July 8, 2013

15 Death Row Offenders’ Last Words Before Execution

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The Texas Department of Criminal Justice keeps a public online record of executed Death Row offenders that includes descriptions of their crimes, photos of the defendants, and their last words. Here are some of the most compelling ones.

Jeffrey Williams

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Crime: “On 5/19/1999, Williams was driving a stolen vehicle. A 30-year-old white male police officer stopped the vehicle and attempted to arrest Williams. Williams shot the officer in the chest and fled the scene. The officer was able to get back to his car and radio for help, but died as a result of the gunshot.”

Last Statement: “You clown police. You gonna stop with all that killing all these kids. You’re gonna stop killing innocent kids, murdering young kids. When I kill one or pop one, ya’ll want to kill me. God has a plan for everything. You hear? I love everyone that loves me. I ain’t got no love for anyone that don’t love me.”

Jonathan Green

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Crime: “On 06/21/2000, in Montgomery County, Texas, Green kidnapped a 12 year old white female from a private residence. Green took the victim to his residence, where he killed her by strangling her to death. The victim was also sexually assaulted. Green buried the victim in his backyard, then dug up the body and placed it inside the residence, behind a chair.”

Last Statement: “I’m an innocent man. I did not kill anyone. Ya’ll are killing an innocent man. My left arm is killing me. It hurts bad.”

Ramon Hernandez

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Crime: “On 03/31/2002, in San Antonio, Texas, Hernandez and 2 co-defendants abducted, robbed, sexually assaulted, and murdered a 37-year old Hispanic female, later transporting her body to a wooded area and burying her in a shallow grave. Hernandez asked one co-defendant to purchase the shovel used to dig the grave while the victim was still alive and being assaulted.”

Last Statement: “Can you hear me? Did I ever tell you, you have dad’s eyes? I’ve noticed that in the last couple of days. I’m sorry for putting you through all this. Tell everyone I love them. It was good seeing the kids. I love them all; tell mom, everybody. I am very sorry for all of the pain. Tell Brenda I love her. To everybody back on the row, I know you’re going through a lot over there. Keep fighting, don’t give up everybody.”

Robert Harris

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Crime: “On 3/20/2000 at a car wash in Irving, Harris entered his former place of employment and began shooting co-workers. Harris had been fired three days prior to the shooting after exposing himself to two women. Five people were killed during the shooting. After the shooting, Harris fled the scene on foot.”

Last Statement: “I want to tell ya’ll, know that I love you. Billy, I love you, English, Hart and Eloise. Dwight, take care of Dwight. I’m going home, I’m going home. I’ll be alright, don’t worry. I love ya’ll. God bless and the Texas Rangers, Texas Rangers.”

Lawrence Brewer

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Crime: “Brewer was convicted in the murder of a black male occurring on 06/07/98. The offense involved Brewer and two co-defendants torturing and killing a 49-year old handicapped black male during the nighttime hours, in rural Jasper County, Texas. The victim was observed in the back of a pickup truck occupied by Brewer and his co-defendants. This was the last occasion the victim was seen alive by persons other than Brewer and his co-defendants. Brewer and his co-defendants drove to an isolated spot on a logging road where they beat and tormented the victim, then tied him to a logging chain, which was hooked to the pickup truck. Brewer and his co-defendants then dragged the victim to his death, leaving his decapitated and dismembered body to be found the following day by citizens and law enforcement officials. It was argued in court that Brewer and his co-defendants engaged in this criminal act, in part, due to their racially separatist affiliation with the Confederate Knights of America and the Ku Klux Klan. Brewer and one co-defendant were documented members of the Confederate Knights of America and a large number of Ku Klux Klan and other racial separatist organization paraphernalia was discovered in a residence occupied by the three.”

Last Statement: “No, I have no final statement.”

Carlos Granados

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Crime: “On 09/13/98, in Georgetown, Granados went to his girlfriend’s residence and an argument ensued. Grenados used a long kitchen knife and stabbed his girlfriend, requiring hospitalization. Grenados killed the girlfriend’s 3-year old child with a large kitchen knife. On 09/14/98, the police officers were alerted due to a welfare concern for the 3-year old child and his mother, because their family had not seen them for a full day. When police officers arrived they were unable to get a response to their knocking and calling at the door. Officers called the residence, but the telephone was never answered. Upon entering the apartment after the door was broken down, they found the mother on the floor with several knife wounds. They then observed the child Anthony laying on the floor. Grenados entered the room through an open hallway and began shouting at the officers ‘Shoot me, just shoot me.’ The officers observed that Grenados had a gaping wound to his throat, both wrists and inside both elbows. Grenados continued to beg the officers to shoot him.”

