Wednesday, November 23, 2005

November 9, 2005

Last Meal: Thacker had a final meal request of two double cheeseburgers, French fries with ketchup, onion rings, fajitas, two Mountain Dews, two Coca-Colas, two Dr. Peppers, guacamole dip with tortilla chips, four slices of pepperoni pizza, one chocolate chip, two slices of double chocolate cake and two pints of ice cream.

The skinny: Thacker, 37, a convicted serial rapist was executed for the strangling and attempted rape of an elementary school teacher 12 years ago.

More skinny: The victim was returning from a trip to the grocery store when she stopped to retrieve her mail at her apartment complex. Thacker accosted her, then dragged her into a nearby women's bathroom. Witnesses at Thacker's trial testified that they noticed Thacker lurking around the mailboxes about an hour before Crawford was attacked. A building resident noticed Crawford's keys hanging from her mailbox, which led to a search of the grounds. Eventually a maintenance worker checked the bathroom. Thacker burst out, sprayed the maintenance worker with pepper spray and ran into a heavily wooded area. A short time later, Houston police with tracking dogs found Thacker hiding behind a house in the woods. The woman was placed on life support and she died two days later.

The trial: During the trial, several female witnesses, 13 to 64, testified about their encounters with Thacker, many of them saying they were raped and nearly strangled. During the penalty phase of the trial, Thacker's mother told the jury that her son had been molested as a child by a man she had dated and begged that his life be spared. The jury returned a sentence of death in only about two hours.

Priors: Before the capital conviction, Thacker served a little less than four years of two concurrent 12-year sentences he received in 1988 for robbery and sexual assault. Five months after his release, he beat and nearly stabbed to death a 62-year-old woman who had stayed late at a church.

From his website: Thacker declined to be interviewed in the weeks leading up to his execution, but on a Web site where death row inmates seek pen pals acknowledged he was in the area when Crawford was attacked "up to no good with two other guys looking for stuff to steal and sell." There was no evidence of others involved. On his Web site, Thacker suggested the woman accidentally died because of CPR efforts.

Last words and such: Thacker, strapped onto a gurney and in a slightly quivering voice, thanked his two witnesses, volunteer prison ministers. "Jack and Irene, I love you guys. Tell my family I love them. I am sorry for the things I have done. I know God will forgive me." Thacker asked that his daughter be cared for. "Keep track of Danielle for me. I will miss you guys. I love you. I guess that's all." He also said he was looking forward to seeing his deceased mother. Thacker also asked his witnesses to tell his attorney that "they couldn't find a vein on my arm."

Factoids: Thacker was the....

49th murderer executed in U.S. in 2005
993rd murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
17th murderer executed in Texas in 2005
353rd murderer executed in Texas since 1976