Death sentences are decreasing in America, but the sentence is still applied in 31 states. One of the most traditional customs on death row is to offer a special final meal to sentenced prisoners prior to their death.
Throughout the last few decades, people facing the death penalty have chosen final meals ranging from indulgent to horrifying. Here are some of the strangest last meal requests from some of the most notorious criminals on death row.
Thomas J. Grasso, 1995
Grasso murdered an elderly Oklahoma woman during a botched robbery by strangling her with Christmas lights. He later murdered an old man for his social security check. After his death sentence, Grasso requested a last meal consisting of:
- One double cheeseburger from Burger King
- Two dozen each of steamed mussels and clams
- Half a pumpkin pie topped with whipped cream and strawberries
- One can of Spaghetti-O’s served at room temperature
- Two strawberry milkshakes
- Six barbecue spare ribs
Grasso later complained that guards gave him a can of spaghetti and meatballs instead of the Spaghetti-O’s he requested.
Timothy McVeigh, 2001
Timothy McVeigh shocked the world when he orchestrated the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. The bombing was one of the largest terrorist attacks on United States soil at the time, killing 168 people and injuring hundreds more. McVeigh requested two pints of mint chocolate chip ice cream before he died by lethal injection.
Ricky Ray Rector, 1992
Arkansas murderer Rector killed a police officer in 1981. For his final meal, he requested a steak, cherry Kool-Aid, fried chicken, and a slice of pecan pie. However, Rector did not eat his pie. He left it on his tray and told the guards who took him to the execution chamber that he planned to save it for later.
John Wayne Gacy, 1994
Gacy was one of the most prolific serial killers of all time. Gacy was infamous for murdering at least 33 boys and men in Illinois, burying them in the crawl space underneath his home. Prior to his death by lethal injection, Gacy requested a hefty meal of:
- 12 fried shrimp
- An entire bucket of KFC fried chicken
- A pound of strawberries
- A side of French fries
Gacy managed three KFC franchises during his life, which may explain why he specifically requested the chain’s chicken as his final meal.
Dobie Gillis Williams, 1999
Williams’ death sentence was controversial due to his intellectual disability, which led many to question whether he was capable of committing the 1984 murder of Sonja Knippers. Despite the outcry, Louisiana sentenced Williams to death by lethal injection in 1999. For his final meal, he ate 12 candy bars and ice cream.
Robert Dale Conkin, 2005
Conkin killed and dismembered a man while on parole for armed robbery. His last meal request included:
- Bacon-wrapped filet mignon
- A loaded baked potato with butter, chives, bacon bits, and sour cream
- Asparagus and hollandaise sauce
- Goat cheese
- Apple pie with ice cream
- Corn on the cob
- Garlic butter lemon shrimp
- French bread with butter
- Iced tea
Ronnie Lee Gardner, 2010
Gardner murdered a bartender during a botched robbery in Salt Lake City and his attorney while trying to escape from prison. Gardner’s death by firing squad sparked controversy across the country, but his last meal request also garnered notoriety. Specifically, Gardner requested a meal of lobster tail, steak, and apple pie a la mode while watching the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy. He washed this luxurious meal down with a can of 7-Up.
Ted Bundy, 1989
Notorious serial killer Ted Bundy murdered more than 30 young women and girls between 1974 and 1978. He declined to choose his own last meal prior to his death by electric chair. Bundy instead ate a standard last meal of steak, eggs, toast, hash browns, milk, and juice.
Steven Woods, 2011
Woods was a controversial murderer who killed a young couple in Dallas. The Michigan native had one of the largest last meals on the record, which included:
- Four fried chicken breasts
- Two pounds of bacon
- One large meat lover’s pizza
- Five chicken fried steaks
- Two bacon hamburgers
- Two pints of ice cream
- French fries
- One dozen garlic bread sticks
- A side of marinara dipping sauce
Woods washed down his enormous final meal with two cans each of Pepsi, sweet tea, root beer, and Mountain Dew.
Aileen Wuornos, 2002
Serial killer Aileen Wuornos declined to choose her final meal prior to her 2002 Florida execution. Instead, she purchased a hamburger and a selection of snack foods from the prison commissary. She also drank a cup of coffee before her death.
Victor Feguer, 1963
Feguer was a convicted murder from Michigan. In 1960, he kidnapped and murdered a physician named Dr. Edward Bartels after staging a fake call for medical attention. After his capture and conviction, Feguer was sentenced to death by lethal injection. His strange last meal request was a single olive with the pit still inside.
What would you choose for your last meal on death row? If you do find yourself in need of legal representation for a personal injury case, such as car accident, contact Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers today.