Death Row Prisoners Crazy Last Meals

Late last evening you were taken from your
cell on death row to the “Death House,” the room condemned prisoners stay in before
they finally receive that ultimate punishment. Your stay will be short, but at least you
have your own bathroom. A guard sits outside your cell at all times,
because you are on what’s called death watch. Nobody wants you to have the chance to take
your own life and rob them of the spectacle tomorrow. You wake up on the big day, say your goodbyes
to your loved ones, maybe phone some friends, have a word with the chaplain perhaps, and
then it’s just you alone with your thoughts. There will be no “you” in a few hours,
and the last real decision you’ll ever make is what you want to eat for your final meal. At this restaurant the final check is permanent,
but at least you don’t have to pay. But what are some of the craziest last meals
prisoners have requested? Before we get into the wildest last meal requests
there’s some things you should know about these very peculiar restaurants. You might be thinking you can order what you
want, so what about a $200 piece of Japanese Kobe Beef and some caviar on the side? Perhaps washed down with a bottle of Dom Perignon. Unfortunately, the American prison system
doesn’t show that kind of largesse. There is a limit as to how much you can spend,
and that varies wildly from state to state. For instance, Florida is apparently quite
kind, giving prisoners a $40 budget but in tight-fisted Oklahoma you only get $15. Worse still is Texas, which in 2011 got rid
of the last meal all together and told the condemned that regular prison food will have
to do. Come on Texas, where’s your heart? Guess which state has the most executions,
too? Yep, it’s Texas. Since 2012, 84 folks have met their maker
with only a belly-full of standard issue prison slop. You get the picture; prisoners have to work
with what they’ve got. Historically speaking, though, the budgets
have changed over time and sometimes there not even a budget at all, but the request
must be reasonable. We’ll start with one of the most well known
convicts to be executed, the killer clown John Wayne Gacy. This serial killer murdered scores of young
people after he’d lured them into his house where he kept them captive. Gacy is relatively unusual for a serial killer
because he was a successful businessman and a pillar of the community, so trusted he often
did his Pogo the Clown routine for the neighbourhood kids. And before his lethal injection in 1994 he
certainly put on a show as well. For his last meal he had 12 deep-fried shrimp,
a whole bucket full of chicken from KFC, fries, a pound of strawberries, and a bottle of diet
Coke. Maybe he was watching his weight… You might not have heard of Marion Albert
Pruett. He went on a robbing rampage in the 80s that
left five people dead. This man was what you might call a fast food
fan, and we wonder if he was even able to finish his last meal. He ordered a whole Pizza Hut stuffed crust
pizza, four Whoppers from Burger King, yes, we said four. But he also ordered a large fries, some eggplant,
squash and okra, all washed down with three two-liter bottles of Pepsi. That wasn’t quite enough, so he had pecan
pie for dessert. And he’s far from the only one who got greedy
with his last meal. Robert Alton Harris, who was found guilty
of murdering two teenagers in 1978, ordered 21-pieces of KFC chicken in a bucket, two
large Domino’s Pizzas with no anchovies, a tub of ice cream, a bag of jellybeans, and
a six-pack of Pepsi. But what about the people who wanted something
special rather than a massive mash-up of junk food and sugary drinks? Are there no refined condemned killers? Actually there are, and one example is Robert
Dale Conklin. In the 2000s he stabbed his lover to death
with a screwdriver and then chopped up the body. If he could stomach that, he could certainly
get a meal down before death. For his last meal he asked for a bacon-wrapped
filet mignon steak. He wanted sautéed shrimps, de-veined of course,
in garlic butter with lemon on the side. He wanted a baked potato filled with sour
cream, chives, bacon bits, and hollandaise sauce. He also wanted bread, but it had to be a French
baguette, buttered and filled with goat’s cheese. For dessert he asked for cantaloupe, apple
pie and vanilla bean ice cream. His drink of choice was iced tea. You might be wondering which state would pay
for all that, and the answer is Georgia. So, if you’re gonna get the death sentence
and you call yourself a foodie, make sure you do it there. Ronnie Lee Gardner was a death row rarity,
as one of the few people in recent times to be executed by firing squad. In 2010, before he had to eat a bullet, he
ordered surf and turf – lobster and steak. To drink he wanted 7-up and for dessert vanilla
ice cream. Gardner, who was accused of having shot a
