Traditionally, prisoners are given the chance to say a few last words immediately prior to execution. These words are heard by those present, and then released by media. Some people pray, others proclaim innocence, and most say goodbye to loved ones. Some go out with a joke. Crime Library has collected dozens of these last words in this slideshow.
On the night before their execution, prisoners are allowed to choose their final meal. In many states, the meal must cost less than a certain amount and be made in the prison cafeteria. The state of Texas, which executes the most prisoners annually, recently put an end to the practice of offering condemned prisoners final meals.
These photographs capture the grief, cruelty and fear behind some of the most notorious crimes throughout history. Included are a photograph of famed director Roman Polanski sitting outside his house after those inside had been butchered by the Manson Family, and a group of parrots perched above a field of corpses belonging to members of the Jonestown cult.
2011 was a big year for bestiality. Dogs were the beast of choice, followed by horses, but other unfortunate critters are also on the list. In one notable case, a man was arrested after a farmer noticed that all of his prized show hogs had vaginal infections. In another case, a top scientist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was arrested on charges of bestiality and child molestation.
In the mafia, one day you’re in and the next day you’re dead. This slideshow features mobsters known for their brutality, including Anthony “Knife Man” Mirra, who his folding knife to guns, and Roy DeMeo, who along with his crew made between 75 and 200 people “disappear” in the back room of Brooklyn’s Gemini Lounge.