TEXAS LAST MEAL
RYAN HEATH DICKSON
April 26, 2007
...The robbery netted $52 in cash and an undetermined amount of beer...
Last Meal: Dickson, 30, had a final meal request of fried chicken, fried eggs, french fries with white gravy, apple pie with ice cream, a pork chop, five biscuits, chili with jalapenos and cheese, lemonade and five containers of milks.
The skinny: Dickson, street gang member, was executed for the murders of an Amarillo couple during a botched beer theft at their grocery store.
More skinny: Dickson, then 18, and his juvenile half-brother Dane Dickson, entered a small grocery store/bicycle repair shop and were attempting to steal beer when they were confronted by the 61-year old store owner. Dickson produced a sawed-off .22-caliber rifle from underneath his coat and shot the man once in the chest.
His wife was then shot in the face even though she had placed all the money from the store register on the counter and was on her knees.
The robbery netted $52 in cash and an undetermined amount of beer.
Dickson went for food and socialized hours after the shooting.
Dickson later admitted to police he was responsible for the shooting deaths of both victims. Dickson’s confession was corroborated by both physical evidence and by the statements at trial of Dane Dickson, who received a 15 year sentence for the robbery.
Prosecutors said Dickson told authorities he hoped the killing would earn him a teardrop tattoo to impress his colleagues in a gang known as the Varrio 16 Locos.
Priors: Dickson had frequent run-ins with the law as a juvenile, including burglary and assault arrests, was on probation at age 9 for stealing bikes and served time with the Texas Youth Commission. He was just two weeks past his 18th birthday when he was arrested in the double homicide
Last words and such: Dickson was cooperative with Texas prison officials and quietly went to his death. He spoke rapidly when asked if he had anything to say, “I’d like to say I love my mother, brother, sister, grandmother, cousins and nieces and my brothers and sisters I have never met. I do apologize to the Surace family. I am responsible for them losing their mother, their father and their grandmother. I never meant for them to be taken. I am sorry for what I did and take responsibility for what I did.”
No witnesses from his family or the victims' family attended the execution. His execution was witnessed by the prison chaplain, three journalists and several prison officials. Dickson wanted no witnesses of his own to watch him die. "It's part of the circus and I refuse to be part of the circus," he said in a recent interview. "I ain't got no choice about being there, but I ain't gonna bring any of my people into it."
Factoids: Dickson was the...
15th murderer executed in U.S. in 2007
1072nd murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
13th murderer executed in Texas in 2007
392nd murderer executed in Texas since 1976