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Thread: Why are we fascinated with death-row meals?

  1. #1
    Administrator Heidi's Avatar
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    Why are we fascinated with death-row meals?

    People tend to take a morbid fascination in death-row inmatesí last meals.

    In the wake of his execution on Tuesday morning, Ohio prisoner Clarence Carterís final meal has gone viral. Itís appearing all over Facebook feeds, Twitter messages and blogs.

    Mr. Carter, who was convicted of aggravated murder for the 1988 killing of a fellow jail inmate, could have had anything he wanted for his last meal. But according to The Daily Mail, he had the same dinner as the rest of the prisoners: tuna salad, oven brown potatoes, turnip greens, an orange and white bread.

    Perhaps itís the idea of being granted one final privilege that sparks peopleís imaginations. (Imagine being able to indulge without consequence!) Or maybe itís the notion of packing an entire lifetime of memories and experiences onto one single serving tray.

    Either way, death-row meals seem to enthrall us. British photographer James Reynolds is well known for recreating and documenting death-row prisonersí last meal requests in a series titled ďLast Suppers.Ē Although he provides no accompanying information to each of his photographs, the food itself offers a glimpse about the individual who requested it. One photo, for instance, shows an orange plastic tray of fried chicken, French fries, baked beans and chocolate milk. Another shows a tray bearing two bottles of Coca-Cola, a whole, raw onion, and a pack of Extra-brand chewing gum. Yet another shows six whole eggs, a hamburger and a take-out coffee cup.

    Also exploring the notion of death-row meals, U.S. photographer Melanie Dunea asked famous chefs to imagine their last meal in her coffee-table books My Last Supper and My Last Supper: The Next Course. (The latter is scheduled for release this fall.) As Ms. Dunea notes, chefs have been playing the ďwhatís-your-death-row-mealĒ game among themselves for decades.

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/...rticle1983768/

  2. #2
    Banned TheKindExecutioner's Avatar
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    Last meals have been given since Roman and Greek executions and probably even before. It's the very last thing they do in life so people are interested. Actually the former Texas DR warden was interviewed and he said he gave a final cigarette or cigarettes to DR inmates just before execution eventhough it was against the rules.

    Have you been to the deadmaneating website? They also have a weblog but I don't think they've been updating it lately.

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    Administrator Heidi's Avatar
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    Famous Death Row Last Meals

    Regardless of your beliefs when it comes to the death penalty, one thing we've become accustomed to hearing and talking about is the famous last meal.

    On Thursday, 41-year-old Eddie Duval Powell was executed by lethal injection in Alabama for the rape and murder of a 70-year-old woman in 1995, reports Reuters.

    His meal of nothing more than some sandwiches, corn chips and soda from the vending machine has The Daily Mail asking if it's the saddest last meal ever?

    While it is not unheard of for an inmate not to make a special request, It's a far cry from the elaborate meals of fried chicken, lobster, and desserts we are used to reading about.

    Take a look at some of strangest, smallest and largest last meal requests:

    Robert Dale Conklin


    Robert Dale Conklin was executed July 12, 2005 in Georgia for the murder of his ex-boyfriend. For his last meal he requested:

    Filet mingnon wrapped in bacon, de-veined shrimp sauteed in garlic butter with lemon, a baked potato with butter, sour cream, chives, and real bacon bits, corn on the cob, aspara- gus with hollandaise sauce, French bread with butter, goat cheese, cantaloupe, apple pie with vanilla bean ice cream and an iced tea.

    Hastings Arthur Wise


    Hastings Arthur Wise was executed November 4, 2005 in South Carolina via lethal injection for the murder of four of his ex-coworkers.

    For his last meal he requested: a lobster tail, French fries, coleslaw, banana pudding and milk.

    Ted Bundy


    Serial killer Ted Bundy had confessed to being responsible for 30 murders and was executed by the State of Florida on January 24, 1989 by way of the electric chair.

    He made no special requests and was offered the traditional meal of steak and eggs, that he didn't eat.

    John Wayne Gacy


    John Wayne Gacy received a lethal injection from the State of Illinois on May 10, 1994 for the rape and murders of 33 young men and boys from 1972 to 1978.

    Dubbed the "Killer Clown" by the media, his last meal included: a dozen deep-fried shrimp, a bucket of original recipe chicken from KFC, French fries, and a pound of strawberries.

    Dennis Wayne Bagwell


    Convicted of murdering his half sister and her 4-year-old daughter, and two more women, Dennis Wayne Bagwell was executed in Texas on February 17, 2005 by lethal injection.

    He asked for a larger last meal than most, requesting:

    A beef steak, medium rare with A1 Sauce, three fried chicken breast, three fried chicken thighs, BBQ ribs, a large order of french fries, a large order of onion rings, a pound of fried bacon, a dozen scrambled eggs with onions, fried tatters with onions, sliced tomatoes, a salad with ranch dressing, two hamburgers with everything, peach pie or cobbler, ketchup, salt and pepper, milk and coffee, ice tea with real sugar.

