You probably know the customary ritual of granting a prisoner the last meal before their execution. These vary from country to country, especially depending on the country’s stance on capital punishment.
But in the United States, most states grant the meal request not right before execution but a day or two beforehand under the euphemism special meal.
While you can’t always count on your request being granted, there have been some prisoners that have requested meals that are interesting enough to take a look at. Today we’re taking a look at 25 distinctly weird last meal requests.
We’re starting the list off with an entry that’s both kinds of funny but also kind of sad at the same time.
David Leon Woods
David Leon Woods wanted a birthday cake for his final meal. He wasn’t executed on his birthday but perhaps he just wanted to celebrate one last time.
For number 24 we have Andrew Lackey. Andrew just requested a very interesting combination of food at his execution in 2013. Turkey Bologna french, fries and grilled cheese. I don’t see how the turkey Bologna would go well with any of this, but hey to each their own. Lackey was also the first person to be executed in the state of Alabama since 2011. For Alabama, you were doing so well and one guy just ruined everything.
And number 23 we have Ajmal Kasab. Kasab was executed in India for being involved in the 2008 terrorist attack on Mumbai. Declined the last meal but he’s still worthy to be on this list because instead of giving him nothing, the prison just decided to give him a basket of tomatoes. Maybe he hated Tomatoes, who knows?
And number 22 we have Alton Coleman, a terrible person largely because he’s a serial killer but also because of his final meal it starts innocent enough. Fried chicken breast salad with French dressing sweet potato pie with whipped cream, french fries, collard greens, onion rings, cornbread broccoli with melted cheese, biscuits and gravy, and a cherry coke. But his main request was a well-done filet mignon, smothered with mushrooms. Well-done filet mignon? That should have been considered a crime.
Christopher Brooks was a simple man with simple wishes. All he wanted for his final meal were two peanut butter cups and a dr. pepper sounds like a delicious meal.
At number 20 we have Adolf Eichmann. Eichmann was one of the major organizers of the Holocaust and was executed in 1962 in Israel. Declining a special meal, he just requested a bottle of caramel red wine. A popular wine brand in Israel with the normal prison food, which included cheese, bread, olives and tea before his execution. He drank half of the bottle, wanting to get drunk before the execution of his own.
Roger Casement makes our list at number 19 for his request. All he requested for his last meal was a communion wafer. Shortly before his execution he converted to Catholicism and stated he wanted to go to my death with the body of my God as my last meal
Number 18 goes to Liddell Lee. Besides having a funny name he’s also likely the most recent case on this list. With his execution taking place in 2017, his request is similar to Roger’s casements as Ledell simply chose to receive Holy Communion as his last meal.
Timothy McVeigh, who caused the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995 that killed over a hundred and fifty people. Requested two pints of mint chocolate chip ice cream, misses final meal before his execution by lethal injection. That’s a lot of ice cream, maybe a bit too much.
Robert Dale Conklin
In our number 16 spot is Robert Dale Conklin. Robert is by far the fanciest man on our list. His last meal consisted of filet mignon wrapped in bacon, deveined shrimp sautéed in garlic butter with lemon, a baked potato with butter, sour cream, chives, real bacon bits, corn on the cob, asparagus with hollandaise sauce, french bread with butter, goat cheese, cantaloupe, apple pie with vanilla bean, ice cream, and an iced tea.
It seems like he has great taste, then again he murdered a man using a screwdriver to the ear and afterward dissected the body and put the parts into a garbage can, so maybe he doesn’t have the best taste.
Thomas J Grasso
The Maxes OMG number 15 position goes to Thomas J Grasso. There are a few people on this list who are notable for requesting ridiculous amounts of food, Thomas J Grasso is one of those.
The double murderer requested two dozen steamed mussels, two dozen steamed clams, half a dozen barbecued spareribs, a Burger King, double cheeseburger, two strawberry milkshakes, half a pumpkin pie with whipped cream, and diced strawberries.
He also ordered a 16 ounce can of spaghetti and meatballs which he wanted to be served at room temperature. However, he complained in a public statement that he had actually ordered Spaghettios, not just normal spaghetti. Almost feel bad for the guy but then again maybe not.
John Wayne Gacy
Number 14 on this list goes to John Wayne Gacy. John Wayne Gacy was executed in 1994 for murdering and sexually assaulting thirty-three young boys while he dressed up as a clown.
His last meal wasn’t as insane as him but still a bit crazy. Fried shrimp, a bucket of KFC, original recipe chicken, fries and lastly a pound of strawberries. Yes, a pound. Strawberries are tasty but that seems a bit excessive to us.
At number 13 we have Steven woods. Woods was executed in 2011 for the murder of a young couple. His last request was quite a big one as well. Two pounds of bacon, a large for meat pizza, four fried chicken breasts, two drinks each of Mountain Dew Pepsi, root beer and sweet tea, two pints of ice cream, five chicken-fried, steaks, two hamburgers with bacon, fries and a dozen garlic breadsticks with marinara on the side.
