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Utah’s Death Row

Here in Utah, we have the death penalty.  At least, it is a viable sentence and ten men are currently sentenced to it.  However, we have not had an execution since 1999, although we do have at least one inmate on death row for over 20 years.  A couple have come close, but got a reprieve. **Update** (4.23.2010) Ronnie Lee Gardner now has an execution date of 6.18.2010 – Ronnie Lee Gardner execution date set. *Update** Ronnie Lee Gardner was executed 6/1/2010 Ronnie Lee Gardner has been executed; justice has finally arrived after 25 years on death row

Here are the Utah ten death row inmates:


Ronnie Lee Gardner

The charges stem from an incident that occurred on April 2, 1985. Defendant was being transported from the maximum security unit of the Utah State Prison to the Metropolitan Hall of Justice in Salt Lake City to appear at a hearing on a second degree murder charge. As he entered the basement lobby of the Hall, he was handed a gun by a female accomplice. He fumbled with the unfamiliar weapon; his guards retreated to the parking lot. Gunfire was exchanged, and defendant was shot in the shoulder. He entered an archives room, looking for a way out of the building. There he encountered a court clerk, a prison officer, and three attorneys. Two of the attorneys sought refuge behind the office door. Defendant turned on them, pointed the gun at one and then the other, and fired, killing attorney Michael Burdell.The prison officer, Richard Thomas, was forced to lead defendant out of the archives room to a stairwell leading to the second floor. As defendant crossed the lobby, Nick Kirk, a uniformed bailiff, came down the stairway to investigate the disturbance. Defendant shot and seriously wounded Kirk and then proceeded up the stairs. On the next floor, defendant encountered Wilburn Miller, a vending machine serviceman, and forced him to accompany defendant outside of the building. As defendant stepped outside, Miller broke free and dived through a teller’s window inside the building. Once outside, defendant, wounded, shackled, and surrounded by police, threw down his gun and surrendered.

Ronnie Lee Gardner is a prime example of the problems with the death penalty and criminal justice system in Utah. Ronnie Lee Gardner has a criminal record that includes several robbery charges. While in prison, he faked an illness to go to the hospital, where he overpowered a guard and escaped. During the resulting crime spree, he killed a bartender, Melvin Otterstrom. On his way into a court hearing for the murder, he was slipped a gun (by a girlfriend, I believe) and started shooing Law Enforcement. He shot and killed attorney Michael Burdell. He then shot Baliff Nick Nirk and seriously wounded him. He was shot in the shoulder and then recaptured quickly. For this, he reached the death sentence.

Of course, this was not the end of Ronnie Lee Gardner. In October 1987, he and another inmate held two femaile visitors “hostage” for about two hours so they could have sex. Since then, Ronnie Lee Gardner has virtually held the State hostage with his “drop my appeal, no don’t!” His lawyers say he is just unhappy with his living situation. To that I say: tough luck! You are in prison, not a luxury resort. Deal with it. You do not have a right to more than what you have.

Ronnie Lee Gardner

INMATE INFORMATION
Offender Number: 114873
Offender Name: RONNIE LEE GARDNER
DOB: Mon, 16 Jan 1961
Height: 5 Feet 7 Inches
Weight: 145
Sex: M
Aliases: RONNIE LEE GARDNER


Ralph Leroy Menzies

Sentenced Nov. 18, 1988, for the kidnapping and strangulation of a Kearns woman in 1986. He has selected death by firing squad.

Ralph Leroy Menzies
Convicted Killer Appeals to High Court Today
Utah Supreme Court Reopens Death Row Inmate’s Appeal

INMATE INFORMATION
Offender Number: 113858
Offender Name: RALPH LEROY MENZIES
DOB: Mon, 21 Apr 1958
Height: 6 Feet 2 Inches
Weight: 190
Sex: M
Aliases: RALPH LEROY MENZIES


Douglas Stewart Carter

Convicted of stabbing Eva Oleson, the aunt of a former Provo police chief, multiple times and shooting her in the head during a robbery on Feb. 27, 1985. He was sentenced Dec. 27, 1985.

Douglas Stewart Carter
Utah


Michael Anthony Archuleta

Condemned Dec. 21, 1989, for raping and torturing to death a gay Southern Utah University student on Nov. 22, 1988.

Michael Anthony Archuleta **Update** Michael Anthony Archuleta has been given an execution date: Death warrant for Michael Anthony Archuleta signed today, execution scheduled for April 5 *Update*He was given a stay for another appeal.

INMATE INFORMATION
Offender Number: 100260
Offender Name: MICHAEL ANTHONY ARCHULETA
DOB: Mon, 26 Mar 1962
Height: 5 Feet 8 Inches
Weight: 160
Sex: M
Aliases: MICHAEL ANTHONY ARCHULETA


Von Lester Taylor

In December 1990, Taylor left a halfway house where he was housed while on parole after imprisonment for aggravated burglary. Subsequently, Taylor and Edward Steven Deli broke into the Tiede family cabin near Beaver Springs, Utah, while the Tiedes were in Salt Lake City. Once in the cabin, Taylor called a friend and told him that he intended “to shoot some people.” Shortly thereafter, Mrs. Tiede arrived at the cabin with her mother and her daughter. Taylor and Deli confronted them with guns, and Taylor shot Mrs. Tiede and her mother. When Mrs. Tiede’s daughter started to pray, Taylor told her it would do no good because he worshiped the devil. Later that afternoon, Mr. Tiede and another of the Tiedes’ children arrived at the cabin. Defendant held Mr. Tiede at gun point, stole $105 from him, and shot him in the face with bird shot at least once and possibly twice. After trying to set fire to Mr. Tiede, the house, and the garage, Taylor and Deli fled by snowmobile and then by car, taking the two Tiede daughters with them. The police apprehended Taylor and Deli later that day. Mr. Tiede survived the attack.

Von Lester Taylor

INMATE INFORMATION

Offender Number: 52348
Offender Name: VON LESTER TAYLOR
DOB: Fri, 26 Mar 1965
Height: 6 Feet 0 Inches
Weight: 138
Sex: M
Aliases: VON LESTER TAYLOR


Troy Kell

Sentenced on June 26, 1996, he was a white separatist and an inmate in Utah’s Gunnison prison when he stabbed a black inmate, Lonnie Blackmon, 67 times with a crude knife on July 6, 1994. He has chosen to die by firing squad.

INMATE INFORMATION

Offender Number: 72819
Offender Name: TROY MICHAEL KELL
DOB: Thu, 13 Jun 1968
Height: 5 Feet 10 Inches
Weight: 145
Sex: M
Aliases: TROY MICHAEL KELL


Taberon Dave Honie

Sentenced May 20 to die for sexually assaulting and slashing the throat in the murder of his ex- girlfriend’s mother, Claudia Benn, July 9, 1998, in Cedar City. He wants to die by firing squad.

