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Top 10 Death Row Meals

VO: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: George Pachecho
These were the memorable final food choices of those condemned to death. For this list, we’ll be ranking the most notable or strange last meal requests made by convicted prisoners on death row. These last meals reveal some insight into the personalities of death row inmates. WatchMojo counts down the Top 10 Death Row Meals.
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Script written by George Pachecho

Top 10 Death Row Meals


These were the memorable final food choices of those condemned to death. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 last meals before execution.

For this list, we’ll be ranking the most notable or strange last meal requests made by convicted prisoners on death row. Some of these entries likely give insight into a prisoner’s personality, while others simply lead to more questions than answers. Let’s dig in.

#10: Allen Lee Davis

Convicted murderer Allen Lee Davis, aka “Tiny”, requested a true feast for his last meal. Weighing just under 350 pounds at the time of his death, Davis dined on lobster tail, fried potatoes, a half pound of fried shrimp, six ounces of fried clams, half a loaf of garlic bread and a 32 ounce A&W Root Beer. An execution by electric chair did him in on July 8th, 1999, but his weight is believed to have caused complications. The controversy over Davis’ experience in the electric chair made him the last Florida prisoner put to death this way, with all future Florida executions being performed by lethal injection.

#9: Ted Bundy

It’s within every prisoner’s right to refuse any last meal option offered to them. Why anyone would make such a choice remains a mystery, but this is what infamous serial killer, rapist and necrophiliac Ted Bundy chose to do hours before his execution on January 24th, 1989. Because Bundy refused to submit the traditional final meal request, the state of Florida gave him their standard offering: medium-rare steak, eggs cooked over easy, hash browns, toast, jelly, butter and an assortment beverages including coffee, milk and juice. Bundy didn’t touch the plate, however, and he was sent to the electric chair on an empty stomach.

#8: Aileen Wuornos

Aileen Wuornos was one of the most infamous female serial killers in American history. Her choice of last meal was no less intriguing than her life, which inspired the award-winning film “Monster.” Wuornos only ordered one black coffee before her death by lethal injection in Florida on October 9th, 2002. Some suspect Wuornos’ aversion to a last meal may have stemmed from her belief that prison employees had been tampering with her food during her time in jail. Alternatively, Aileen might’ve simply not been hungry that day. Either way, her final cup of joe fell well within the $20 meal budget set by the state at the time.

#7: William Bonin

There have been multiple serial killers labeled “The Freeway Killer” over the years, including William Bonin, who terrorized southern California during the late 70s to early 80s, raping and murdering men and teenage boys. Bonin’s last meal was a unique one, at least in terms of his beverage of choice. Bonin drank not one… not two… but three six packs of Coca-Cola. But hey, it’d take a lot of soda to wash down the two large pepperoni and sausage pizzas he requested. The California Freeway Killer also had three pints of coffee ice cream for dessert. Talk about an appetite.

#6: Victor Feguer

The case of Victor Feguer is notable for many reasons. He was the last prisoner put to death in the state of Iowa. He was also the last prisoner to receive the Federal death penalty until Oklahoma City Bomber Timothy McVeigh in 2001. But most notable was Feguer’s last meal: a single, pitted olive. For Feguer, who spent his final hours with a Catholic priest, it was more than a meal; it was a sign of peace. He hoped an olive tree would literally grow from his grave. Victor Feguer was hanged at dawn in 1963, and buried in an unmarked grave. The olive pit would later be found tucked away within the pocket of his new suit.

#5: John Wayne Gacy

John Wayne Gacy’s presence can still be felt today, living on in the memories of Americans as one of the creepiest and most disturbing serial killer stories in history. Gacy’s final moments, however, was the picture of traditional American life. He had a picnic with his family on prison grounds prior to his last meal of fried shrimp, french fries, fresh strawberries, Diet Coke and a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken. After his meal, Gacy consulted with a Catholic priest and was put to death by lethal injection on May 10th, 1994. His final words, however, were considerably less pleasant. Gacy was quoted as saying, “Kiss my ass.”

#4: Timothy McVeigh

As previously mentioned, Timothy McVeigh, aka the Oklahoma City Bomber, was the first person since Victor Feguer to receive a Federal death sentence. Similar to Feguer, McVeigh’s last meal request was a relatively simple one, although there doesn’t seem to be any symbolic value to the bomber’s choice of two pints of mint chocolate chip ice cream. This was McVeigh’s final indulgence before being put to death via lethal injection on June 11th, 2001 at the Federal Correctional Complex in Terra Haute, Indiana. He was denied military burial despite his past service and was instead cremated, with his ashes being given to his lawyer.

#3: Ronnie Lee Gardner

It seems like Ronnie Lee Gardner was well aware of his impending death, and was determined to put it off as long as possible. Gardner began by eating his last meal of steak, lobster tail, apple pie, vanilla ice cream and 7-Up. He then proceeded to watch “The Lord of the Rings” film trilogy in its entirety. This final request gave Gardner plenty of time for reflection given the length of Peter Jackson’s films. In addition to the movie marathon, Gardner also partook in a 48-hour fast before meeting his demise. The entire process, including his choice to die by firing squad, was apparently spiritually motivated.

#2: Ricky Ray Rector

A prisoner’s mind, while awaiting execution on death row, is likely swimming with emotions, especially as their hour of death draws near. Perhaps this explains the odd conversation that Ricky Ray Rector – who suffered severe brain trauma after a botched suicide attempt following his arrest – had with prison guards following the delivery of his last meal. Rector, who had requested steak, fried chicken, and cherry Kool-Aid, set his dessert of pecan pie off to the side, telling officers he was “saving it for later.” Rector, a heavyset man, was executed by lethal injection on January 24th, 1992. It allegedly took the medical staff over 50 minutes to locate a suitable vein.

Before we unveil our number one pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- Ronnie Threadgill
Chicken, mashed potatoes, vegetables, sweet peas, bread, tea, water, and punch

- Adolf Eichmann
Wine, cheese, bread, olives, and tea

- Bobby Wayne Woods
2 chicken fried steaks, 2 fried chicken breasts, 3 pork chops, 2 burgers, 4 slices of bread, fried potatoes, onion rings, chocolate cake, and milk

#1: Lawrence Russell Brewer

Prisoners in the Texas prison system no longer get to choose their last meal, and they can thank convicted murderer Lawrence Russell Brewer for it. Brewer had a feast in mind when it came to his last meal, ordering two chicken-fried steaks with gravy and onions, a triple-bacon cheeseburger, a beef, veggie and cheese omelet, fried okra with ketchup, a pound of barbecued meat with white bread, three fajitas, a meat lover’s pizza, peanut butter fudge, three root beers and a pint of Blue Bell ice cream. When it came time for dinner, however, Brewer defiantly claimed he wasn’t hungry and ate nothing. Texas prisoners now receive whatever’s on the prison menu for that day.

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