Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Condemned Inmate Shouts ‘That’s Awesome!’ During Execution

Richard Cobb, 29. Executed by lethal injection on April 25, 2013 at Texas's Huntsville Unit.

Here at Crime Library, we’ve been collecting the final words of death row prisoners since the beginning. Many proclaim their innocence, some apologize to their victims, others pray and a few just wish for their favorite team to win the big game. Convicted killer Richard Cobb, however, surprised everyone with what he said when the lethal cocktail began coursing through his veins last Thursday.

When asked if he had any last words, Cobb uttered something along the lines of the expected:  ”Life is death, death is life. I hope that someday this absurdity that humanity has come to will come to an end. Life is too short. I hope anyone that has negative energy towards me will resolve that. Life is too short to harbor feelings of hatred and anger. That’s it, warden.”

The injection began, and that’s when things got strange and decidedly distressing for witnesses whose lives were forever altered by Cobb’s crimes. ”Wow!” shouted the 29-year-old prisoner. “That is great. That is awesome! Thank you, warden! Thank you (expletive) warden!” After these words, he twisted his neck and remained with his eyes and mouth open for 15 minutes until a coroner determined him dead.

At the age of 18, Cobb used a 20-gauge shotgun to murder Kenneth Vandever, 37, during a robbery in East Texas. The man’s family was present for Cobb’s execution. Also present was Nikki Daniels, 29, who was shot and raped by Cobb. Daniels was disappointed by Cobb’s parting words: “I thought he was going to be remorseful, I thought he was going to be apologetic, was hoping that he was going to address me. I saw the same evil person I saw 11 years ago. … He definitely showed his true colors,” she told the Associated Press. Daniels, Vandever and another woman were kidnapped by Cobb and a partner, Beunka Adams, who was executed last year for the crimes. All three victims were shot but only Vandever died. Cobb, who never denied the crime, was convicted of capital murder.

Slideshow: Last Words from Death Row

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