Aside from continually spilling food down her top, Lucy Furr also has a knack for bringing up odd conversation topics at the dinner table. Some time back it was the Russian exorcism, and last night as we were tucking into the pasta, she started talking about last meals – as in the customary meal a prisoner is entitled to before they get summarily executed.
According to Wikipedia, the history of the last meals goes back to the ancient Greeks, Chinese, Egyptians, and Romans; apparently the overly-generous Aztecs fed their human sacrifices for up to a year before their death. In any case, here are some famous last meal requests.
So called the architect of the Holocaust thanks to his organizational talents, Karl Adolf Eichmann was captured by Israeli Mossad operatives in Argentina and tried for crimes against humanity. Before his hanging in 1962, Eichmann’s refused the last meal but requested a bottle of Carmel, a dry red Israeli wine.
John Wayne Gacy
John Wayne Gacy, Jr raped and murdered 33 boys and young men and hid some of them under a floor of his house. During his trial in 1980 he pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity but that was flatly rejected and in 1994, he was executed by lethal injection. His last meal consisted of a dozen deep-fried shrimps, a bucket of original recipe chicken from KFC, French fries, and a pound of strawberries.
Actual numbers remain unknown but Theodore Robert Bundy is thought to have murdered around 35 people. He would bludgeon his victims and strangle them to death; sometimes he would rape them and perform necrophilia depending on his mood I guess. In 1989 he was executed by electric chair. He declined the last meal, so he was given the traditional steak (medium-rare), eggs (over-easy), hash browns, toast, milk, coffee, juice, butter, and jelly.
Convicted for the 1995 bombing the Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City that killed 168 people, McVeigh was executed on June 11, 2001. He asked for two pints of mint chocolate-chip ice cream.
Bethea confessed to the rape and murder of a 70-year-old white woman and was the last person to be publicly executed in the United States. On August 14th 1936, in front of a crowd of 20,000 people, Bethea was hanged. The previous day his last meal comprised fried chicken, pork chops, mashed potatoes, pickled cucumbers, cornbread, lemon pie, and ice cream.
If you had to make a last meal request, what would it be? I’d die for a Steak a’ Portuguese from our favourite restaurant, Dias Tavern.