Any Final Words?
For centuries, allowing somebody to say their last words has been a common courtesy given to people prior to their execution. But what’s in a word?
Sometimes, our last words are apologetic and we leave this world begging for mercy, yet sometimes they are exactly the opposite, and criminals may gloat in their crimes in their final breaths. Other times, we are so lost in fear or mental illness that our words make no sense. Then again, our final words may be our moments of greatest clarity.
The opportunity to have the last word gives somebody a final bit of power, even before others forcibly take their life from them. As in arguments at work or with friends, many people feel compelled to be the last person to speak, as it if granted them some control over the situation. Historically and culturally, being able to speak before all others go silent has been a right reserved for fathers, conquerors, and kings.
On the following pages, we explore the twisted, terrifying, and often insightful final words of some of history’s most notorious criminals. Some of these will really stick with you after you’re done reading.