Famous Final Meals from Death Row
by Ty Treadwell and Michelle Vernon

   How's this for a last meal: A dozen steamed mussels, a Burger King double cheeseburger with mustard, mayonnaise, lettuce and tomato, a can of Franco-American spaghetti with meatballs, a mango, half of a pumpkin pie with whipped cream, and a strawberry milkshake -- all that went down the hatch of killer Thomas Grasso on the eve of Oklahoma's giving him the needle.
   The United States remains one of the few "civilized" nations to utilize capital punishment as a crime-fighting tool. Execution rituals have always varied slightly from state to state, not only in the method of death but also in the care and treatment of the accused during his final hours. One ritual that remains constant throughout all 38 states which have the death penalty is the act of feeding the condemned man a special last meal before the execution.
   The ritual seems to be important not only to the inmate and to prison officials, but to the general public as well. Almost every newspaper article documenting an execution lists the condemned man's last meal alongside his last words and the other details of the execution, making one wonder why this tidbit of information is so greedily sought after. Do last meal menus somehow shed light on the inner psyche of the condemned man himself? Like a mystic reading tea leaves, do we hope to discover the reasoning behind a mad killer's crimes by examining the gravy smears on his plate? Could a proven connection between cheesecake lovers and axe-murderers aid law enforcement officials in solving crimes? Regardless of the reasons, it can truly be said that criminals aren't the only ones with an appetite for "last suppers." So dig in and enjoy!
5 1/2 x 8 1/2 150 pages


Last Suppers
Price $39.95