Famous Last Meals

The last meal is a customary part of a condemned prisoner's last day. The day before the appointed time of execution, the prisoner will be given the meal, as well as religious rites, if he or she desires. As a general rule, inmates may not ask for an alcoholic drink as it dulls the senses.

In many countries the prisoner may have the luxury of selecting what the last meal will be (within reason), and the authorities do their best to provide a prisoner with the requested meal.

Adolf Eichmann: He declined a special meal, preferring a bottle of Carmel, a dry red Israeli wine. He drank about half of it.

Aileen Wuornos: She declined a special meal, but had a hamburger and other snack food from the prison's canteen. Later, she drank a cup of coffee.

Allen Lee Davis: 350-pound "Tiny" Davis had the following last meal: one lobster tail, fried potatoes, a half-pound of fried shrimp, six ounces of fried clams, half a loaf of garlic bread, and 32 ounces of A&W root beer.

Ángel Nieves Díaz: He declined a special meal. He was then served the regular prison meal for that day, but he declined that as well.

Bruno Richard Hauptmann: Celery, olives, chicken, french fries, buttered peas, cherries, and a slice of cake.

Dennis Wayne Bagwell: Medium rare steak with A1 Steak Sauce, fried chicken breasts and thighs, BBQ ribs, French fries, onion rings, bacon, scrambled eggs with onions, fried potatoes with onions, sliced tomatoes, salad with ranch dressing, two hamburgers, peach pie, milk, coffee, and iced tea with real sugar.

Desmond Keith Carter: He declined a special meal, but had two cheeseburgers, a steak sub, and two Cokes from the prison canteen, for which he paid $4.20 from his prison account.

Dobie Gillis Williams: Twelve candy bars and some ice cream.

Edward Hartman: A Greek salad, linguini with white clam sauce, cheese cake with cherry topping, garlic bread, and a Coke.

Gary Gilmore: A hamburger, hard-boiled eggs, a baked potato, a few cups of coffee, and three shots of whiskey.

Gary M. Heidnik: Two slices of a cheese pizza and two cups of black coffee.

Henry Martinez Porter: Flour tortillas, T-bone steak, refried beans, tossed salad, jalapeño peppers, ice cream, and chocolate cake.

James Edward Smith: A lump of dirt, denied. Settled for a small cup of yogurt.

John Wayne Gacy: A dozen deep-fried shrimps, a bucket of original recipe chicken from KFC, French fries, and a pound of strawberries.

Karl Eugene Chamberlain: A variety of fresh fruit and vegetables, cheese, lunch meat, deviled, six fried cheese-stuffed jalapenos, a chef salad with ranch dressing, onion rings, french fries, a cheesburger, two fried chicken breasts, barbecue pork rolls, an omelet, milk and orange juice.

Karla Faye Tucker: Banana, peach, and garden salad with ranch dressing.

Mark Dean Schwab: fried eggs, bacon, sausage links, hash browns, buttered toast and a quart of chocolate milk .

Perry Smith and Richard Hickock: Shrimp, French fries, garlic bread, ice cream, and strawberries with whipped cream.

Philip Workman: He declined a special meal for himself, but he asked for a large vegetarial pizza to be given to a homeless person in Nashville, Tennessee. This request was denied.

Rainey Bethea: Fried chicken, pork chops, mashed potatoes, pickled cucumbers, cornbread, lemon pie, and ice cream.

Ringer Edwards: chicken and beer. Edwards escaped execution as a Japanese prisoner of war when his meal request could not be obtained.

Robert Alton Harris: A 21-piece bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken, two large Domino's pizzas (no anchovies), ice cream, a bag of jelly beans, a six-pack of Pepsi, and a pack of Camel cigarettes.

Ted Bundy: He declined a special meal, so he was given the traditional steak (medium-rare), eggs (over-easy), hash browns, toast, milk, coffee, juice, butter, and jelly.

Timothy McVeigh: Two pints of mint chocolate-chip ice cream.

