Death row is an alienating, disturbing and hopeless place. Prisoners often spend decades with nothing but their death ahead of them. The idea of the final meal and words of prisoners sentenced to capital punishment has interested people for centuries. Perhaps it is because we wonder what we would do in their place. We wonder where their clarity and calm comes from. Final words have varied from sarcasm, threats to remorse and religious confessions.

We have compiled 20 of these final words, including the final words of infamous death row prisoners like Ted Bundy and Aileen Wuornos.

John Wayne Gacy


John Wayne Gacy was an American serial killer who was convicted of murdering and sexually assaulting 33 boys and young men in Chicago between 1972 and 1978. He was dubbed the “Killer Clown” when it became known that he would dress as a clown when torturing his victims. This callous monster was put to death by lethal injection on May 10th, 1994, almost a decade and a half after his arrest. According to the prison guard his final words were “Kiss my ass.”