Audio and Documents

  • Interview with Michael Taylor’s family following stay of execution [AUDIO: mp3] — The Missourinet’s Bob Priddy and the AP’s Cheryl Wittnauer interviewed four members of Michael Taylor’s family Wednesday night after Taylor’s execution was stayed by the Eighth District U.S. Court of Appeals. 2/1/06 23 min
  • Reports from Thomas Battle execution 8/7/96 [AUDIO: mp3] 3 min. — Missourinet reporter Julie Anderson covered the execution of Thomas Battle and filed these reports.
  • Press briefings from Larry Griffen execution 6/21/95 [AUDIO: mp3] 16 min — Missourinet reporter Julie Anderson covered the execution of Larry Griffen in 1995 and recorded the pre and post-execution news briefings. The audio has been slightly edited to eliminate some pauses but no content has been changed. Reporter questions which wee asked off-mic have been amplified to make them audible. The first minute of audio is Corrections Department spokesman Tim Kniest announcing the execution would go ahead after the appeals which caused it to be delayed had been exhausted. The rest of the material is the post-execution press conference. The Corrections Department employees heard are Kniest, Corrections Director Dora Shriro, and George Lombardi, the director of adult institutions.
  • Anderson report of Griffen’s final hours [AUDIO: mp3] while his last appeals were being considered. 30 sec MP3
  • Witness to an Execution is Bob Priddy’s audio journal of the execution of Donald Jones early in the morning of April 27, 2005. The journal follows Bob as he leaves his motel in Bonne Terre to go to the prison and ends as he prepares to leave the prison about two and a half hours later. 4/27/05 [AUDIO: mp3] 29 min
  • Interview with Darrell J. Mease following death of Pope John Paul II. 4/6/05 23 min — Darrell Mease was scheduled to be executed on the day Pope John Paul the second arrived in Missouri in 1999 for a 31-hour visit. Mease faced the death penalty because of the murders of three people in southwest Missouri. His execution was delayed until after the Pope had gone home. It never happened. The Pope asked Carnahan to show mercy to Mease. A few days later, Carnahan commuted Mease’s sentence to life without parole.
  • Former prison caseworker remembers first execution of a woman. 12/19/03 [AUDIO: mp3] 11 min — Half a century ago, radios throughout the country were broadcasting the news that a woman had died in Missouri’s gas chamber….the first—and so far, the only–woman ever executed in a state prison. Bonnie Brown Heady of St. Joseph and her lover Carl Hall had been convicted less than a month earlier of the kidnapping and murder of a little Kansas City boy, Bobby Greenlease.
  • News conference following the execution of John Clayton Smith 10/29/03 [AUDIO: mp3] 15 min — The first person speaking is Bridie Brooks, the sister of Brandi Kearns, the woman murdered on July 5th, 1997, for which John Clayton Smith was executed. Later in the news conference Scott Hoewing, the oldest son of Wayne Hoewing, also murdered that night, and his sister Amy Hoewing Bringer.
  • Joseph Amrine at news conference. 7/28/03 11 min — Following his release from prison after spending 17 years on Missouri’s death row…and nearly 30 years in the state prison system.
  • Interview with Joseph Amrine. 4/30/03 15 min — Missourinet reporter John Davis interviewed Joseph Amrine from the state prison in Potosi. The Missouri Supreme Court overturned Amrine’s conviction for killing a fellow prisoner. Amrine has been under a death sentence since 1985.
  • Interview with Jerri Giffen 12/6/02 — Jerri Giffen is an author and former statehouse reporter and Jefferson City bureau chief for United Press. During that time she covered a number of executions, including Bonnie Brown Heady and Carl Austin Hall (for the Greenlease Kidnapping), as well as the prison riot in 1954. She talked with Missourinet News Director Bob Priddy about those events. Executions 14 min; Prison riot 8 min
  • Daniel Basile execution 8/14/02
    • Post-execution media briefing by Missouri Corrections Director Gary Kempker. [AUDIO: mp3] 2 min
    • Statement by Jim Vaniseghem of St. Louis, oldest brother of murder victim Elizabeth DeCaro.  [AUDIO: mp3]
    • Interview with friends and family of Daniel Basile following his execution.  [AUDIO: mp3] 15 min They talked to reporters from the Missourinet and the Associated Press at a gas station in Potosi. Participants included: Dennis Watson, the grandfather of Basile’s nine-year old daughter; Lisa Owsley, Wentzville, longtime friend of Daniel Basile; Julie Ferranto, St.Louis, niece of Basile; Terra Murray, St. Charles, sister of Daniel Basile; Desiree Trousdale, Jackson, sister of Daniel Basile; Captain Jeff Militti, army chaplain who was Basile’s spiritual advisor, whose mother often took care of Basile when he was a child. Militti is at home on emergency leave from South Korea. Also heard briefly is Tina Addison, mother of Basile’s daughter.
  • News conference by Cathleen Burnett. 7/1/02 [AUDIO: mp3] 16 min — Cathleen Burnett, associate professor of sociology and criminology at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, has written a book entitled Justice Denied: Clemency Appeals in Death Penalty Cases. The book examines 50 applications for executive clemency submitted to Missouri governors since the reinstatement of the death penalty in 1977. Burnett, who opposes the death penalty, claims her examination discloses errors in Missouri’s application of capital punishment and a misperception that the final appeal to the governor can make up for mistakes.
  • News conference by Kent Gipson 7/1/02 25 min — Gipson, an attorney with the Public Interest Litigation Clinic in Kansas City, opposes the death penalty and believes recent court rulings give death penalty opponents “a ray of hope.” Gipson and Burnett spoke at a news conference in Jefferson City on July 1, 2002
  • Amnesty International lobbies against Missouri death penalty. (Missourinet report) 4/02 2:30 — Amnesty International Midwest Regional Deputy Director Michelle Moore charges that Missouri officials are ignoring flaws in the judicial system that could lead to innocent men being executed.
  • Interview with Sheriff Kenny Jones 16 min — Moniteau County Sheriff Kenny Jones lost his wife and one of his deputies ten years ago when James Johnson went on a rampage that ended the lives of four people December 8, 1991. Johnson killed Pam Jones as the Jones’ family held a Christmas party. He had earlier killed Moniteau County Deputy Les Roark, who had responded to a domestic disturbance call at the Johnson residence. He killed Cooper County Sheriff Charles Smith and Miller County Deputy Sandra Wilson and wounded Moniteau County Deputy Russell Borts before surrendering to authorities on the 10th. In this exclusive interview, Jones spoke with the Missourinet’s Brent Martin about that tragic night and Johnson’s upcoming execution.
  • News conference with Sister Helen Prejean [AUDIO: mp3] 11 min — Sister Helen Prejean, author of Dead Man Walking, brought her crusade against the death penalty to the State Capitol in Jefferson City on April 3rd. Sister Prejean spoke to reporters, then took part in a rally against capital punishment. Sister Helen says that while she is against the death penalty altogether, she is particularly concerned with the death penalty being applied to the mentally retarded. She is supporting legislative efforts to limit capital punishment. Sister Helen says ending capital punishment against the retarded would at least be a step in the right direction.
  • George C. “Tiny” Mercer news conference [AUDIO: mp3] 22 min — Mercer was executed on January 6, 1989.
  • News conference: “Miscarriages of Justice” Report 1/16/01 13 min — Cathy Burnett is the chairman of the Department of Sociology, University of Missouri-Kansas City and the main author of the report “Miscarriages of Justice” produced by the group, Missourians to Abolish the Death Penalty. She spoke at a news conference in the Capitol Rotunda in Jefferson City. The group hopes the report will convince the state legislature to impose a two-year moratorium on executions so administration of the death penalty in Missouri can be thoroughly studied. The legislature has rejected such calls in the past.
  • George C. Gilmore execution (Missourinet report) [AUDIO: mp3] 8/31/90 — Including excerpts of interview with Gilmore.
  • Interview with Mose Young 7/12/00 [AUDIO: mp3] — Missourinet Managing Editor Brent Martin spoke with Moses Young by phone following the stay of his execution on July 12, 2000. Young called from his holding cell and at the time of the interview did not know whether his execution would be carried out.
  • News conference following execution of James Hampton 3/22/00 [AUDIO: mp3] — Members of Frances Keaton’s family witnessed the execution of James Hampton and spoke to the media. First to speak are LaVon Bowlin (Keaton’s daughter) of Smithton, Illinois, and her husband Carl. Then, Les Keaton (son) of Florissant speaks. Statement by Department of Corrections spokesman Tim Kniest, following the execution.
  • Death Penalty Commission 2/23/00 [AUDIO: mp3] 34 min — Hearing before the Missouri House Criminal Law Committee to hear testimony on HB 1887. This bill would have placed a moratorium on carrying out the death penalty from August 28, 2000, until January 1, 2003, during which time a commission on the death penalty, created by the bill, is to study all aspects of the death penalty in Missouri. Click here to listen to the full hearing before the commission.

