Top 5 Most Unusual Death Row Final Requests

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Death row is home for the lowest of the low: Serial murderers, rapists and those who commit heinous acts have a special seat waiting for them. Despite their horrific crimes, death row inmates are entitled to one final wish before death—within reason, of course. These top five requests are some of the most unusual thus far.

5 World Peace

It seems odd to request world peace after being sentenced to death for beating and stabbing a woman. Apparently some criminals have a change of heart after spending time in isolation. In 1989, Odell Barnes Jr.’s very last wish wasn’t food related. He just wanted world peace, equality and justice for all. Despite his kind wish, he was executed. Prison officials have no way to serve up a side of world peace.

4 A Black Olive

A single black olive was the final meal for two death row inmates. In 1963, Victor Feguer asked for a black olive with the pit for his very last entrée. He even slipped the pit into his suit pocket before his hanging. Robert Buell made the same request on the day of his execution in 1982, except Buell wanted his olive without the pit. Some believe the olive symbolizes rebirth, but that leap of faith didn’t save these two from execution.

3 Kentucky Fried Chicken

While a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken’s Original Recipe may not sound like an odd request, it was in the case of John Wayne Gacy. Before Gacy went on a killing spree in the 1970s, he managed three KFC restaurants. You could say the Colonel’s secret chicken recipe was in Gacy’s blood, and he had to have one last nibble before his fateful demise.

2 Mussels and SpaghettiO’s with Meatballs

Nothing is more mouthwatering than a can of heavily processed pasta and freshly steamed mussels, right? In 1995, Thomas J. Grasso wanted just that on the day of his execution. His request for mollusks and SpaghettiO’s with meatballs didn’t stop there. He also asked for a double cheeseburger, six barbecue spare ribs and two large milkshakes to wash it all down. Then for dessert he had half a pumpkin pie, strawberries and whipped cream. Sounds more like a nightmare than a scrumptious final entrée.

1 Lump of Dirt

While the average death row inmate may fantasize about biting into a juicy steak or gooey slice of pepperoni pizza on their final day, James Edwards Smith had a unique request. On the day of his execution in 1990, Smith simply wanted a lump of dirt. The hunk of earth was reportedly supposed to be a part of one of Smith’s voodoo rituals, but sadly, prison officials wouldn’t allow it. Smith wound up settling for a small cup of yogurt instead, unable to do his ritual.

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