Last Statement: “Yes, Love you mom, love you pop, love you Sara, and Amanda. Um, Cathy you know I never meant to hurt you. I gave you everything and that’s what made me so angry. But I didn’t mean to hurt you. I am sorry. That’s it.”

Christopher Black, Sr.

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Crime: “Black fatally shot his 36-year-old wife, his 5-month-old daughter, and his 17-month-old granddaughter. Black shot and killed all three of the victims with a 9 millimeter pistol. After he shot all three, he called 911, and when the officers arrived he was holding his deceased daughter in his arms.”

Last Statement: “This offender declined to make a last statement.”

William Little

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Crime: “Convicted in the stabbing death of 23-year-old Marilyn Peters at her rural Cleveland, Texas home. Peters was raped, stabbed more than 19 times with a kitchen knife, and then raped a second time after her death. Her nude body was found on the living room floor of her home in the Old Snake River Lake subdivision. Robbery was not a motive in the murder since Peters was still wearing her jewelry and nearly $500 was found on her bedroom dresser. Authorities also found nearly two pounds of marijuana inside the residence. Little claimed he had become acquainted with the victim through her sale of marijuana to him. Blood-stained blue jeans and towels were found at Little’s residence on Buckley Drive. He was arrested there on 12-6-83.”

Last Statement: “This offender declined to make a last statement.”

Vernon Sattiewhite

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Crime: “Convicted in the June 1986 abduction and shooting death of his ex-girlfriend, Sandra Sorrell, in San Antonio. Sorrell was walking to nursing school near downtown San Antonio when Sattiewhite grabbed her in a headlock, dragged her several hundred feet across a parking lot and then shot her twice in the head with a .22-caliber pistol. Sattiewhite then turned the gun on himself and attempted to commit suicide. The gun misfired. For more than a month before the murder, Sorrell had been calling police and the Bexar County District Attorney’s Office in an effort to keep Sattiewhite away from her.”

Last Statement: “I would like to say — I just hope Ms. Fielder is happy now. I would like to thank my lawyer, Nancy, for her help on my case and for being with me now.”

Humberto Leal

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Crime: “Convicted in the abduction, rape and bludgeoning death of 16-year-old Adria Saveda of San Antonio. Saveda was raped with a piece of lumber and her head crushed by a 35-pound piece of asphalt after being abducted from a party by Leal. Her nude body was found near a creek off Reforma Drive with the piece of lumber still protruding from her vagina. When arrested, police found scratches and cuts on Leal’s face and body.”

Last Statement: “I am sorry for everything that I have done. I’ve hurt a lot of people. For years I have never thought that I deserved any type of forgiveness. Lord Jesus Christ in my life, I know He has forgiven me, I have accepted His forgiveness. I have accepted everything. Let this be final and be done. I take the full blame for this. I am sorry and forgive me. I am truly sorry. I ask for forgiveness. Life goes on and it surely does. I am sorry for the victim’s family for what I had did. May they forgive me. I don’t know if you believe me, life goes on. I am sure it does. To the man to the right of me, I ask for forgiveness for you. Life goes on, it surely does. I ask for forgiveness. I am truly sorry. That is all. Let’s get this show on the road. One more thing, Viva Mexico, Viva Mexico.”

Michael Rosales

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Crime: “On June 4, 1997, Rosales was in the process of committing burglary of a habitation when he entered the home of a 60-year-old female. Rosales claims he did not know she was home, and he was subsequently discovered while committing burglary. Rosales grabbed a kitchen knife from the victim’s kitchen, stabbed her 137 times, and struck her with a hard object resulting in her death.”

Last Statement: “No, I love you. May the Lord be with you. Peace, I’m done.”

Johnny Johnson

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Crime: “Convicted in the sexual assault and murder of Leah Joette Smith in Houston. Records indicate that Johnson became angry with Smith when she refused to have sex with him after they had smoked crack cocaine. Johnson reportedly slammed her head against a concrete ledge until she went limp and then ripped off her clothes and raped her. Following the assault, he stomped her face, breaking her jaw so severely that her tongue was displaced. She choked to death on the blood from her injuries. Johnson fled from the scene but returned to retrieve his wallet and again rape Smith. Johnson later confessed to killing two other women after raping them. He also confessed to 13 other rape cases in the Houston and Austin areas. Police said Johnson raped his niece when she was just 8 years old and also sexually assaulted his sister-in-law’s sister.”

