prawns, steak, greek salad
Mayukh Saha
Mayukh Saha
July 5, 2024 ·  6 min read

15 Of The Most Elaborate Final Meals In Death Row History

In the grim history of capital punishment, the final meal of a death row inmate stands out as a poignant, sometimes extravagant, farewell. This ritual, laden with symbolism and personal preferences, offers a glimpse into the minds of those condemned to die. From simple and traditional to excessively lavish, these meals reflect a range of desires and emotions.

The last meals of death row inmates are more than just a curious footnote in the annals of crime and punishment. They provide a rare and intimate look into the psyche of individuals at the brink of their final moments. Whether opting for simple comforts, indulgent feasts, or unique combinations, each meal choice is a testament to the complex and multifaceted nature of humanity. These meals, while diverse in content, share a common thread: they are the final acts of individuals facing the ultimate consequence of their actions. In understanding these choices, we gain deeper insight into the human condition, even at its most extreme.

This article delves into the final meals of 15 notorious criminals, each meal as unique as the individual who requested it. Through these choices, we explore the intersection of crime, punishment, and the human desire for comfort in one’s final moments.

1. Marion Albert Pruett

Image Credits: Unsplash
  • Executed: 1999
  • Crime: Pruett killed a convenience store clerk and four other individuals.
  • Last Meal: He ordered a lavish meal including Pizza Hut stuffed crust pizza, four Burger King Whoppers, French fries, fried eggplant, fried squash, fried okra, a whole pecan pie, and three two-liter bottles of Pepsi. Initially, he considered roast duck.

Read More: McDonald’s Insider Says Fast Food Giant is No Longer Catering to Customers Who Earn $45k or Less

2. Steven Woods

Image Credits: Unsplash
  • Executed: 2011
  • Crime: Convicted for the murder of a young couple.
  • Last Meal: Woods went all out with two pounds of bacon, a large four-meat pizza, four fried chicken breasts, two drinks each of Mountain Dew, Pepsi, root beer, and sweet tea, two pints of ice cream, five chicken fried steaks, two bacon hamburgers, fries, and a dozen garlic breadsticks with marinara.

3. Dennis Bagwell

Image Credits: Unsplash
  • Executed: 2005
  • Crime: Bagwell was convicted for the brutal murder of four family members.
  • Last Meal: His meal was extensive, consisting of steak, fried chicken, BBQ ribs, fries, onion rings, bacon, a dozen scrambled eggs with onions, fried potatoes with onions, sliced tomatoes, a salad with ranch dressing, two hamburgers with everything, peach pie, milk, coffee, and iced tea with real sugar.

4. Thomas J. Grasso

Image Credits: Unsplash
  • Executed: 1995
  • Crime: Grasso strangled an elderly woman and killed an elderly man for a social security check.
  • Last Meal: He had two dozen steamed mussels, two dozen steamed clams, a double cheeseburger from Burger King, half a dozen barbecue spare ribs, two strawberry milkshakes, half a pumpkin pie with whipped cream and diced strawberries, and a 16-ounce can of spaghetti with meatballs served at room temperature. He famously complained, “I did not get my SpaghettiOs, I got [canned] spaghetti.”

5. Robert Dale Conklin

Fillet Mignon
Image Credits: Unsplash
  • Executed: 2005
  • Crime: While on parole for armed robbery, Conklin murdered a man, dissected his body, and disposed of parts in the garbage disposal.
  • Last Meal: Conklin’s last meal included filet mignon wrapped in bacon, shrimp sautéed in garlic butter with lemon, a baked potato with butter, sour cream, chives, real bacon bits, corn on the cob, asparagus with hollandaise sauce, French bread with butter, goat cheese, cantaloupe, apple pie with vanilla bean ice cream, and iced tea.

