Saturday, October 30

Velma Barfield

Convicted December 2, 1978 for the murder of Stuart Taylor, sentenced to death. Executed via lethal injection November 2, 1984 at the North Carolina Central Prison.


Cheez Doodles

Barfield was put to death for the murder of boyfriend Stuart Taylor, whom she killed with a mixture of arsenic and beer, but it's likely she was responsible for a trail of other deaths that followed her, including those of her mother and prior husbands. Nearly 62 at the time of her execution, Barfield became known as the "Death Row Granny," and was the first woman to be executed in the United States since the 1976 reinstatement of the death penalty, and the first woman to be executed by lethal injection. Like Karla Faye Tucker and many other death row inmates, Barfield seemed to have found God during her imprisonment, though later claimed she was only pretending. She declined a formal last meal, choosing instead a bag of Cheez Doodles and a can of Coca-Cola for a final meal that seems more like a convenience store snack.

Monday, October 11

Teresa Lewis

Convicted November, 2002 of capital murder and conspiracy in connection with the murders of Julian Clifton Lewis, Jr. and Charles J. Lewis, sentenced to death. Executed via lethal injection September 23, 2010 at the Greensville Correctional Center.


2 Fried Chicken Breasts
Buttered Peas
German Chocolate Cake
Dr. Pepper

The recent execution of Teresa Lewis has proven controversial for a number of reasons, chief amongst them being that while Lewis plotted the murders of her husband and stepson, she did not carry them out herself. The gunmen recieved life sentences, making Lewis's death penalty surprising (the reasoning here being that the ringleader was more responsible than the actual killers). Other objections raised to Lewis's death penalty include her borderline IQ, dependant personality disorder, and lack of a previous criminal record. In her final days, many public figures stepped forward in support of commuting Lewis's death penalty to a life sentence, including legal novelist John Grisham, though Governor Bob McDonnell refused this request. Lewis's last meal is portrayed here with her original dessert choice of German chocolate cake, though some sources indicate she received her second choice, apple pie, instead.

Monday, October 4

Gary Heidnik

Convicted July 1, 1988 for the murders of Sandra Lindsay and Deborah Dudley, sentenced to death. Executed via lethal injection July 6, 1999 at SCI Rockview.


2 Slices of Cheese Pizza
2 Cups of Coffee

Heidnik kidnapped and tortured 6 women during 1986 and 1987, holding them captive in the basement of his Philadelphia home. He served as one of author Thomas Harris's inspirations for the character Buffalo Bill in Silence of the Lambs; the isolation pit in the basement floor was one of Heidnik's punishments for his victims. Amazingly, 4 of his victims survived their brutal ordeal, and Heidnik was put to death for the murders of the other 2. His attorney's attempts to declare him insane were unsuccessful, partly due to Heidnik's keen investing abilities. His wealth had allowed him to wallpaper a room in his house with money. Apparently, during his arraignment he claimed the women were already there when he moved in.

Thursday, September 30

Timothy McVeigh

Convicted June 2, 1997 of 8 counts of first-degree murder and the use of a weapon of mass destruction. Executed via lethal injection June 11, 2001 at the U.S. Federal Penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana.


2 Pints of Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Though convicted for only 8 counts of murder, McVeigh took the lives of 168 men, women, and children in the April 19, 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. A Gulf War veteran and militia sympathizer, McVeigh had carried out the terrorist attack in response to the 1993 siege at Waco, Texas. On death row, McVeigh remained unapologetic for his actions, dropped his appeals, and even requested that his execution be televised (a request that was denied). In 2001, he became the first criminal to be executed by the federal government since the 1963 execution of Victor Feguer. His last request of 2 pints of Ben & Jerry's mint chocolate ice cream is an interesting one, but can't match the irony of Feguer's olive. It's rumored that PETA had contacted McVeigh and urged him to select a meatless final meal; several years later, PETA would also urge Ben & Jerry's to switch from using cow's milk to human breast milk (another request that was denied).

Monday, September 27

Karla Faye Tucker

Convicted April 19, 1984 for the murders of Jerry Lynn Dean and Deborah Thornton, sentenced to death. Executed via lethal injection February 3, 1998 at the Texas State Penitentiary at Huntsville.


Garden Salad with Ranch Dressing

Tucker is often remembered as the born-again Christian whose execution, the first of a woman in Texas in over 100 years, sparked an international debate, with many supporters requesting her death penalty be commuted to a life sentence. However, many may not recall the crime that led her to death row: the pickax murders of Jerry Dean and Deborah Thornton. Though her partner in crime Danny Garrett died in prison before his execution could be carried out, Tucker spent 14 years on death row, a period in which the former drug-user and prostitute reformed into a model prisoner, embracing religion and working to convert her fellow inmates. She was even married to a member of the prison ministry group (via proxy). The issue of Tucker's religious conversion, whether it was genuine or even relevant, remains a subject of debate. Tucker's last meal of salad and fruit forgoes a final gastronomic pleasure, instead capturing the modesty and humility she worked so hard to portray in her final years.

Saturday, September 25

Mark Dean Schwab

Convicted May 22, 1992 for the kidnapping, sexual assault, and murder of Junny Rios-Martinez, Jr., sentenced to death. Executed via lethal injection July 1, 2008 at the Florida State Prison.


Fried Eggs
Hash Browns
Buttered Toast
Chocolate Milk

Recently released from prison for the rape of a 13-year-old, Schwab wasted no time in targeting his next victim. After seeing his picture in the newspaper for a kite contest, Schwab found and befriended 11-year-old Junny Rios-Martinz, Jr., whom he would soon abduct, assault, and murder. Outrage at the fact Schwab had been released early from his imprisonment for previous crimes against a child led to the Junny Rios-Martinz, Jr. Act, which prevents the early release of those convicted of sexual battery in Florida. Schwab would sit on death row longer than Rios-Martinez had ever lived; Schwab's execution had been delayed by numerous appeals, and by the 2006 suspension of executions in Florida after complications during the Diaz execution. The suspension was later lifted, and Schwab's execution was carried out in July of 2008. His last meal presents a standard breakfast spread, along with a quart of chocolate milk.

Wednesday, September 22

Ricky Ray Rector

Convicted during 1982 for the murders of Arthur Criswell and Robert Martin; sentenced to death. Executed via lethal injection January 24, 1992 at the ADC Cummins Unit.


Fried Chicken
Cherry Kool-Aid
Pecan Pie

Rector's is, on all accounts, an unfortunate story. After committing a fatal shooting at a night club, Rector had been persuaded by to turn himself in to the authorities. However, when Officer Robert Martin arrived, Rector shot and killed him, then turned the gun on himself. Amazingly, Rector survived his suicide attempt, but with brain damage that was equivalent to a lobotomy. Though his defense argued he was no longer mentally competent to stand trial, he was tried and convicted for both murders, and sentenced to death. Those who thought Rector now incapable of understanding his crimes and death sentence may cite his last meal for further support; apparently, Rector didn't eat the pecan pie, believing he could save it for later.