Taberon Dave Honie


Ron Lafferty

On July 24, 1984 (a Utah State holiday) Ron Lafferty and his brother Dan Lafferty, killed their brother Allen’s wife and infant daughter, Brenda and Erica Lafferty, motivated by religious fanaticism and a violent upbringing. Their throats were slit, and the brothers later said that God told them to do it (Ron had a ‘revelation’). Dan was sentenced to life in prison without parole, but Ron was sentenced to death. His conviction was overturned once, but he was convicted again and resentenced to death.

INMATE INFORMATION
Offender Number: 32282
Offender Name: RONALD WATSON LAFFERTY
DOB: Tue, 4 Nov 1941
Height: 5 Feet 11 Inches
Weight: 155
Sex: M
Aliases: RONALD WATSON LAFFERTY


Douglas A. Lovell

Douglas Lovell was sentenced to death for the August 1, 1985 murder of Joyce Yost, to keep her from testifying against him (he had previously kidnapped and raped her). Her body has never been found, however, he has admitted killing her and said he did so in Ogden Canyon. He is currently trying to withdraw his guilty plea.

**Update** He has been allowed to withdraw his guilty plea and will be retried February 2014.
INMATE INFORMATION
Offender Number: 114679
Offender Name: DOUGLAS A LOVELL
DOB: Mon, 13 Jan 1958
Height: 6 Feet 0 Inches
Weight: 150
Sex: M
Aliases: DOUGLAS A LOVELL

Floyd Eugene Maestas

Floyd Maestas was convicted of killing Donna Lou Bott, 72, after he broker into her home looking for money. He strangled, beat and stomped her to death.

INMATE INFORMATION
Offender Number: 113474
Offender Name: FLOYD EUGENE MAESTAS
DOB: Sun, 11 Nov 1956
Height: 5 Feet 8 Inches
Weight: 165
Sex: M
Aliases: NANUAL ANTHONY MAESTAS MANUEL ANTONIO MAESTAS FLOYD EUGENE MAESTAS GENE MAESTAS JOSEPH JARAMILLO

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118 Responses

  1. [...] Opinion UTAH Utah’s Death Row Posted in homicide, Von Lester Taylor, Kaye Tiede, Beth Potts, Mass Murder, murder in the 20th [...]

    • DEATH ROW GROUPIE ? ARE YOU PEOPLE SERIOUS?
      BY THE WAY IS THIS “blog” RAN BY BONNIE MACRI? HEY BONNIE WHO SHOOK HANDS WITH THE STATE? I BET I KNOW

  2. So, was Troy Kell ever executed?! Some say he was and some info says the execution “stayed”.

  3. Bart,

    No, he has not been executed yet. In fact, I don’t believe a date has been set yet.

  4. Any word on Ronnie Lee Gardner in the last 6 months?

  5. Not that I have heard. The last news I heard was that Gardner was sick and wanted to be executed. I am hoping that he WILL be our next execution.

  6. You might want to add Floyd Maestas to your list now.

  7. Rachel,

    I will be adding him this weekend! I did mention it in the sidebar on the left, but I will make a real post this weekend. And he deserves it too.

  8. Did they kill someone on the Utah death row after 2001?

  9. If you mean have there been any executions since 2001 in Utah, no, there there have not been.

  10. [...] OK, last, but I hope not least, is my entry from my blog, My Life of Crime. One of my themes for this month is the death penalty. My entry this week is about the men on Death Row here in Utah. Utah’s Death Row [...]

  11. Dear Bonnie,
    I just happened to stumble on this web site and I felt compelled to tell the other side to Ronnie Lee Gardner. I have known and loved Ronnie for 30 years. I am his very best friend. I understand the public’s hatred of him and the fact that they want him to die. I am a God fearing person and I believe Ronnie will be judged on judgement day. It is not up to anyone else to judge him, but everyone has the right to his or her own opinion, just like I have mine. I do not believe in murder, nor do I believe in capital punishment.
    I am very saddened by the deaths of Melvin Otterstrom and Michael Burdell. It broke my heart that someone I knew had taken the life of two great people. I am not making any excuses for him, but I do want you to know that there is a very good side of Ronnie. He has sent me money when I could not afford a Christmas for my kids, he has never missed my birthday unless he was locked down.
    Whoever believes that death row is a walk in the park, is surely mistaken. I wished they would have killed him right away, for now he must pay twice for his crimes. He has been locked up for 23 hours out of a 24 day for over 20 years. He has several chronic illnesses which I don’t want to disclose, but believe me he has suffered tremendously. So, if that gives you some satisfaction, then so be it. I have gone through all his court appearances. I have stood by him. If that makes me a bad person, then let the Lord judge me for it was he who said, reach out to the imprisoned. Imagine yourself locked up in a small cell, the size of a bathroom, with bad food, no human touch, and nothing but time to reflect on what you have done. Believe me, Ronnie hurts everyday for what he did. His life was taken away from him and now they will kill him. I say that he will have paid his full debt to society. I worry about how people can sit and wish for a person to be executed. A death is a death and a lot of suffering will occur when Ronnie dies. There are no winners.
    When they kill Ronnie, part of me will die with him. By the way, Ronnie did not hold anybody hostage in the prison visiting room, for I was the girl in the room. I had visited him for a long time and I was a willing participate. I truly wanted to be with the man I loved and so I was. Try not to judge, you have never walked in my shoes. Sincerely, Debbie

  12. Debbie,

    Death Row should not be a walk in the park at all. It should be bad. And personally, I do not care about his suffering at all. What about the suffering of his victims? Their suffering is by far more important.

    You say it was not a “hostage” situation, and maybe you were a willing participant (which does not make you look like a good person-wanting to have sex while there is a room full of people and cameras and was also AGAINST THE RULES), but what did law enforcement consider it? Were other people allowed to leave? Were law enforcement personnel allowed to do their job? Did you get arrested and charged with a crime?

    Also, aren’t you the one who provided him the gun that killed Michael Burdell?

