Famous Last Words
March 21, 1963
“Gents, this is an educational project. You are about to witness the damaging effect electricity has on Wood.”
(Alternatively: “Gentlemen, observe closely as you witness the effect electricity has on Wood” and “I’m going to prove conclusively that Wood conducts electricity.”)
Wood had been convicted of killing 3 men. He earned a life sentence for the first murder, a man he killed by beating to death with a bottle before he mutilated the victim’s body with a knife, and attempted to hide the corpse under a divan.
Wood was paroled after serving 17 of his 20-years-to-life sentence only to kill twice more: two elderly men murdered in their apartment, one who died of severe head trauma and the other of a slashed throat. While in custody, he confessed to two additional murders, of a 16-year-old girl in 1926 and a woman in 1933. He was not tried for these murders, and his mother stated he did not carry out the crimes, though she did not elaborate as to why she believed this.
Wood was sentenced to death for the second two murders, and made no appeals for a stay of execution, saying he wished to “ride the lightning.”
Clipping: Fort Lauderdale News (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) Mar 22 1963
Clipping: Democrat and Chronicle (Rochester, New York) Jul 10 1960