Last Statement: “The Polunsky dungeon should be compared with the Death Row Community as existing not living. Why do I say this, the Death Row is full of isolated hearts and suppressed minds. We are filled with love looking for affection and a way to understand. I am a Death Row resident of the Polunsky dungeon. Why does my heart ache. We want pleasure love and satisfaction. It. The walls of darkness crushed in on me. Life without meaning is life without purpose. But the solace within the Polunsky dungeon, the unforgivesness within society, the church Pastors and Christians. It is terrifying. Does anyone care or who I am. Can you feel me people. The Polunsky dungeon is what I call the pit of hopelessness. The terrfying thing is the US is the only place, country that is the only civilized country that is free that says it will stop murder and enable justice. I ask each of you to lift up your voices to demand an end to the Death Penalty. If we live, we live to the Lord. If we die we die to the Lord. Christ rose again, in Jesus name. Bye Aunt Helen, Luise, Joanna and to all the rest of yall. You may proceed Warden. (began singing)”

Donald Aldrich

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Crime: “Convicted in the November 1993 murder of 23-year-old Nicholus West in Tyler. Following his arrest, Aldrich told police that he and two accomplices abducted West from a Tyler park and robbed him because they believed him to be a homosexual. West’s half-naked, bullet-riddled body was found in a clay pit about 10 miles outside of Tyler. Aldrich and his co-defendants were said to have been involved in earlier drive-by shootings, robberies, burglaries, car-jackings, arson and gay bashing.”

Last Statement: “Yes sir, I would. To the West Family, I would just like to apologize for your loss. I hope that you can forgive me. To my family and loved ones and friends, I thank all of you all for your support and I am sorry for the pain and hurt I have caused you. I love you all and I will see you on the other side. O.K. Warden.”

Betty Beets

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Crime: “Convicted in the August 1983 shooting death of her fifth husband, Jimmy Don Beets, at the couple’s home near Gun Barrel City in East Texas. Prosecutors said Beets killed her husband, a firefighter, to collect $100,000 in insurance and pension benefits. His body was found buried in a wishing well used as a flower garden at the home. Police also found the skeletal remains of Beets’ fourth husband, Doyle Wayne Baker, buried under a storage shed at the home. Baker, who disappeared in 1981, had also been shot to death.”

Last Statement: “This offender declined to make a last statement.”

Charles Rumbaugh

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Crime: “Rumbaugh was sentenced to die for the April 4, 1975 slaying of Michael Fiorillo, 58, during a jewelry store robbery.

Previous arrest: 12/08/75 escape & aggravated assault on a police officer.

May, 1975 — Rumbaugh attempted suicide by cutting his wrist with a razor blade (Potter County Jail)

June, 1975 — Rimbaugh attempted suicide by taking an overdose of drugs. (Potter County Jail.)

December, 1975 — Escaped from Potter County Jail (2 other escapees: Michael Joe Sutton, and Roger Paul Barett). The three inmates escaped by cutting an 11 and 1/4″ x 11 and 1/4″ hole through a steel plate 3/8″ thick, then lowered themselves down to the street level with bed sheets they had tied together. Bobbie White was waiting in a vehicle to aid in the escape. DPS officers stopped the car during a routine driver’s license check. The driver of the car had no driver’s license so they were taken to the Snyder County Court House where the officer was overpowered and his gun taken away from him, before the revolver could be used, another officer arrived and the subjects were subdued. (Ms. White was Barett’s girlfriend at the time he escaped from a jail in New Mexico.)

In 1976 Rumbaugh was escorted from the Potter County Jail to the 181st District Court for formal sentencing (Death) Rumbaugh threatened to kill the judge, D.A., bailiff, and his attorney; officials found a metal strip approximately 7″ long and 1 and 1/2″ wide, and sharpened to a point.

February, 1983 — Rumbaugh was critically wounded in a courtroom after he lunged at a deputy U.S. marshall with a makeshift weapon and shouted ‘shoot me.'”

Last Statement: “D.J., Laurie, Dr. Wheat, about all I can say is goodbye, and for all the rest of you, although you don’t forgive me for my transgressions, I forgive yours against me. I am ready to begin my journey and that’s all I have to say.” TC mark

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Sabine Heinlein spent almost a year reporting at “The Farm,” a program for mental patients at the notorious Creedmoor Psychiatric Center in Queens, New York. The result is this book, which is informative and tragic, and available to read today on Amazon here.

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