  13. Bonnie,
    No, I was not the girl who provided him with the gun. You can check court dockets to verify that. I never have helped Ronnie do anything bad, I have just stood beside him as a friend. The prison incident was a different story. I was in the wrong for being a willing participate, but there was not a room full of people. The lights were out and no one could see anything. I wanted to be with him and provide him with human contact and if that was the only way it was going to happen, then so be it. I have no regrets and I have a beautiful daughter that came from that night. The only thing you can judge me for is where the act occured. Look how many girls pick up guys in bars and sleep with them. I had an intimate relationship with him and had been his friend for a long time, so I chose to be with him. I am in no way a bad person, no matter how it may look to others. No, I did not get charged with a crime and I was not arrested. I have not been allowed to see Ronnie since then but we still keep in constant contact. I do feel pain and sorrow for the victims and their families but Micheal Burdell’s family forgave Ronnie and Bob Macri, a friend of Micheal Burdell and the attorney who was there when Michael Burdell got shot, became a very good friend to both Ronnie and I.
    I was not asking you to feel or care about his suffering. I was merely stating a fact, that he has suffered and is suffering. I was actually trying to bring satisfaction to people so that they know he has suffered. Our society lives and breathes vengeance. I try to turn the other cheek and let God do the judging. I was not trying, in no way, to minimize the suffering of the victims or their families. Believe me, there is not a day that goes by that I don’t pray and hurt for the victims. Murder is tragic, even in my mind. My dad was shot three times by gang members who went in to his restaurant and tried to rob him. I, of course was hurt that my father had been shot but I also forgave the people who shot him. My father did not die from the bullets but the doctors believe that the bullet that was lodged in him and could not be removed, caused his leukemia to kick in and eventually kill him. I hold no remorse for the shooter, I pray for him everyday. So, you see, I can relate to the families because I have been on both sides.
    To answer your question, yes people were allowed to leave the visiting room. A lady left with two children before the incident. There were four people left in the room, all of which wanted to be there. I was just trying to state the facts. I have kept silent for a long time and lived my life. I work 3 jobs and am raising my kids. I do hospice work and have given tremendously to society so judge me if you will. Debbie

    • Hey Debbie i was with Ronnie in the joint back in the late 90’s he was in the cell above me and he was cool to talk to and he listened very well

  14. Debbie,

    I don’t think I have ever read anything as full of denial and self delusion as your comments above. What do you see when you look in the mirror? Take a good hard look with your eyes open. Arn’t you really just a death row groupie? There are thousands and thousands like you everywhere and only God knows what sickness motivates you.

    • She is simple, Tom. She derives pleasure from attention. She is sadistic and stupid.
      Any human being who says that there is a “good side” to someone who kills TWO unarmed people whose crime was being in the way of a spoiled asshole who has decided not to serve a sentence for a crime that HE committed is another waste of space. She should thank her lucky stars that our system doesn’t include ridding society of “moral morons” as well as murderers. However you can bet that the spew that she sends out will eventually ensure that we DO in fact start a system of casting off “moral morons” such as this.A waste of good oxygen!!

      PS Wanna guess who’s footing the bill for the “love child” she spawned with this creep???

  15. WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?
    YAH, THEY SHOULD HAVE KILLED HIMRIGHT AWAY. DO YO, U
    THINK ITS OK TO TAKE LIVES AND DISOBEY THE LAW AND
    EXPECT NOT TO GET PUNISHED? CHRONIC ILLNESSES, TOO
    DAM BAD. THERE ARE PLENTY OF PEOPLE IN THE WORLD WITH THAT PROBLEM. MORE REASON FOR YOU TO KEEP YOUR ASS OUT OF TROUBLE. EVERYONE HAS DECISIONS TO MAKE. THATS WHAT I TELL MY KIDS, THAT THERE ARE CONSEQUENCES THAT MAY OCCUR WITH EVERY BAD DECISION YOU MAKE. AND YOU MAY END UP LIVING WITH IT FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. I DONT JUDGE ANYONE, FOR THAT IS FOR GOD TO DO, BUT THE THINGS IVE DONE IT THE PAST, WHICH WERE BAD DECISIONS, I ACKNOWLEDGED
    THAT THEY WERE WRONG AND TRIED MY BEST TO BE A BETTER PERSON AND A GOOD SINGLE HARD WORKING MOTHER OF 3. MAY EVERYONE INVOLVED FIND PEACE.

  16. did they set a date from von taylor’s exe yet

  17. From the comment above I can understand where DEBBIE is coming from my cousin is Von Luster Taylor and i do not think people should judge and my cousin Stacy was murder to so i have been on both sides I think if i can forget and forgive so can other people I do not think he was right i think that he should be punish for his sin as he is

    note from blog owner

    Melly-Beth,

    If he is your cousin, then you would know that his name is VON LESTER TAYLOR. And he killed an elderly woman in a wheelchair, who was no threat to him. At christmastime no less. What a good human being he is.

    And just because you say you forget and forgive (which is not right–how can you forget a victim? What kind of person are you?), that does not mean others have to. I would NEVER forget my mother, who was a victim. And in spite of that (or maybe because of it) I DO support the death penalty, like the majority of Americans and Utahns.

    • Another “moral moron”!!!
      These are the types of women who marry serial killers.

      Oh! Let me address this ;judge not lest ye garbage!! The idea behind this nonsense always amazes me. This is where awful people or these morons who defend them REGARDLESS of how extremely
      devastating their crime(s) might be, always run to. It’s supposed to make you ( a normal person who might have forgotten a loved ones birthday or perhaps lied on a job application) feel as though THOSE sorts of menial sins are aligned with the MURDER OF INNOCENTS!!!
      The reason we don’t (or try not to) judge our neighbor because of the forgotten birthday is because WE MIGHT AT SOME POINT FORGET ONE AS WELL!!! We can IDENTIFY with such a mistake!!
      If anyone out there can identify with the acts of these monsters then you belong where they are….period!!!
      Therefore YES I CAN JUDGE, BY GOD AND SO CAN ANYONE ELSE WHO HASN’T COMMITTED MURDER FOR NO MORE REASON THAT SPITE OR GREED OR SELFISHNESS. Count yourselves (stupid and pathetic above non judgers) that we as a society don’t decide to judge idiots right out of town too!
      God the one who had the kid with the condemned SHOULD still be in jail!!!

  18. opps as i was stating i think that he should not suffer anymore he been in prison seens before i was born i also think that people sould be punsh as so but all it is doing is making tax payers pay more when it could go to schools and hospitles i think if there going to exe. some one they should do it all ready and i know that what it fills like to know your cousin (family) killer is still walking the street free killing others. me and my cousin Stacy were close when she went missing she was 17 i was 11 far apart but close so people should dont judge so i agree with debbie some but not all what she said

  19. Wow. He “shouldn’t suffer anymore”. At least he still HAS his life. He’s CONCIEVING children in prison, that should be a crime right there. Well that solves it. Because he’s “wasting taxpayers money” let’s just turn him loose and HOPE he won’t kill anyone else. Yeah, ok.
    Debbie, you should really be ashamed of yourself. One, for being selfish. How fair is it to have a child by a murderer? You robbed this child of having a NORMAL relationship with his biological father. (meaning you had a choice to have a baby by a law-abiding citizen, instead you chose a killer to reproduce with). How UNFAIR to your child. Imagine the taunts in school. Your child revealing his/her father will open up a can of cruelity. Life is hard enough without these AVOIDABLE situations, don’t you think? You really should be ashamed of yourself Debbie. If you needed some d**k that bad, you should’ve spoke up. I’m sure somebody would of laid you.