Documents and other Resources

  • Galena’s Gruesome Claim to Fame — Site of the nation’s last public execution, the hanging of Roscoe Jackson in 1937. Article by St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Tim O’Neil.
  • Adam Richetti (executed 10-7-38) -The Kansas City Massacre involved the attempt by Charles Arthur “Pretty Boy” Floyd, Vernon Miller and Adam Richetti to free their friend, Frank Nash, a Federal prisoner. A number of websites have information about Pretty Boy Floyd and Adam Richetti.
  • Bonnie Brown Heady and Carl Austion Hall (double execution, 12-18-53). Heady is the only woman executed to have been executed by the state of Missouri. Heady and Hall were convicted of The Greenlease Kidnapping, described as “one of the more tragic and fascinating crimes of the mid 20th century.”
  • Van Lee Ramsey – A case history found in Van Lee Ramsey’s prison file.”…the 21st victim of the lethal gas chamber.”
  • Marshall Perkins – Marshall Perkins’ case history included a number of statistics, including: “Will be the third oldest man to be executed in the gas chamber: Oldest — Allen Lambus, Age–72 when executed, 5-15-44. Murder 1st; 2nd — John Williams on, Age–82 when executed, 2-15-39, Murder 1st.” Oldest — Allen Lambus, Age–72 when executed, 5-15-44. Murder 1st; 2nd — John Williams on, Age–82 when executed, 2-15-39, Murder 1st.”
  • Charles Harvey Odom (executed 3-6-64) – On June 24, 1962, Odom and another Death Row inmate attempted an escape. Odom’s file contained a report by the guard on duty at the time. I’ve also included (from his appeal to the Missouri Supreme Court) a description of the crime for which Odom was executed.
  • Lloyd Leo Anderson (executed 1-26-65) – excerpts from the offical Commitment Report, describing the crime for which Anderson was executed.
  • Floyd Cochran (executed 9-26-47) – A detailed Execution Schedule was found in Floyd Cochran’s prison file. The reference to “condemned men” suggests that two men were scheduled to be executed on the same date. Annotations (“they” changed to “he”) suggest that this changed and Cochran was executed by himself on September 26, 1947. The schedule is noteworthy for its detailed account of preparations for carrying out an execution in the gas chamber.
  • Sammy Aire Tucker (executed 7-26-63) – A note from the warden to the “Food Manager” authorizing Tucker’s last meal.