A US murderer suffered one of the ‘most excruciating feelings known to man’ as he was executed.
Sixty-eight-year-old Wesley Ira Purkey was put to death by a lethal injection of pentobarbital for raping, murdering and dismembering 16-year-old Jennifer Long.
While lethal injection can be painlessly accomplished, the autopsy has revealed that he experienced ‘severe bilateral acute pulmonary oedema’ and ‘frothy pulmonary oedema in trachea and main stem bronchi’.
This basically means fluid flooded the criminal’s lungs and trachea, causing ‘a near-drowning sensation’ – something a medical expert has said is one of the most painful feelings a person can experience, reports news.com.au.
Dr Gail Van Norman, the MD who was called in to clarify the autopsy, said that this reaction could only have happened while the prisoner was still alive.
She said: “It is a virtual medical certainty, that most, if not all, prisoners will experience excruciating suffering, including sensations of drowning and suffocation from (the drug) pentobarbital.”
After receiving the sentence for his crimes back in 2004, Purkey was administered the lethal dose at the Federal Correctional Complex in Terre Haute, Indiana, on 16 July 2020.
He had reportedly been suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s and, the night before his execution, claimed he would vote for Bill Clinton in the upcoming presidential election after seeing the former POTUS on TV.
According to accounts, Purkey’s last words were: “I deeply regret the pain and suffering I caused to Jennifer’s family. I am deeply sorry.
“I deeply regret the pain I caused to my daughter, who I love so very much. This sanitised murder really does not serve no purpose whatsoever.”
As for his last meal, he requested a pecan pie, although he asked to eat it ‘later’ – not realising that there wouldn’t be a later.
After Purkey kidnapped and killed Long back in 1998, he dismembered her body with a chainsaw and attempted to burn the remains on a fire, before allegedly dumping what was left in a septic pond in Clearwater, Kansas.
In the same year, he bludgeoned 80-year-old polio sufferer Mary Bales to death with a claw hammer, earning him the moniker ‘Claw Hammer Killer’.
He went to the home of Bales to fix her kitchen tap, only to then ruthlessly kill the woman in her own home. The murderer was caught after a neighbour spotted him trying to burn Bales’ body.
Purkey pleaded guilty to the crime and later admitted to the killing of Jessica Long, earning him the death sentence