  20. The real crime is the fact the true perpetrator and mastermind of the crimes Steven Deli was sentenced to only a few years in prison. Each defendent, Von Taylor and Steven Deli, were responsible for the death of one victim. It is true that both men shot both victims, each defendent had a different caliber of handgun, and this is how they determined whose shot(s) killed who. There were no witnesses to the deaths of the two women. Mr. Deli, a known violent and repeat criminal, was the instigator of the situation, he fired the first shot(s). He turned state witness to avoid a long jail term, same method as to his previous convictions to avoid a lengthy prison term. He is in near solitary confinement due to his violent behaviour toward other inmates. He was a troubled youth and at times had violent tendancies as a youth. Mr. Taylor had previously served time for a burglary, had no violent tendancies as a youth.

    I don’t condone the crimes that were committed, but the way the judicial process is conducted, there is not justice for the victims.

    Why is there such an outrage towards Mr. Taylor, when Mr. Deli (the true master mind) is serving only a few years for his part in the killings. This is the true outrage. You need to take a stand against the true violent criminals out there.

    You need to review ALL the evidence before you jump to support a clause that only makes you look like an idiot who doesn’t even bother to find out what really transpired during the events leading upto and during the crime, as well as the events during the trial.

    What is the real crime, is how the families of the defendents are ostracized by the community, church and media. They are victims as well. They have to live with the knowledge their loved one(s) perpetrated such a violent act towards another person.

    It has been proven that the death penalty does nothing to deter crime, it only causes the death of more people. If a criminal is going to commit a crime that they could be put to death for, they are going to make sure there are no witnesses left.

    The tenents of christianity is to love all and to love one another. By pushing for the death of another person, makes one out to be a bigot. I don’t know how you can be a christian and believe in the death penalty.

    • They are (families of the accused) victims as well…right up until they release the first statement forgiving, condoning, excusing, explaining, lightening, and/or shadowing the acts of the monster they share DNA with. At some point many do, some do not. Good examples of the nots are: Mr Dahlmer (Jeffery’s father) or Mr McVeigh (Tim’s father)
      Both are prime examples of stellar behavior as a perpetrator’s relative.
      As far as not being able to line up being a Christian and support of the death penalty, well let me be clear. The Christian religion is responsible for more MURDER AND DEATH THAN ANY CAUSE OR BELIEF IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD.
      At least this would be a GOOD way to reverse some of that bad karma homeskillet!! OH! You don’t believe in karma….oops sorry!!

      • If you like them so much, I’ll gladly pay the 1.20 per meal for you too, go stay there. Wow. I’m baffled that common sense is no where in your comment. Well, Jesus still loves you/us, but ‘an eye for an eye’. And YES, HE is the only judge, and I pray you realize that before your standing in front of Him. Justice, clear cut for murder. Sorry, the true victims are the families of the murdered. Period. I know, my father’s cousin was Arthur Bishop, killed by draper prison. And I agreed-

    • Judging by this comment, he’s in solitary so the other inmates don’t kill him, tell the truth, ‘Snitch’ is why, not ‘violent behavior’, NOT, It’s prison, it’s ALL violent~Just sayin’

  21. Because some people are so evil today, and that by itself makes me believe in the death penalty. Some serial killers will tell you straight up: “You better kill me, because if I’m free I will kill again”. Some people simply CANNOT be helped. So, is the world supposed to suffer because of this? Are we supposed to live in fear? I AM a Christian woman to the heart, and I DO believe in the Death Penalty. I don’t think that makes me a bigot. That’s like saying, “A burgler broke into my home to murder me and I have a loaded gun in my night stand to protect me, but I won’t use it because I’m a Christian”. Give me a break!! That doesn’t make me a bigot, that makes me a DAMN FOOL.

  22. Investigator,

    I believe that Edward Deli ALSO deserves the death penalty.

    Also, there were several studies released in 2007 (and I made a post on it) stating just the opposite of what you say on the death penalty. Those studies proved that the death penalty is a deterrant. One thing to remember, the death penalty, no matter what, is a specific detterent, that offender will NEVER again commit another crime.

    And I am offended at your statement about “jumping to support a cause”. I studied the death penalty for years before deciding how I felt about it. And if you are in Utah, and you know so much about all of this, then you know who L. Kay Gillespie is. I took a class from him on this subject, which is where my research and feelings really hit me. I did not just decide one that that I believed in the death penalty. It has been a journey to a decision and I will not just give up because you don’t believe. I get the feeling you are friends with Mr. Taylor and that is your right. But don’t call other people names just because they don’t believe your way. Don’t say that no one else has studied this or cares. When you are in others shoes, then you can do that. But you have not walked in my shoes. OR the victims family. And don’t pretend to either. BOTH defendants need to take responsibility for their actions. BOTH deserve the death penalty. I feel no pity for either one.

  23. Instigator aka investigator
    Who are you to question whether someone is a Christian? You need to ask yourself a question ‘do I have the right to tell someone they are not a Christian’ your answer should be ‘No, I don’t’
    The killing of innocent people is the real crime here, not the defendant’s family, although I am sure they suffered some they have not suffered like the victims families have. At least they are able to see them. They have lived years longer than the victims have and that is a crime.. Should have been put to death 23 years or so ago.
    Yes, I too am a Christian so if you want to question that then take it up with God.

  24. Amen ladies.

  25. I bet NONE of you are christians as Jesus NEVER supported the murder of another person as REVENGE for a crime they did … You will not bring that person back.. There is a reason that the death penalty has been banned in ALL civilized countrys except the US / China and Saudi Arabia …

  26. John M.

    Do not bring religion into this. This is a matter of law. The death penalty is legal here and I support it. And really, what difference does it make if any of us are Christians or not? There is not a law that says each person in this country must believe the same and must believe in Christianity. Some do, some don’t. But who are YOU to be so judgemental? Seems to me that is ALSO against Jesus’ teachings, isn’t it?

  27. i dont understand why a lot of women are attracted by these killers. do they want to redeem these men ?

  28. Being attracted to someone because they are a killer is a mental issue I feel. They may be the next victim.

  29. My roomate is Vons older brother, He says that the other three suspects that went to the cabin with Von actualy did the killings and rapes, and that they all pleaded down to a lesser charge so to blame the whole thing on Von.

