Impending death can really curb a person’s appetite, but that didn’t stop these death row inmates from ordering enormous last meals. Were they hungry for one final feast? Sick of counting calories? Or did they hope to stall the Grim Reaper by giving him a hernia as he carried them off to the netherworld? Regardless of the reasons, these criminals had appetites for more than just mayhem!
5. Robert Alton Harris
Bank robber, car thief, and convicted killer Robert Alton Harris was definitely fond of fast food. After shooting two teenage boys while they sat in their car eating hamburgers, Harris finished off the burgers with glee. Harris then stole the car, used it as the getaway vehicle for a bank robbery, and was subsequently arrested by a police officer who happened to be the father of one of the boys Harris had killed. The killer’s love of fast food was evident again when he ordered his last meal: a 21-piece Kentucky Fried Chicken dinner, two large pepperoni pizzas from Domino’s, a bag of jelly beans, and a six-pack of Pepsi.
4. Stanley Allison Baker Jr.
It’s important to visualize our goals, and making a list of them can help. After police arrested Stanley Allison Baker Jr. for killing a clerk while robbing an adult video store, they found Baker’s personal goal list scribbled in his notebook. On his to-do list were “30+ victims dead. 30+ armed robberies. Steal a lot of cars.” Unfortunately for Baker—but fortunate for the rest of us—he had only begun to put a dent in that list when he was arrested. His mammoth last meal order consisted of two 16 oz. rib eye steaks, one pound of thinly-sliced turkey breast, twelve strips of bacon, two large hamburgers with mayo, onion, and lettuce, two large baked potatoes with butter, sour cream, cheese, and chives, four slices of cheese or one-half pound of grated cheddar cheese, chef salad with blue cheese dressing, two ears of corn on the cob, one pint of mint chocolate chip ice cream, and four cans of vanilla Coke or Mr. Pibb.
3. Peter Miniel
Finding the perfect murder weapon can be a difficult chore. Just ask Peter Miniel, who beat a man with a beer mug, then beat him with a car’s shock absorber, then stabbed the man with a knife, then stuffed part of a blanket down the man’s throat before he was finally satisfied that his victim was dead. After that smorgasbord of weapons, it’s only natural that Miniel would order a smorgasbord of food items for his last meal. The dinner consisted of 20 beef tacos, 20 beef enchiladas, two double cheeseburgers, a pizza with jalapenos, fried chicken, spaghetti, half of a chocolate cake, half of a vanilla cake, cookies and cream ice cream, caramel pecan fudge ice cream, a small fruit cake, two Cokes, two Pepsis, two root beers, and two glasses of orange juice.
2. Karl Chamberlain
Karl Chamberlain went to his neighbor’s apartment to borrow some sugar, but instead of taking the sugar, he took her life with a single rifle shot to the head. Chamberlain evaded arrest for five years, but after his capture it took a jury only seven minutes to find him guilty. There’s no telling how much time it took Chamberlain to consume his last meal, which consisted of one bacon double cheeseburger, two pieces of fried chicken, one bean and cheese quesadilla, a three-egg omelet with ham, mushrooms, onions, and cheese, two barbecue pork rolls, a half-pound of French fries covered with cheese, salsa, and jalapenos, onion rings, a chef salad, slices of cheese and lunchmeat, two deviled eggs, six fried jalapenos stuffed with cheese, a fresh vegetable tray, a fresh fruit tray, a pitcher of orange juice, and a pitcher of milk.
1. Jesse Mott
You have to go all the way back to 1934 to read about the execution of Jesse Mott, convicted of killing a gas station owner with a hammer. Mott was a 300-pound giant who had to have his prison clothing specially made for him, so it’s not surprising that the man had a large appetite. While other inmates asked for a wider variety of foods, Mott’s last meal—which looks more like the totals at a competitive eating contest—is staggering in its proportions. Mott asked for two pounds of sirloin steak, two pounds of cured ham, 12 fried eggs, 50 biscuits, two quarts of ice cream, two chocolate pies, and a gallon of lemonade. It took four waiters to deliver all the food, which Mott supposedly devoured down to the last crumb.
Images from Wikimedia Commons.
Ty Treadwell is co-author of Last Suppers: Famous Final Meals from Death Row. For death penalty trivia and news about the book, read Ty’s blog.