From sick in the head mothers to people who killed their poor elderly neighbor, the killers in this article made it onto death row for a reason. Even though people may not believe that these folks got the justice they deserved, especially the families involved, others would believe that lady justice has, once again, fulfilled her destiny in keeping our nation lawful and safe. Regardless of what fate you think these criminals deserved, they aren’t here anymore to take the punishments you want to dish out.
Even if you are a cold blooded killer, you would think that everyone would have some last words to say. We do. Heck, we already know what we’d have for our last meal; we wouldn’t be passing that up. Although we probably wouldn’t know what to do with ourselves if we were on death row but we would still like to believe that our last words would be something epic. What would you choose to say, if given the chance right before you died?
Not all of the following are necessarily confessions of murder, although some of them are. Those that are not are confessions of disgust, of pleading, or of an interesting nature. One thing that is common among every entry below is that they are all confessions from death row inmates.
15. A Clever Confession
It seemed as though James French led his life sort of like a joke. He was behind bars because he killed a motorist that had picked him up when he was hitchhiking back in 1958. Although there is nothing funny about death or murder, French made an interesting move when, after contemplating suicide, he instead opted to kill his cellmate in an effort to get executed. Always the jokester, James French’s last words were, “How’s this for a headline? French Fries!” If only he had put that humor into something more constructive than killing. But, if you’re going to go out saying anything, at least it was something both memorable and hilarious.
14. Confession Of A Win
Even though Kimberly McCarthy was suspected of being responsible for at least two other murders in the state of Texas, she was never even tried. She was, however, convicted and sentenced to death for killing her neighbor, a 71-year-old woman named Dorothy Booth, in 1997. The confession she had was this: “This is not a loss, this is a win. You know where I am going. I am going home to be with Jesus. Keep the faith. I love ya’ll. Thank you, Chaplain.” Although we wouldn’t put murders up there with Jesus, we’ll never know what exactly happened to the woman who was executed in January of 2013 for a robbery gone wrong.
13. A Confession Of Her Return
Aileen Wuornos was a serial killer who killed seven men in Florida between the years 1989 and 1990. Wuornos claimed that each of the men had tried to rape or kill her during the time she worked as a prostitute. Just as crazy as the tales of her heinous crimes are the last words she ever said. She was convicted of six of the seven murders and was executed by lethal injection in 2002. Her last words were as crazy as she was; she said, “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 mothership and all. I’ll be back.” Since we don’t know exactly which June 6th she’s talking about, we’re just going to have to wait for the big mothership.
12. A Confession Of Finding Peace
It was a good thing that Richard Masterson came to terms with the crimes he committed since when he was executed in Texas, the “last meal” request was a thing of the past which means he never got to ponder over his last meal. He was executed after being convicted of murdering a drag queen he had met in a local bar back in 2001. He strangled the female impersonator. For Masterson’s last words he had this to say: “Sending me to a better place. I am alright with this. You have to live and die by the choices that we make. I have made mine.” Although he might have found peace in the moments before his demise, for the family and friends of victim Darren Honeycutt, it wasn’t just that simple.
11. A Last Minute Confession
Although the crimes Paul Ezra Rhoades committed happened way back in 1987, he didn’t meet justice for them until 2011, making it the first execution in Idaho in the past 17 years. He was convicted for the kidnapping and murders of two women, and the murder of a 20-year-old man as well. Rhoades was a high school dropout who had polio as a kid which may or may not have lead to his drinking problem that began at age ten. His final confession was “To Bert Michelbacher, I am sorry for the part I played in your wife’s death. For Haddon and Baldwin, I can’t help you. You still have to keep looking. I’m sorry for your family. I can’t help you. I took part in the Michelbacher murder, I can’t help you guys.” After those words, he looked at the executioner and said: “I forgive you, I really do.”
10. Confession Of Her Motherhood
It takes a sick mother to kill her babies with the intention of “seeing” them later but for mother Christina Marie Riggs, that was a sick reality. In all reality, she wanted to end her own life. She was extremely depressed and, since both of her two children had different fathers, she knew that if she were gone they would be split up. In her mind, this meant she needed to bring them with her by killing them as well. After the drugs she gave her son were painful but ineffective, she smothered him and then his sister after. When she was done writing the suicide letters, she swallowed a handful of pills along with undiluted potassium chloride, thinking that it would kill her. Riggs, however, was found by her mother and was convicted of the crimes against her children. When she was executed in 2000 by lethal injection, her last words were, “There is no way words can express how sorry I am for taking the lives of my babies. Now I can be with my babies, as I always intended.”
9. A Confession of Innocence
Although you would think that every person sitting on death row would be singing their woes and pleading their innocence, not all of them behave like that. There is one man, however, that was convicted of killing his sister-in-law that claimed his innocence all the way up until his very last words. Roger Keith Coleman was executed by electric chair on May 20th, 1992. In Roger’s final words, he wanted America to know, “An innocent man is going to be murdered tonight. When my innocence is proven, I hope Americans will realize the injustice of the death penalty as all other civilized countries have.” We still have yet to see such evidence but that isn’t the case with this next death row inmate confession.