  30. Wayne,
    Low self esteem. Low self worth. No expectations. Just my opinion.

  31. sean,

    Please do not suggest that Von had nothing to do with this. Did you even check with the surviving victims? If you had checked with them, you would know that he is a violent sociopath. He escaped from a halfway house to rob and murder this family. He is not an innocent person.

  32. Sean and MylifeofCrime,
    There weren’t 3 other suspects with Von and there was no rape and Von does not have an older brother that is your roommate, Sean. Von is my uncle and is actually not even a sociopath. Mylifeofcrime- he did not escape from a halfway house to specifically rob and murder this family. He escaped, hid out at our family cabin which was just up from the Tiedes and the rest is unfortunately history. He was not violent, and not a sociopath, although I can tell you, growing up he seemed depressed and moody. I don’t know what happed with Von. He was very obviously mentally ill. I can also tell you, Deli very much deserved the death penalty as well. If you are going to make such harsh comments and accusations on these men, I suggest you have your facts straight. He is a murder, I am not denying this. He may or may not deserve the death penalty. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But your misinformation leads me to believe that you are heated-yes, educated-no. Just because you took 1 class from Dr. Gillespie and then researched the death penaly does not make you an expert on this matter.

    • Took 1 class from Dr. Gillespie? I think it was more. And since you are family, you may not be able to look at this openly. Just because you did not see sociopathic traits in him does not mean that they are not there. Escaping from custody and then killing people is just not the thing that just anybody does. Yes, I agree that Deli also deserves the death penalty. And you know, it sure sounds like you know more than you are actually saying. Were you there?

      Sorry, I do not see that Von was “obviously” mentally ill. In fact, I see no evidence of that, and neither has anyone else that I have talked to who has worked with or around him.

      I do not claim to be an expert on the death penalty. I just know what my opinion is and will stand by it. I believe all the men on Utah’s Death Row deserve their sentence and we need to move on it. You are also entitled to your opinion, and I do respect that.

      • I’ll say it, he got what he deserved and that isn’t even justice ’cause he’s breathing. Arthur Bishop, executed @ Utah prison, my cousin, and yes, he deserved a slow, painful death in my eyes for what he did. Not just a needle and sleep~

  33. Sociopath’s are actually considered mentally ill. I am not saying he didn’t have sociopathic traits but he was never officially diagnosed a sociopath. He was not charming, or witty, which are both sociopathic traits. He didn’t have any of the usual childhood markers that sociopaths typically have such as: bed wetting, animal torturing, fire starting. He did not have a violent past before this incident occured. He WAS, however, antisocial which IS a trait of sociopaths. He does have regret and remorse for what he did-two traits that are not typical of sociopaths. There was something not “normal” with Von but I wouldn’t say sociopathology is the answer.

    I don’t know that mental illness should be a means of escaping the death penalty, that is not what I am implying. I am simply implying that somebody of sound mind, body, and soul is not typically capable of carrying out such a crime.

    Of course I wasn’t at the scene, that is a ridiculous statement. There was no evidence or testimony of rape or a third person involved. That is public record.

    You are right that I may not be the best person to decide whether the death penalty is suitable in this case or not. My family will also suffer when the execution finally occurs. Von comes from a good family who is supportive of him and also supportive of the punishment that the state of Utah has found just for this crime. Does my family want him to die? No. Do we think it is a just and fair punishment? Probably. It is horrific and I can not begin to fathom what the victims families have and are still going through. I am only trying to shed light on the situation from a different angle. Von was sick. It takes a sick person to do what he did. But there was a time when he played football at family parties, helped make icecream sundays, came to birthday parties and even baptisms. My family misses him at family get togethers because we knew him before all of this. He was a person. Again, I am not saying he doesn’t deserve the death pentaly. I am simply trying to give you all a different perspective to what you see as black and white.

    I do, however, agree that if they are going to give the death penalty it needs to be carried out a lot quicker than it currently does. It costs too much time and money for EVERYONE! Either do it or don’t!

  34. I think it is a tragedy that these people who have killed others, without any remorse whatsoever still have not been put to death. They are evil men. They would do it again in a minute if allowed to get out of prison. To do these acts that these people have done is of the most evil and vile. They do deserve the death. WE all face God one day. Let them explain to him why they did the horrible things they did. Life in prison is too good for them.

  35. To all those for the death penalty, you should call yourselves murderers as well. You are NOT GOD so what gives you the right to judge whether or not a person lives? When is one human being in control over another’s life justice? Not only that the death penalty is an unjust punishment because if you’re looking for justice for a murder victim, killing their murderer isn’t going to bring them back-neither do they have any idea that their death was avenged. They are gone FOREVER hopefully to be with GOD but nothing you or anyone can do will EVER bring them back. Since anyone with a brain knows this already, what other reason could you have for wanting the death penalty?*light-bulb* You WANT them to DIE=which if I’m not mistaken is part of the definition of a MURDERER. Dictionary.com: To kill brutally or inhumanly, especially with premeditated malice.

    • I just love this kind of comment! Tiyana, everyone has a right to their own beliefs and opinions. For you to be so high and mighty and condemn everyone who believes in the death penalty and literally belittle them for it is downright arrogant. By the way, MOST people in this Country and in Utah, are in FAVOR of the death penalty.

      I won’t belittle you for your beliefs even though I do not agree with you. However, you do not even state an alternative, but my opinion is that you believe that they should just run free to kill again. Personally, I believe that sometimes there just needs to be punishment. If you were ever affected directly by a murder, especially one very heinous, maybe you might understand how others feel. Maybe not. But please be adult enough to let people believe what they believe without being so arrogant and immature. (which your statement does not all make sense-how do you know that the victim does not know that their death was avenged but they are with God?)

      Your definition of a murderer is also a personal opinion, not the definition. The definition according to the dictionary is: : one who murders; especially : one who commits the crime of murder. Yours is not even what the law states.

      My personal opinion is that you know someone on death row and that is why you state things the way you do. But that is my personal opinion, not necessarily fact.

    • Murder-To take another’s life from them-
      Justice-Law enforcing it doesn’t happen again-
      Death Penalty-Law – Don’t like it, don’t break it and complain about it, wow

  36. #1: Eye for an Eye.

    #2: Religion (which most of you base you’re opinions from) has killed MORE PEOPLE then any other reason in the EXISTANCE OF THE WORLD. So it is IRRELVENT in the persuit of justice.

    #3: Those bastards do not deserve an additional hour of life after DELIBERATELY MURDERING someone.

