Thursday, February 13, 2003

Since our eyes are usually on Texas, the show-me state of Missouri tried to slip a diner past us. They didn't.

February 5, 2003

Double K's last day...

Last Meal: steak, shrimp, salad and a baked potato.

The skinny: In 1984, Kenley went on a crime spree that ended with one man dead and a woman shot in the back.

The spree...After robbing a liquor store in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, Kenley grabbed a female bystander and forced her into his getaway car. He shot her in the back as she jumped from the car to escape. Kenley then robbed a tavern, where he shot Ronald Felts in the head, killing the 27-year-old hospital X-ray technician. After the murder, Kenley attempted to kidnap the owner of the bar, but she escaped unharmed. Kenley then went to a nearby motel where he attempted to shoot the motel operator, but the gun did not work. Kenley exchanged gunfire with police in Arkansas and eventually surrendered, telling officers who arrested him, "You all were lucky."

Last words and such...Kinley's last words were personal messages to witnesses. He looked at the five witnesses he chose to attend the execution. He mouthed words to them and nodding after one of the women said, "I love you."

He's sick and dumb! Kenley's backers pressed that their client be spared on grounds that prison officials were "cruel and unusual" in failing to treat a liver-attacking disease he contracted behind bars. They also claimed he was too mentally unfit to be executed.

Factoids: It was Mizzou's 60th execution since capital punishment resumed in the state in 1989. Kenley was the first in Missouri since former governor George Ryan in neighboring Illinois commuted the death sentences of all that state's death row prisoners. Behind bars, Kenley was less than a model prisoner, logging 61 conduct violations that included eight assaults.

Unrelated Factoid: As a young man, one of the DME editors used to drive over an hour to Popular Bluff to dance at an underage disco. While there, hopped up on Fun Dip and Mountain Dew, he would pretzel and hustle the night away. No one was ever killed.