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15 Infamous Criminals and Their Last Words Before Execution

6. James French

James French
Image Source: larrywattsauthor, jacobinmag

Crime: Killed two people

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Death: Electric chair on August 10, 1966

Last Words:

“How’s this for a headline? ‘French Fries.’”

James French was convicted for murdering a motorist who gave him a lift and was sentenced to prison for life. Reportedly he was too afraid to commit suicide, so instead he killed his cellmate to force a death penalty on him. He was the last person to have been executed on the electric chair before the temporary suspension of death penalties during the period between 1972 and 1976.(source)

7. Carl Panzram

Carl Panzram
Image Source: ozy

Crime: Killing around 21 people, rape, burglary and arson

Death: Hanged on September 5, 1930

Last Words:

“Hurry it up, you Hoosier bastard! I could hang a dozen men while you’re screwing around!”

Carl Panzram’s first crime was when he was child studying at Minnesota State Training School where the staff would beat the children in a room. He hated the place so much he burned it down. He ran away from home when he was 14 and started a career of crime that involved theft, vandalism and arson. He would often rape his male victims to humiliate them even though he was not a homosexual. He also killed young boys, lured sailors got them drunk and raped before killing, and many others. After he was arrested, he battered another man to death in the prison and received death sentence.(source)

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8. John Wayne Gacy, “Killer Clown”

John Wayne Gacy
Image Source: chicagoreader

Crime: Raped and killed at least 33 boys and men

Death: Lethal injection on May 10, 1994

Last Words:

“Kiss my ass.”

John Wayne Gacy had a father who was an alcoholic and physically abusive towards him and his mother. At school too he was often the target for bullying. His first experience with death and male body was when he was working at a mortuary and saw the embalmers working on the bodies. However, he also managed to finish managerial course and managed three KFC restaurants his father-in-law purchased where would make advances on the teenage male employees.

Gacy was a successful businessman even through his on and off sexual advances with teenage boys. His first murder was when a 16-year-old boy he slept with the previous night woke him up carrying a knife from the kitchen while making breakfast for the both of them. When the Gacy accidentally received a cut from the knife, he attacked the boy, killing him and reportedly experiencing a sexual high. Since then Gacy lured many boys and men, killing and burying at least 26 of his victims in his own home.(source)

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9. Amelia Dyer, “Ogress of Reading”

Amelia Dyer
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Crime: Baby farming and killing 200 to 400 babies

Death: Hanged on June 10, 1896

Last Words:

“I have nothing to say.”

Amelia Dyer was a nurse who started to earn more money by providing lodgings to pregnant young woman to deliver their illegitimate babies during Victorian era. She soon also started advertising and offering to care for the babies of parents or young women who wanted to keep the birth quiet for a fee. She would starve the babies so that they would eventually die and she wouldn’t have to care for them. She was arrested once for neglect and received hard labor for it. She was also sent to the asylum for mental instabilities. After she was released, she started to kill the babies so that she could keep the money for herself instead of spending it for their care. She went on doing it and evading the police suspicion until they laid a trap for her and arrested her.(source)

10. William Palmer, “The Prince of Poisoners”

William Palmer
Image Source: presentationsunplugged, nlm.nih.gov

Crime: Poisoned several people

Death: Hanged on June 14, 1856

Last Words:

“Are you sure it’s safe?”

William Palmer was a doctor by profession and was interested in horse racing incurring large amounts of debts. Though many were never proven, his whole life had many deaths of the people he was with. The first being a plumber, whose wife Palmer was said to be interested in, died after in bed after having a drinking competition with him. His mother-in-law, to whom Palmer owed money, died two weeks after she came to stay at his house (though, her death was said to be due to apoplexy).

All his four children died in less than a few months of their birth and the cause was given as convulsions. As the infant mortality rate during those times was high the deaths didn’t arise suspicion, though there were some who thought he poisoned them to avoid extra expenses. There were several other such cases in which people died and he profited from it. He was finally convicted after one of a victim told his friends that Palmer was dosing him.(source)

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