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The Last Meal of 15 Notorious Death Row Inmates in The World
Interesting Facts About The Last Meal of 15 Famous Death Row Inmates in The World

When we face the boundary between life and death, we realize how precious every second we have to live in this world. It is said that the last night of death row inmates is the longest of their lives. Traditionally, people on death row before being sent to the execution site to execute their death sentence, they often enjoy certain privileges, among which is the last meal. Some countries grant death row prisoners the privilege of choosing their last meal.

Let's find out the top 15 last meals of death row inmates in the world, ranked by


History: The Last Meal of Row Inmates in the World

Some scholars believe that the practice of the last meal originated in ancient Greece with the purpose of "appeased" the person who was about to be punished with death. During the Roman Empire, martial artists enjoyed a hearty dinner before going to the arena.

Until the 18th century, prisoners in London (England) who were rich or favored could have dinner with guests outside the prison the night before their execution. The next day, on the way to the gallows, the usual escort would stop at the tavern to give the death row inmate a last drink of beer.

In the United States, the practice of the last meal is believed to have been introduced from medieval Europe. At that time, many superstitious people believed that dying after being full would not be resentful. In addition to superstitious reasons, the acceptance of the final meal by death row inmates is also considered a symbolic act, showing that they have made peace with the community, with the executioner, the judge and the witness.

In the past, prisoners were often allowed to drink alcohol or smoke before being executed, especially if facing a firing squad. This is an action to show sympathy, but also to calm death row inmates, to cooperate more in the last moments. Today, no death row inmate in the United States is allowed to drink alcohol or smoke before being executed.

The ancient Chinese believed that dying on a full stomach was a holy death, helping the death row inmates to be reincarnated into a better family in the next life. In the Song Dynasty, when Song Thai To just founded the country, he set the rule that each death row prisoner before he died would receive a meal worth 5 yuan, enough to have a hearty meal. But due to the underground rules in prison and corruption, this amount is significantly reduced when it reaches the death row inmates.

Last Meals of 15 Death Row Inmates

1. Oscar Ray Bolin Jr.: Beef Steak

The Last Meal of 15 Notorious Death Row Inmates in The World
Oscar Ray Bolin Jr.

After a grueling four hours in the final appeal, Oscar Ray Bolin Jr., 53, was executed by lethal injection in the state of Florida in 2016. He spent 23 years on death row. Bolin is a serial killer convicted of murdering three women in the 80s. His half brother is a key witness and key evidence against Bolin. Bolin's half-brother witnessed him brutally beating a woman wrapped in a bed sheet.

Bolin had no last words to say at the time of his execution. However, he had one last meal. Bolin ordered a hearty meal consisting of a medium-rare rib eye steak paired with baked potatoes with butter and sour cream. He also ordered a side salad made with some lettuce, sliced cucumbers, and sliced tomatoes. In addition, Bolin also asked for garlic bread, a can of Coca-Cola.

2. Peter Kürten: Fried Breaded Meat

The Last Meal of 15 Notorious Death Row Inmates in The World
Peter Kürten

German serial killer and sex offender Peter Kürten was sentenced to death in April 1931. He was nicknamed the "Düsseldorf Vampire" or the "Düsseldorf Monster".

For his last meal, Peter Kürten asked for Wiener schnitzel - thinly sliced and breaded meat, served with potatoes and white wine.

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3. Ronnie Lee Gardner: Beef Steak, Apple Pie and Vanilla Ice Cream

The Last Meal of 15 Notorious Death Row Inmates in The World
Ronnie Lee Gardner

Ronnie Lee Gardner (January 16, 1961 – Executed June 18, 2010) was an American criminal who received the death penalty for murder in 1985, and was executed by a jury. shot by the state of Utah in 2010. In October 1984, Gardner killed Melvyn John Otterstrom during a robbery in Salt Lake City. Then in April 1985, continued to shoot dead attorney Michael Burdell. Ronnie Lee Gardner was sentenced to life in prison for the first crime and death for the second.

The last meal that Ronnie Lee Gardner ordered included: Shrimp tail, beef steak, apple pie and vanilla ice cream. While eating, Gardener asked to see the movie "Lord of the Rings".

