May 16, 1997
Harry Charles Moore is executed for killing his half-sister and her ex-husband
Moore had an extensive violent past, including physical and sexual violence against his family members. Some events showcasing his violence include: his mother obtained a restraining order against her son for mental and physical abuse; he handcuffed his son and threatened to beat him with a police baton after the boy was caught stealing; he tortured dogs and cats; he physically assaulted all three of his wives; and he sexually assaulted one of his nieces whom he later forced to marry him at gunpoint. (Moore’s second and third wives were his nieces.)
Cynthia Moore (28) requested sole custody of her 6-month-old daughter shortly before her parents’ murders, citing Moore was her uncle whom she had been illegally married to in a ceremony officiated by his mother in 1988. Because of the custody request, Moore later claimed, he was afraid his in-laws were planning to take Cynthia and their daughter to Las Vegas, Nevada “and force them into a life of drugs and prostitution.”
In June of 1992, Moore (48 at the time) kidnapped his wife/niece Cynthia and their daughter then killed her parents. Moore first shot his father-in-law Thomas Lauri (60) to death while Lauri was visiting a post office then went to his half-sister/mother-in-law Barbara Cunningham’s (49) house to shoot her to death. He turned himself in the same day. Cynthia and her daughter were found physically unharmed.
Moore was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death by lethal injection. He insisted no one assist in overturning his sentence, going so far as to threaten to sue any who tried. In an interview Moore reiterated his desire to die as soon as possible: “I want to get a date, get executed and get the hell out of here. This is a very boring place.”
Moore left a final letter for the press, written on May 9 including all grammatical errors:
Moore’s Last Eatable Meal on Earth – My Last Supper –
Damn now I know just how Jesus felt just before he got smoked. Damn that’s a real living bitch isn’t it readers.
Deputy Warden Morrow do you think the people of Oregon will put me on a crucifix.
Damn I am a very, morbid son of a bitch at times, not really I’m just a humorist you know how it is with written biography’s, all hell’s cut lose.
Anyway’s last supper
2 green apples, 2 red apples, 4 soda pops the largest. Any good fruit, thanks people.
A damnable shame I’d love to have some pork but I can not because my rabbi’s watching me what can I say.
Back to the human realities of existence, anyways I’m a 95 percent vegetarian anyway, so much for my rabbi.
Harry Charles Moore
May 9, 1997
He was executed at the age of 56 on May 16, 1997, less than five years after the murders of his in-laws.
“Oregon executes a killer.” The New York Times. May 17, 1997
“Moore’s final note.” Statesman Journal [Salem, Oregon]. May 16, 1997
“Oregon execution.” The Capital Times [Madison, Wisconsin]. May 16, 1997
“Killer’s son was worried he would turn out like his father.” Albany (OR.) Democrat-Herald. May 16, 1997
Hall, Landon. “Execution to be feted by victims and niece.” Albany (OR.) Democrat-Herald. May 13, 1997
Gustafson, Alan. “Salem inmate enters race for execution.” Statesman Journal. June 10, 1996
“Salem man faces murder charges in double slayings.” Statesman Journal. June 10, 1992
Berns, Dave. “Salem man charged in slayings.” Statesman Journal. June 7, 1992
Berns, Dave and Davies, Janet. “Murder suspect has long arrest record.” Statesman Journal. June 6, 1992