a father and the man’s infant son on Christmas Eve, then later killed two more men that same evening. Bigby believed the men were conspiring against him in a pending legal case related to workman’s compensation.

During his murder trial, Bigby’s lawyers claimed the man was a paranoid schizophrenic and introduced evidence that Bigby was raised by an alcoholic mother who breast-fed Bibgy until he was seven years old. Bigby got agitated during the trial, managed to grab a loaded gun from behind the judge’s bench, and threatened the judge with it. He was wrestled to the ground by the judge and two other men, and the trial commenced.

Bigby spent the day of his execution sobbing in apparent remorse for his crimes.

Because Texas no longer allows special last meal requests, Bigby was served the same food as others in his unit. For his last meal, James Bigby had pepper steak, steamed rice, brown gravy, carrots, green beans, oven-fried potatoes, sliced bread, and pineapples, with a choice of tea, water, or punch to drink.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Rolando Ruiz Ruminates with Remorse

Contract killer Rolando Ruiz was executed by the state of Texas tonight for his part in the murder-for-hire death of a 29-year-old San Antonio woman. The woman’s husband and brother-in-law paid Ruiz $2,000 to be the triggerman in the scheme, which was designed to collect a large life insurance policy. The woman’s husband, Michael Rodriguez, was one of the infamous “Texas 7” who escaped from prison in 2000 and were then recaptured. Rodriguez was executed in 2008.

Unlike some convicted killers, Ruiz did actually show remorse before his execution. "Words cannot begin to express how sorry I am," he lamented at the beginning of his final statement. 

Because Texas no longer allows special last meal requests, Ruiz was served the same food as others in his unit. For his last meal, Rolando Ruiz had a fried chicken patty, mashed potatoes, country gravy, green beans, carrots, pinto beans, corn bread, and a choice of tea, punch, or water to drink.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Missouri Mum on Madman's Meal

Heinous triple-killer Mark Christeson was executed by the state of Missouri tonight for his part in the horrific slayings of a mother and her two young children back in 1998. Together with his cousin, Christeson raped and robbed the mother than killed her, her 12-year-old daughter, and her 9-year-old son.

Missouri's death row protocols allowed Christeson to order a last meal, but ironically the Show-Me State has yet to show us what it was. A British newspaper reports that Christeson ate a bacon cheeseburger, fries, and pecan pie, but my contacts at the Missouri DOC are strangely silent and no official last meal has been released to the American press as of this writing.

UPDATE: Missouri officials have confirmed Christeson's last meal. 

Friday, January 27, 2017

Salisbury Steak Served to Subway Slayer

Convicted double-killer Terry Edwards was executed by the state of Texas tonight for his part in the slaying of two employees at a Subway sandwich shop in 2002. Edwards had formerly worked at the Dallas restaurant, but was fired for stealing money from the cash register. A few weeks later, the disgruntled Edwards returned to the Subway with his cousin to rob the place. During the course of that robbery, the two employees on duty were both shot in the head and killed.

After he was arrested, Edwards first tried to blame the murders on a mysterious man named “T-bone.” But audio recordings from the time of the arrest tell a different story, as Edwards is heard remarking, “Man, I done fucked up this time. Man, I fucked up big time. Got two mother fucking murders.”

Because Texas no longer offers special last meals, Edwards ate the same food as others in his unit today. For his last meal, Edwards had Salisbury steak, macaroni and cheese, mixed vegetables, mixed greens, pinto beans, corn bread, and sliced bread, with a choice of water, tea, or punch to drink.  

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Ricky Gray was 50 Shades of Evil

Ricky Gray was executed by the state of Virginia last night for his part in the horrific killing of an entire family in 2006. While looking for a home to rob, Gray and his nephew saw a house with an open front door and went inside; they tied up the family living there, which included a husband, wife, and two young girls, assaulted all the victims with knives and hammers, then set the house on fire. Before they left, the pair stole a computer, a wedding ring, and a basket of cookies. 

Gray requested no last meal and spoke no last words.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Habitual Drug User Gets Baked...Chicken

Convicted double murderer Christopher Chubasco Wilkins was executed by the state of Texas tonight, marking the first execution of the new year. Wilkins earned his death sentence for shooting and killing two men in 2005 after one of the men sold Wilkins a bag of gravel, claiming it was crack cocaine, and then made fun of him for being so gullible.

“I've been in the game long enough,” Wilkins said about the prank. “We rob each other all the time. That's what we do. But he didn't have to sit there and laugh at me.”

Wilkins also admitted to killing a third man two days earlier during an argument over a payphone, and he once tried to run two people over with a stolen car because he thought one of them had stolen his sunglasses.

“I make bad decisions,” Wilkins explained. “I know they're bad decisions when I'm making them. I make them anyway.”

Perhaps the killer’s unusual middle name has something to do with his violent, unpredictable temper. Contrary to popular belief, Chubasco is not a hot-sauce-loving Wookie from the new Star Wars film. It’s actually the term for a fierce storm filled with thunder and lightning which springs up without warning along the coast of Mexico and Central America during the rainy season.

Prior to his execution, the savage killer enjoyed a last meal that was quite sedate. Because Texas doesn’t allow special last meal requests, Wilkins ate the same meal served to others in his prison unit: baked chicken, macaroni and cheese, green beans, carrots, ranch-style beans, and sliced bread, with pear crisp for dessert. He was given the usual choice of tea, punch, or water to drink.