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Ranking Serial Killers’ Last Meals

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at CU Boulder chapter.

Trigger warning: this article includes mentions of murder, racism, brutality, rape, and decapitation

The infamous question “what would you ask for your last meal?” is a silly icebreaker usually used during syllabus week of a new semester. However, for many death row inmates, especially serial killers, this silly icebreaker has become a reality. I want to take a look at three of the most well known serial killers’ last meals and rank them. My ranking will be based on three categories; how delicious the meal sounds, how content I would be if it were my last meal, and how creative the meal is. All three of these categories will give each meal an overall score which will decide in the end which one is the best last meal. 

All of the information I will be using for this article is from 9news’ website, where they have a bunch of information on serial killers’ last meals. 

#1 John Wayne Gacy 

Probably one of the most infamous serial killers of the 21st century, John Wayne Gacy, was convicted of at least 33 murders in 1980. His actions had him sentenced to the death penalty and on May 10, 1994, Gacy was executed by lethal injection. Gacy did give a last meal request that was approved, which consisted of a bucket of KFC chicken, 12 fried prawns, a pound of strawberries, french fries, and a diet coke. 

For the first category, how delicious the meal sounds, I am going to give Gacy’s meal a three out of five. It sounds like a pretty good, greasy, fast food American meal that I would’ve begged my mom for when I was a kid, but it’s very basic in my opinion. Also, KFC’s chicken is one of the worst fast food chicken in my personal opinion, so having an entire bucket to myself sounds more like a nightmare than a perfect last meal. Also, I feel like he didn’t get anything sweet. Strawberries are on the sweeter side, but if it’s my last meal ever, I definitely would need to add a sweet treat in there. Overall, it doesn’t sound disgusting to me. I like seafood so I would dig the prawns but it also doesn’t sound like the most appetizing meal ever either. 

Next, for the category of how content I would be having this as my last meal, I give Gacy’s a two out of five. This is mainly due to the fact that he got so much fatty, greasy food and only one drink. I personally could not do that; I would need at least two or three drinks to be able to have a good ratio between solids and liquids. Also, his drink of choice, a diet coke, isn’t the worst but I definitely don’t think it is that amazing to have as your final drink ever. Like I said above too, to be completely content, a cupcake, ice cream, or anything sweet would be definitely needed. 

Lastly, for how creative the meal is, I am going to give this meal a two out of five again. This is because while doing my research I discovered that most death row inmates request chicken for their final meal. This is just simply boring to me, but I did give Gacy’s meal some extra points because the fried prawns are a bit unique, as well as the pound of strawberries. But requesting a bucket of chicken and a coke, Gacy’s meal is overall pretty basic and standard. 

That means that the overall score for John Wayne Gacy’s last meal is a two out of five. I think that this is a pretty deserving score because Gacy’s meal isn’t anything special and I don’t think it would be what I would want my last meal to be at all. 

#2 Ted Bundy 

Another one of the most infamous serial killers of the last century, Ted Bundy confessed to murdering at least 30 young women and girls, but it is suspected that this number is much higher. After being sentenced to death row in 1979, Bundy would wait 10 years until he would be executed via electric chair. Bundy however refused a request for a final meal so his last meal was the default last meal for Florida death row inmates at the time which included: steak, eggs, toast with butter, jam, hash browns, coffee, and juice. It is important to note that Bundy did not have a single bite. 

For the category of how delicious it sounds, I am giving Bundy’s meal a two out of five. This is a very basic meal but sometimes simplicity is best. This meal reminds me of a meal that someone might order at a Denny’s or IHop, and similar types of restaurants, while not Michelin star level, are filled with comfort foods that most people love. I personally will chow down on some hash browns, toast, and eggs without any hesitation. The only things that are keeping me from giving it a higher score is that I’m not a huge fan of steak and I also think it ruins the mood of the meal; with everything else being a breakfast food, so I wish the steak wasn’t included. 

The next category, how content I would be if this were my last meal, is getting a two out of five. This meal would leave me absolutely dissatisfied and upset if it were my very last. Of course, for an everyday meal when I know I will eventually have another, this meal isn’t awful, but for the last meal I will ever eat, it is quite disappointing. Also, bringing up the same point I made for Gacy, this meal is heavily lacking anything sweet, which is a huge let down to me. You gotta have someone sweet. There is absolutely no way I am leaving this Earth without having one last sweet treat, and the fact that Bundy’s meal doesn’t include one makes it absolutely horrific.

Finally, for the last category of how unique this meal is, Bundy’s is going to get an unsurprising one out of five. This is because this meal was not a request made by Bundy and was just given to him as a standard last meal for death row inmates. Knowing what I know about Bundy, it does make sense that he would not make a request for his last meal but for the ranking, it makes this meal incredibly boring. Also the fact that Bundy did not eat any of this meal makes it even more boring. I just think this meal is probably the most uninteresting last meal of any death row inmate. 

