Most of the time people don’t get to pick their last words. Executions are an exception.While strapped into the electric chair or tied to a noose or standing before a firing squad, criminals have spoken dramatic one-liners that became famous.
'I'd just like to say I'm sailing with the rock, and I'll be back like Independence Day, with Jesus June 6. Like the movie, big mother ship and all, I'll be back.
'Kiss my arse.'
The 'killer clown' tortured, raped, and murdered 33 men between 1972 and 1978. John Wayne Gacy earned his moniker, and possibly started the scary clown phobia, because he dressed up as Pogo the Clown to entertain at kids' birthday parties.
'Let's Do It.'
Nike's popular 'Just Do It' campaign was actually inspired during an execution.
Gary Gilmore, who was executed by firing squad in 1977, was the first person executed the United States since 1967. He was convicted of killing a motel manager in Provo, Utah. While he was also accused of killing a gas station attendant, he was never convicted of that crime.
In addition to fueling Nike's creative campaigns, Gilmore's words were referenced on popular shows such as 'Roseanne' and 'NYPD Blue.'
'Hurrah for anarchy!'
George Engel's last words have been echoed by government opposition for years. Engel, a labour activist, was arrested in connection with Chicago's Haymarket Square bombings on May 3, 1886. He was hanged Nov. 11, 1887, and reportedly asked Illinois Governor Richard James Oglesby not to consider clemency.
Following his execution, Engel's supporters have celebrated Mayday, in honour of the bombings.
'I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.'
The American revolutionary's final words to the British have become infamous in America as a solid display of patriotism. Hale, who was hanged by the British in 1776, has been memorialised as the hero of Connecticut.
Hales' words are seen as the inspiration behind many recruits joining the country's Armed Services, according to a speech his great-nephew gave at the dedication of a statue of Hale in New York.
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