4 November 2005 – Brian Steckel
Steckel 36 was sentenced to die in Delaware for sexually abusing and setting 29-year-old Sandra Lee Long alight in September 1994.
On September 2, 1994, Steckel tricked Long into opening her door after he asked to use her phone. He turned on her and demanded sex which she naturally refused. Incensed, Steckel then tried strangling her with a pair of tights, then a sock. Half unconscious, Long was unable to fight back, so he went about sexually abusing her with a screwdriver before taking her from behind. He dragged her to a bedroom, where he then set her on fire along with the curtains.
Long had regained consciousness but could not be saved and actually died from smoke inhalation and 60% third-degree burns. While he asked the jury not to spare him he didn’t spare Long’s mother any sympathy. During his trial he sent her a copy of the autopsy report along with his own note: ‘Read it and weep. She’s gone forever. Don’t cry over burnt flesh’.
Despite constant appeals he was put to death by lethal injection at the Delaware Correctional Center (sic).
By all accounts his execution was a bit of a botched job. According to an American death penalty expert, the sedative and the paralysis drugs appear not to have kicked in properly so Steckel was lucid well into his execution before he started convulsing. He was declared dead at 00:21 local time.”