Top 20 Most Unusual Death Row Final Requests

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. It may seem odd, but death row final requests are frequent.

These top 20 death row final requests are some of the most unusual thus far.

20.) Lord of the Rings Trilogy

lord of the rings death row final requests

New Line Cinema

Ronnie Lee Gardner was on death row for a conviction in 1985.

In 2010, he requested a huge dinner and to watch Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy.

19.) Coca-Cola and Pepsi

pepsi soda

Before he died of lethal injection, William Bonin requested eighteen servings of Coca-Cola and Pepsi.

Why? Well, he wanted to die of a diabetes attack before the injection. Yikes!

18.) Giving Pizza to a Homeless Person

vegetarian pizza

Before the execution of Philip Ray Workman in 2007, he requested that his final meal be a large vegetarian pizza given to a homeless person. The prison officials denied the final request.

People across the country joined a campaign to give vegetarian pizzas to homeless people.

17.) Holy Communion

holy communion

Before the lethal injection of Jonathan Nobles in 1998, he wanted his final meal to be the Holy Communion.

If you are unaware of what this is, it consists of bread and wine.

16.) Jolly Ranchers

jolly ranchers


Gerald Mitchell was convicted of killing two victims in 2001. He was set to be executed, but he added an odd last request.

Mitchell had a sweet tooth, so he wanted a bag of assorted Jolly Ranchers.

15.) Nothing

denying the request


Troy Davis was in denial when he was set to be executed. The convicted felon denied his last meal because he thought it would not be his last.

It turned out to be his last meal anyway. He was executed by lethal injection.

14.) Birthday Cake

birthday cake

In 2001, Miguel Richardson decided to make his death row final request a romantic meal. He wanted a birthday cake with 2/23/09 written on top.

This is the date that he got married. He wanted seven pink candles and a lot of fruit.

13.) Jalapeños


Lawrence Russell Brewer ruined the last meal tradition for the inmates in Texas. He requested a large meal. Some of the items on his list included jalapeños, a cheese and beef omelet, a pound of BBQ meat, a meat lovers pizza, a loaf of bread, and much more.

When officials gave it to him, he refused to eat it. This ruined the death row final request tradition for everyone else.

12.) Sugar-Free Desserts

pecan pie request

Betty Crocker

Even though it was his last meal, Clarence Ray Allen was trying to stay healthy.

He ordered a sugar-free pecan pie and sugar-free black walnut ice cream. We wonder why he didn’t want sugar in his desserts!

11.) 12 Chocolate Bars

chocolate bars

Unlike the last story, some inmates want a sugar rush!

Dobie Gillis Williams requested ice cream and 12 chocolate bars.

10.) Radishes

radishes last request

Stephen Anderson wanted a combination of grilled cheese sandwiches, cottage cheese, pie, ice cream, and — to top it all off —radishes.

All the other items sound like junk food, but the radishes are a random choice.

9.) Seconds of a German Meal

asking for seconds of dinner

A German serial killer was sentenced to death by guillotine. His last meal was a typical German meal, but then he went and asked for seconds.

The guards granted his request.

8.) Calling Their Mom

talking on the phone

Delbert Teague Junior refused to pick his last meal.

The officials were so fed up with him that they called his mom to ask her what he would want. She opted for a cheeseburger for her son.

7.) Coffee

coffee last request

People seem to pick bizarre things for this last meal. Aileen Wuornos wanted only coffee.

Maybe Aileen wasn’t hungry that day.

6.) Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

mint chocolate chip

The infamous Oklahoma City bomber, Timothy McVeigh, was granted his final request.

Before he was executed by lethal injection, he wanted just two pints of mint chocolate chip ice cream.

5.) World Peace

world peace

It seems odd to request world peace after being sentenced to death for beating and stabbing a woman. Maybe some criminals have a change of heart after spending time in isolation.

In 1989, Odell Barnes Jr.’s last wish wasn’t food related. He 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

black olive final request

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 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

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

mussels final last request

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. For dessert, he had half a pumpkin pie, strawberries, and whipped cream. This meal sounds more like a nightmare than a tasty final entrée.

1.) Lump of Dirt

lump of dirt

While the average death row inmate may fantasize about biting into a juicy steak or a 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 wanted a lump of dirt. The hunk of earth was reportedly supposed to be a part of one of Smith’s voodoo rituals. Sadly, prison officials wouldn’t allow it. Smith wound up settling for a small cup of yogurt instead, unable to do his ritual.

Some of these death row final requests seem odd, while others you may be able to understand. Click next to see the creepiest unsolved murders of all time!

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