Friday, April 19, 2002

MISSOURI LAST MEAL...April 10, 2002

Bovine lover Paul Kreutzer

The skinny....
Paul Kreutzer was the fourth inmate put to death by Missouri this year and the 55th since the state's death penalty was reinstated in 1989.

The crime...
Kreutzer was convicted of raping and murdering Louise Ann Hemphill at her northeast Missouri home on September 2., 1992. The autopsy showed that Hemphill's skull had been shattered with a baseball bat, her throat had been cut and she had been strangled with a belt.

The alibi....
Kreutzer, 30, had said he could not have killed Hemphill because he was across the Mississippi River committing two burglaries in rural Illinois at the time of the killing. The alibi is a recent change from the 10-year-old defense put forth by his lawyers: that he is guilty but should not be executed because of mental defects caused by a childhood of horrific abuse.

A note to parents...
Among abuse the allegations made against his adopted parents: that he was physically abused; that he was forced to drink his own urine after wetting his bed; that he was told to have sexual relations with a cow as punishment for a sexual fixation on his younger sister; and that he was chained to his bed as punishment for having sex with the animal.

The cliche'
Along with his identical twin brother and younger sister, Kreutzer was adopted by Don and Ruth Kreutzer when he was 3.

Maybe, maybe not....
Missouri Division of Family Services records on Kreutzer were excluded from his trial as hearsay. But five of the agency's officials testified that they believed Kreutzer's abuse claims to be true.

His parents have long denied the abuse allegations, but say they believe their son's claim of innocence. Like Kreutzer, they blame earlier guilty pleas on lawyers who liked their chances with the "mental defects" defense better than challenging the facts of the case.

Last Meal...was grilled ham & cheese sandwich, onion rings, cheesecake and returning to his first love...milk.