Velma Barfield: She declined a special meal, having a bag of Cheez Doodles and a can of Coca-Cola instead.

Victor Feguer: A single olive with the pit still in it.

Wesley Baker: Breaded fish, pasta marinara, green beans, orange fruit punch, bread, and milk (Maryland execution: this was what was on the prison menu that day).

William Bonin: Two pepperoni and sausage pizzas, three servings of chocolate ice cream, and fifteen cans of Coca-Cola.

Saddam Hussein: Unconfirmed - Sources say he ate boiled chicken and rice, and drank hot water with honey the day before his execution. The Times (UK) states that "he refused their offers of cigarettes and a last meal of chicken."


  1. I actually ran into Aileen Wuornos.. deland florida, i went to the courthouse to pay my speeding ticket and they where bringing her in.

  2. i think its pathetic and wrong that they let them have their dream meal or what ever before they are executed. The people they killed didn't have that so why should they????? The people they killed didn't get to chose how they were killed so again why should they?????? This topic is definitly a very good debatible topic and those are some of my many reasons why i find some of the things they do this is stuped. How they live in the jail cells while waiting could pass in a way as paradise. Free food, clothes and a place to stay plus they have tv, cigaretts etc.. I've done my research and what i found is jaw dropping.

  3. concerning last meals, i think it's quite telling. a cold blooded murderer would request extravagent foods. they would gorge themselves as a show of how unashamed they are of thier crime. a sorrowful regretful person, however, might show thier respect by declining food or by having very little.

  4. I think prisoners are treated better than they should be. Priso sholdn't be a place someone wants to go to.

  5. Nonetheless, they are about to die. Not to much of anything can/should be considered as comforting when you are waiting to die.

  6. I say let them eat whatever they want. The fact is they're about to die anyway. It's the last bit of human decency they'll ever receive, whether they deserve it or not.

  7. F*ck their human decency. they didn't give their victims a last meal of their choice so why should US (Tax Payers) pay for them to have a $50 steak for taking someones life.

  8. Pinto beans, cornbread, fresh jalapeno peppers, an onion, and a sweet iced tea.
    For desert, a nice piece of pussy aged for 18 years.

  9. i think that it is stupid that they get a last meal and that i pay for it. ugh, i mean really? on their last meal they can eat better than i do. hell the people in prison eat better than a lot of people do these days. there are people that are out on the street because of the economy and they dont get a meal everyday but the inmates get meals everyday! and they have tv, they get to have paid jobs! i went 2 years without being able to find a job and they get to have a job? this just doesnt seem right. there are innocent people out in society trying to keep their head above water and these people in prison get to just float on by like its nothing. i understand taht they are in there for life and or have the death sentence but they pretty much asked for that time. the people that they hurt, killed, robbed, maimed, raped, molested or whatever the hell they did, did not ask for it.

    ok i think i got my point across so i am dont ranting.

    thank you,
    marisa elwood

  10. I'm with that last comment

  11. Last meals should not be of their choice but of whats on the menu and that should be bread and water!!

  12. At one point in time, such as in the days of getting publicly hung or beheaded, it was your last chance to at least BE A MAN on your way out. You know, if never in your life you have been decent, at least show that you can face death with your head high and shoulders back. This is the last time in your life you have the chance to show courage and meet the punishment that you have brought upon yourself. I think the last meal was ok back then. NOW, when you are rushed to a back room with all the med equipment there so you dont actually feel any pain on your way out? No, I don't think that warrants a last meal request.

  13. aww come on. they're about dead. they deserve one last comfort, don't ya think? i mean, we didn't have the humanity to give them like a life sentence or something, so they get the fucking meal. sheesh.

  14. The offer or the acceptance of the final meal isn't about them; it's the act of decency from those who are civilized.

  15. Comment to Anonymous September 27,2010: What makes you think that the people that were beheaded brought it on themselves? Henry VIII beheaded a lot of people for his own convenience, not their guilt and most of them held their heads high. Also, what makes you think that lethal injection is painless? From what I've heard, the first shot fixes the face muscles so that even if the injectee was writhing in pain internally the viewer wouldn't know. The shutting down of the heart and lungs is bound to be painful and the mental aspect of being put to death even more so.

