Last meal requests for death row inmates have been a standard practice for many years, with historians dating the culture back to the ancient Greek Empire. While most prisoners often ask for their favorite meals, others have made the strangest requests; they are our subject for today. Here are some of the oddest last meal requests ever made by death row inmates.

1. A Large Vegetarian Pizza for a Homeless Person

Philip Ray Workman was a death row inmate who was executed on May 9, 2007. He had been convicted in 1982 for killing a police officer following a robbery of a fast food restaurant in Memphis, Tennessee. Phillip Workman’s popularity grew when he chose a large vegetarian pizza to be delivered to a homeless person in Nashville as his last meal request.

While his request was denied, hundreds of Nashville residents honored his request and bought pizzas for homeless people. The inmate refused to eat anything and was executed by lethal injection.

2. A Buffet of Food that Wasn’t Eaten

Lawrence Russell Brewer was among the three white men who were charged with murdering James Byrd Jr., an African American man, on June 7, 1998. Although his story is very intriguing, most people remember Lawrence Brewer for his last meal request: he ordered a buffet of food but declined to eat anything. He had asked for two fried chickens, a Pizza Hut Meat Lovers pizza, a bowl of fried okra, one pound BBQ meat, 3 root beers, a cheese omelet, ice cream and much more.

3. Saving a Pie for Later

Ricky Ray Rector was an inmate convicted for the murder of a police officer in 1981. When examined, his last meal request seemed normal; he ordered fried chicken, a steak, a pecan pie, and Kool-Aid. However, what makes his request interesting is the fact that he ate everything except for the pecan pie, which he claimed he was saving it for later.

4. A Birthday Cake

Unlike most death row inmates, David Leon Woods asked for a birthday cake and a pizza for his last meal. David was a serial killer and rapist who was convicted of murdering at least six girls and women. It was believed that David had psychological issues.

5. A Single Unpitted Olive

Victor Feguer’s case is famous because, apart from being a convicted murderer, he was the last person put to death in the state of Iowa. He was also the last person to be executed in America before capital punishment was banned as a sentence until 1976. His last meal request was quite absurd because he ordered a single unpitted olive. He told the guards he hoped an olive tree grew on his grave as “a sign of peace.” The olive pit was later discovered in his suit pocket, and he was buried with it.

6. Dirt

James Edward Smith, who was sentenced to death by lethal injection for the capital murder of Larry Rhodus, requested a pile of dirt as his last meal request. These demands were denied, so James opted for yogurt instead.

7. 29,000 Calories Worth of Food

After murdering a man who owed him drug money, Gary Carl Simmons Jr was arrested and convicted. The murder was added to other charges, including assault, drug trafficking, and rape – he was sentenced to death. Gary didn’t ask anything out of the ordinary; it’s just that he requested so many things, including 10 packs of Parmesan cheese, a supreme pizza, two cokes, and much more. The total calorie was estimated to be 29,000.

8. A Meal Plus the Lord of the Rings

Ronnie Lee Gardener is undeniably one of the most brutal killers. His last meal request comprised of steak, lobster, and apple pie. He also added another request: to be granted the freedom to watch the Lord of the Rings trilogy while eating. Ronnie was executed by a firing squad in Utah in 2010.

9. A Single Flour Tortilla and a Glass of Water

Tortillas are often accompanied by other meals. But for Charles Rumbaugh, who was convicted for murder and robbery, he chose a single flour tortilla and a glass of water as his last meal. After his conviction in 1975, Charles had spent almost 10 years awaiting the fulfillment of his sentence. Researchers claim that Charles was as simple as the meal he requested.

10. A Single Cup of Coffee

While most death row requests comprise of a wide assortment of meals, Aileen Wuornos, a serial killer convicted of the murder of seven men, only requested a single cup of coffee. She was executed by lethal injection.

11. A Flask of Jack Daniels

John Spekelink was a convicted murderer known for heavy drinking. So, when he was executed, he asked for a flask of Jack Daniels that he shared with the prison superintendent. Because of the absurdity associated with this request, the state of Florida was forced to revisit its last meal request options.

12. Regular Prisoner Food

In 2006, a death row inmate by the name of Angel Nievez Diaz declined any special food as his last meal request. Instead, he opted for the regular prison food that was being served that Wednesday. It contained beans, rice, cheese, apple crisp, and shredded turkey. Before he died, Angel mentioned that capital punishment was a form of cowardice.

13. Nothing At All

Ted Bundy, who confessed to 30 murders, was one of the worst serial killers in the 70s. As expected, he was apprehended and sentenced to death. Ted declined the last meal request and said he didn’t want to eat anything. The prison was forced to give him coffee, hash browns, eggs, and steak. Staying true to his request, Ted Bundy did not take a single bite.

14. 12 Chocolate Bars and Ice Cream

A typical last meal often comprises of a full-course meal. However, it was a different case for Dobie Gillis Williams, who, before his execution in 1999, requested 12 chocolate bars and some ice cream. It was alleged that Dobie had broken into a woman’s house and murdered her. His case is one of the most controversial.

15. A Coke and a Bag of Cheez Doodles

Nicknamed the “death row granny”, Velma Barfield was a God-fearing elderly woman who poisoned 6 people. She was initially convicted of murdering one person but later on confessed to killing 6 people. Velma was the first woman to be sentenced to death by lethal injection, and it is often thought she was a victim of childhood abuse. The day before her execution, Velma asked for a bottle of Coke and Cheez Doodles.

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Last Update: May 13, 2024