Friday, December 05, 2003

December 4, 2003

...Cool Whip, delicious dessert topping or a criminal's worst enemy...or both...

Last Meal: Four pieces of fried chicken (white meat), five pieces of deep fried fish, four deep fried breaded pork chops, extra-large order of french fries, large order of onion rings, ketchup, tarter sauce, one pint Blue Bell Moollennium Crunch ice cream, two quarts of chocolate milk. He probably got vanilla ice cream, a prison spokeswoman said.

The skinny: Murphy, 38, a former mechanic with an extensive criminal record in Oklahoma was executed for fatally beating an 80-year-old woman he'd known since childhood.

The crime: Murphy and an accomplice went to Murphy's old neighborhood where he was known as "Pee Wee," to rob the woman. She invited them in and offered him ice cream because she knew him.

``She died in her own chair in her own living room. It was horrible,'' said former Grayson County District Attorney Robert Jarvis. ``They took either her cane and or a sawed-off shotgun they brought with them and just beat her as she sat in her chair.''

The accomplice was sentenced to life in prison.

Cool Whip, Crime fighter: Strawberry ice cream in a plastic bowl helped convict Murphy of the 1989 slaying.

"We dusted the inside of a Cool Whip bowl and found his fingerprint," said former Grayson County District Attorney Robert Jarvis, recalling evidence in Murphy's capital murder trial.

Besides the fingerprint, jewelry taken from the victim was linked to Murphy, and traces of the woman's blood were found on his clothes.

Last words and such: "This is a celebration of life, not death," Murphy said in a brief final statement while strapped to the death chamber gurney. "Through Jesus Christ we have victory over death." He thanked Pope John Paul II and others for prayers, love and support. ``I want to thank everybody around the world and Father, let your will be done.''

Maybe Not: The victim's son said Murphy's comments were nothing but ``religious babble'' because he never admitted he was guilty. ``Just howling in the trees, just wind in the trees. Without true remorse, it means nothing.''

Factoids: Murphy is the second of five scheduled to die in Texas over the next eight days.

Murphy was the....

64th murderer executed in U.S. in 2003
884th murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
24th murderer executed in Texas in 2003
313th murderer executed in Texas since 1976

This summary was compiled from various news accounts.