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Death Row pre-death wishes

Deathrow pre-death wishes: everything from Peas to Peace, our pick of the strangest death row last requests.

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Dale Draycott

November 20, 2020

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11 of the Weirdest (pre) deathwishes made by death row prisoners.

Agree with it or not, death row still exists in different forms all across the world.

It is fairly common knowledge that the customary ritual for death row prisoners is for the suits to grant them one final wish before their execution. More specifically, their choice of last meal.

Some of the prisoners below clearly didn’t get the memo though. Here we share some of the strangest death row final requests.

Victor Feguer – A bit late for the olive branch mate

For his last meal, Victor requested one solitary olive, stone included, hoping that he would grow an olive tree inside his body which fingers crossed would sprout from his grave as a sign of peace.

Sounds like a foolproof plan to me.

Anywhoo, he was hanged, hungry presumably, in 1963 for kidnapping and murder.

Ironically, in an interesting twist, he was the last person ever to be executed in Iowa, so perhaps his olive really did turn into the proverbial olive branch, if even only metaphorically.

Odell Barnes – (No) Food, for thought

After doing some terrible things, Odell was a reformed character who probably had the most meaningful last wish ever, sounding much like an cliched answer from a beauty pageant contestant.
As his last meal he wanted ‘justice, equality and world peace.’

Rumour has it that the prison officials are still working on it.

John Wayne Gacy – Finger lickin’ good (riddance)

John Wayne Gacy was a thoroughly awful and despicable human being, who also happened to manage 3 KFC restaurants, so unremarkably, John’s brand loyalty continued up until his last meal request.

He asked for 12 fried shrimps, a bucket of the Colonel’s finest, french fries and a lovely punnet of strawberries, just to brighten up the beige

Ronnie Lee Gardner – That’s what I’m Tolkien about

After being found guilty of two charges of murder, Ronnie went to town on his last requests.

For his meal he asked for steak, lobster tail, apple pie, vanilla ice cream and 7UP to wash it all down (other carbonated drinks are available).

Pushing his luck, he decided that this feast needed some visual support in the form of watching the Lord of The Rings Trilogy in its entirety! What an epic way to drag out the inevitable!

Michael Ney – Not so friendly fire

Michael was a French military commander who was nicknamed le Brave des Braves (the Bravest of the Brave) by Napoleon. But after the defeat of Waterloo, he was captured, tried for treason and was later found guilty.

His last wish was to command his soldiers on his execution.

Keeping to his nickname, he refused to wear a blindfold and was allowed the right, as per his wish, to give the order to fire.

James Edward Smith – Priest release me, let me go

James E Smith was a former priest who was charged for shooting and killing a man during a robbery.

Instead of some fancy ass last meal, James asked for a lump of dirt, apparently so that he could carry out a voodoo ritual. With the soil, he wanted to mark a person’s body so that his spirit could move on and not become a ghost after his death.

Needless to say it wasn’t granted and he had to make do with a yoghurt pot.

Dhananjay Chatterjee – That’s quite a feet

Despite pleading his innocence throughout his trial, Dhananjay was hanged in 2004, being the first execution in the 21st Century in India. There was much controversy about his trial and the case leading to a documentary film called Dhananjay which was released on Amazon Prime.

For his final wishes he asked for religious songs to be sung before his hanging and also asked if he could touch his doctor’s feet. Maybe they were sole mates.

William Bonin – Not the sweetest way to go

William was a serial killer and a pretty damn dangerous dude who killed 21 people. Considering his long curriculum vitae of murders, it seemed the poor lad was scared of being executed.

For his last wish, he requested 18 servings of Coke and Pepsi and 3 large helpings of chocolate ice cream.
Excessive you may think, but he had a plan…to die of diabetes, before he was executed.

Surprisingly it didn’t work, and he got the lethal injection, probably whilst feeling quite bloaty.

Philip Ray Workman – A Dominoes effect

Although Philip was charged with murder, he seemed to have a little good in him.

For his last wish, he wanted a large vegetarian pizza to be given to a homeless person. This was rejected by the suits and Philip then refused to eat anything.

After his execution, people throughout America started a campaign to give vegetarian pizzas to the homeless to honor his wish, donating thousands of pizzas to shelters.

Lawrence Russel Brower – What a waster!

Lawrence asked for a triple bacon cheeseburger, a ‘Meat Lovers’ pizza, one pound of barbecue meat, three fully loaded fajitas, two chicken-fried steaks with gravy and onions, a cheese and beef omelette, half a loaf of bread, tomatoes, bell peppers, jalapeños, a bowl of okra, three root beers, a pint of ice cream and a slab of peanut butter fudge. When his meal arrived, Lawrence decided not to have it. Eyes bigger than his belly?

I feel sorry for the chef.

Peter J Miniel – Ya greedy sod!

Whilst we’re talking about over the top final meals, Peter a professional criminal, allegedly ordered 20 beef tacos, 20 beef enchiladas, two double cheeseburgers, a pizza with jalapenos, fried chicken, spaghetti with salt, half of a chocolate cake and half of a vanilla cake, cookies & cream ice cream, caramel pecan fudge ice cream, a small fruit cake, two Coca-Colas, two Pepsis, two root beers and two orange juices.

It remains one of the largest last meals to be served on death row.

Peter, unlike Lawrence above, did decide to have it. Sounds like an episode of Man vs Food.

Got a hankering for creating your own foodie deathwish?

At DeadHappy, we have hundreds of thousands of deathwishes made by our customers (who aren’t death row prisoners btw). And now you’ve had a little taste of inspiration, why not get started with creating your very own?

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