Read More: 10 Historical Facts You Probably Haven’t Heard Of

6. Lawrence Russel Brewer

Image Credits: Unsplash
  • Executed: 2011
  • Crime: Brewer was involved in the racially motivated murder of James Byrd Jr.
  • Last Meal: Brewer requested two chicken fried steaks, a triple bacon cheeseburger, a cheese omelet, a large bowl of fried okra, three fajitas, a pound of barbecue, half a loaf of white bread, a meat lovers’ pizza, three root beers, one pint of Blue Bell vanilla ice cream, and a slab of peanut butter fudge with crushed peanuts. He didn’t eat any of it, prompting Texas to abolish the special last meal.

7. Robert Alton Harris

Robert Alton Harris
Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons
  • Executed: 1992
  • Crime: Harris killed two teenage boys in a Jack in the Box parking lot.
  • Last Meal: Harris chose a 21-piece bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken, two large Domino’s pizzas (no anchovies), ice cream, a bag of jelly beans, a six-pack of Pepsi, and a pack of Camel cigarettes.

8. Ronnie Lee Gardner

Lobster Tail
Image Credits: Unsplash
  • Executed: 2010
  • Crime: Gardner was convicted of killing a man during a robbery and later an attorney during an escape attempt.
  • Last Meal: Gardner’s last meal consisted of lobster tail, steak, apple pie, vanilla ice cream, and 7-Up. He requested to watch the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy during his meal.

9. John Wayne Gacy

Fried Shrimp
Image Credits: Unsplash
  • Executed: 1994
  • Crime: Gacy assaulted, murdered, and raped 33 young boys, burying many of them in his backyard.
  • Last Meal: Gacy’s meal while on death row included fried shrimp, a bucket of KFC original recipe chicken, fries, and a pound of strawberries.

Read More: 12 Times People Experienced The Most Creepy and Disgusting Moments

10. Ronald Clark O’Bryan

T-bone steak
Image Credits: Unsplash
  • Executed: 1984
  • Crime: O’Bryan killed his son with cyanide-laced Halloween candy to claim life insurance.
  • Last Meal: O’Bryan chose a T-bone steak (medium to well done), fries with ketchup, whole kernel corn, sweet peas, a lettuce and tomato salad with egg and French dressing, iced tea with sweetener, saltines, Boston cream pie, and rolls.

11. William Bonin

William Bonin
Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons
  • Executed: 1996
  • Crime: Bonin, known as the “Freeway Killer,” tortured, raped, and murdered at least 21 boys.
  • Last Meal: He ordered two pepperoni and sausage pizzas, three servings of chocolate ice cream, and three six-packs of Coca-Cola and Pepsi.

12. Stephen Wayne Anderson

Stephen Anderson
Image Credits: WIkimedia Commons
  • Executed: 2002
  • Crime: Anderson was convicted of the murder of Elizabeth Lyman and confessed to multiple other killings.
  • Last Meal: Anderson’s last meal included two grilled cheese sandwiches, a pint of cottage cheese, a mixture of hominy and corn, peach pie, chocolate chip ice cream, and radishes.

13. Ted Bundy

Ted Bundy
Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons
  • Executed: 1989
  • Crime: Bundy kidnapped, raped, and murdered numerous young women and girls, confessing to 30 homicides.
  • Last Meal: Bundy declined a special meal and was given the standard Florida death row meal of steak, eggs, hash browns, toast with butter, jelly, juice, coffee, and milk.

Read More: 14 Of The Most Bizarre True Crime Stories

14. John Martin Scripps

Hot Chocolate
Image Credits: Unsplash
  • Executed: 1996
  • Crime: Scripps was known for posing as a tourist and murdering fellow travelers.
  • Last Meal: Scripps requested pizza and hot chocolate for his final meal.

15. Timothy McVeigh

Timothy McVeigh
Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons
  • Executed: 2001
  • Crime: McVeigh carried out the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, killing 168 people.
  • Last Meal: McVeigh’s simple last meal while on death row was two pints of mint chocolate chip ice cream.

Read More: ‘Millionaire’ Brags That He Scammed McDonald’s for 100 Free Meals Using ChatGPT

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