The tradition of the last meal has been a part of pop culture since its inception in Texas in 1924. Though the Lone Star State has since ceased the practise, the idea of one last blowout before the end has well and truly permeated public consciousness. Themed restaurants have been set up around some of the more extravagant requests and some meals have passed into gluttonous folklore. Here are a few of some of the more exceptional death-row dinners.
Allen Lee Davies
Weighing in at 350lbs, enormous mass-murderer “Tiny” Davies' greatest contribution to society was giving us this template for the indulgent seafood-themed death row dinner. “Tiny” despatched of a whole lobster, a pound of fried potatoes, half a pound of fried shrimp, six ounces of fried clams and a loaf of garlic bread, washed down with 32 ounces of root beer. He may have been nasty, but he knew his seafood.
Gary Carl Simmons Jr
For a murderer, Gary Carl Simmons Jr was surprisingly brand-specific. His gargantuan last meal consisted of “one Pizza Hut medium Super Supreme Deep Dish pizza with double portions of mushrooms, onions, jalapeño peppers, and pepperoni, a second Pizza Hut pizza with three cheeses, olives, bell pepper, tomato, garlic, and Italian sausage, 10 eight-ounce packs of Parmesan cheese, 10 eight-ounce packs of ranch dressing, one family size bag of Doritos nacho cheese flavor, eight ounces of jalapeño nacho cheese, four-ounce sliced jalapeños, two large strawberry shakes, two 20-ounce Coca-Cola Cherry Cokes, one super-size order of McDonald's fries with extra ketchup and mayonnaise, and two pints of Haagen Daz strawberry ice cream”. This came in at a colossal 29,000 calories. He ate more than half of it, before presumably exploding.
Thomas J Grasso
A greedy douche with perhaps a more varied palate than most, Grasso’s last meal took in a range of dishes from across the culinary spectrum. Included were two dozen steamed mussels, two dozen steamed clams, a double cheeseburger from Burger King, half a dozen barbecued spare ribs, two strawberry milkshakes, half a pumpkin pie with whipped cream and diced strawberries, and a 16-ounce can of spaghetti with meatballs. While not as excessive as some, Grasso’s selection represents perhaps a more balanced choice of chow.
Lawrence Russell Brewer
Racist killer Lawrence Russell Brewer was the man who made things even worse for death row prisoners in Texas. Brewer’s request and subsequent refusal to eat any of it caused the state to cease the last meal practise altogether. His order consisted of two chicken fried steaks with gravy and sliced onions; a triple meat bacon cheeseburger with fixings on the side; a cheese omelet with ground beef, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers and jalapeños; a large bowl of fried okra with ketchup; one pound of barbecue ribs with half a loaf of white bread; three fajitas with fixings; a Meat Lovers pizza; three root beers; one pint of Blue Bell vanilla ice cream; and a slab of peanut butter fudge with crushed peanuts. This obscene request represents an incredibly impressive logistical effort from the prison as much as anything else. Maybe the sight of it being pulled in by what was presumably a tractor was just too intimidating for Brewer.
There must be something about imminent execution that gives one a seriously enhanced, if not massively over-ambitious, sense of what is possible to fit inside a stomach. But, if anyone reading this is aware of their own impending doom, we hope that these four distasteful characters have given you some inspiration for bowing out with a bang.