man in the face during a robbery, had one more request. He asked if while eating his last meal he
could watch the Lord of the Rings trilogy. A cunning plan to delay the execution but
we can’t find any sources that reveal if he made it through all three films. Then we have the carnivores, the ones that
just need their meat. One such was Steven Michael Woods Jr. who
was infamously executed in 2011, a controversial case with many believing he was innocent. He’s also famous for his last words, “You’re
not about to witness an execution, you are about to witness a murder.” We won’t dive into the details of his case
in this episode and whether he may have been innocent or not, but we do know for sure that
he loved meat. For his final meal he requested two pounds,
yes pounds, of bacon. With that he wanted four fried chicken breasts. He wasn’t on a low-carb diet, though, because
he also got a pizza. What topping? If you guessed more meat you’re right, four
kinds to be precise. He wasn’t done though. He also ordered two hamburgers, French fries,
12 garlic bread sticks with dip, 2 pints of ice-cream, and a selection of drinks including
Mountain Dew, Pepsi, root beer and sweet tea. Then you’ve got the people who know exactly
what they want and don’t go for the smorgasbord of treats. The man behind the Oklahoma City bomber, Timothy
McVeigh only wanted a couple of pints of mint chocolate chip ice cream. Murderer Dobie Gillis Williams who was executed
in 1999 also wanted to go out on a sugar high. All he asked for were twelve chocolate bars
with some ice cream and coconut pie. Gerald Lee Mitchell, who was only 17 when
the murder he was convicted of took place, also wanted candy for his last meal, ordering
only a bag Jolly Ranchers. The murderer Victor Feguer who was hanged
in 1963, and was the last person put to death in Iowa, had one of the smallest orders of
all time – one olive. Yep, a single olive. But he said he wanted it only on the condition
that the pit was left in. And surprisingly he isn’t the only one to
make this order. Robert Anthony Buell who was convicted of
kidnapping and killing young girls in the 1980s asked for the same thing. One olive, pit in of course. But our vote for the most minimalistic order
ever came from James Edward Smith who shot and killed a man during a robbery, a crime
for which he was executed in 2000. For his last meal all he wanted was a pile
of dirt. Some have speculated that he wanted the dirt
for a voodoo ritual which he would perform in his cell to prevent himself from becoming
a ghost. But the ceremony never came to pass as the
prison denied the request and instead of dirt he was given a cup of yoghurt. Odell Barnes, Jr. wanted a whole lot more,
but also a whole lot less at the same time. He was convicted of murder in 2000 and sentenced
to death. The evidence surrounding this crime was controversial
his case became a focal point for the debate over capital punishment. This is another case we won’t explore in
this episode but for his last meal he ordered: “Justice, Equality, World Peace” Other prisoners have also tried to do or say
nice things with their final moments. Philip Workman robbed a Wendy’s restaurant
in 1982 and shot a policeman. He was executed in 2007 and actually declined
his last meal, but asked the prison to order a vegetarian pizza and give it to a homeless
person, any homeless person in fact. The prison refused, but people heard about
his request and all across the USA thousands of pizzas were donated to homeless shelters. The prison doesn’t always get the order
right, either, as happened with murderer Thomas J. Grasso who was executed in 1995. His last meal was quite extravagant and it’s
clear he was a fan of seafood. He wanted two dozen steamed mussels and two
dozen steamed clams. On top of that he wanted a double cheeseburger
from Burger King and some barbecued spareribs. He went overboard for dessert, asking for
half a pumpkin pie with whipped cream, diced strawberries and two strawberry milkshakes. They got all of that correct but managed to
mess up maybe the most important thing. He was given a plate of spaghetti when what
he actually asked for was a can of Spaghetti-Os. David Leon Woods had one of the strangest
requests for a last meal before his execution on May 4th, 2007 – a birthday cake. His birthday had been a month earlier so maybe
this was belated gift to himself. He also ordered a pizza and shared his last
meal with his family. These are some of the craziest we found but
if you know of any other good ones please tell us in the comments so we can do a sequel
to this video, we’re sure they’re plenty of other crazy last requests. Also, don’t forget to watch our other video
What Are Last 24 Hours on Death Row Like. Thanks for watching, and as always, don’t
forget to like, share and subscribe. See you next time.

David Anderson

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