UPDATE: Manuel Pardo was pronounced dead at 7:47 p.m. last night at at Florida State Prison in Starke. Due to a reported malfunction of the death chamber’s sound system, reporters could not hear Pardo’s final words, but according to prison officials, he said “Airborne forever. I love you, Michi baby.” Michi, CBS News reports, is Pardo’s daughter.
Pardo was convicted of killing nine people. In a letter released before his execution, Pardo admitted to killing the men but denied killing the women. “I never harmed those 3 women or any female. I took the blame as I knew I was doomed and it made no difference to me, at this time, having 6 or 9 death sentences,” he wrote hours before his death.
CBS reports that Pardo’s final meal consisted of rice, red beans, roasted pork, plantains, avocado, tomatoes and olive oil. He ate a dessert of pumpkin pie and drank egg nog and Cuban Coffee. A condemned prisoner’s final meal must be made in the prison kitchen and cost under $40 under Department of Corrections rules. The ingredients must also be available locally.
In a 1986 killing spree that lasted three months, Manuel Pardo killed nine people. Most of his victims were involved with drugs, said authorities, and Pardo claimed to be doing the world a favor by killing them. After a request for stay was denied Monday, Pardo is set to be executed by lethal injection at 6 p.m. in the execution chamber at Florida State Prison in Starke.
Before he turned to murder, Pardo, 56, had a career in law enforcement. First a Boy Scout, then a Navy Sailor, Pardo eventually became a Florida Highway Patrolman. He was fired for writing phony tickets, and found another job as a cop in the town of Sweetwater. Pardo and three other policemen on his squad were accused of brutality in 1981 but the cases against them were dismissed. He was fired in 1985 after falsely testifying at the trial of a colleague accused of smuggling drugs in the Bahamas. Shortly after losing his job, Pardo embarked on his murderous rampage which ended with six men and three women dead.
During his transformation from cop to killer, Pardo became obsessed with Hitler and Nazi memorabilia. His Doberman Pinscher, the breed of choice for Nazi officers, had a Swastika tattoo. During his time in prison, Pardo became known as the “Death Row Romeo” for having multiple female pen pals.
At his trial in 1988, Pardo asked for execution: ”I am a soldier, I accomplished my mission and I humbly ask you to give me the glory of ending my life and not send me to spend the rest of my days in state prison.” Today at 6 p.m., 24 years later, he will finally get his wish.