4. Joseph Mitchell Parsons: Burger King

The Last Meal of 15 Notorious Death Row Inmates in The World
Joseph Mitchell Parsons

After hitching a ride with a man called Richard Ernest, whom he eventually murdered, Joseph Parsons was hanged in 1999.

Parsons was accompanied for his final lunch by his brother and cousin. They ate Burger King Whoppers, fries, chocolate shakes, chocolate chip ice cream, and a package of grape Hubba Bubba bubble gum together.

At the time, his lawyer stated that Parsons picked a Burger King meal because of the company's tagline "have it your way," which he thought represented Parson gaining control of his own life.

5. John Wayne Gacy: KFC, Shrimp and Chips

The Last Meal of 15 Notorious Death Row Inmates in The World
John Wayne Gacy

At the age of 52, John Wayne Gacy was executed by lethal injection in Illinois. He received the death penalty for rape and 33 counts of murder. Gacy ordered 12 fried shrimp, a bucket of original recipe KFC, french fries, and a pound of strawberries for his farewell dinner.

Gacy oversaw three KFC locations before being convicted.

6. Victor Feguer: An Olive

The Last Meal of 15 Notorious Death Row Inmates in The World
Victor Feguer

Victor Feguer was killed by hanging in Iowa on March 15, 1963, after being convicted of the murder of Dr. Edward Bartles.

Feguer picked a single olive with a pit as his last supper, hoping that a peace tree would grow from his grave. Instead, at his burial, officials discovered the olive pit in his suit pocket.

7. Earl Forrest: Pasta, Steak

The Last Meal of 15 Notorious Death Row Inmates in The World
Earl Forrest

Earl Forrest died at the age of 66 and this was the first execution in the state of Missouri in 2016. According to evidence, Forrest was accused of killing three people and wounding two others. It all fell apart when Forrest went to a victim's home, asking her to buy a mobile home and a lawn mower in exchange for introducing her to a methamphetamine dealer. When the victim refused, Forrest fatally shot the victim in the face during the confrontation, then shot another victim six times, killing both instantly.

Forrest then fatally shot a deputy in a gunfight and wounded two others, including his then-girlfriend. Forrest was killed by lethal injection for his crimes. As his last meal, he asked for a rather filling meal. Forrest ordered a portion of pasta, steak, slices of tomato and cucumber, fruit, chocolate cake.

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8. Lawrence Russell: The Giant Party

The Last Meal of 15 Notorious Death Row Inmates in The World
Lawrence Russell

Lawrence Russel Brewer was in prison and was released in 1997. With no intention of rebuilding his life, he joined a racist group. Along with two others, Brewer brutally murdered many people.

For the last meal, he ordered a lot of dishes: A pizza, some fried chicken, three fajitas (sliced meat), eggs, bacon cheese, fried okra, BBQ meat, peanut butter peanuts, ice cream and a beer. He was served all the above dishes but did not touch them.

9. Timothy James McVeigh: Mint ice cream

The Last Meal of 15 Notorious Death Row Inmates in The World
Timothy James McVeigh

Timothy James McVeigh (born April 23, 1968 – Executed June 11, 2001). Timothy McVeigh was convicted of his terrorism charges. On April 19, 1995, Timothy James McVeigh detonated a bomb inside a truck in front of the Alfred P. Murrah federal building in Oklahoma City.

Inmate Timothy McVeigh asked not to have the main meal and to have only a cup of mint ice cream with mashed chocolate for dessert.

10. Gary Carl Simmons Jr.: Pizza Hut

The Last Meal of 15 Notorious Death Row Inmates in The World
Gary Carl Simmons Jr.

Gary Simmons was executed in mid-June 2012 after being found guilty of murdering Jeffrey Wolfe.

Two Pizza Hut Supreme Deep Dish pizzas, 2kg of parmesan cheese and 10 cups of ranch dressing, 230g of jalapeo nacho cheese, 100g of sliced jalapeos, 1.2L of Cherry Coke, two big strawberry shakes, a litre of strawberry ice cream, and one family sized bag of Doritos were his last meal requests.

