To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Death Row inmate made major ‘mistake’ with last meal before being executed

Death Row inmate made major ‘mistake’ with last meal before being executed

Wesley Ira Purkey made a major error before his 'excruciating' death in 2020

Considering it's all they have left to look forward to, you'd think that Death Row inmates would have thought up a foolproof plan to ensure that nothing stands between them and their last meal.

But killer Wesley Ira Purkey managed to make a major mistake when the day came for him to eat his final supper ahead of his execution in 2020.

The 68-year-old, from Kansas, was sentenced to death twenty years ago for the kidnap, rape and murder of tragic teenager Jennifer Long in January, 1998.

He confessed to the heinous crimes while serving a life sentence for a murder he committed nine months later, as he had beaten pensioner Mary Bales, 80, to death with a claw hammer in October of the same year.

Purkey had lured his 16-year-old victim into his car on 22 January, 1998, in Kansas City, Missouri, before buying booze and taking her across state lines back to his home in Lansing, Kansas.

Concerns were raised for the schoolgirl when she did not attend her lessons.

But horrifically, Jennifer would never be seen again as her abductor had raped her before brutally stabbing her repeatedly in the chest, face and neck as she tried to escape.

The killer then callously stuffed her body inside a toolbox before purchasing an electric chainsaw, which he later used to dismember her body before burning her remains in a fireplace and scattering them in a septic pond in Clearwater, Kansas.

Wesley Ira Purkey was sentenced to death for his crimes (Kansas Department of Corrections)
Wesley Ira Purkey was sentenced to death for his crimes (Kansas Department of Corrections)

Jennifer's concerned mother reported her daughter missing and police listed her as a runaway - but this is something which her family were never convinced of.

It was only when Purkey confessed to the crimes that her loved ones got answers about what had happened to the teen.

Ahead of his execution four years ago, there were concerns that the killer may have been suffering from dementia and didn't exactly understand what was going to happen.

The way he treated his final meal of pecan pie seemed to be a huge indicator of this.

You see, Purkey had told officials who brought his grub to him that he wanted to save it for 'later' - suggesting he was seemingly unaware that there wouldn't be a 'later' for him.

But despite delays, the Supreme Court gave the green light for the decision to put him to death and on 16 July, 2020, his execution went ahead.

Purkey was given a lethal injection and medical expert Dr Gail Van Norman says that the Death Row inmate likely experienced an 'excruciating' passing, rather than a painless one.

The 68-year-old was executed in 2020 (Kansas Department of Corrections)
The 68-year-old was executed in 2020 (Kansas Department of Corrections)

According to the Death Penalty Information Center, the 68-year-old's autopsy revealed that he had suffered 'severe bilateral acute pulmonary oedema' and 'frothy pulmonary oedema in trachea and main stem bronchi'.

Van Norman said this would cause a near drowning experience that would likely be ‘among the most excruciating feelings known to man', and that the filling of Purkey's lungs could only have happened while he was still alive.

He added: "It is a virtual medical certainty, that most, if not all, prisoners will experience excruciating suffering, including sensations of drowning and suffocation from [the lethal injection drug] pentobarbital."

In his final moments, Purkey appeared to show remorse for his crimes and apologised to Jennifer's family.

Reports claim his last word were: "I deeply regret the pain and suffering I caused to Jennifer's family.

"I am deeply sorry. I deeply regret the pain I caused to my daughter, who I love so very much. This sanitized murder really does not serve no purpose whatsoever."

Jennifer's father, William Long, said of Purkey's execution: "He needed to take his last breath – he took my daughter’s last breath. And there’s some resolve. There is no closure, and there never will be, because I won’t get my daughter back."

Featured Image Credit: Kansas Department of Corrections

Topics: Crime, Food And Drink, Mental Health, True Crime, US News, Death Row