The Last Meals of the Damned: Part Two


A few months ago I published a post on the last meals of criminals on death row. It was rather dark and macabre, and for that reason I’m doing it again! That and the fact that it was the most keen my boyfriend has ever been about reading my blog.

Philip Workman – Possibly Innocent?

Philip Workman

Philip Workman was convicted of the murder of a police office that occurred during a failed robbery of a Wendy’s in Tennessee.

Workman’s guilt remains controversial. Five of the jurors that convicted him have since signed affidavits renouncing either the sentence or the verdict. They cited both medical and ballistics evidence, unheard during the trial, that suggested the fatal shot was inconsistent with the bullets in Workman’s gun and were possibly accidental shots from other officers. Furthermore, one witness for the prosecution was found to have lied in his testimony.

Charges – Murder in the first degree

Execution – Death by lethal injection in Tennessee in 2007

Last Meal- Workman requested that a large vegetarian pizza be given to a homeless person in Nashville. Prison officials denied his request, but homeless shelters across the state received pizzas from all over the country in honour of his last request

Ronnie Lee Gardner

Ronnie Lee Gardner

Gardner was already on trial for the murder of a man during a robbery when he fatally shot an attorney in an failed escape attempt.

Charges – Two counts of murder in the first degree. He received life imprisonment for the initial murder and the death penalty for the second.

Execution – Death by firing squad in Utah in 2010.

Last Meal – Steak, lobster tail, apple pie, vanilla ice cream and 7-up. What I found cool was that he also spent his final hours watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

James Edward Smith – You remind me of a man…

James Edward Smith

Former Tarot card reader, Smith, like our previous two subjects, shot a man during a robbery attempt. Smith’s mother recalled that he was a loving and kind child until he began practicing black magic, voodooism and witchcraft.

Smith claimed to have participated in six ritualistic killings prior to his arrest. He also claimed that he had thrown the corpse of a one-year-old infant over a bridge after being beheaded as a sacrifice to a voodoo god.

Charges – Murder in the first degree

Execution – Death by lethal injection in 1990 in Texas

Last Meal – Smith requested a lump of dirt for a Voodoo ritual. His request was denied and he settled for a small cup of yogurt instead.

Lawrence Brewer – Ruined it for everyone

Lawrence Russell Brewer

A rampant white supremacist, Brewer and three other men offered a lift to a young black man who was walking home from a party. They proceeded to tie his feet with a chain and drag him behind the back of their truck. Eventually they decapitated the man and left him on the side of the road.

Charges – Kidnapping and murder in the first degree.

Execution – Death by lethal injection in Texas in 2011

Last Meal: Two chicken-fried steaks, one pound of barbecued meat, a triple-patty bacon cheeseburger, a meat-lovers pizza, three fajitas, an omelet, a bowl of okra, one pint of icecream, peanut-butter fudge with crushed peanuts and three root beers.

Brewer did not eat any of his epic meal, which resulted in the laws for last meals in Texas being changed. Inmates no longer receive a special choice. Dick move, Brewer.

That’s it for now, I’ll see you all next time. Have a happy Macbre Monday.

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The Last Meals of the Damned: Part One


It seems that the Gods are smiling upon on me, albeit in a rather morbid fashion. Last night, I posted on our Facebook Page that today’s post would involve criminals. As this post title ever so subtly suggests, I’m going to discuss the last meals of some well known criminals.

This morning I was scouring the news headlines and one of the top stories was about Gary Simmons Jr, a recently executed inmate who requested an impressive 29,000 calories worth of food for his final meal. According to MSN news, the meal included “…two Pizza Hut pizzas (one a double portion), almost 6 pounds of cheese, 80 ounces of ranch dressing, a family-sized bag of Doritos, two strawberry milkshakes, 40 ounces of Cherry Coke, a supersized McDonald’s fries and two pints of strawberry ice cream.” Considering that many inmates have had far less extravagant meal requests denied, I found this rather astounding, and admittedly, impressive.

I felt that stumbling across this article was a sign to continue with my morbid post. So let’s dig in.

Have you met Ted?

Ted Bundy:
American serial killer, kidnapper, rapist and necrophile. He confessed to committing thirty murders between 1974 and 1978, but the true total is probably far higher. He is well-known for decapitating his victims and keeping the heads as trophies, as well as performing sexual acts on decomposed corpses.