That's a lot of food at around 30,000 calories!

11. Christopher Eugene Brooks: Peanut butter and Dr. Pepper

The Last Meal of 15 Notorious Death Row Inmates in The World
Christopher Eugene Brooks

Christopher Eugene Brooks was executed in Alabama for the 1992 murder of a woman named Jo Deann Campbell, after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected his stay on execution. Brooks is the 57th inmate to be executed in the state of Alabama since executions resumed in 1983, and the first to be executed in Alabama since 2013. Prosecutors said Campbell was left Brooks to spend the night on December 30, 1992, in the living room of her Homewood apartment after he showed up at the restaurant where she worked. The next day, police found Campbell's naked body under the bed in her apartment in the suburb of Homewood, Birmingham.

According to court documents, Brooks' bloody fingerprints were on the doorknob in Campbell's bedroom. Brooks maintained his innocence until the end. On the last day of his life, Brooks was given breakfast but he did not. After visiting his friends, lawyer and spiritual advisor, he requested his last meal. Brooks' request was simple and not as lavish as other meals. He wanted two cups of peanut butter and a can of Dr. Pepper to drink with.

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12. Ted Bundy: Don't ask for anything

The Last Meal of 15 Notorious Death Row Inmates in The World
Ted Bundy

Ted Bundy is one of the most notorious serial killers in history. With a handsome and seductive appearance, he lured his victims with a love game, then brutally killed them. A total of 30 women fell into this "sweet honey" trap and died instantly. He was executed in 1989.

As the execution day approached, Bundy couldn't think of food and didn't make special requests for the final meal. He was provided with a standard meal for death row inmates in Florida (USA) including steak, scrambled eggs, avocado toast, milk, coffee, juice and bread.

13. Philip Workman: Asking for bread for the homeless

The Last Meal of 15 Notorious Death Row Inmates in The World
Philip Workman

Philip Workman is a drug addict and has a criminal record before causing chaos at Wendy's (Tennessee, South America) with a pistol. He also shot a policeman who came to stop him.

For his last meal, Philip Workman wanted to give pizza to the homeless outside his Tennessee prison. This request was not accepted, but people across the country sent hundreds of pizzas to homeless shelters around the area.

14. Adolf Eichmann: Red wine

The Last Meal of 15 Notorious Death Row Inmates in The World
Adolf Eichmann

Adolf Eichmann (March 19, 1906 – Executed May 31, 1962) was a lieutenant colonel in the Nazi SS. Realizing that Eichmann had an organized mind with deep Nazi ideals, Eichmann was given the main responsibility by his superior, Reinhard Heydrich, for the plan to exterminate the Jews in Europe. In 1962 Eichmann was convicted and executed by an Israeli court.

Before his execution, Adolf Eichmann only asked for a bottle of wine.

15. Thomas Joseph Grasso: Mussels, Burger King, pie and cream

The Last Meal of 15 Notorious Death Row Inmates in The World
Thomas Grasso

In March 1995, Thomas Grasso was hanged for the murder of two elderly individuals.

He requested 24 steamed mussels, 24 steamed clams, a Burger King double cheeseburger, six barbecue spare ribs, two strawberry milkshakes, pumpkin pie with whipped cream and sliced strawberries, and a can of Spaghetti-with O's meatballs served at room temperature for his farewell supper.

Grasso was a difficult customer despite virtually perfectly executing his big purchase. "I did not get my SpaghettiOs, I got spaghetti," he added in his final comment. I want the press to be aware of this."

Why Did Inmates Refuse Their Meals?

Although while there is little information available about the culinary tastes of death row inmates, we do know that some have turned down their last meal.

In addition to the aforementioned Texas case, Bundy denied his last meal. Some contend that this is because the prisoner is about to die, so there is no physiological need for food or energy.

However, it's likely that prisoners are simply too terrified to swallow. It might even be a last-ditch attempt at insurrection.


There are some death row inmates who ask for very sophisticated dishes, while others are very simple, partly reflecting the mood of people before facing death. Hope this article of will bring a lot of useful information to you. Don't forget to like and share the post.

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