18 June 1990 – John Edward Swindler

Swindler is not another Batman nemesis, but the surname of the bloke who was Old Sparky’s last victim in Arkansas.

John Edward Swindler was his name to be precise and he gained notoriety by refusing to elect which method he should die by.

He was up for murder. A cop-killer, Swindler had been sentenced to death after he’d killed Officer Basnet when their paths crossed by chance.

Serial criminal

A serial offender, Swindler was not new to crime – he’d done time at Leavenworth and he was a suspect in a double murder investigation. So when the cop clocked him at a service station he tried to apprehend Swindler.

For his pains, sadly Patrolman Randy Basnet got two bullets in the chest. Swindler was eventually caught but unfortunately, Basnet never lived to see it, likewise, he never witnessed the murderer being sent down for the crime.

Yet, Swindler was put away for the 1976 killing and while on death row, Arkansas decided to phase out the electric chair as the State’s method of dispatch.

A question of choice

So Swindler was faced with the unenviable choice – fatal drugs or electric shocks. Tough one eh?
Understandably Swindler didn’t choose and his lack of a formal choice meant the default option kicked in – the tried and tested Old Sparky – the 1970s-built DIY chair.

This ensured the 46-year-old went down in history as the last man to get the shock of his life in Arkansas.

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2 Responses to “18 June 1990 – John Edward Swindler”

  1. Gina Says:

    This murderer also killed Jeffrey NcNerney in 1976 he was a 19 year old Pharmacy Student who had been scuba diving on vacation in the Florida Keyes. He was found bound to a bed with a axe in his head in the Lower Matecumbe. He was never tried for this crime. What a tragedy!!

  2. Hunter Colby Says:

    THEY SHOULD MAKE THE ELECTRIC CHAIR THE MAIN METHOD OF EXECUTION AGAIN.LETHAL INJECTION TAKES WAY LONGER AND HAVE MORE PROBLEMS WITH IT.

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