The Last Request of James W. Rodgers

If you were sentenced to death for your crimes (come on, we both know you’ve done something wrong at one time or another), what would your last request be?

If I could have a non-tangible things, I’d ask for more time to spend with my family. That’s something that I never seem to get enough of as it is. To know that my end is nigh would put that into even sharper relief.

If I was limited to physical objects, I think I’d ask for book to read. I’d probably pick something by Kurt Vonnegut, known for his gallows humor. This might surprise some of you who would assume that I’d pick the Bible as my last book to read, but something tells me that Vonnegut isn’t waiting up for me at the pearly gates. So if I want to enjoy time with an author, I’m choosing one that I can only get on Earth.

If my last request was limited to food, here’s the menu: Popeye’s Fried Chicken, a thick steak (medium), cheesy potatoes, pink jello fluff, and I’d wash it down with a gigantic frozen Coke.

James_W._Rodgers_mugshotBut my last requests pale in comparison to convicted (and now dead) murderer, James W. Rodgers.

Rodgers was sentenced to death for his role in the killing of a co-worker at the Continental Uranium Company at its Rattlesnake uranium mine in Utah. The two had been fighting over how to properly grease a scoop shovel when things escalated. Rodgers co-worker found out the hard way that you don’t bring a large wrench to a gun fight.

He was quickly apprehended, found guilty, and sentenced to death by the firing squad. So what was his last request?

When asked for a final statement, Rodgers continued to insist that he was innocent and said, “I done told you my last request … a bulletproof vest.” He was dressed in denim and offered a coat, to which he replied, “Don’t worry, I’ll be where it’s warm soon.”

What would your last request be?

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