The “Stocking Strangler” Was Executed Last Night; Here Are His Last Words

Carlton Gary [Georgia Department of Corrections]

JACKSON, GA — A serial killer known as the “Stocking Strangler” revealed his thoughts to a reporter hours before his execution by lethal injection.

The State of Georgia executed Carlton Gary by lethal injection at 10:33 P.M. on Thursday, March 15.

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The Department of Corrections refused to allow Gary to be interviewed with 11Alive, so Gary asked his wife, Debra Gary, to set it up over the phone. During the interview, he said “I’m fine. I’m blessed.”

Gary, who was convicted of the 1977 murders and rapes of Florence Schieble, Martha Thurmond, and Kathleen Woodruff, continued to maintain his innocence. Within a six-month period, there were actually nine rapes and seven strangulations of women between the ages of 55 and 89, but Gary was only convicted of the three.

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According to the United States District Court, all of the women lived by themselves, and the intruder sexually assaulted them and left behind the pantyhose he used to strangle them. 11Alive reporter Jessica Noll asked Gary if he killed any the women — or if he had any knowledge or involvement of their murders. Gary replied, “Absolutely not.”

He maintained that the jury had made a mistake — and said he never confessed to the crimes he was convicted of more than 30 years ago. Gary also said that his conviction was never signed.

Well, the real story is that, from the very beginning, this thing has just been one-sided, from the very beginning,” he said in a phone conversation with the news channel.

He continued:

Think about this, if I was gonna refuse to be recorded, why didn’t they sign the so-called confession? Neither one of the police signed it; neither one of them initialed it — they presented to the jury an unsigned, uninitialed [sic] something that somebody wrote down. They pared it down from 12 pages to 3 pages. What happened to the other pages that was missing?”

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He originally believed, he said, that he was being arrested for a robbery in South Carolina.

Gary said, however, that he has put his faith in God.

I trust in God Almighty. You know, I have no thoughts of that. We’ve gone through this before and we don’t think along those lines. I understand that realism is going on, but I also understand that according to the good book, that tells me that there were Hebrew boys thrown into the fire, but he come out. I’ve heard about seas that’s been parted; I’ve heard about water being turned into wine.”

Related: A Year Of Killing: The Last Meals Of The Condemned & Death Row In America

Carlton Gary refused his last meal and rejected a last prayer, according to 11Alive. He was 67 years old.

For more on the “Stocking Strangler,” watch the “Seeds of Doubt” episode of Investigation Discovery’s Vanity Fair Confidential on ID GO now!

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Main photo: Carlton Gary [Georgia Department of Corrections]


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