It's a prison custom to allow death row inmates to choose their last meal before being executed. Food preferences can indicate a lot about an individual, with death row meals being no exception. Some are over-the-top, like the crimes that were committed by the notorious serial killers. Others were surprisingly simple and refined.
Here's a list of notorious death row inmates and serial killers last meals.
Serial Killers Last Meals
1. Marion Albert Pruett
In 1979, Marion Albert Pruett was given $800, the alias (Charles "Sonny" Pearson), and put in the federal witness protection program for testifying about a murder in a federal prison in Atlanta. Pruett then used his new alias to kill five people, including his wife. He said that he committed the murders to fund his cocaine addiction at his trial. He was found guilty and sentenced to death by lethal injection.
Pruett initially considered having a roast duck as his last meal. But opted for Pizza Hut stuffed crust pizza, four Burger King Whoppers, french fries, fried squash, fried eggplant, fried okra, a whole pecan pie, and three two-liter Pepsi bottles.
2. Aileen Wuornos
Aileen Wuornos was a female serial killer who murdered at least seven people between 1989 and 1990. She posed as a hitchhiking prostitute and killed middle-aged men, leaving their bodies along highways in Florida and Georgia. Wuornos was arrested in 1991 and admitted to the killings but claimed that she did it in self-defense after the men assaulted her.
In 1992 she was convicted and sentenced to death. Wuornos later admitted that she killed the men for profit, not as an act of self-defense. She denied a formal last meal and opted for a regular prison meal of burger and snacks from the canteen instead. She then had a cup of coffee to top it off.
3. Robert Alton Harris
Robert Alton Harris was executed at San Quentin State Prison in 1992 for killing two teenage boys in 1978. His execution was the first one in California since 1967.
He requested a last meal of a 21-piece bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken, two large Domino's pizzas with no anchovies, a bag of jelly beans, a six-pack of Pepsi, and a pack of Camel cigarettes.
4. Steven Woods
Steven Woods was linked to the murder of Ron Whitehead and Bethena Brosz after investigators found DNA evidence and obtained multiple witness accounts. Woods fled across states until he was finally arrested and taken to court. Witnesses testified that Woods lured the two into isolation on the pretense that he was selling them drugs and killed them since they knew about another murder he committed two months earlier.
Before he was executed by lethal injection in 2002, Woods requested two pounds of bacon, a large four-meat pizza, four fried chicken breasts, chicken fried steak, two hamburgers with bacon on french toast, french fries, garlic bread with marinara sauce, Mountain Dew, Pepsi, root beer, sweet tea, and two pints of ice cream.
5. Thomas Grasso
Double murderer, Thomas Grasso, strangled an 87-year-old woman with her Christmas tree lights on Christmas eve in 1990. He murdered an 81-year-old man and stole his social security check six months later.
Grasso's final meal was two dozen steamed mussels, two dozen steamed clams, a half-dozen of barbecue spare ribs, a double cheeseburger from Burger King, half a pumpkin pie with whipped cream and strawberries, two strawberry milkshakes, and a 16-ounce can of Spaghetti-Os served at room temperature.
6. Ruth Snyder
Ruth Snyder had made at least seven attempts to kill her emotionally and physically abusive husband, Albert. She was successful on March 20, 1927, when she and the man she was having an affair with strangled her husband and stuffed his nose with chloroform-soaked rags. They staged his death as part of a burglary, but she was later caught and sentenced to death.
Before she was put to death on the electric chair, her last meal was chicken parmesan with alfredo pasta, ice cream, 2 milkshakes, and a 12-pack of grape soda.
7. Ted Bundy
One of America's most infamous serial killers, Ted Bundy kidnapped, raped, and murdered many young girls and women during the 1970s. After over a decade of denying his guilt, he finally confessed to 30 homicides. But his true victim count is unknown.
Before his execution by electric chair in 1989, he declined to have one of the special last meals. So, he was served the "traditional" steak dinner, over-easy eggs, hash browns, toast, milk, coffee, juice, butter, and jelly. However, he did not eat any of his last meal.
