In the US, condemned criminals are given the option to dictate their final meal. Given the very strange personalities of condemned criminals, their oftentimes unusual choices have become fodder for true crime trivia.
Some death row inmates used their last meal to make a final statement to the world. Others simply wanted to indulge in something delicious one more time. Here are some of the strangest last meals requested by death row inmates.
Charles Rumbaugh – A Single Tortilla
On April 4, 1975, 17 year-old Charles Rumbaugh shot and killed 58 year-old jewelry store owner Michael Fiorillo during an armed robbery. As a result, he spent the next decade in prison, awaiting lethal injection. When given the option of a last meal, he chose not to be indulgent. He merely ordered a single tortilla.
According to David Tomsovic, an expert on capital punishment, “He [Rumbaugh] said he didn’t need any more than that. He was a philosophical type of person.”
Kenneth Wayne Morris – A Cake to Commemorate His Final Birthday
Texas native Kenneth Wayne’s Morris’s 38th birthday was also his death day: It coincided with the date of his execution. Morris was a career criminal, touting a long history of burglaries, which occasionally ended in violence.
During his final home invasion, he mercilessly murdered one of the homeowners. He spent 15 years in prison before his execution. For his last meal, he asked for a birthday cake with lemon icing. Alongside his cake, he ate fried chicken and okra.
Stacey Lawton Really Liked Pickles
Another Texan, Stacey Lawton received a death sentence for shooting a man amidst a robbery. Lawton went to his grave claiming not to be the shooter, but the court continually denied his conviction appeals throughout the seven years he spent in prison. He was one of many inmates executed in Texas in the year 2000, but his last meal has cemented his legacy.
He requested a cheeseburger and fries, as well as an entire jar of dill pickles. It’s unknown whether or not this bizarre choice was some kind of statement or if he simply just loved pickles enough to consume an entire jar’s worth of them.
Peter J. Miniel Ate Good
In 1986, Peter J. Miniel murdered an acquaintance, stealing from him a mere $20 and a stereo. This heinous crime cost Miniel his life. Unlike the other criminals on this list, Miniel’s final meal was anything but simple.
He ordered 20 beef tacos, 20 beef enchiladas, two double cheeseburgers, a pizza, fried chicken, spaghetti, half of a chocolate cake and half of a vanilla cake, ice cream, fruit cake, and an assortment of soft drinks. Obviously there was no way he could eat all of this. He most likely sought to be an annoyance to whichever poor prison employees had to fulfill this order.