30 Last Meals Of Infamous Criminals Before They Were Executed

Published February 5, 2018
Updated January 27, 2020

The last meals requested by death-row inmates like Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy, and others are as revealing as they are strange.

Peter Kurten Last Meals
Jack Daniels Last Meals
John Wayne Gacy Last Meals
Lawrence Russell Brewer
30 Last Meals Of Infamous Criminals Before They Were Executed
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In France, prisoners condemned to die were once granted no formal last meals. A "little glass of rum" was the only offering before shuffling off this mortal coil. Today, however, many prisons across the developed world at least entertain the idea of last meals for those about to be executed.

And the meal choices made by those on death row have long piqued the interest of those who argue that these decisions are powerful reflections of a person's character and personality. Perhaps prisoners who've committed terrible crimes motivated by dark psychological impulses beyond our understanding actually reveal something about their innermost self via their choice of final meal.

There's "The Vampire of Düsseldorf," the vicious serial killer who asked for seconds of his final meal. Then there's notorious murderer John Wayne Gacy, who went out in a blaze of decadent deep-fried glory.

On the other hand, Saddam Hussein and serial killer Aileen Wournos made only very modest requests, while murderer Ted Bundy made no request at all (but ended up getting something anyway).

Some went for broke with a gluttonous feast while some ate light before meeting their fate. Some went savory while some went sweet. Some went nutritious while some, well, did not. All in all, these last meals are as varied as the people who ordered them.

Nevertheless, perhaps each meal does reveal something intimate about the criminal who ingested it. Perhaps there, with their death at hand, they let their guard down and showed us something about who they really were.

To see more about the last meals of executed criminals, view the gallery above and see what you think: Do these requests reveal much about the criminals who made them?

After this look at last meals, check out some of the last words of executed criminals as well. Then, read 21 serial killer quotes that will chill you to the bone.

All That's Interesting
A New York-based publisher established in 2010, All That's Interesting brings together subject-level experts in history, true crime, and science to share stories that illuminate our world.