    Timothy McVeigh


    Perhaps better known as the Unabomber, Timothy McVeigh, was responsible for the Oklahoma City Bombing in 1996 that killed 168 people and injured hundreds more.

    McVeigh was executed via lethal injection in Indiana on June 11, 2001 and had another unusual request: two pints of mint chocolate chip ice cream.

    Philip Workman


    Philip Workman was convicted of the murder of a police office that occurred during a failed robbery of a Wendy's in Tennessee. He was executed on May 9, 2007 via lethal injection.

    Workman actually declined a special last meal for himself, but rather asked that a large vegetarian pizza be given to a homeless person in Nashville, Tenn. Prison officials denied his request, but homeless shelters across the state received pizzas from all over the country honoring his last request.

    Ronnie Lee Gardner


    Ronnie Lee Gardner was already on trial for the murder of one man, when he fatally shot an attorney in an failed attempt to escape. He was executed June 18 2010 by firing squad in Utah.

    Not only did Gardner request steak, lobster tail, apple pie, vanilla ice cream and 7-up for his last meal, he also spent his last hours watching the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy.

    Velma Barfield


    Convicted of five murders, Velma Barfield was the first women in the US to be executed after the 1977 return of capital punishment and the first woman to receive her sentence by lethal injection in 1984.

    Like Eddie Duval Powell, she made no special last meal, but rather a can of Coca-cola and a bag of Cheez Doodles.

    James Edward Smith


    With perhaps the strangest request, James Edwards Smith, was convicted and executed on June 26,1990 for a robbery and murder in Texas.

    Smith requested not a meal, but a lump of dirt that was apparently for a Voodoo ritual. As dirt was not an approved list of prison foods his request was denied and he settled for a small cup of yogurt instead.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/0...s_Edward_Smith

  4. #4
    Senior Member Frequent Poster stixfix69's Avatar
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    Great post.....Think i am going to have some KFC Tonight.......

  5. #5
    Administrator Michael's Avatar
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    Very interesting list Heidi, thanks for sharing.

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    Banned TheKindExecutioner's Avatar
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    Yeah, I guess we just want to see what those scum eat before they die.

    But many states have strict limits on it like in Florida it can't cost more than $20 and Texas has a rule where ALL food must be prepared by the TDJC. So even fast food is just a FANTASY for Texas death row inmates! Some other states have the no outside food rule too.

  7. #7
    Passed away. Rob's Avatar
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    Perhaps better known as the Unabomber, Timothy McVeigh, was responsible for the Oklahoma City Bombing in 1996 that killed 168 people and injured hundreds more.
    The original author messed up. McVeigh was not the Unabomber. I'm surprised that one made it past the editor/proofreader. Anyway, I think a condemned inmates meal choice is fascinating because it gives us a glimpse into the mind of the killer. And oddly, it also adds a little humanity to the person. It reminds us that, despite his/her crime, the person is still somewhat human and has likes and dislikes.

  8. #8
    Administrator Heidi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob View Post
    The original author messed up. McVeigh was not the Unabomber. I'm surprised that one made it past the editor/proofreader.
    Play on words! I appreciate the authors outright disgust with the sentencing! Nichols sits in a fed pen filing lawsuits that he is not receiving enough roughage a/k/a fiber so he may have the pleasure of a daily...

    The last meal is just that, and it dates back to documented biblical days. Jesus had a last SUPPER. What amazes me is that NO ONE anywhere in the world refers to the last meal of the day as supper except those below the Mason Dixon line.

    Then I question how da Vinci recreated that scene? I know the Europeans are all about fashion, and commenting on everything everyone wears, John never recreated a visual of the last SUPPER.



    I think my next project will be the gluttony of last meal v. remorse in final statement factor.

  9. #9
    Banned TheKindExecutioner's Avatar
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    Heidi, in all fairness that is just Christian MYTHOLOGY. That is no different if you saw a painting of Zeus and Hercules.

    None of the historical characters living at the time such as Roman Emperors Augustus or Tiberius or the subjects then corroborate the CLAIMS of the bible. You guys got to remember that Jesus is only a STORY of one god NOT evidence of a god!! You also must rememer there are HUNDREDS of stories of gods!

    The only difference is Jesus was spread by FORCE by "convert or die" Constantine or Charlamage. He is the most marketed figure of ALL time! That doesn't make him true! It is from an ARAB religion that has no place in Europe or European culture if it wasn't spread by the SWORD!

    I've even asked clergy point blank if they can prove Jesus is any more real than any other god or goddess and they say they can't! Don't forget when Constantine converted the last of the remaining Zeus followers he NEVER said he can prove Jesus is any more real than Zeus. The church is all marketing and propoganda but ZERO truth!!

  10. #10
    Administrator Heidi's Avatar
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    I didn't say I believed there was a last supper as it was referred to in the bible, although I believe that is the premise of the tradition of a last meal before execution.

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