    #4: These 2 scumbag’s Von Lester Taylor, and Edward Steven Deli.
    First off, I’d kill them myself with my bare hands , and I know neither of the victim’s family or friends. To take a child’s parent’s and grandparent’s life infront of them… You deserve NO TAX PAYERS $ for a trail, for a meal, or for the gas $ it takes to take them into jail. They should be shot IMMEDIATLY and are lucky law enforcement found them.

    #5: The story of this lady who had sex with this DIRTBAG MURDERER, is just disguisting. Reguardless if you had a relationship with this peice of garbage before he KILLED
    ( ENDED/TOOK/STOLE/ A HUMAN LIFE) is irrelevent. You’re success in ILLEGALY conceiving a baby from a waste of sperm and an ovarie is just an example of what is wrong with people. What lesson do you teach to you’re other children?

    #6: There’s no room forgiveness towards people who disreguard human life.

  37. Bonnie, I have new pics for the men in this article if you want me to email them to you.

  38. [...] was executed, due as much to corporate indignation as to the merits of the case against him. One of Utah’s death row inmates was the first to challenge the constitutionality of his sentence as “cruel and [...]

  39. Murder, by definition, is illegal killing.
    Execution is legal and thus not murder.

    Why punish? Why execute?
    For the sake of justice? To teach the criminal a lesson? To deter others from criminal behaviour? To find solace in revenge?

    Does it work? I don´t know.

    Haven’t most people been transgressed against?
    Would revenge help?

    The Vikings sought revenge, so do the Muslims today. Are they wise? Are their societies better?
    More just? More fair?

    We live in Sweden. Mikael, our neighbour, choked his wife Zenia and deposited her corpse in an oil tank in the basement for 3 months. Then he confessed to Tord, a Lutheran minister, who persuaded him to tell the police.

    That cost him 4 years of imprisonment,
    which probably is lenient by American standards.

    Now I wonder: Do you as Americans feel that such leniency robs Zenias mother, her six children
    and sundry siblings of the peace of heart that a harsher punishment might have offered them?

    Looking forward to your comment

    Ole

    • Ole,

      Yes, I do feel that such leniency robs them of peace of heart and mind. And I say this as the daughter of a murder victim. Personally, I DO believe strongly in the death penalty. Sometimes there needs to be punishment, just plain punishment. I have also seen some (such as Jessie Dotson) who killed, served time, got out and then killed again. Was that fair<ins to anyone? Especially his victims (most of whom were his family).

      How do you think Zenia's children feel? They lost their mother in a very heinous way to their father, no less, and he got a slap on the wrist. It is like saying, it is okay to murder someone, you will barely be punished for it, so go ahead! Here, our murder rate would increase a great deal if all murderers got off so lightly.

      In a civilized society, people should respect all humans, regardless of their race, gender, religion, hair color, eye color, whatever. Each person should be valued and loved, not mindlessly murdered. No excuse.

  40. [...] row prisoner RONNIE LEE GARDNER, dob: Mon, 16 Jan 1961 (source: http://mylifeofcrime.wordpress.com/2007/01/23/utahs-death-row/) choses a firing squad for his execution in the USA state [...]

  41. its about time they kill ronnie
    he is a cold blooded killer
    just imagine how many lives the sob would have taken if had’nt been there all these years
    he was born a criminal and would have never done anything but kill and robb
    people all his life
    just to lazy to take the work for a living route
    i’m glad he going to die
    wish i could pull the triger

  42. There are those who murder while in the “fight or flight ” mode. Their systems saurated with adrenilin , testosterone and other hormones . The catalytic effect of such rendering rational thought impossible. Do those individuals deserve to die for their crime ? I am sure the answer is subject to the core beliefs and values of he who is asked. I can only speak to my own conscience. I know that as long as I have done the intraspection needed to determine what my core values are. I need only to live daily in such a manner as to not dishonor myself by violating those values. If I do that, I will like the man I see in the mirror and my self worth will be strong.If not… I will despise myself. If I was responsible for condeming an individual that was not capable of rational thought to die for his irrational actions. I would be violating my core values. I believe that type of killer needs psychiatric and medical help. But the Psychopathic killer. The individual that can take a life in cold blood and then go have dinner and sleep well after. That individual is a danger to society as a whole. If given his freedom he will kill again when it suits him to do so with no remorse. No compassion for the feelings of other living beings. No value placed on the life of others. In fact he probably is baffled by the concern the rest of us show for his victims.

  43. Cont.
    I believe the men on Utah’s death row fall into the second catagory. They are a danger to everyone they come into contact with. Placing them back on the street would be social insanity. Keeping them locked up for 20 or more years waiting to be executed is mental cruelty for the victims and the murderers. And it is very costly to the taxpayers as well. If we as a nation support capital punishment in principle and in fact. Then we need to administer it in a timely and professional manner. Lets wake up and deal with drug crimes and addiction like the europeans have started to do by decriminalizing them and treating them like the social and medical issues that they truely are. Research ways to integrate those who have drug problems into society as productive citizens. And concentrate our law enforcement and corrections budgets on keeping the violent offenders off the streets . By whatever means that are practical and acceptable to the citizens of this great country.

    • So sick of America’s ‘budget’ being an issue. STOP giving middle-eastern countries BILLIONS every year, those inmates and every citizen would be eating well. So sick of hearing cuts for our $$$, our elected officials give taxpayers money to men who in turn call us ‘infadels’ and hate/kill us. Ya, cry about the 1.20 meal for a crazy inmate – OR – keep billions. Hmmmmm………………………………

  44. I pressed a wrong key so I am continuing. Sorry.
    I believe the men on Utah’s death row fall into the second catagory. They are a danger to everyone they come into contact with. Placing them back on the street would be social insanity. Keeping them locked up for 20 or more years waiting to be executed is mental cruelty for the victims and the murderers. And it is very costly to the taxpayers as well. If we as a nation support capital punishment in principle and in fact. Then we need to administer it in a timely and professional manner. Lets wake up and deal with drug crimes and addiction like the europeans have started to do by decriminalizing them and treating them like the social and medical issues that they truely are. Research ways to integrate those who have drug problems into society as productive citizens. And concentrate our law enforcement and corrections budgets on keeping the violent offenders off the streets . By whatever means that are practical and acceptable to the citizens of this great country.
    note from blog owner

    This is exactly the same as the previous one. Were you trying to say something else?

  45. We each chose our own road in life.Some chose the wrong road and eventually kill someone.They say that once a dog has tasted blood he will kill again. I think this is just as true of people. I believe in capital punishment.Ibelieve God does to.I believe God has strict laws that govern all of. creation. God expects us to obey the law of our land,Part of our gudgement will be,how well did we support our countrys laws.Do our efforts here on earth help bring people closer to God and his laws?