8. Danny Rolling
Danny Rolling aka, "the Gainsville Ripper," was a serial killer who was sentenced to death for killing 5 students in Florida in the 90s. He later confessed to committing a triple homicide in Lousiana, raping several of his victims, and attempting to murder his father.
Before Rolling was executed by lethal injection in 2006, his last meal was butterfly shrimp, lobster tail, a baked potato, strawberry cheesecake, and sweet tea.
9. Bruno Richard Hauptmann
Hauptmann committed what was deemed as the "Crime of the Century" when he kidnapped and murdered Charles Lindbergh's 20-month-old son and his wife, Anne Morrow Lindbergh. The killer insisted he was innocent but was convicted of first-degree murder and executed via electric chair in 1936.
Hauptmann requested celery, olives, buttered peas, chicken, french fries, cherries, and a slice of cake as his last meal on death row.
10. William Bonin
'The Freeway Killer' was an American serial killer and sex offender. The twisted man raped, tortured, and murdered at least 21 young boys and men in California from May 1979 to June 1980. Bonin is also speculated of committing at least 15 more murders.
Bonin spent 14 years on death row before his execution by lethal injection in 1996. He had two pepperoni and sausage pizzas, three servings of chocolate ice cream, and three six-packs of Coca-Cola and Pepsi for his last meal.
11. John Wayne Gacy
John Wayne Gacy, also known as the Killer Clown, assaulted and murdered at least 33 boys and young men. He was a regular performer at children's hospitals and charity events and went by "Pogo" or "Patches," the clown. Gacy allegedly committed all of his murders inside his ranch house near Norridge, Illinois.
Gacy's conviction for 33 murders by one individual covered the most homicides in US legal history at the time. Before he was executed by lethal injection, he had a dozen deep-fried shrimp, a bucket of KFC original recipe chicken, fries, and a pound of strawberries as his last meal.
12. Stephen Anderson
Stephen Anderson is a serial killer known to have at least eight victims, including an 81-year-old retired piano teacher named Elizabeth Lyman. He broke into her house, cut her phone line, shot her in the face, and sat down in her kitchen to eat some noodles and fried eggs- his meal was interrupted when the sheriff's deputies arrived on the scene.
Before he was executed, Anderson requested to have two grilled cheese sandwiches, a pint of cottage cheese, a hominy/corn mixture, a slice of peach pie, chocolate chip ice cream, and radishes as his last meal.
13. Timothy McVeigh
Ex-Army soldier and security guard Timothy McVeigh is the American terrorist behind the Oklahoma City bombing. The tragic event reduced a third of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building to rubble, damaged over 300 nearby buildings, and killed 168 people.
McVeigh committed the worst act of domestic terrorism in the history of the US. He was sentenced to death for 168 counts of murder and was granted his request to have two pints of mint chocolate chip ice cream as his last meal.
14. Ricky Ray Rector
After killing a man in a restaurant, Rector was on the run for three days before he agreed to turn himself in to authorities. However, instead of accepting his arrest, he shot the police officer and then attempted suicide- resulting in a self-inflicted lobotomy.
Despite Rector's mental state, Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton made a point to oversee his execution during his 1992 presidential campaign. Rector asked for steak, fried chicken, cherry Kool-aid, and pecan pie as his last meal. He ate everything but the pecan pie, telling the guards that he was "saving it for later."
15. Lawrence Russell Brewer
Lawrence Russell Brewer was arrested for torturing and killing a 49-year-old handicapped black male in Jasper County, Texas. Brewer and his associates drive to an isolated area where they beat the victim, tired him to a logging chain that they hooked up to a pickup truck, and dragged him around until his death.
The white supremacist ordered one of the largest last meals of two chicken-fried steaks with gravy, a triple meat bacon cheeseburger, a cheese omelet, fried okra, a pound of barbecued meat, half a loaf of white bread, three fajitas, a Meat Lovers pizza, three root beers, peanut butter fudge, and ice cream.
Brewer said he wasn't hungry and didn't eat any of his meal when it arrived. Because of his stunt, the state of Texas decided to stop granting last meal requests.
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