Notorious murder James D. French's last words before being executed were a joke—and a pretty funny one at that
James D. French was an American criminal who, while hitchhiking across Texas in 1958, kidnapped a motorist who offered him a lift. He killed his hostage near Stroud, Oklahoma. He was 22 years old at the time.
French was sentenced to life in prison for the murder. He already had 5 children and was very much loved by his girlfriend, Angel Goudy. Not willing to spend his life in prison, and too scared to commit suicide, he strangled his cellmate to death in an effort to force the state to order the death penalty.
Before French killed his cellmate, Eddie Shelton, he decided the man should have a last meal, and treated him to a steak sandwich from the snack bar. French issued a plea to be executed without appeal.
On 10 August 1966, at the age of 30, James Donald French was electrocuted at Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester. He was the last person executed under Oklahoma’s death penalty laws prior to Furman v. Georgia and the only person executed in the United States in 1966. Apparently French’s famous last words before his death by electric chair were: “How’s this for a headline? 'French Fries'”