  46. I grew up on the same street as Ralph Menzies. I know enough about his childhood to feel really bad for him and his little brother. He came from a family of crimials and poverty and abuse. Ralph and his brother never played with the kids on our street. They were completely lacking in the social skills to join in play. I think he was ashamed of everything in his life. So angery out burts was his usual behavior toward us.or most of time they stayed inside the house. With all the windows completely covered.
    Its strange to feel sorry for a boy who later became a terrible murder. My heart pleads for God to provide a method for rehabilitation.

    • Darrel,

      I hope you also have some kind of compassion for Maurine Hunsaker and her family. After all, they are really the victims here. They lost a loved one. Ralph made a choice to kidnap and murder her. She did not choose that for herself.

  47. Kill all these dirt bags. Today, with a butter knife.

  48. If I spoke to ralph today, I would recomend that he accept exacution as the least that he could do before he stands before God.any hope for mercy must begin inside him somehow to find the beginings of remorse But I think Ralph wanted to be a tougher prisoner than his dad…Ralph you went way over the top.

  49. I understand that Ralph Menzies passed away in 2010. Does anyone know of the circumstances?

    • Doug,

      No he is still on Death Row in Draper, unless he died today and they have not taken him off of the inmate locator, nor has it been in the news. If that happened, I would post on it.

  50. Thanks, Bonnie. I was a CO at USP in the 80’s and knew Ralph, Floyd, Doug and Ronnie and all the rest. Someone that still works there told me Ralph died in January (?) but wasn’t able to say anything more. I’ll do some checking and let you know what I find out.

  51. Ralph was two years older than me. He was very large for his age. He was very unpredictable in all his actions. When Ralphs grandmother died it was like he had lost his own mother. Ralph was about 12 yrs old when she died. I spoke to him in the street a year or two later and accually gave my condolences and he said she was just like a mother to him. Ralph was very tender and protective toward his younger brother. They both suffered abuse in there younger years. Ralph was lock up by the time he was fifteen. My mother was a gaurd at the womens dorm she invited me to join a tour of the prison and that’s how I
    saw Ralph for the last time. I called him by name but he was too cool to acknowledge me or the group of women I was with. On tour that day. I was about seveenteen and Ralph already had a bad reputation amoung his fellow prisoners.

  52. I entered this site simply looking for info. on a friend killed many years ago – it is not one of my regular haunts. And yet I feel compelled to comment…
    As progeny of one destoyed by angry men, I have found it essential to forgive. I could not live any kind of meaningful life with so much anger and vengence coursing through my body and brain. Forgiveness does not mean the action was okay, or that I’ll forget about it. It means I am moving on – I will not be held hostage for life by emotions generated by the actions of people I will never understand. I am sadly aware the justice system is far from exact or perfect, however I support the law, whether it leads to execution or not.
    I have the peace of knowing two things well: the more I learn, the more I realize there is so much more to learn, and NO ONE is just one thing – solely defined by the worst – or the best thing they’ve ever done.
    Peace.

  53. Debbie as long as i live i will never understand anyone who thinks like you do. Where did Ponnie get the money he sent you for the kids?? The trust fund he has been in charge of for 20 plus years? Or from Gardners garden Macri helped with. He has ben able to watch your 3 kids grow up did Otterstrom get to do that NO NO NO. yOU SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELF. Ronnie has grand kids he has watched grow up. My dad died before 2 of his grandkids were 15. You forgive the men that shot your dad. I WILL NEVER FORGIVE RONNIE FOR SHOOTING MY DAD. Prison has not been that bad for him either dont feed me that he has 1,300 dollars on his books right this minute. WHY? and why is he allowed to take things out of the prison to sell that he made? I feel bad for his family but not you. You knew what he was and by the way when you said nobody saw the 2 of you having sex YOU LIE YOU KNOW BETTER THAN THAT. DONT PRESUME THE REST OF US ARE THAT STUPID.

    • Barb,

      I just want you to know that I am so sorry for the loss and injustice you and your family have had to endure for the last 25 years. I hope that Friday will bring that justice. I know that it won’t bring closure, but it can help to move forward finally when justice is served. And thank you for your words here. I feel the exact same way. (She KNOWS that people could see their sex show. On one of the other posts I have on Ronnie I put articles I found on it, which told me I forgot a lot about that incident. It still disgusts me).

  54. Thank you so much. I hope Friday brings all the families and friends involved HEALING. Everytime his name has come up in the last 25 years brings that day back. And the fact that we the tax payers of Utah have paid out 11 million dollars just for his attorneys to appeal. His actions that day effected countless people. We have heard from several that were at the court house that day and they said that day still gives them nightmares. Again thank you so much.

    • Will you be attending the execution? I wanted to, but was told that due to the rules, the only media allowed is newspapers, tv and radio. They are going to change the rules to allow “digital” journalists, but it won’t happen before Friday. I am planning on going to the vigil however. Providing my sister can still go too!

  55. We are doing the vigil. The protesters will be there also i hear. I am not witinessing but we will be there. Who is your sister?

  56. We are thinking around 9 or so. Whenever we all get there. We are going to be there around 8:00pm

  57. You know i am not sure either they have the press and the protesters staged somewhere and that is where we will be.

  58. This “Debbie” who has commented here will be on KSL channel 5 tonight at 6pm talking about her love for Ronnie Lee Gardner. I understand, however, she did not talk about her children. No one mentions the child she conceived from the visiting room. Maybe the daughter does not want to be associated with her father??

  59. I will have to go read it i just got home from the prison and have been there since 7:00 tonight. Interesting we were right next to the Gardner family. Randy and Brandy ronnie’s daughter and his farm attorney Ayres. Was it a boy or girl your right now that i think about it they only mention the one daughter. HMMM

    • Barb,

      I believe I saw Debbie there too. The picture of her in the Desert News has a daughter with her, but I don’t believe it is Ronnie’s daughter. She is too young.

  60. I missed the news report with Debbie! Does KSL have it up on their web site? I want to see the woman who thinks it’s o.k. to murder.

  61. Why did it take so long? he should have been dealt with LOOONG ago. There was a lot of money wasted on him (food, prison staff etc …) he sould have asked (as a MAN) to be executed long time ago….

    stupid justice system or what?

  62. “Debbie” is a woman who wants notoriety and hopefully some $$$ from some pin heads who in turns will sell stories on tabloids – what else is new?

    DISGUSTING …

  63. The Gardner family is opposing the death and are going to work to get it the law changed. They are also going get the farm up and running in Ronnie’s name ITS WHAT HE HAS WANTED. OH LETS ALL LET THAT HAPPEN.