Peter J Miniel
And number 12 we have Peter J Miniel, one of the largest death row inmate meals in history was requested by many. He asked for 20 beef tacos, 20 beef enchiladas, two double cheeseburgers, a jalapeno pizza, fried chicken, spaghetti, fruit cake, half of a chocolate cake, half of the vanilla cake, cookies and cream, and caramel pecan, fudge ice cream, two cokes, two Pepsi’s, two root beers, and two glasses of orange juice sounds delicious if excessive.
Ricky Ray Rector
Number 11 Ricky Ray rector’s last meal doesn’t seem that strange. He asked for a steak, fried chicken, cherry kool-aid, and a slice of pecan pie. What’s strange however is that he didn’t eat the pecan pie, instead, he told the prison that he was quote saving it for later.
And number 10 we have Troy Davis, a man who may have been executed for a crime he didn’t even commit. He didn’t request a last meal, allegedly just stating that this meal wouldn’t be his last. Which is fairly ominous.
Our number nine goes to Stephen Anderson. Anderson’s request also starts out normal, but quickly takes a weird turn. He ordered two grilled cheese sandwiches, a pint of cottage cheese, a hominy corn mixture a, slice of peach pie, chocolate chip ice cream and lastly radishes.., lots of radishes. The guy just must have loved radishes.
Gary Carl Simmons jr
Our number eight is Garry Karl Simmons jr. Garry is another person who simply ordered a giant amount of food. One Pizza Hut supreme deep-dish pizza with double mushrooms, double onions, double jalapeno peppers, and double pepperoni.
A second pizza with three cheeses, olives, bell, peppers, tomatoes, garlic, and Italian sausage. Ten eight-ounce packs each of Parmesan cheese and ranch dressing eight, ounces of jalapeno, nacho cheese, four ounces of sliced jalapenos – 20-ounce cherry cokes, two large strawberry shakes two pints of strawberry ice cream and one family size bag of Doritos-nacho cheese flavor.
He actually managed to finish half of a meal, I know I certainly wouldn’t be able to.
Ronnie Lee Gardner
Number seven Ronnie Lee Gardner’s meal may not sound very strange or crazy. At first steak lobster, tail apple pie with vanilla ice cream and a 7up. However, in addition to the food, he also asked for the Lord of the Rings trilogy. He was even allowed to finish the whole trilogy before his execution, on the ice of the wardens.
Number six on our list is Victor Feguer. This is a really curious one, Feguer requested a single olive with the pit still in it. Maybe he loved olives, maybe he had never tried one before, who knows the reason?
What’s interesting is that after his execution, the olive pit was found in his suit pocket, according to some the pit was actually buried with him.
Number five is Odell Barnes. He’s another criminal who didn’t request a normal meal or even a joke meal to mess with the prison. Instead, he simply requested justice, equality, and world peace. A murderer advocating for world peace seems like a bit of an oxymoron though.
Number four might be one of the most famous entries on this list, Lawrence Brewer a white supremacist who committed the racially motivated murder of James Byrd Jr in 1998. You probably requested the biggest meal on this list.
Two chicken fried steaks and sliced onions dripping in gravy, a triple meat bacon cheeseburger with everything on the side, one cheese omelet with ground beef, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, and jalapenos. A big bowl of fried okra with ketchup, one pound of barbecued meat and half a loaf of white bread, three fajitas with all the toppings, a Pizza Hut and meat lovers pizza, a pint of Blue Bell vanilla ice cream, a slab of peanut butter fudge with crushed peanuts on top, and three root beers.
Back when he was executed the Texas prison system allowed such giant orders, so his request was accepted. But when the food arrived, he didn’t eat any of it, claiming that he just wasn’t hungry. As of 2011 Texas has stopped granting last meal requests.
Number three is potentially relatable to quite a few of us. Serial killer Aileen Wuornos apparently wasn’t very hungry at all when she was on death row. Her final meal request was just a cup of coffee.
To be fair however before requesting a meal she had a hamburger and some other snacks at the local prison canteen, so she was probably already full.
We are almost at the strangest request on this list. But our number-two spot comes pretty close to topping it.
Phillip Workman was executed for murdering a police officer and he apparently didn’t actually want a last meal. Instead, he requested that the prison would give a large vegetarian pizza to a homeless person in Nashville.
The prison refused said offer but the request inspired people to bring hundreds of pizzas to homeless shelters on the day workman was executed.
That means he actually caused something good to happen, had he not killed someone he could even be considered a good person.
And finally at number one and potentially the weirdest request on this list we have.,
James Edward Smith
Mr. Smith requested a lump of dirt, there’s not much to say about this one. He apparently just really wanted to eat dirt before his death. Sadly the prison denied this request and just gave him a cup of yogurt instead. Hopefully, he enjoyed that yogurt as much as he would have enjoyed the dirt.
And that’s our list. Want to share some stories of the last meals we may have missed? Let us know in the comments section. We love hearing from you if you enjoyed these articles. Feel free to share with friends and family.