12 July 2006 – Rocky Barton

Rocky Barton

Rocky Barton

Rather than live without her, Rocky Barton shot his fourth wife to prevent her from leaving him. He then turned the gun on himself, but botched the attempt to take his own life, according to a Reuters’ report.

There was no doubt as to his guilt – Barton’s own uncle and one of victim Kimbirli Jo’s children witnessed the shooting, not that Barton tried to deny the charge. He went as far as to tell the Ohio jury tasked with convicting him that he deserved to die.


The jury willingly obliged, but two months later he must have had a change of heart, because he lodged an appeal against his terminal sentence. When that failed he then chose not to appeal again and waived all rights to fight his certain demise, making him a ‘volunteer’ – someone who chooses to be executed.

According to Associated Press, Ohio used a new method on Barton, prompted by a disastrous execution where they had taken 90 minutes to locate a suitable vein and when they had, it collapsed. So, this time they found two sites, so that if one failed, there was back-up vein into which to administer the toxins.

Just over 33 months after he’d been sentenced, with two veins located and the final words of Gary Gilmore playing on his lips, Barton died at the first attempt, having been hooked up to a gurney on this day in 2006, aged 49.

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