This means that Bundy gets a final score of one out of five. This is pretty expected, I mean who would want that as their last mean, genuinely. I just wonder what Bundy thought he was doing by refusing to request or eat a last meal but at least we know it didn’t work.

#3 Lawrence Russell Brewer 

On June 7th, 1998, Lawrence Russell Brewer, who was the leader of a white supremacist group, murdered James Byrd Jr. by attacking him, then chaining him to the back of his truck and driving until the victim was decapitated. It comes to no surprise that Brewer was then convicted of murder and sentenced to the death penalty in 1999. Then, Brewer was executed via lethal injection in 2011. Brewer did not want to go without a bang and requested a very lavish last meal which included; two chicken-fried steaks and gravy, a triple meat bacon cheeseburger, a cheese omelet, a bowl of fried okra, a pound of barbecued meat, half a loaf of white bread, three fajitas, a Meat Lovers pizza, three root beers, a bucket of ice cream and a slab of peanut butter fudge. Brewer, like Bundy, did not eat a single bite of his lavish meal and is actually the reason why Texas no longer takes death row meal requests. 

Getting to the first category, how delicious the meal sounds, I am giving Brewer’s meal a two out of five. My reasoning for that score is due to the fact that this is far too much food. While reading out everything Brewer requested, I could actually feel my stomach churn at the thought of eating all of that in one sitting. This sounds like the type of meal that a child would order if they were able to get whatever they wanted at a fast food restaurant, aka a recipe for disaster. This meal would’ve been perfect if it was only the cheeseburger, fajitas, root beers, and ice cream. If Brewer had kept his request at just that, this meal would’ve gotten a five out of five. But I am happy to see him adding in something sweet, although a bucket of ice cream and an entire slab of fudge is more than enough, but it does add an extra layer of deliciousness. Overall, this is just too much food for me to consider it delicious. 

The next category, how satisfied I would be with this as my last meal, is getting a three out of five. I would be very full, probably very bloated, and definitely sick to my stomach, but I would also be satisfied. This meal is quite the last meal and I feel like it would be crazy for anyone to not be satisfied with it. I mean, Brewer quite literally added one of everything to leave me satisfied, something savory, something salty, something sweet, etc. While I do think that I definitely would be unable to fully eat this meal, I at least would have the pleasure of going out on a full stomach. The fact that Brewer didn’t eat a single bite also makes me think about what type of move or revenge he was attempting at making but I think the worst part is that all of this food most likely went to waste. 

Lastly, for how creative this meal is, I have to give Brewer’s meal a five out of five. This meal is definitely one of the more unique ones that I was able to find, which was the reason I wanted to add it to this list. Of course, this meal is creative just by the sheer amount of food that was requested, but also because of the choices made. He didn’t just get a cheese pizza, he got a Meat Lover’s pizza. He didn’t just get a cheeseburger, he got a triple meat bacon cheeseburger. Those choices are the reasons why this meal is one to be remembered which is why Brewer is on the list despite him not being a serial killer. 

With all the scores tallied up, Brewer’s last meal request has a final score of three out of five. This meal is definitely something and I think that that is exactly what Brewer wanted people to think by making this request. Personally, I think that he was a bit of an idiot for not even eating a little bit but hey, at least that means I don’t think like a psycho. 

Which means that the winner of this ranking is the meal requested by Lawrence Russell Brewer. I just want to take a moment and say that what these people did is horrific and disgusting and I in no shape or form am suggesting otherwise with this ranking. I just think it is really interesting to look at what these horrible people ate in their last moments and also think what I would choose if I were ever in that situation.

Adamari Ruelas

CU Boulder '26

Adamari Ruelas is a contributing writer for the Her Campus chapter at CU Boulder. Her job within Her Campus is to write at least two articles a month, one contributing to a theme week. Outside of Her Campus, Adamari is a first-generation college student who is currently a sophomore at the University of Colorado Boulder, majoring in English Creative Writing. During her spring semester of freshman year, Adamari studied abroad in London, wanting to learn about different cultures while also being able to study in a Literature-rich city. Adamari also interned at the Aurora Public Schools Communications Department during her senior year of High School, where she learned how to write articles, interview subjects, and create social media posts for the department under the guidance of multiple professionals. In her free time, Adamari enjoys reading and writing, at least when she isn’t hanging out with her friends or playing Overwatch with her little siblings. She is a very proud Mexican-American who loves sharing her culture as long as Mexican history with anyone who lends an ear. Adamari is also a massive nerd, especially with Harry Potter (she’s a Ravenclaw btw) and Marvel. In the future, Adamari hopes to become a published author, sharing her works with the world and hoping they help people the way books have helped her.