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.

Sunday, September 19

Victor Feguer

Convicted March 16, 1961 for the kidnapping and murder of Edward Bartels, sentenced to death. Executed via hanging March 15, 1963 at the Iowa State Penitentiary.


1 Olive

Feguer was put to death for the abduction and murder of Dr. Edward Bartels. Supposedly, Feguer wanted the medications a doctor might be carrying, and went through the phone book calling doctors until the unfortune Bartels answered. Feguer's execution made little impact at the time, though it would become the last federal execution until 2001 due to the Furman v. Georgia death penalty moratorium that soon went into effect. He is still the last person to be put to death in the state of Iowa. One might think his last request of a single, unpitted olive to be a sign of spite, but Feguer was apparently quite well-behaved during his finals days. Perhaps it stemmed from an odd sense of humor, one that would be echoed in the fact Feguer was buried with the olive's pit.

Friday, September 17

Martha Beck

Convicted August 19, 1949 for the murder of Janet Fay, sentenced to death. Executed via electrocution March 8, 1951 at Sing Sing Correctional Facility.


Fried Chicken
Fried Potatoes

Along with Raymond Fernandez, Beck committed a series of murders in the late 1940's that earned them the title of "The Lonely Hearts Killers." Beck and Fernandez themselves had met through a so-called "lonely hearts" service and the two became partners in crime, answering other singles ads with intention to swindle and murder. Once brought to justice, their lurid story became sensationalized in the media, and continues to be to this day; see the 2006 film Lonely Hearts, where Beck is played, puzzlingly enough, by Selma Hayek. Though convicted only of the murder of Janet Fay, a move that allowed Fernandez and Beck to receive the death penalty, the two were responsible for many more murders, including Delphine Downing and her 2-year-old daughter Rainelle. Beck, a Florida native who had often been criticized for her weight, seems to have taken comfort in her final hours with traditional southern fried fare alongside a modest salad.

Wednesday, September 15

Charles Peace

Convicted February 5, 1879 for the murder of Arthur Dyson, sentenced to death. Executed via hanging February 25, 1879 at Leeds Prison.



Peace was an infamous Victorian era cat burglar whose exploits became pretty widely known; he's even mentioned in a Sherlock Holmes story. In 1876 he murdered Arthur Dyson, the husband of a former mistress, and was eventually caught, tried, and sentenced to death. His behavior seemed to improve in prison, where he also confessed to the murder of Constable Nicholas Cook, thereby setting the wrongly accused William Habron free. The morning of his execution, Peace ate a breakfast of eggs and a large amount of bacon, though his true last request after this salty meal was for a glass of water. This request was denied.

Sunday, September 12

Aileen Wuornos

Convicted January 27, 1992 for the murder of Richard Mallory, sentenced to death. Subsequently convicted of 5 additional murders, receiving an additional 5 death sentences. Executed via lethal injection October 9, 2002 at the Florida State Prison.


1 Cup of Coffee

Most people are familiar with the Wuornos case thanks to the 2003 film Monster, starring Charlize Theron. In fact, her story's been the inspiration for a number of documentaries, movies, and even an opera. Wuornos confessed to the murders (including a seventh whose body was never found), but claimed to be acting in self-defense, alleging the men had been attempting to rape her. In later interviews she seemed to take back the claims of self-defense, but watching these, it's difficult to tell what she really believed anymore. However, under the orders of Governor Jeb Bush, psychiatrists did find her competent for execution. Wuornos refused a last meal, having a single cup of coffee before the execution. This might have been because she believed the prison matrons had been contaminating her food; she had been known to refuse meals during her prison stay as a means of protesting what she felt was abusive treatment.

Friday, September 10

Bruno Hauptmann

Convicted February 14, 1935 of extortion, and the kidnapping and murder of 20-month-old Charles Augustus Lindberg, Jr., sentenced to death. Executed via electrocution April 3, 1936 at the New Jersey State Prison.


Buttered Peas
French Fries

The kidnapping of the Lindberg baby was dubbed the "Crime of the Century," and continues to captivate to this day. Hauptmann asserted his innocence throughout his interrogation and trial, pleading not guilty to the charges, and even refusing to confess in exchange for an offer to commute his death-penalty to a life sentence. After his death, his wife Anna Hauptmann campaigned unsuccessfully for her husband's innocence, though Anthony Scaduto's 1974 Scapegoat seemed to popularize the idea of Hauptmann's alleged innocence. In recent years, Hauptmann has enjoyed a more sympathetic portrayal in the media, and supporters of his innocence persist into the digital age. However, recent review of the case with modern forensics for a program on Court TV concluded that evidence indeed points to Hauptmann.