8. Confessions Of Anger
Johnny Frank Garrett Sr. had last words that were simply a confession of anger. Although he was convicted of raping and murdering an old nun back in 1981, new evidence emerged that he was, in fact, innocent. The courts received the evidence in 2004 just 12 years after Johnny Frank Garrett Sr. had been executed. His last confession was, “I’d like to thank my family for loving and taking care of me. And the rest of the world can kiss my a**.” If we were wrongfully convicted and sentenced to death by lethal injection, we would tell the world to kiss our a** too. Unfortunately, there is no way to reverse time to right all the wrong convictions throughout history.
7. The Confession Of A Father
It would be a gruesome thing to randomly pick someone out from the crowd just to execute them in plain sight. However, regardless of how horrible that is, killing the mother of your children is arguably worse. With another family, you don’t know how they’ll react, sure, they’ll cry and grieve, but a stranger crying versus your child crying are two very different things. Since that’s the case, why and how could you knowingly and purposefully hurt your children for the rest of their lives? Plus, they didn’t just lose one parent, they ended up losing two. Rocky Barton killed his wife and was executed by lethal injection in 2006. His last words were to his kids, “I love you all, and I’m sorry for what I done. I’m sorry for killing your mom and what I done to you.” Too bad words don’t bring back the dead.
6. A Confession Of His Feelings
Carlos Granados was living with his girlfriend Katherine and her three-year-old son, Andrew. After an argument went south, Carlos had grabbed a long kitchen knife and stabbed Kathy multiple times, leaving her in the room for dead before going after her son. She said that she could hear her toddler scream for mercy before he too was stabbed. He didn’t make it. Right before Carlos was executed on January 10th, 2007 he made this confession: “Kathy, you know I never meant to hurt you. I gave you everything, and that’s what made me so angry. But I never meant to hurt you. I’m sorry.” Even if he gave her everything, he took away the only thing that ever mattered.
5. Confession Of His Last Meal
Thomas Grasso made a confession that made a lasting impression on anyone who would go on to read his story after he was gone. He was executed in Oklahoma in 1995 for two murders he committed. Everyone knows that death row inmates are given the opportunity to make a request for a last meal and they can have anything they would like. While most people ask for steak or lobster, Grasso had a smaller, more humble request. He wanted SpaghettiOs, the faux spaghetti in a can meant to be heated quickly. Although it doesn’t seem like a hard request to fulfill, he was given spaghetti and meatballs instead. Because of the lack of respect he felt, his very last words were, “I did not get my SpaghettiOs, I got spaghetti. I want the press to know this.” Little anybody can do about it now.
4. A Confession Of Potatoes
You might hear this next confession and think this death row inmate has gone mad, but it was actually a coded message for his nephew. Robert Charles Towery was executed by lethal injection back in 2012. Both Towery and another man robbed and strangled a man named Mark Jones who was also a well-known philanthropist. His final words to the world were, “I love my family. Potato, potato, potato.” While we totally understand the first part, we become lost when we start talking about spuds. It turns out that the word “potato” is what he and his nephew compared a motorcycle sound too. The “potato” part was a shoutout to his nephew. It would be sweet if we weren’t talking about death row inmates.
3. Confession Of A Favored Pastime
Jimmy Glass was a dangerous guy who killed a man named Newton Brown and his wife Erlene. Glass made national news when he contested that death by electrocution was a violation of the eighth and fourteenth amendments of the Constitution and was seen as a “cruel and unusual punishment.” Majority ruled that electrocution was an authorized method of execution and Jimmy Glass was executed in 1987. The last words he ever spoke were, “I’d rather be fishing.” We’re pretty sure that anyone would rather be fishing than waiting to be electrocuted. Maybe he’ll be fishing wherever he ended up. We’ve never heard of fishing in hell but we’ve also never been there.
2. A Half Confession
You might have thought you had horrible citizens in your community but nothing quite beats murder over a pile of trash. Apparently, Adam Ward and a city worker got into an extremely heated dispute because of a large pile of trash at the corner of the property that had been piling up. When in court, Adam claimed that he shot the man in self-defense and that it really wasn’t ever a “capital case.” Even though he was deemed mentally ill, he was sentenced to be executed for the murder. His final words were, “This is wrong what’s happening. This is not a capital case; it was never a capital case; I had never intended to do anything.” Right before he stopped breathing he exclaimed, “I know there’s something else I need to say, but I don’t know how.” That’s a confession if we’ve ever heard one, too bad we never got the other half of it.
1. Last Minute Release
It is a rare occurrence that a death row inmate’s final confession is enough to free two other, innocent, men. De’Marchoe Carpenter and Malcolm Scott spent 19 long years imprisoned for crimes they didn’t commit. Police picked the two of them up when they were both 17 for the shooting of a young teen mother outside a block party. It wasn’t until May of 2016 that a judge had finally ruled that they had been wrongfully convicted. Even though homicide detectives had gone to talk to known gang member, Michael Lee Wilson, and even picked him up on different charges later, they never suspected that he was the actual killer until he made a confession in his last words which were, “Malcolm Scott and De’Marchoe Carpenter are innocent.” Sweeter words were never spoken for those two.
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