Even the worst criminal gets a final say before they die, sometimes. Some serial killers last words are funny, strange and downright creepy. It is what they want people to remember. In this post, I will take you on a journey of some of the worst serial killers last words.
They called him Black Jack. Tom was a famous outlaw and killed many people in his day, but with all smart killers one day they get caught, and it is no surprise that he was caught trying to rob a train by himself. At least he did not take anyone else with him while he attempted to rob a train. To be honest, it is silly to think you can rob a train by yourself. Tom was the last man to be hanged in America. Tom’s last words were “I’ll be in hell before you start breakfast, boys. Let her rip!”(1)
Gary was charged with killing a motel manager, Gary was also charged with a killing a gas station employee but was not convicted of that crime. On January 17, 1977, Gary was put to death by a volunteering firing squad. Gary’s last words were “Just do it.“(2)
You might be surprised to know that the well-known shoe brand Nike got their slogan from Gary Gilmore. In a way, if Gary did not die Nike’s slogan would never have been born. Who said that killers cannot be helpful in creating a world famous slogan?
Mary poisoned her father with arsenic. She claimed that she thought it is a love potion that would soften her father’s, heart. Her father did not approve of her relationship with a married army officer and son of a Scottish nobleman. His name was William Henry Cranstoun. Mary was executed in England on Easter morning on 1752. Mary wore an elegant dress to her execution. Mary’s last words were “For the sake of decency, gentleman, don’t hang me too high”(3) Well at least she went out with style.
James murdered his wife and two stepdaughters. James left a note for the police to whom he stated that he could not provide for his family and that he gave them back to God. He said that they would understand. People, just because you have no job and cannot provide for your family does not mean that they should die. There are so many other options; death should never be one of them. James was executed on 7 February 2007 in Texas. His last words were “I’m ready to roll. Time to get this party started.“(4)
Jimmy L Glass
Jimmy was convicted for shooting Newton and Erline Brown to death. He burgled their home on Christmas Day 1982. A day before he was to be executed he escaped from Webster Parish Jail. Jimmy was executed on June 12, 1978. His last words were “I’d rather be fishing .“(5) Well, I am not big on fishing, but I would also rather be fishing that sitting in an electric chair.
Charlie was convicted of killing Janet Cladwell outside a grocery store in Houston. Janet was at the wrong place and time as Charlie was looking for a woman who is alone. While Janet was inside the grocery store buying groceries for her family, Charlie crawls underneath her vehicle. When Janet came out with an armload full of groceries, Charlie jumped out and pointed a 9mm pistol at her and attempted to steal her purse. They struggled, and Charlie shot Janet twice in the throat. He fled with her purse and was apprehended shortly afterward. His last were “You all brought me here to be executed, not to make a speech.“(6)
James Lee Clark
James was convicted of the robbery and rape of a seventeen-year-old Car Crews. Car was shot dead after he was sexually assaulted. James was 38 and executed on 11th April 2007. His last words were “Uh, I don’t know, um, I don’t know what to say. I don’t know. I didn’t know anybody was there. Howdy”(7) Maybe James was on medication since it sounded like he was not aware he was going to die, in fact, he made it pretty clear that he did not know anything. I guess that was his way of dealing with the situation.
David murdered a 24-year-old girl. She was found on a bike trail in Austin. She had been sexually assaulted, strangled and her throat was cut with a pocketknife. David was executed on 28th July 2005. His last words were “Only the sky and the green grass go on forever and today is a good day to die.”(8)
Robert Alton Harris
Robert was convicted of killing two sixteen-year-old boys. After the murders, Robert and his brother used the boy’s cars as getaway vehicles in a bank robbery. His last words were “You can be a king or a street sweeper, but everyone dances with the grim reaper.”(9) Well, he is sort of right no matter who we are we are all going to die one day.
Douglas Alan Roberts
Douglas was convicted of abducting and stabbing a man in the street after flees from the police. Call me crazy, but that will only worsen the situation and not make it better. Douglas was executed by lethal injection on 20th April 2005. His last words were “I’ve been hanging around this popsicle stand way too long, I want to tell all. When I die, bury me deep, lay two speakers at my feet, and put some headphones on my head and rock n roll me when I’m dead. I’ll see you in heaven someday”.(10)
Some say that Peter was Scotland’s worst serial killer. It earned him the nickname The Beast of Birkenshaw. Peter killed seven to nine people before the police arrested him. Peter attempted to stay his means of execution by reason of insanity, but his efforts failed partially due to the efforts of his mother. His last words were “Turn up the radio and I’ll go quietly.”(11) Weird thing to say, maybe he just liked music.
More interesting facts and insight into Death row Inmates
The United States executes 35 death row inmates a year. Eleven years is the typical time for a death row inmate on death row. Interestingly The Texas Department of Justice carries out five times more executions than any other state.
Men on death row spend their time expressing their love and sorrow, this is men that kill and rape women and children. They say death row changes a man; it really does change a person. You get to reflect on your life and know that you only have a limited time left, so you try to make life a better place.
Death row inmates have good manners and use words like thank you, sorry and please. Most death row inmates express love for their mothers. Not too surprising as almost all of them have a history of parent abandonment, in most situations the mother is more present than the father. Five present of death row inmates would talk about their fathers and nearly thirty present of them express religious thoughts. To be honest, I would also try and turn to religion if I was on death row, it gives you a sense of purpose and belonging.
Religion conversation is very common among death row inmates so much so that there is a term for it, they called it Jailhouse Jesus. The right of a prisoner to speak before his execution spans back 500 years, and since then it was a tradition free of censorship, that prisoners have the right to freely express their opinions.
Regardless of what the death row inmate did, last words is still a very important tradition, some may ask forgiveness other would profess their love, and in some instances, the death row inmate is quite. A staggering twenty-two present of death row inmates say nothing. Makes you think what goes on in their brain. What would your last words be? Death is not something we think about on a daily basis, and we should celebrate love and life.
(7,8) Book: Texas Death Row edited by Bill Crawford ISBN: 978-0-141-03866-7