I’m too old and sad to enjoy mocking death the way I used to. But Death Row trivia continues to fascinate me, even though it’s politically incorrect to express anything but outrage on the subject of the death penalty.
Photographer Henry Hargreaves has recreated the last meals requested by some notorious killers in a project called No Seconds. Looking at the photos, it’s hard not to form conclusions about each meal and the man who chose it. The meal above, for example, increased my disdain for John Wayne Gacy: “What a pig,” I thought.
Timothy McVeigh, on the other hand, limited himself to his favorite ice cream. Clearly, he was more focused and less self-indulgent.
Look at what Victor Feguer asked for. What a cunt. Or maybe he was being a smart-ass. I can’t decide. I ‘d like to have told him ‘No way, buddy. You’ll eat a pitted olive or nothing at all.’
My reactions probably say more about me than the meals say about the convicts. That’s why this is art.
Here’s more to think about:
In Louisiana, the prison warden traditionally joins the condemned prisoner for the last meal.
In September 2011, the state of Texas abolished all special last-meal requests after prisoner Lawrence Russell Brewer requested a huge last meal and didn’t eat any of it, saying he wasn’t hungry. His last-meal request was for two chicken-fried steaks with gravy; a triple-patty bacon cheeseburger; a cheese omelet with ground beef, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, and jalapenos; a bowl of fried okra with ketchup; one pound of barbecued meat with half a loaf of white bread; three fajitas; a meat-lover’s pizza; one pint of Blue Bell Ice Cream; a slab of peanut-butter fudge with crushed peanuts; and three root beers. The abolition followed a complaint by Texas Senator John Whitmire, who called the meal “inappropriate.” (Thanks Lawrence Russell Brewer, for ruining things for everybody else!)
Feel free to place your order or rant about the death penalty.