Famous Last Meals Ordered by Inmates

Humans have an obsession with last meals. Tasting a vicarious final meal can be an interesting daydream.

However, can you even imagine having an appetite, knowing that your time in this dimension will soon be up? Evidently, some can: well-known condemned people’s last suppers have ranged anywhere from a cup of coffee to a five-course meal. So, who ordered what? 

1. Charles Albanese

Prime rib
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Charles Albanese is renowned for selfishly poisoning three family members for their insurance payouts, real estate, and assets. Before his 1995 capital punishment, Albanese was served prime rib, baked potato, and garlic bread; for his drink, one last Coke and some pistachio ice cream. 

2. Stephen Wayne Anderson

Grilled Cheese Sandwich
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Stephen Wayne Anderson’s eerie, grinning arrest mugshot betrayed a detachment only a killer is capable of having. Anderson’s conviction for at least one murder of an innocent piano teacher, at whose house he was arrested after preparing himself a post-murder dinner. He consumed two grilled cheese sandwiches, hominy corn, and a pint of cottage cheese; his last mouthfuls were peach pie and chocolate chip ice cream. 

3. Donald Beardslee

Chili macaroni
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Another infamous human, Donald Beardslee, somehow eluded a death sentence after his first murder in 1969. However, a subsequent shooting led to his next arrest, ending in his state-sanctioned death at San Quentin Prison, California, in 2005. Los Angeles Times reported that he refused a special meal, so he had chili macaroni, salad, and cake as his final dish. 

4. Lawrence Russell Brewer

Cheesy burger
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Cold-blooded white supremacist and Ku Klux Klan affiliate Lawrence Russell Brewer murdered a disabled African American man in 1998, receiving a death sentence. His final meal was a lengthy menu including chicken-fried steaks, a cheeseburger, a cheese omelet, and enough extras to feed a family. He never intended to eat the food, wasting prison resources on purpose before he was dispatched on June 7, 1998. 

5. Ted Bundy

Steak with hash browns
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Ted Bundy might be the most famous American serial killer, though if not, he makes the top three most notorious. When Bundy died by electric chair in Florida aged 43, he left a trail of brutal destruction, wiping out 35 people, among other lurid acts. Although Bundy declined a final meal, the prison served him a medium-rare steak with hash browns, eggs over-easy, toast with butter and jelly, milk, and juice. 

6. Carman Deck

Ribeye steak
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A Missouri local named Carman Deck became the focus of a bizarre news story in 2022 when his death sentence was overturned and re-established three times. Unfortunately for the man convicted of killing and robbing an innocent elderly couple, his final appeal was turned down. Deck was permitted ribeye steak, shrimp, salad, cottage cheese, and V-8 Juice for his last meal, says Oxygen

7. John Wayne Gacy 

KFC Bucket
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One of America’s most notorious killers, Gacy, was sentenced to death by lethal injection in 1980 after committing 33 murders and improper assaults. In a terrible advert for Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC), he ordered an Original Recipe KFC Bucket, french fries, and 12 fried shrimp. For dessert, Gacy ordered a pound of strawberries — because you need your five-a-day, right? 

8. Fritz Haarmann

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One of the most notorious European killers of his day, Fritz Haarmann, was tried for 27 murders, being sentenced for 24 of them. Being 1925, firing squad, hanging, or lethal injection were too humane, so the German serial killer was decapitated by guillotine, though not before enjoying an expensive cigar and coffee — one can only imagine that knowing his gruesome fate, he had little appetite. 

9. King Louis XVI

Pan fried chicken
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Poor King Louis; there he was, enjoying his kingdom and trying to reform the French government to reflect better ideals when a bad harvest and jump in grain prices led to the French Revolution and Louis’s arrest. His subsequent public beheading followed a lavish meal fit for a former king — pan-fried chicken, boiled beef, and turnip purée followed by wine and sponge cake. 

10. Myra Hindley

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The Moors Murderers, Ian Brady and his sidekick, Myra Hindley, came to infamy in 1965 after the murder of five youngsters in the Manchester region of Northern England. Their blood-curdling mugshots are the subject of much British popular memorabilia for the more macabre fanboys and fangirls out there. Hindley died in 2002, aged 60, having stopped claiming innocence many years before. Her last meal demand was “cheap wine and sandwiches,” according to The Times.  

11. Robert Van Hook 

Double cheeseburgers and fries
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Homophobic murderer Robert Van Hook garnered much attention for his case in 1985 when he claimed a “gay panic defense” after killing David Self. Interestingly, Van Hook was the last Ohioan put to death by lethal injection after Governor Mike Dewine announced the state’s cessation of the practice. Van Hook’s last taste of freedom and mortality came with double cheeseburgers and fries, strawberry cheesecake, and a vanilla shake.

12. Saddam Hussein

Hamburgers and fries
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The accounts about the former Iraq dictator’s final meal vary from chicken and rice to shawarma. However, regardless of his choices, the world was pleased to know the former leader was now powerless. Some of those near him during his captivity in Iraq allege he was eating much Western-style fare, such as hamburgers and fries, in his last days — an ironic end to someone supposedly virulently anti-American. 

13. Timothy McVeigh

Mint chocolate chip ice cream
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The Oklahoma City bomber, ex-military operative Timothy McVeigh, was tried and sentenced to death for killing 168 people after detonating a lethal mix of fertilizer, diesel, and other deadly chemicals to destroy the federal building. Curiously, his last meal request was two pints of mint-chocolate-chip ice cream. McVeigh was “sorry” that people died but didn’t apologize per se. “That’s the nature of the beast,” were his final words, according to the New York Post.

14. Stanley “Tookie” Williams III

Oatmeal and milk
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In 2005, given the option to grant ex-Crips member Stanley Tookie clemency from his death row sentence, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and the California court system upheld the ruling, and Tookie died by lethal injection later that year. Tookie declined a final meal, though his last meal was oatmeal and milk, according to CBS News

15. Aileen Wournos

black coffee
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The Charlize Theron, serial killer biopic Monster, brought to attention the heartbreaking life and subsequent violent decline of Floridian murderer Aileen Wournos. She robbed and shot dead seven male Johns, who were also clients, though she claimed it was in self-defense. She declined a last meal and instead asked for a simple cup of black coffee. 


The Fugutive
Image Credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.


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