  16. If it is all possible to remember how great life was before they died, after they are dead, then they can remember that fine meal that they'll never get again and suffer even more.

  17. I find it interesting that most of these comments were "Anonymous." If you have strong feelings about something why can't you give your name? Nevertheless, most of you are way off base and know little about prison life. I was a prison teacher in OK for several years and I know that most of you have the wrong idea of prison life. It isn't a pleasant place to be. The inmates do have "3 hots and a cot," but it's not what any reasoning person would choose. If the government locks people up they have to be housed humanely and fed reasonably healthily and enough; prison food is something to fill the stomach, but tasty? No! Once when I ate in the prison dining hall we had mildewed beans!!! I didn't have to eat it or go hungry, but the men did. Beds have about a 2" thick mattress and they have 1 blanket in the winter. No air conditioning in the summer. TV only if the inmate or their family can buy one from the prison canteen at about twice the street price. And the last meal may sound great, but it's fixed in the prison kitchen, not in a restaurant!

  18. Theses prisoners don't have the luxory like you think, (whoever did the research). The meals inside are not great either. No seasoning and taste like cardboard. And to the one crying about a job 3 to 10 cent an hour isn't much, if you need a job the prison is always hiring don't be scared. People complain and think they know what's going on in a prison but a lot of the last meals are denied and the ones that do get it somtimes their family brings it to them. And everyone who commented on her is guilty of something. I commented on this because I am a Correctional Officer and have been for 21yrs. What I've seen in my time here isn't pretty. Thanks and God Bless.

  19. How can anyone eat as much as some of those people? Even if you're about to die, your stomach can only hold so much! Do they have 24 hours to get it all down? Yipe!!

  20. I would like to comment,this is still cheaper to feed them a last meal. "Thats it" (last meal) no more three squares a day.There is no other expence'es.I have heard that if you need anything.....medical,eye wear,dentel. They have to provide this to you.So in the short of it!!!We'll no longer have to be contenue paying. (We the people of the U.S. of A. re: tax payers).Just thinking out loud?.

  21. It is interesting to see what these individuals choose for their last meal,however, this is just not an issue worth getting passionate about.
    And unfortunately, some of those who call the practice (of serving condemned prisoners a last meal) stupid cannot seem to spell or punctuate correctly, which only serves to discredit them and make them appear to be stupid themselves. At least, for all of us who always consider the source.
    I'm just saying...

  22. F_ck them!!! They were put on death row for a reason. If your going to feed them, feed them what ever is in the prison cafeteria. Don't spend our extra money that all of us already paid for them to sit in prison for so many years. They're crimes were so bad that they have to die for it. Don't give them the respect...

  23. i would ask for root beer,steak,broccoli,lays potato chips,and strawberry cheesecake.

  24. Eff that, I will gladly pay money out of my pocket to keep these crazy murdering animals off our streets.

  25. In Loards word, we should not kill. but a murdurer comitted a crime and has to face the human punishments. If the last meal is granted or not who cares. We should not have hate on each of us no matter what has happened. Hate to be hated is what we do, but we have to love to be loved. Everyone wants to go to heaven but no one wants to die.

  26. I am a food historian: The last meal request was and still is, the governments' way of proving humanitarianism. By granting the condemned one final "feast", we ( society) prove that we are more civilized than the criminal about to die. For that same reason, death by torture is no longer tolerated as a means of executing prisoners.

  27. On a Sci-fi show, their method was "death of personality": The condemned would be mind wiped of memories, sent to a remote location, taught some useful skill and allowed to live the rest of his or her life in total amnesia. Sounds less expensive and far more humane, doesn't it?

  28. I would ask for Godiva chocolate, my vibrator, and 2 cigarettes


  29. “I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” — Martin Luther King Jr.

  30. I laughed at the lump of dirt, they should have let him have it!