Charges: Bundy was put on trial three times. During the first he was convicted of two counts of murder, three counts of attempted murder, and two counts of burglary. The second and third trials gave him the same conviction – one count of first degree murder. The result? He was handed the death penalty three times.

Interestingly, Bundy shocked the court by marrying a witness for the defense during the proceedings of the third trial. During questioning, the two exchanged vows and, according to Florida law, a verbal promise made under oath is enough to make it legally binding.

Execution: Death by electrocution on January 24 1989

Last Meal: Medium rare steak, eggs over easy, hash browns, toast with jelly (jam for us non-Americans), milk and Juice. This is the standard meal given to inmates if they decline a last meal request.

Military Man turned Terrorist. God bless America.

Timothy McVeigh
Perpetrator of the Oklahoma City Bombing in 1995 that killed 168 people and injured over 800. He claims that it was a retaliation for the WACO Siege, as well as other government raids and US foreign policy in general.

Charges: Conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction, use of a weapon of mass destruction, destruction by explosives and eight counts of first-degree murder. The state of Oklahoma didn’t file charges for the additional 160 deaths due to being given the death penalty in his first trial.

Execution: Death by Lethal injection in Indiana, June 11 2001.

Last Meal: Two pints of mint chocolate chip Ben & Jerry’s icecream. I can honestly say that I’m on board with this choice.

No one who speaks German could be an evil man. Parole granted.

Adolf Eichmann
Senior Nazi official as well as one of the key organizers of the Holocaust. His main role was facilitating and managing the logistics of mass deportations of Jews to ghettos and extermination camps. He managed to escape Germany after the fall of the Nazis and had been in hiding until his capture in 1960 in Argentina.

Charges: Crimes against humanity, war crimes, crimes against the Jewish people, and membership of an outlawed organization.

Execution: Death by hanging in Israel, 1962

Last Meal: A bottle of Carmel, which is a dry Israeli wine. I think there was a great deal of wisdom in this choice. I would certainly rather be tanked than sober whilst facing the noose.


This is why I’m scared of clowns

John Wayne Gacy
American serial killer and rapist. He sexually assaulted and murdered at least thirty-three young men and boys between 1972 and 1978. Disturbingly, he became known as the Killer Clown due to his involvement in fundraising events, parades and children’s parties where he would dress up as a clown. Terrifying.

Charges: Thirty-three counts of first degree murder, sexual assault and taking indecent liberties with a child.

Execution: Death by lethal injection in Illinois, May 10 1994.

Last Meal: 12 fried shrimp (prawns), a bucket of original recipe KFC chicken, fries,and one pound of strawberries.

Fun Fact: Gacy managed three KFC restaurants prior to his conviction.

“I’m a happy-go-lucky scamp!”

Saddam Hussein
I think we all know who Saddam was, so I’ll keep the mini bio simple. He was the fifth president of Iraq and a well-known dicktator. Yes, I did spell that correctly.

Charges: Crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide.

Execution: Death by hanging in Iraq, December 26 2006.

Last Meal: A rather bland serving of chicken, rice and hot water with lemon.

So there you have it, a small taste of the final meals of some of the world’s most notorious murderers. As the title suggests, it’s only the first in a series of grisly posts, so stay tuned for part two. I’ll also be writing a sister series on the last meals of celebrities and important figures from history.

See you all next time.

You Will Taste Man Flesh – A Short History of Cannibalism


Over the past fortnight there has been a lot of hype surrounding the impending Zombie Apocalypse. Some of the discussions and news articles have been quite tongue in cheek, whereas others are convinced that we are all doomed to develop a taste for human liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti.

The fact of the matter is that the recent spate of cannibalistic violence is nothing new. Humans have been practicing cannibalism for at least 2000 years, and that’s just what we have on record. Whether it be ritualistic or a murderous kink, interest and panic surrounding the practice has gone in and out fashion throughout the centuries. Today I’m going to give you just a small taste of cannibalism throughout history. Although this may not be a topic you expected from a blog about food history, cannibalism absolutely involves both. Besides, did you really expect me not to cash in on a topic that has gone viral? I’m nothing if not shamelessly opportunistic.

