Killer Angered Victims’ Family With Last Words Before Dying In Botched Execution

Joseph Wood, a killer executed on death row, used his last words to anger his victims' family.
Credit: Arizona Department of Corrections & Alamy

Joseph Wood, a killer on death row, used his last words to inspire anger in his victims’ family before dying by botched execution.

We all have a collective fascination with death row killers.

There’s just something spooky about those who pass on, knowing it’s about to happen.

Because of the preplanned nature of their deaths, many of those executed on death row have some time to think about their final words.

Some send a message to their loved ones, make a scary pronouncement about the afterlife, or even speak in code.

But Wood instead took the opportunity to anger the family of his victims before his botched, almost two-hour execution.

Related Article: Death Row Inmate Set To Become First To Be Executed By Controversial New Method

Related Article: Chilling Reason Death Row Inmate Chose A Single Olive For His Final Meal

Before being executed in Arizona in 2014, killer Wood used his final utterances to share a hateful message with the family of his victims.

Wood was convicted of killing ex-girlfriend, Debra Dietz, and her father, Eugene Dietz, in 1989.

Wood reportedly walked into their family-owned car body store in Tuscon, Arizona, and shot them both.

Before the killing, Debra had split up with Wood, reportedly citing domestic violence.

She’d also obtained an order of protection against her ex, as he refused to leave her alone after the relationship ended.

Wood served over 20 years in prison before the date of his execution was set for July 2014 at Florence State Prison in Arizona.

Lethal injection.
Joseph Wood’s botched execution resulted in all executions in the state of Arizona being put on hold for several years. Credit: Alamy

His execution was so botched by the state that Wood ended up taking one hour and 57 minutes to die, according to The Atlantic.

This was conceded to be a ‘cruel’ and ‘unusual punishment’ which resulted in all executions in the state of Arizona being put on hold for several years, as per the BBC.

What makes this extended and painful death even more poignant is the final words Wood chose to address to the family of the two victims.

As per CBC, he reportedly looked at the victims’ family and said: “I take comfort knowing today my pain stops, and I said a prayer that on this or any other day, you may find peace in all of your hearts, and may God forgive you all.”

After being administered the lethal injection, Wood did not die in the required 10 minutes.

Per CBC, notes in legal documents from the incident read: “He has been gasping and snorting for more than an hour. He is still alive.”

However, due to the evil choice of final words, Wood’s victims felt no remorse.

Related Article: Death Row Inmate Suffered ‘Excruciating’ Death After Making Last Meal ‘Mistake’

Related Article: Woman Executed On Death Row Performed Defiant Final Act Before She Died

Jeanne Brown, Debra’s sister, told the Associated Press (via The Guardian): “What I saw today with him being executed, it is nothing compared to what happened on August 7, 1989.

“What’s excruciating is seeing your father lying there in a pool of blood, seeing your sister lying in a pool of blood.”

Debra’s brother-in-law, Richard Brown, added: “I saw the life go out of my sister-in-law’s eyes. You guys are blowing it all out of proportion about these drugs.

“This man, he conducted a horrifying murder, and you worry about the drug and how it affects him. Why don’t we give him a bullet? Why don’t we give him some Drano? Now my family can rest in peace.”

Do you have a story for us? If so, email us at [email protected]. All contact will be treated in confidence.

Written by Annie Walton Doyle

Annie Walton Doyle is a content editor at IGV who specialises in trending, lifestyle and entertainment news. She graduated from Goldsmiths, University of London, with a degree in English Literature. Annie has previously worked with organisations such as The Huffington Post, The Guardian, The Telegraph, Harvard University, the Pulitzer Prize and 22 Words.