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Death Row Inmate Requested Single Olive As Last Meal For Bizarre Reason

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Death Row Inmate Requested Single Olive As Last Meal For Bizarre Reason

Hard luck, you've been done for murder in somewhere like Texas and you've been sentenced to death.

But before you shuffle off your mortal coil, what are you having for you last meal? Some form of gluttonous banquet, I assume?

Well, Victor Feguer went the opposite way, requesting a single olive with the pit in it.

Feguer didn't have a filling last meal. Credit: Iowa Police
Feguer didn't have a filling last meal. Credit: Iowa Police
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Feguer was convicted of murder and executed by hanging in 1963, aged 28, and proved to be the last federal inmate executed in the US before a moratorium on the death penalty which ended in 2001. He was also the last person to be put to death in the state of Iowa.

But prior to his death, Feguer reportedly made the unusual last meal request, in the hope that an olive tree would sprout from his grave as a symbol of peace.

The meal was brought to life by photographer Henry Hargreaves in his collection No Seconds, in which he snapped recreations of the final meals. The photo of Feguer's meal was his favourite.

"It's just such a polarising image," he explained to CBS News.

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"We think about last meals, and is it something that's going to be totally gluttonous, and then he just has a single olive.

"You know, it's so simple, beautiful and kind of final. It's like a full stop at the end of his life."

Henry Hargreaves recreated the meal for his photo book No Seconds. Credit: Henry Hargreaves
Henry Hargreaves recreated the meal for his photo book No Seconds. Credit: Henry Hargreaves

Expanding on why he decided to create the photo series, Henry said: "In my photography I have always been fascinated by the mix of the mundane and the extraordinary.

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"So while I was reading about efforts to stop the last meal tradition in Texas, it sparked my interest. In the most unnatural moment there is (state sponsored death), what kind of requests for food had been made?

"In New Zealand (where I'm from), and in fact nearly any where else in the developed world, the death penalty is just not even in the conversation.

"It is a remnant of an earlier era. This little bit of civility - 'hey, we are going to kill you but what would you like to eat?' - just jumped off the page.

"I felt it could be a really interesting idea to try to represent visually. Researching this topic strangely personalised these people for me and for a moment was able to identify with them through the common denominator of food."

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No death row prisoners in Texas receive a bespoke last meal before they are executed anymore, because one inmate ordered an absolutely mammoth request, before refusing to eat a bite of it because he said he wasn't hungry.

According to a report from the time published in the Houston Chronicle, murderer Lawrence Russell Brewer asked for a bowl of fried okra with ketchup, two chicken steaks with gravy and onions, and a cheese omelette with ground beef, jalapenos and bell peppers.

On top of that, he wanted: "A triple-meat bacon cheeseburger, three fajitas, one pound of barbecue and a half loaf of white bread, pizza meat lover's special, one pint of 'homemade vanilla' Blue Bell ice cream, one slab of peanut butter fudge with crushed peanuts and three root beers."

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Far more sensible order than a single olive, to be fair.

Featured Image Credit: Henry Hargreaves

Topics: Food, Death Row, Interesting, crime, Weird

Jake Massey
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