Last Meals, Part One

The Last Meal is a macabre tradition in the history of American punishment.

What someone selects for their last taste of food in life is a personal and revealing decision. It often allows for some reflection on the person eating their last supper. It guides us to see what their last moments were like, and what they were focused upon. Nothing is guaranteed, of course, but as a window to the soul, the last meal is one that offers a vision, albeit clouded by looming death, but a window nonetheless.

Stanley Baker JrTake Stanley Baker, Jr. He was convicted of shooting a video store clerk with a shotgun three times, once while the clerk lay dying on the floor.

He was executed May 30, 2002. His last meal was, “Two 16 oz. ribeyes, one pound turkey breast (sliced thin) twelve strips of bacon, two large hamburgers with mayo, onion, and lettuce, two large baked potatoes with butter, sour cream, cheese and chives, and four slices of cheese or one half pound of grated cheese, chef salad with blue cheese dressing, two ears of corn on the cob, one pint of mint chocolate chip ice cream, and four vanilla cokes or Mr. Pibb.”

That is quite a meal for anyone, especially a man about to die.

We might wonder why he asked for so much food. He certainly wasn’t starving, nor would he need all the food for a big exertion. He was going to die by lethal injection a few hours later.

The selection of foods is not surprising. Many of these items are delicious and would be favorites of many people.

Its the amounts that are eye catching. I wonder if Baker understood that upon his death his bowls would relax and all his waste would escape out of his body, leaving a terrible last “gift” to the prison and the world.

It was a creative parting shot, to say the least.

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51hQs0lNEaL._SX401_BO1,204,203,200_Check out more interesting stories about strange and interesting things in The Book of lists

Source:Russ Kick, Book of Lists, 2004, The Disinformation Company, LTD.

Author: historydojo

I’m a National Board Certified Teacher with nearly twenty years of experience teaching high school history. I blog about teaching, history, current events, the law and social justice.

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