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Bizarre Last Statements from Death Row Inmates

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Every criminal on death row is allowed to say a few last words before he or she is executed, and many of them see it as an opportunity to either apologize for what they’ve done or say goodbye to family and loved ones. Yet there are some who use their last words to leave a lasting impression, and there are some famous last words that have been so bizarre that it would be near impossible to forget.

Here is a list of bizarre last statements from death row inmates in the last moments of their execution.

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John Wayne Gacy assaulted and murdered more than 30 teen boys and young men from 1972 and 1978, and he was sentenced to death in 1980. During his execution on May 9, 1994, he didn’t say much in that final moment (except for the words “kiss my ass”). And after 14 years of incarceration, he was probably a pain in one.

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Thomas Grasso was put on death row for murdering two people – an 87-year-old woman named Hilda Johnson, and an 81-year-old woman named Leslie Holtz. During his execution in March of 1995 by lethal injection, his final words went as follows: “I did not get my Spaghetti-O’s. I got spaghetti. I want the press to know this.” While it may seem like a waste to give a man you’re about to execute a last meal, the least you can do it give him his dying wish.

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Ted Bundy was one of the most notorious serial killers in the 1970’s, and he confessed to 30 murders that he had committed in seven states from 1974 to 1978. However, the actual number of victims he had over the years could be much higher. During his execution in 1989, he said, “I’d like you to give my love to my family and friends.” After all those crimes, I find it hard to believe that he even had a good side.

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Jimmy Glass was charged with the murder of a couple while they were in their home, and his case made headlines in 1985 because it went to the supreme court. He claimed that death by electrocution was considered to be “cruel and unusual punishment,” as it is stated in the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments of the US Constitution. When he was electrocuted in 1987, his last words were “I’d rather be fishing.” What really went on in that man’s head is anybody’s guess.

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Convicted of first-degree murder in 1928, George Appel decided to say something that’s both clever and amusing. While he was being strapped to the electric chair, he laughed at the officers and said these words: “Well, gentlemen, you are about to see a baked Appel.” Who says that killers don’t have a sense of humor?

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Jonathan Green was charged with the kidnapping, raping, and strangling of Christina Neal in 2000. Her body was found at his home about a month after she was reported missing. And in spite of using mental illness as a defense, he was sentenced to death. During his execution in 2012, he had something to say that to this day seems rather perplexing: “My left arm is killing me. It hurts bad.” He wouldn’t have to worry about that for too much longer.

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Carl Panzram confessed to 21 murders and over 1,000 rapes and sodomies. After he had escaped from prison many times, he was finally put to death on September 3, 1930 for the murder of a prison employee. And apparently, he didn’t like to waste time because these were his last words: “Hurry it up, you Hoosier bastard! I could hang a dozen men while you’re screwing around!” I guess some people really do have a death wish.

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Peter Kurten was a German serial killer who went by two names – the Vampire of Dusseldorf and the Dusseldorf Monster. He was responsible for many murders and sexual assaults in 1929, and he was one of the few people who actually believed he was a vampire because he liked to drink the blood of his victims. During his execution in Cologne on July 2, 1931, his last words would be enough to make anyone’s blood run cold: “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 own blood gushing from the stump of my neck? That would be a pleasure to end all pleasures.” I don’t even want to know.

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Kimberly McCarthy was executed for killing her neighbor in 1997, and she was also one of the suspects for the murders of two elderly women in Texas. When she was finally executed in 2013, her last words went as follows: “This is not a loss, this is a win. You know where I am going. I am going home to be with Jesus. Keep the faith. I love ya’ll. Thank you, Chaplain.” She finally found out if all sins can be forgiven.

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Clarence Ray Allen was executed via lethal injection at San Quentin State Prison in California for killing three people. At the age of 76, he was the second-oldest inmate to receive the death penalty in the United States since 1976. And during his execution, he said, “My last words will be, Hoka hey, it’s a good day to die.” Everyone else seemed to agree.

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After winning money while playing craps, George Bernard Harris used it to buy two machine guns. And he gave them to a friend, who hid them. He shot the man with a .41 revolve because he refused to return them, and he was sentenced to death after he was arrested for an armed robbery two weeks later. His last words alluded to how he really felt when he said, “Somebody needs to kill my trial attorney.” Some people are just unable to accept blame.

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Considered to be “one of the most evil killers in history,” Westley Allan Dodd was put to death for the stabbing of Cole Neer and his brother in 1989, and he was a known sex offender and child molester. When he was executed by hanging in 1993, he said the following words: “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.” Yes, I suppose he was.

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Jeffrey Matthews was a death row inmate whose execution had been postponed three times. When he was finally executed for the murder of his great uncle in 1994, his last words alluded to his belief that he was going to be pardoned when he said, “I think that governor’s phone is broke. He hadn’t called yet.” I guess the third time really is the charm.

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G.W. Green was convicted for the murder of a 43-year-old man. And seven hours after the Supreme Court refused to stay his execution, he was put to death for the crime. It was not before he said, “Lock and load. Let’s do it, man.” There was a man who hated to waste time.

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After being put to death for killing two of his neighbors, Robert Comer didn’t have much to say. But he did want the world to know that he had a favorite football team. “Go Raiders” were his last words before he was executed by lethal injection in 2007. Maybe that was why they were on a losing streak.

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In 1992, Robert Alton Harris was executed in San Quentin’s gas chamber for murdering two teenage boys in San Diego, and it was the first one in the state of California since 1967. Apparently, he had a gift for poetry, because his last words went like this: “You can be a king or a street sweeper, but everybody dances with the grim reaper.” It’s clever, but it rings true.

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James French was the last person to be executed in Oklahoma before suspending the death penalty from 1972 to 1976. He was serving a life sentence for killing someone who had picked him up as a hitchhiker in 1958. And while he was contemplating suicide, he decided to kill his cellmate to get the state to put him to death. In his last words, he said something that was as sinister as it was amusing: “How’s this for a headline? French Fries.” Enough said.

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