To become an inmate on death row, you have to have committed some pretty disturbing crimes. Often at execution, the criminal is allowed to say some last words and sometimes those words only add to the creepiness.

Such is the case with a few of Idaho's past death row inmates. Currently, there are 9 offenders on death row in Idaho sitting alone in their cells for 23 hours a day. Maybe they are spending some of their time deciding whether their last words will be clever, creepy, or apologetic. Only 3 have been put to death since the the death penalty statute was started in 1977. One of those men said something extremely disturbing as his final words.

  • Keith Wells was killed by lethal injection in 1994. His final words weren't recorded.
  • Richard Albert Leavitt was killed in 2012. He had no final words.
  • Paul Ezra Rhodes was killed in 2011 by lethal injection and has the only recorded last words of an Idaho inmate. His words are disturbing because he admits to being part of the murders but also says that he can't help the victims families get closure. He then apologizes and tells the executioner he forgives him.

To Bert Michelbacher, I am sorry for the part I played in your wife's death. For Haddon and Baldwin, I can't help you. You still have to keep looking. I'm sorry for your family. I can't help you. I took part in the Michelbacher murder, I can't help you guys." He then turned to the executioner or the warden and uttered, "I forgive you, I really do.

Prior to 1977, there were executions in Idaho by hanging. In 1957, Raymond Allen Snowden was brought to the gallows. They say Snowden never had the chance for final words but the noose failed to break his neck so he hung for 15 minutes gasping for air until he died. Maybe he uttered something during that time? Or, maybe he's now a ghost haunting the old Idaho State Penitentiary, as many visitors seem to think.

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