Wednesday, September 25, 2002

Robert A. Buell
September 25, 2002

It's the pits.

LAST DAY PRE MEALS: Buell went to sleep Tuesday at 7:36 p.m. and woke at 3:30 a.m. Wednesday. He had a bologna and cheese sandwich and coffee last night. He shaved at 4:48 a.m., showed at 5:07 a.m. and ate a half a bowl of bran flakes with a 16-ounce cup of milk for breakfast.

THE VERY LAST MEAL: Buell ate his special meal Tuesday--a single black, unpitted olive. Prison officials had no clue why he wanted to swallow an olive with its pit. They researched, but failed to find, any significance in the request.

The skinny: The state executed Robert A. Buell this morning for the murder of an 11-year-old Wayne County girl 20 years ago. Harrison, 11, was abducted across the street from her home. She was picking up aluminum cans when she encountered Buell, then 42.

YOU ARE GETTING SLEEPY: After a brief delay,State and federal courts turned down last-minute appeals based on objections that prosecutors had hypnotizing witnesses at Buell’s trial.

Last words: Buell gave a one-minute statement directed to the parents of Krista, who he was convicted of raping and strangling. “Jerry and Shirley, I didn’t kill your daughter. The prosecutor knows that ... and they left the real killer out there on the streets to kill again and again and again."

No Answers: Buell also has been implicated, but never charged, in the deaths of Deborah Kaye Smith, 10, of Massillon in 1983 and Tina Marie Harmon, 12, of Creston in Wayne County in 1981. Circumstantial evidence linked him to the deaths of all three children.. Police had hoped Buell would confess to Smith’s death before he was executed. He didn't.

A VERY BAD MAN:Buell also was serving a minimum 121-year sentence for abducting and raping two adult women in 1983. He was arrested when one of the women escaped from his home. He had taken her there at gunpoint, handcuffed her to a bench and later a bed, sexually molested and tortured her for hours. The woman escaped, and that led police to him as a suspect in the girls’ deaths.

CHERRY PICKING PROTESTERS: The number of protesters have shrunk since Ohio switched to daytime executions. Also, one protester stated that "Buell is a 'less sympathetic figure,' she said, because the victim was a child and Buell is not mentally ill."

FACTOIDS: Buell is the fifth man Ohio has executed in the last three years. Buell will be the first executed inmate to be buried in a cemetery operated by the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction in Chillicothe. Buell had 12 attorneys, including Ohio public defenders, over 20 years.