A 2000 story for Stuff, a British men’s magazine.

Last Suppers of the Lone Star State

$49.54 is all it costs for daily room and board at the Lone Star state’s Death Row suites in Huntsville prison —  and on that final day of your stay, they throw in a few extras.  Besides a complimentary veinful of Sodium Thiopental, Pancuronium Bromide, and Potassium Chloride (Texas Nite-all), they let you dream up your own din din menu.


Meat is clearly the felon’s fave.  From December 1982 to June 2000, Death Row inmates ordered:.

82 request for French fries
43 steak (21 T-bone) (4 chicken-fried)
29 cheesburgers
23 request for chicken (17 fried)
11 hamburgers
6 each: ribs, enchiladas, tacos
1 hot dog (only because it was on the day’s menu, and the poor sap said he didn’t care)

11 requests for smokes (No one wants a pissy Dr. Koop)
2 for booze (but the Pancuronium Bromide will help you relax)
1 for gum (what if you choked?)


Sweet Tooth 
James Richardson (executed 05/23/2000) requested three kinds of cake: carrot, white coconut, and “cheesecake with cherry topping.”  That and “fresh fried chicken (no skin, 5 breasts and 20 wings).”

Taco Hell
David Castillo (executed 08/23/1998) put away 24 soft shell tacos, six enchiladas, six tostadas, two whole onions, five jalapenos, two cheeseburgers, one chocolate shake, and one quart of milk.

Game Plan
Javier Cruz, (executed 10/01/1998) demanded venison steak, baked potato, lite beer and Camel cigarettes.  An obvious bon vivant and troublemaker, he probably knew the cigs and booze were off-limits and thought he’d stall ’em off by sending them on a month-long deer hunt.  Carl Kelly (executed 8/20/1993) tried the same ploy earlier, requesting “wild game,” but ended up with a cheesburger and fries.


Sour Grapes
Between December 1982, and June 2000, 37 inmates lost their appetite at the idea of imminent extermination and refused to participate in the grand old tradition of a final blowout. A penitent Charles Rumbaugh (executed 09/11/1985) asked for nothing more than “one flour tortilla and water,” while others, including Benjamin Stone (executed 09/25/1997)and Patrick Rogers(executed 06/02/1997), went out with merely a Coke and a smile.

Head in the Clouds
Jailhouse conversion is the biggest wet blanket of all, leading holier-than-thou murderers to screw up their menu requests with the stipulation that their meals “be donated to the homeless.”  Other pious party-poopers have asked to be fed on “justice, temperance, with mercy” and “justice, equality, world peace.”

Don’t Wanna Cause No Trouble
Billy Gardner (executed 02/16/1995) humbly requested a “hamburger, french fries, tea and any dessert (no preference).”  His unwillingness to impose on kitchen staff could have had something to do with his conviction for blowing away a  high school cafeteria operator in 1983.


Sociopathic killers, Sure!  But at least they ate their Vegetables
Eddie Johnson (executed 06/17/1997) asked for broccoli along with the usual hamburger and fries, while Alvin Crane (executed 10/12/1999) actually requested cauliflower!  Where did those mothers go wrong?

Nutritious Snack-on-the-Go
James Smith James (executed 06/26/1990) requested, simply, yogurt. James Russell (executed 09/19/1991) contemplated his sin over an apple, and John Thompson (executed 07/08/1987) just wanted orange juice, “freshly squeezed.”

Who Knows Where Those Sticks Have Been
Apparently a lacto-vegeterian, Frank McFarland (executed 04/29/1998) was fastidious about requests taken down by the warden: “Heaping portion of lettuce, a sliced tomato, a sliced cucumber, four celery stalks, four sticks of American or Cheddar cheese, two bananas and two cold half pints of milk.”  He “asked that all vegetables be washed prior to serving.  Also asked that the cheese sticks be clean.”