Have you ever had a quote that seems to stick in your head? Perhaps it’s from your favorite movie, a famous book, or one your celebrity icon lives by? Wherever it has come from, those words can grow to mean a lot to us over the years. However, it seems as though some people make it their mission to leave a lasting impression on the world. These are the ones that everyone will want to last a lifetime. After all, there is nothing more to say once you’re gone, right? Bob Marley was the reggae musician that took the world by storm and wanted to give the world one last send off. In fact, his last words were “Money can’t buy life.” Although it seems as though Marley was speaking from the heart, others haven’t got quite such nice things to offer. In the final say, the last words of serial killers can often leave a chilling impression that shows us what was important to them all along. After a lifetime on the wrong side of the law, it seems as though these beasts of society have a lot on their minds. With one last chance to try and redeem themselves, did anyone have the guts to show remorse on their deathbed?
“Hey, fellas! How about this for a headline for tomorrow’s paper? French Fries.” – James French was first arrested after murdering a person who picked him up while hitchhiking. However, the criminal realized he wanted to take his own life but just couldn’t do it. Instead, he murdered his cellmate and was sentenced to the electric char in 1966. French was always known for being arrogant in the prison. It looks as though he wanted to keep up his persona right until the very end.
“Let’s do it!” – Gary Gilmore almost escaped the death penalty after it was banned for ten years. However, that all changed in 1977 after Gary was found guilty for two murders in Utah. The serial killer was then led before a firing squad, but not before speaking his final three words. Amazingly, Gary’s last words went on to make more of a lasting impression than anyone ever thought possible; they were the inspiration creators used for the Nike brand logo.
Steven Timothy Judy
“I don’t hold grudges. This is my doing. Sorry it happened.” – Terry Chasteen was a mother walking her three children, Misty (5), Stephen (4), and Mark (2), to their babysitter when she found herself on the wrong side of Steven Timothy Judy. Tragically, they were all murdered before Steven pleaded insanity and was sentenced to the electric chair in 1981. However, the last words of this serial killer seem to imply Steven was taking responsibility for his crimes. Was he really insane after all or just guilty?
“I am ready to be released. Release me.” – Kenneth McDuff was first sentenced to death in 1966 for a triple-murder but was released when the death penalty was abolished. However, he went on to murder just three days after stepping out of prison and killed a further ten people before getting re-arrested in 1992. Although Kenneth was faced with the lethal injection, it looks as though this serial killer was ready to hang up his murdering ways and move onto the afterlife once and for all.
“Turn up the radio and I’ll go quietly.” – Peter Manuel, or The Beast of Birkenshaw, was a Scottish serial killer convicted of seven murders, but it’s thought he may have murdered up to nine in total. Peter was sentenced to death by hanging. However, it seems as though this criminal wanted one more act of control before he went. His last words look to show Peter was the one always looking to be in charge, even with a noose around his neck.
“Watch close while I work now, feel the electric shock of my touch, open your trembling flower, or your petals I’ll crush.” – Israel Keyes once traveled around America in search of victims and murdered between three and eight victims in his time. In fact, some of his killings were planned for years in advance even leaving kill kits hidden for months. The murderer was awaiting trial for one of the many victims when he took his own life in his cell. The inmate left a chilling note which finished with his final words.
Thomas J. Grasso
“I did not get my Spaghetti-O’s. I got spaghetti. I want the press to know this.” – There is using your last words for good, and then there is taking the opportunity to stand up for what you believe in. Many prisons offer up inmates the chance to get a last meal. However, this double murderer ordered up a huge feast only to be disappointed. Thomas was concerned about his Spaghetti-O’s, so much so he wanted to use his final breath to speak of the tragedy.
Jack Jones Jr.
“I’m sorry Lacy, try to understand I love you like a child.” – These chilling last words were from none other than serial killer Jack Jones Jr. The murderer was convicted after police discovered Mary Phillips and her daughter, Lacy, dead. Little did Jack know that little Lacy had survived the whole event as the girl opened her eyes while being photographed by the homicide team. Jack went on to be sentenced to the lethal injection, but could never live with the burden of what happened to that little girl.
H. H. Holmes
“Take your time. Don’t bungle it.” – You might think that people on death row want the end to be as quick and painless as possible? Not H. H. Holmes; he wanted to make sure everything was just right before he was sentenced to hang for up to 200 murders. It seems as though no matter how much he asked, H. H. Holmes’ request wasn’t met. His neck never snapped, and the murderer was suspended for a full 20 minutes before he was finally declared dead.
“Good people are always so sure they’re right.” – Barbara was sentenced to death by gas chamber with two of her accomplices after the team worked together to murder a widow in the hopes of finding money for narcotics. Barbara was less than impressed to be kept waiting for an hour and a half before being led to her final chamber. In fact, she even requested a blindfold so she wouldn’t have to look at the onlookers. Perhaps she had some truth in her final words?
“I don’t even know why I’m here.” – Perhaps it was the multiple charges of cannibalism, kidnap, and murdering more than 100 people that were the first clues Albert Fish should have picked up on? After all, they are usually the kind of things that make the law stop and question who is behind them all. In fact, Albert once boasted of having killed one child in every state of America. The serial killer went on to have his life ended in the electric chair back in 1936.