My plan for the Zombie Apocalypse – “Hole up, have a cup of tea and wait for this whole thing to blow over”

Evidence of Cannibalism is riddled throughout history, starting in ancient times. For example, archaeologists in 2001 found evidence of Iron Age cannibalism in Gloucestershire. The bones they discovered not only showed signs of murder, but also of having the marrow scraped out. This practice can in no way be accidental and is therefore considered to be reliable evidence of cannibalistic activity.

Because cannibalism is such a broad topic and subject to a great deal of controversy, I’m making the executive decision to stick to one basic area – murder and pleasure. Although I find the history behind ritual and survival cannibalism fascinating, it’s just too big a task to take on and I don’t think I would do it justice. I may revisit these areas in the future if you guys can’t get enough of the human flesh stories.

I will however make two basic observations before moving on:

Survival

Survival cannibalism seems to be the most easily forgiven in the minds of Westerners, although it’s happened more commonly than ‘civilized’ society would feel comfortable admitting. This may be because it serves as a reminder that despite our condemnation of ‘less civilized’ societies for utilizing cannibalism, we too are capable of indulging in the practice if our lives depend on it. One example of this was in 1972 when a plane carrying the Uruguayan rugby team crashed in the Andes. During their seventy days in the mountains, the surviving members of the team ate the flesh of  those who died in the crash.

Ritual

From ancient history onwards, tales of ritualistic cannibalism have emerged from every continent on earth. It is my belief that many accounts of cannibalism were documented for a very specific reason – It was an easy and highly convenient tool for exploiting other cultures. For example, Christopher Columbus described Carib Indians as “sub-human eaters of men.” By doing this he effectively placed their culture firmly below that of Europeans. Labeling a culture as cannibalistic dehumanizes it, and in the context of colonization, justifies murder and land-grabbing.

So now that I have passed judgement from the top of my extremely high horse, we can move onto the disturbing main event. Outlined are some of the notorious cases of cannibalism that were committed for the sake of pleasure. Please be advised that I in no way condone these and have purposely omitted many of the grisly details.

Issei Sagawa

Sagawa was a Japanese student completing an English Literature degree in Paris in 1981. It was there that he murdered a fellow female student and spent two days consuming her. Sagawa was eventually arrested by French authorities but was deemed unfit to stand trial due to insanity. The truly disturbing part was that a paperwork error allowed Sagawa to check himself out of his mental institution after little more than a year of confinement. He is now living in Japan as a free man.

Armin Meiwes

Meiwes began practicing cannibalism at a young age. As a teeanger he would break into morgues and cut off pieces of flesh from the expired corpses before taking them home to cook them in his mother’s kitchen. It was in these early years that he discovered the sexual gratification that he received from the act.

In 2001 Meiwes posted an advertisement on the internet asking for a well-built 18 to 30 year old to volunteer to be slaughtered and then consumed. After meeting several young men who inevitably backed out, Meiwes received a serious response from a willing participant. The two men met on Christmas Day and proceeded to commit and videotape the act. The first of these was cutting off the mans penis and proceeding to dine on it together. Police had already caught wind of the incident online and interrupted the couple during the middle of their feast. Meiwes is currently serving a life sentence in a German prison.

This guy loves some man flesh

What I find particularly fascinating about Meiwes is the controversy surrounding his sentence and the crime itself. Unlike the majority of famous cannibals, he wasn’t interested in murder and his partner can’t necessarily be considered to be a victim.  When police arrived on the scene the cannibalized man kept insisting, as he slowly died before their eyes, that this is what he wanted. Furthermore, No harm came to the previous applicants who changed their minds.

Jeffrey Dahmer

Dahmer was an American serial killer and necrophiliac, as well as one of the most infamous modern-day cannibals. Dahmer would lure young men into his apartment where he would sedate them with drugs before strangling and dismembering them. After disposing of his victims he would consume or experiment with their remains. Once caught, he was charged and convicted of 15 murders and given numerous life sentences. On November 28, 1994 Dahmer was beaten to death at the Colombia Correctional Institution in Milwaukee. I cannot say that I am entirely surprised.

So there you have it, just a small sample of the many cases of cannibalism in modern-day society. Although they prove that cannibalism is nothing new, they may not disprove the much feared Zombie Apocalypse. Afterall, these murders were premeditated, whereas some of the accounts from the past fortnight seem to have been spontaneous and somewhat more animalistic. Perhaps we really are all doomed.

I guess we’ll find out if I start obsessively writing about brains and sweet breads in the near future.

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