The final words of prisoners facing execution offers a unique insight into their state of mind in those last moments.
For some, it's the last chance to cry foul and demand justice. Others just want to get the last laugh, and simply remain badass right to the end!
Jesse Hernandez – “Go Cowboys!”
Executed by lethal injection in 2012 for the murder of a 10-month-old baby, after beating the infant to death.
David Ray Harris – “Sir, in honour of a true American hero, ‘let’s roll’.”
Harris was convicted of murdering a man during an attempted kidnapping in 1985. He was exectuted in 2004 by lethal injection. “Let’s roll” was a reference to 9/11 hero Todd Beamer who tried to overcome the terrorists on board United Flight 93.
Gary Gilmore – “Let’s do it!”
Gilmore was convicted of the murder of a motel clerk in 1976 and under State law at the time, was allowed to choose his method of execution. He was killed by firing squad in 1977. His final words before execution are said to be the inspiration for Nike’s “Just Do It!” slogan.
James D French – “How’s this for a headline? French Fries.”
Some lines you just can’t improve on! French was serving a life sentence but killed his cellmate to compel the authorities to execute him. He died by the electric chair in 1966.
Marie Antoinette – “Forgive me Sir, I meant not to do it.”
Marie Antoinette, Queen of France and victim of the French Revolution kept her dignity right until the end. These were her last words to the executioner, after she accidently stood on his foot as she stepped onto the scaffold.
George Appel – “Well gentlemen, you are about to see a baked Appel.”
Convicted murderer, Appel, kept his sense of humour until the end with this little pun. It wasn’t enough to save his skin and he was executed by electric chair in 1928.
Thomas J Grasso – “I did not get my Spaghetti-O’s, I got spaghetti. I want the press to know this.”
Grasso was executed in 1995 by lethal injection for strangling an old lady with her Christmas lights. He had an exhaustive last meal request that included mussels, clams, BK cheeseburger, spare ribs, milkshakes, pumpkin pie, strawberries and a can of Spaghetti-Os with meatballs. He was clearly unhappy they messed up his order.
David Matthews – “I think that the governor’s phone is broke. He hadn’t called yet.”
Matthews was convicted for the first degree murder of his 77 year-old uncle and had his execution postponed 3 times. His luck finally ran out in 2011, when he was executed by lethal injection.
Jimmy Glass – “I’d rather be fishing.”
Well, who wouldn’t Jimmy! Glass may have been angling for a postponment but the authorities didn’t take the bait and he was executed by electic chair in 1987 for shooting a couple dead on Christmas Day.
Carl Panzram – “Hurry it up, you Hoosie Bastard! I could hang a dozen men while you’re screwing around.”
A dozen was conservative. Panzram, a serial killer, rapist, arsonist and burglar confessed to at least 21 murders and to having sodomized over 1000 men. He was hanged in 1930.
Westley Allan Dodd – “I was once asked by somebody, I don’t remember who, if there was any way sex offenders could be stopped. I said no. I was wrong.”
Dubbed “one of the most evil men in history”, child killer and paedophile Dodd was executed by hanging in 1993. It was the first legal hanging in the US since 1965.
Mary Blandy – “For the sake of decency gentlemen, do not hang me high.”
In 18th Century England, Blandy was convicted of poisoning her father with arsenic because he disapproved of her suitor. She claimed she thought the mixture was a love potion that would help to change her father’s mind. She was sent to the gallows to be hanged in 1752 and her last words were a plea to protect her modesty as she was wearing a loose and billowing skirt.
Barbara Elaine Woody Graham – “Good people are always so sure they are right.”
The press at the time dubbed her, ‘Bloody Babs’ for the murder and robbery of Mabel Monohan in 1953. It was reported that Babs pistol whipped then suffocated her victim. She was executed in the gas chamber in 1955.
Harry Harbord aka Breaker Morant – “Shoot straight you bastards and don’t make a mess of it.”
A military officer during the Second Boer War, straight-talking Morant was court-martialed for war crimes. Much has been made of his conviction, including books, a film and a play. He was executed by firing squad in 1902.
Peter Kurten – “Tell me. After my head has been chopped off, will I still be able to hear, at least for a moment, the sound of my blood gushing from the stump of my neck? That would be a pleasure to end all pleasures.”
Sorry to disappoint you Peter but we’re pretty sure the music ends as soon as you hit the stop button! Kurten, known as The Vampire of Dusseldorf, killed nearly 60 people and beat, raped and drank the blood of at least one of his victims. He was executed in 1931 by guillotine.
John Wayne Gacy – “Kiss my ass.”
Also known as the Clown Killer, Gacy kept it short and simple after he was found guilty of the sexual assault and murder of at least 33 boys and young men. He was executed in 1994 by lethal injection.
What would your final words be? Let us know below!