Final Words From Death Row: 11 Poetic Goodbyes From Notorious Killers

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We’d all like to say something profound in our last moments. The only problem: We don’t know when it’ll happen. These convicted men (and one woman), on the other hand, got the chance to plan their final parting words. Here’s what they decided to say.

1. JOHN WAYNE GACY, 52

“KISS MY ASS.”

Crime: Convicted of murdering33 teenage boys and young men, as well as the sexual assault of a child.
Executed: May 10, 1994, by lethal injection. The whole process ended up taking almost 20 minutes because of a problem with the chemicals used. Afterward, William Kunkle, a prosecutor at Gacy’s trial, remarked, “He got a much easier death than any of his victims.”

Ted_Bundy_mug_shot

Ted Bundy

2. TED BUNDY, 42

“I’D LIKE YOU TO GIVE MY LOVE TO MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS.”

Crime: Convicted of killing two Chi Omega sorority girls at Florida State University, as well as a 12-year-old girl, but confessed to 36 murders before his death. Experts have estimated the total was actually closer to 100.
Executed: January 24, 1989, by electric chair.

3. CARL PANZRAM, 39

“HURRY UP, YOU HOOSIER BASTARD, I COULD KILL TEN MEN WHILE YOU’RE FOOLING AROUND!”

Crime: Initially arrested for burglary, but then confessed to killing two boys. Later in prison, he wrote an autobiography, and detailed other crimes, stating, “In my lifetime I have murdered 21 human beings, I have committed thousands of burglaries, robberies, larcenies, arsons and, last but not least, I have committed sodomy on more than 1,000 male human beings. For all these things I am not in the least bit sorry.”
Executed: September 5, 1930,by hanging.

Jeffrey-dahmer

Jeffrey Dahmer

4. JEFFREY DAHMER, 34

“I DON’T CARE IF I LIVE OR DIE. GO AHEAD AND KILL ME.”

Crime: Confessed and pleaded guilty to 16 murder charges, involving necrophilia, cannibalism, and dismemberment. During his confession, he said that he “”created this horror and it only makes sense I do everything to put an end to it.”
Died: November 28, 1994, by being beaten to death in prison. According to Dahmer’s family, he felt ready to die.

5. AILEEN WUORNOS, 46

“I’D JUST LIKE TO SAY I’M SAILING WITH THE ROCK, AND I’LL BE BACK LIKE INDEPENDENCE DAY, WITH JESUS JUNE 6. LIKE THE MOVIE, BIG MOTHER SHIP AND ALL, I’LL BE BACK.”

Crime: Pleaded guilty to killing six men, claiming self-defense. In a court statement, she said, “”I wanted to confess to you that Richard Mallory did violently rape me as I’ve told you; but these others did not. [They] only began to start to.”
Executed: October 9, 2002, by lethal injection.

6. HERMAN WEBSTER MUDGETT A.K.A H. H. HOLMES, 34

“I ONLY WISH TO SAY THAT THE EXTENT OF MY WRONG-DOING IN TAKING HUMAN LIFE CONSISTED IN THE DEATH OF TWO WOMEN, THEY HAVING DIED AT MY HANDS AS THE RESULT OF CRIMINAL OPERATIONS.”

Crime: Confessed to 27 murders and six attempted murders in his Chicago hotel; nine were confirmed.
Executed: May 7, 1896, by hanging.

7. PETER KURTEN A.K.A. THE VAMPIRE OF DUSSELDORF, 48

“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.”

Crime: Convicted of nine murders and seven attempted murders. When being interviewed by a psychiatrist, he explained that his motivation for killing was for sexual pleasure induced by the sight of blood, although he only confessed to drinking the blood of one victim.
Executed: July 2, 1931, by guillotine.

7. ANDREI CHIKATILO, 57

“DON’T BLOW MY BRAINS OUT! THE JAPANESE WANT TO BUY THEM!”

Crime: Confessed to killing 56 women, and he was convicted of 52 murders and five counts of sexual assault against minors. For a period of time, Chikatilo removed the eyes of his victims because he believed the image of the murderer would be imprinted on the retina. But after a while, he decided it was just superstition and left them in.
Executed: February 14, 1994, by single gunshot behind the right ear.

8. JAMES D. FRENCH, 30

“HEY FELLAS! HOW ABOUT THIS FOR A HEADLINE FOR TOMORROW’S PAPER? ‘FRENCH FRIES’!”

Crime: While serving a life sentence for kidnapping and murder, French strangled his cellmate, reportedly in order to receive the death penalty sentence he wanted first time. He was the last person executed [ed: by electric chair] in Oklahoma.
Executed: August 10, 1966, by electric chair.

9. TOM “BLACK JACK” KETCHUM, 37

“I’LL BE IN HELL BEFORE YOU START BREAKFAST, BOYS. LET HER RIP!”

Crime: Convicted for attempted train robbery, and the only person in New Mexico Territory ever to be given capital punishment for that crime. Ketchum also led a notorious gang of outlaws and was known to have been involved in several murders.
Executed: April 26, 1901, by hanging.

Robert_Alton_Harris_1990

Robert Alton Harris

10. ROBERT ALTON HARRIS, 39

“YOU CAN BE A KING OR A STREET SWEEPER, BUT EVERYONE DANCES WITH THE GRIM REAPER.”

Crime: Convicted of kidnapping and murdering two 16 year-old boys. After killing them, Harris and his brother used their car as a getaway vehicle in a bank robbery.
Executed: April 21, 1992, by gas chamber.

11. CARL BLUE, 48

“I DID SOMETHING WRONG, AND NOW I’M PAYING THE ULTIMATE JUSTICE. IT MAY BE CROOKED JUSTICE, BUT I FORGIVE THESE PEOPLE. SO Y’ALL HANG ON, COWBOY UP. I’M FIXING TO RIDE, AND JESUS IS MY VEHICLE.”

Crime: Convicted of murdering his girlfriend by pouring gasoline on her and setting her on fire. Blue turned himself in after he did it, claiming it was a prank that turned deadly.
Executed: February 21, 2013, by lethal injection.

This article originally appeared on The Lineup.

Photos: Wikimedia Commons

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