Saturday, July 30, 2005

July 27, 2005

...In an obscentity-laced final statement...

Last Meal: His final meal came from Dairy Queen: four chili dogs, onion rings, a banana split and an Oreo-cookie Blizzard ice-cream drink. Conner also smoked two cigars -- an exception to the prison's no-smoking policy granted to condemned inmates.

The skinny: Conner, who told the governor he wanted to die got his wish, as he was executed for killing three men back in 1988.

More skinny (hard to follow, pay attention!): Conner was drinking with friends Steve Wentland, Tony Moore, and Bruce Voge at Moore's home. Wentland left for a drive with Moore in the front seat and Conner in the back. Wentland and Moore argued and Moore struck Wentland with Conner's knife. Wentland fled from the car but was chased down and run over by Moore. Conner then stabbed him to death. They drove to the warehouse of Conner's employer, where Conner and Moore began arguing about the nights events. Cooner shot Moore to death with a shotgun. Conner then returned to Moore's home and shot Voge on the couch. Conner then fled to Texas.

Besides being convicted in the deaths of three men in Indianapolis, Conner also claimed to have killed a fellow Death Row inmate in 2002.

Police dubbed him "Iceman" for his cold demeanor. Conner liked the nickname and, according to trial testimony, asked friends to sell souvenir T-shirts depicting an ice block and a bloody knife. He wanted to use the proceeds to bribe the judge, officials said.

A ruuner: The day after a judge sentenced Conner to die, he jumped a wall and escaped from the Marion County Jail. He ran for about three minutes before being recaptured. In 1994, Conner and four others on Death Row used hacksaw blades, makeshift knives and a grappling hook in an attempt to escape from prison. Conner and three others made it to the base of the outside wall before being spotted and captured.

No legal machinations: Conner had wanted no protests, no efforts to save his life, and had told Gov. Mitch Daniels just that in a letter, writing that "killing a person is far more honest and humane than imposed repression under the guise of justice in the penal system."

Leading up to: Conner spent his final hours alone in his cell, making phone calls to friends and relatives. He also was allowed to smoke two cigars. He did not meet with a spiritual adviser. He also watched Showtime's "Dead Like Me," a dark comedy about a team of grim reapers.

Conner, an avid reader of philosophy and science fiction, donated most of his books to the prison library. He donated his television to Fredrick Michael Baer, sentenced to death last month.

Last words and such: In an obscentity-laced final statement related by a prison spokeswoman, Conner said, "Everybody has to die sometime, so ... let's get on with the killing."

Factoids: Conner was the...

31st murderer executed in U.S. in 2005
975th murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
4th murderer executed in Indiana in 2005
15th murderer executed in Indiana since 1976

Outside, a steady rain had limited protesters to a few moments of gathering outside their cars.

A dozen people, about half the number that typically shows up, gathered in the rain.

Lisa Williams passed out homemade brownies and chocolate cake.