“Hurrah for anarchy! This is the happiest moment of my life.” – George Engel was tried and convicted as a serial killer after this criminal was one of the many involved with planning a bomb at the Haymarket in 1886. George might have been home when the bombing took place, but he was still found guilty of the murders and hanged for his crimes. George used his time on the gallows to scream to the public his views on the world for the final time.
“It’s all right.” – Carroll Cole was determined to make his mark on the world and did so by murdering one boy and at least 15 women. Apparently, the serial killer chose victims that cheated on their husbands and reminded him of his mother. Although many activists fought the court’s decision for the lethal injection, Carroll was pleased with the decision for his life to come to an end. In fact, he even thanked the judge before accepting his fate.
“I would suggest that when a person has a thought of doing anything serious against the law, that before they did that they should go to a quiet place and think about it seriously.” – William Bonin was convicted for 14 murders, but it’s thought this serial killer is responsible for many more victims that were never discovered. Unfortunately, it looks as though William realized the error of his ways after it was too late to change. Hopefully, someone listened to his last words before they made the same mistake.
“Well, gentlemen, you are about to see a baked Appel.” – Some people can’t help but show their fear. Others face their demons face on with humor. It looks like George Appel wanted to remain strong until the end, even if that did mean using his last words for the final pun of his life. Apparently, this murderer began to laugh at officers as he was being strapped to the electric chair back in 1928 before coming up with his most famous one-liner.
“I love you, mom.” – It might have taken 20 years, but Clarence was finally charged with his crimes in 1997. The murderer had an entire speech laid out where he thanked everyone for their dedication to him over the years. However, Clarence couldn’t forget the one important person in his life: his mom. Unfortunately, neither his mom or any other relative was there for the execution. Apparently, Clarence uttered his final statement six minutes after the lethal injection.
Rosendo Rodriguez III
“I have fought the good fight, I have run the good race. Warden, I’m ready to join my father.” – Rosendo Rodriguez III earned the name The Suitcase Killer after he was found guilty for murdering two women and placing their bodies into separate suitcases before throwing them into a landfill. Although he was convicted in 2008, Rosendo wasn’t given the lethal injection until 2018 where the serial killer admitted he was ready to leave this planet once and for all. Could all the remorse have finally caught up?
“Like the movie, big mother ship and all. I’ll be back.” – Aileen Wuornos murdered seven men in just one year after claiming they all tried to attack her. However, the judge and jury decided otherwise as Aileen was sentenced to death by lethal injection back in 2002. The serial killer admitted she would murder again if ever given a chance and was determined the death penalty was the only option. Even so, Aileen still seemed pretty determined she would make her comeback.
Robert Alton Harris
“You can be a king or a street sweeper, but everyone dances with the Grim Reaper.” – Robert Alton Harris was convicted of killing two teenagers before he took his place in the gas chamber back in 1992. However, it seems as though Robert wanted to leave a lasting impression on the world with his eerie final words. The appeal once argued that Robert’s brain damage affected his judgment, but it seems as though this serial killer always knew we all end up in the same place eventually.
“I have nothing to say.” – It might be easy to think a Victorian nurse is there to keep us healthy, right? Well, not when it came to Amelia Dyer. This nurse turned to baby farming as a way to make money, but the infants soon began to pass away mysteriously. After several stints in and out of asylums, Amelia went on to murder more than 400 children before being hanged in 1896. It looks as though nothing could justify her crimes, and Amelia seemed to know there was nothing she could say to make it better.
“I’d rather be fishing.” – Sometimes, it seems as though these serial killers have no remorse for their crimes. Jimmy Glass appears to be no exception. The criminal escaped from prison only to go on and kill two people with his accomplice, Jimmy Wingo. The 25-year-old was brought back to the jail and sentenced to the electric chair in 1987, but it seems as though Jimmy had much better plans for his day than having his life ended for his crimes.
“Tell me. After my head has been chopped off, will I still be able to hear, at least for a moment, the sound of my own blood gushing from the stump of my neck? That would be a pleasure to end all pleasures.” – Perhaps it’s no wonder The Vampire of Dusseldorf had such an obsession with blood? Even if it was his own. Peter Kürten is thought to have murdered up to 60 people and was known to have drunk at least one of his victim’s blood before his time at the guillotine in 1931.
“Such is life.” – Marcel Petiot seemed determined to put his skills as a French doctor to good use by turning his hand to the way of murder instead. With such an extensive knowledge of the human body, Marcel knew just where to hit anyone where it hurt. The doctor is believed to have killed 60 victims, but he could have got away with many more that will never be known. Although many might feel remorse for their crimes, it appears as though Marcel was more annoyed that he was caught.
“I don’t care if I live or die. Go ahead and kill me.” – It’s thought the Milwaukee Cannibal tried to fight his urge to kill after taking such a long hiatus between his first and second victim. However, that didn’t stop Jeffrey Dahmer from murdering 17 victims throughout the ‘80s. Although Jeffrey never made it to the death chamber, his reported last words show the chilling side to this serial killer before he was beaten to death by another inmate in 1994.
“I’d like you to give my love to my family and friends.” – This serial killer has a whole host of crimes underneath his belt, and they all came crashing to a halt in 1978 after a bite mark led to his identification. Then, it was a trip to the electric chair for Ted Bundy. Although Ted often described himself as heartless and the evilest man on the planet, it seems as though he wanted his family to feel his love once more as hundreds of onlookers celebrated his death from outside the prison walls.
Feature Image Source: Salt Lake County / Wikimedia Commons / Wikimedia Commons