Death Row inmates’ last meals – from killer clown’s KFC to plate of dirt

Death Row inmate Ernest Lee Johnson was executed at Missouri state prison in Bonne Terre this week.

The 61-year-old murdered three shop workers with a claw hammer in a terrifying robbery in 1994.

His victims were Mary Bratcher, 46, Mable Scruggs, 57, and Fred Jones, 58.

Johnson was handed a death sentence and was executed in October 2021, despite a US judge ignoring Pope Francis’ plea for clemency.

He had a sizeable and greasy last meal, which started with two double bacon cheeseburgers.

Johnson washed it down with two strawberry milkshakes before devouring a large pizza with a side of onion rings.

But what did other prisoners request for their final meals?

Corey Johnson

Murderer and drug trafficker Corey Johnson, 52, killed at least seven people in Virginia in 1992.

He was sentenced 30 years ago but was executed with a lethal injection at federal prison complex Terre Haute, Indiana in January 2021.

Johnson tucked into a tasty final meal – but was upset that his request for doughnuts was ignored.

Instead he was allowed to gobble up a pizza and a strawberry milkshake for good measure – describing both as “wonderful”.

Yet before being executed, he questioned why he wasn’t allowed any jam-filled doughnuts in his final moments.

Aileen Wuornos

Aileen Wuornos was sentenced to death after shooting seven men at point blank range in a year-long killing spree between 1989 and 1990.

At trial, she claimed she had acted in self-defence, saying every victim had raped her or attempted to rape her.

Her appeals failed though and Aileen was put to death by lethal injection in Florida State Prison in 2002.

Wuornos declined a full final meal, instead deciding on a single cup of black coffee.

John Wayne Gacy

John Wayne Gacy was known as the "killer clown" due to his circus alter-ego Pogo.

The notorious serial killer raped, tortured and murdered at least 33 teenage boys and young men.

Gacy was executed by lethal injection at Stateville Correctional Centre on May 10, 1994.

His last meal was a feast consisting of 12 fried shrimp, a bucket of original recipe KFC, french fries, and a pound of strawberries.

Victor Feguer

Feguer's seemingly random murder of a doctor he found through the Yellow Pages saw him charged.

His appeals were denied and he was sentenced to death by hanging in 1963

For his last meal, Feguer requested a single olive with its stone still inside.

Photographer Henry Hargreaves, who replicated a picture of the final "meal", said: "He just has a single olive… it’s like a full stop at the end of his life.”

James Edward Smith

Smith shot Larry Rohus during a robbery at the International Trade Centre Building in Houston, Texas

Rather than a grand feast, Smith requested a plate of dirt. He believed that eating a handful of earth before his death would complete a Voodoo ritual.

The staff at Huntsville Penitentiary told Smith they weren’t allowed to give him dirt and asked him to settle for a cup of yoghurt.

Furious at not getting his way, Smith vowed to haunt the prison for 300 years.

Timothy McVeigh

McVeigh carried out the deadliest act of domestic terrorism the US has ever seen on April 19 1995 when he blew up a building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people including 19 children in a daycare centre.

He was executed by lethal injection exactly three months before the September 11 attacks.

His final meal was two pints of mint chocolate chip ice cream.

Thomas J. Grasso

Grasso strangled Hilda Johnson with her own Christmas tree lights on December 24, 1990, and murdered 81-year old Leslie Holtz six months later.

His last meal consisted of two dozen steamed mussels, two dozen steamed clams (with a wedge of lemon), a double cheeseburger from Burger King, a half-dozen barbecued spare ribs, two strawberry milkshakes, one-half of a pumpkin pie with whipped cream and diced strawberries.

Grasso also requested a can of Spaghetti-Os with meatballs, but due to a mixup he was given fresh spaghetti instead.

The killer's last words were: "I did not get my Spaghetti-Os, I got spaghetti. I want the press to know this."

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