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A sadistic predator suffered one of the most horrific deaths imaginable in a botched Death Row execution.
Evil psycho Allen Lee Davis went to the respectable home with murder on his mind.
He wanted to rape the nine-year-old girl who lived there and kill her Mum and little sister.
Pregnant Nancy Weiler was beaten almost beyond recognition, hit 25 times in the face and head with a .357 magnum. Kristina, nine, was tied up and shot twice in the face.
When Katherine, aged five, tried to run away, she was shot in the back and then had her skull crushed with the gun.
What defies belief is that these sick crimes are not what monster Davis is most remembered for. It was the manner of his death.
Caught and sentenced to death, 17 years after his crime Davis ordered lobster tail, fried potatoes, fried shrimp, clams, garlic bread, and a Root Beer for his last meal. He spent his last hours reading a cowboy novel. He never finished it.
In 1999 Florida State Prison had just replaced "Old Sparky" – the electric chair which had seen off 265 men and one woman since 1924 – with a newer model. The idea behind the electric chair is quite simple. The current instantly fries the brain and brings sudden death.
Suffering from arthritis and other medical problems, Davis was brought to the chamber in a wheelchair. His head and lower right leg had been shaved and slathered in gel to help the electric flow through his body. He was fastened into the electric chair with thick leather straps around his legs, arms, waist, chest and head.
The husband and father of his victims, John Weiler, who was watching the execution, said "He didn't show an ounce of remorse. He knew who I was. He didn't care. Not a bit.''
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Asked if he had any final words, Davis shook his head.
Then the controversy began, perhaps best described by watching reporter John Sugg of Orlando Weekly.
"The device rests close to the glass; the condemned man is in your face. But the rooms are carefully sealed off from one another. Corrections officials don't want witnesses to smell the cooking flesh.
"Davis, at this point, roared twice. Some witnesses said he was screaming "help." I just heard noise. My speculation is that he either realized eternity might not be pleasant or, more likely, was feeling pain from straps and buckles biting into him. Maybe both.
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"When the power hit him, he lurched forward. Then the gruesome part began. Blood blossomed on his shirt front, growing to about the size of a large saucer. There was more blood around his collar.
"The official spin from prison officials is that Davis had a nosebleed, caused by medicines that thinned his blood.
"A nosebleed is not what I saw. His body reared back against the chair's restraints, giving witnesses a grotesque glimpse under a black hood designed to hide the faces of the condemned.
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"His round, moon face contorted grossly, the flesh seeming to knot, and coloured a vivid purple.
"After the power was cut, his chest was heaving. The official blather was that it was a heart fibrillation. I don't think so. That guy was breathing."
He was eventually pronounced dead but a row began over whether his execution had been humane.
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In the electric chair, the executed are meant to be hit with 2,300 volts for eight seconds, 1,000 volts for 22 seconds and a final 2,300 volts for eight seconds more. But records obtained by the press showed Davis received far less current.
Davis was nicknamed "Tiny" because he was so large and protestors argued perhaps the current had not been strong enough.
Legal challenges to turn off "new Sparky" raged for years until it was ruled electrocutions could continue.
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It could have been worse. During the execution of Wille Francis in 1946, a drunk guard set the chair up wrongly and hit with the current, Francis screamed "Take it off! Take it off! Let me breathe!" from behind his leather hood. The execution was stopped but Francis was executed 12 months later.
Was Davis's death cruel? One person doesn't care.
John Weiler said: "'Davis was a deviant animal that should have been permanently caged or executed many years before May 1982… The execution today was a legal, moral and righteous one, and I can assure you God approves.''
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