    • Amazing how all of this suddenly came up when his death warrant was signed. I never heard anything about this before that. Or his “remorse” or being a changed man. Very convenient.

  64. I sat in court and listened to him talk for an hour and a half, He showed no remorse no emotion while talking about the crimes he committed and why to his family did he say he was sorry. But i didnt hear anything close to i am sorry. He is a cold evil man. His daughter has to be in late 20’s early 30’s she has a fifteen year old daughter herself. Debby is her mother if i have it right. I saw alot of Brandie last night we were called murders and no better than Ronnie. They came by us over and over. But on KSL Randy was crying about the things their family has been called. BOO HOO it has never been from a victims family member. So my thoughts they are looking for sympathy. We dont pick our family but we dont condone bad actions of our famlies either. AND THEY BETTER NOT EVER PROFIT FROM HIS VICTIMS. EVER EVER OR THEY COULD WIND UP IN COURT AGAIN.

  65. What did she look like? Iam not sure we had some standing and walking by and staring at us all night.

  66. Ronnie is dead now and I hope it has brought many of you satisfaction. I knew Ronnie since I was 18 years old and I never once said that what he did was right. I always stated that I prayed for the victims and their families. I am not a death row groupie since I knew Ronnie before he killed anybody. My daughter from Ronnie was born in 1988 and she is not ashamed of him being her father. It is really nobody’s business other than mine and my daughter’s. I am very close to all of Ronnies’s family. I am very sorry for what Ronnie did but I feel so much more sorry for people who hold so much hatred and vengeance in their hearts. He did 25 years, gave his life, what more do you people want from him? What he did was definitely wrong but now other people are guilty of killing him. Don’t worry about Ronnie’s soul, cause you didn’t even know him. He will do alright. Worry more about the hatred that all of you carry around. I personally don’t care what you think about me, you don’t know me and I am very happy that I don’t know you. I surround myself with good Christian people who don’t sit around and wish for someone to be executed. What money am I trying to make. I have been approached several times and offered money for my story and each time I turned it down. My life with Ronnie was personal so why say what I want or expect from it. I am just thankful that Ronnie is out of this hateful world and he is being judged by God not a bunch of haters. Debbie

  67. Question: for those of you that wanted Ronnie executed so bad, what if it was your son or daughter who killed somebody. You raised those children and you loved them with all your heart. Would your turn your back on them and hate them and then wish for the state to kill them? Ronnie killed two people, that is a fact. Some of the posts I read were horrible, like fry him in battery acid, I would kill him myself, people said, have it done at the delta center , charge people to see him killed and let people watch. You don’t think that people like that are in some way disturbed and full of hatred. As long as I knew Ronnie, I never once heard him say evil, hatred things. Oh, and by the way I have 7 children, not 3, and 9 grandchildren and no Ronnie did not get to see them grow up. He was locked up. He didn’t get to see his grandkids or kids grow up, either. He was paying for crimes he committed and we are not complaining about that at all. We believe that he should have been kept in prison for the rest of his life but most all of our communication was done by telephone. I wish people that spoke out on things had the story straight. I have been molested, raped, and several other things but I hold no hatred in my heart, I refuse to. Hatred hurts you, not the person you hate. You live a miserable life. God will judge us all and he knows our heart. Some people have a very poisoned heart and I believe they will be judged as well. You can hate the crime but love the sinner, totally different, by me loving Ronnie, it does not mean that I believed that murder was okay. You guys twist things up to fit your needs. Debbie

    • Debbie,

      The only thing I will say about your post is a comment about what Ronnie not saying evil, hatred things. You may not have heard him say those things, but what about the other inmates? They heard plenty. Yes, they did. I know this from people who were around him in prison, guards and inmates alike. He was not well-liked there at all.

      And you cannot make people change how they feel about these things. Many people WANT public executions. You cannot see this objectively since you love Ronnie. And of course you did not want him executed, but that is the sentence he received and was carried out. And no, I don’t think these people are disturbed. Many people feel this way even if they don’t say it. And if it was my loved one who did such a heinous crime, I would expect them to receive the punishment they deserved. In fact, one of my brothers is in prison for trying to kill his wife. He only got 14 years. And he did this in front of his daughter. I believe he deserved a harsher punishment.

      I do not know why you are rehashing this again. I know that you are still in mourning, as I would be too, but those who believe in the death penalty are not simply going to change their beliefs because you did not want Ronnie to be executed. As a matter of fact, Ronnie should be one of the poster childs for WHY we do have the death penalty.

      And he may have killed 2 people directly, but his actions also caused the death of another as well. I realize you ignore Nick Kirk, but his family and loved ones do not. He may not have died when he was shot, but he had a long and painful death due to Ronnie’s actions.

  68. The reason I am rehashing this now is this is the first time I have read the comments. I was talking about all the forums where people said horrible things, like the lynch mobs of the past. I never said once that Ronnie should not be punished but I personally believe that the Lord is not going to look at the men who killed Ronnie any different than he will look at Ronnie. Because the state of Utah says execution is okay, then is it okay with God? My whole point in writing my comments was to say that you can stay a victim for the rest of your life and hold so much hatred in you, that you miss out on the best parts of your life. You are too busy being a victim. I chose a long time ago not to be a victim. I don’t deny that Ronnie hurt the Kirk family but just as my father was shot and his injuries eventually led to his death so I do know how they feel, but I choose not to hold on to the hatred and non-forgiveness. It is funny that the Burdell family forgave right away and then Jason Otterstrom actually went to visit Ronnie and forgave him. That is true Christianity when someone that has harmed you so horribly and then you can forgive them. I just think 25 years is a long time to hold on to so much hatred. I am sorry for what Ronnie did but I am not sorry that I love him and I always will. His dream of helping the children started 10 years ago and if you went to the hearing Ronnie stopped having write ups for the last 10 years and there were plenty of guards who seen the change in him and actually told him they would miss him so you have both sides to the coin. He was horrendous when he first went in, but the last 10 years, he was a changed man, accepted what he had done and took his punishment like a man. He is dead, I seen the hole they blew in his chest so he has paid to everybody but we can mourn just like everyone else and so we will. Debbie

    • Debbie,

      Please remember, that while you do believe in God and Christianity, not everyone does and it is not fair of you to hold everyone up to your standards and beliefs. And not all Christians believe as you do. In fact, the dominant religion in this area DOES believe in the death penalty. You believe that the men who did the execution will burn in hell just as Ronnie is, however, I do not agree. There is a difference between cold-blooded murder and doing your job. But remember, you have your beliefs and others have theirs. And forgiveness should have NOTHING to do with a sentence that someone gets. Forgiveness is personal and should not be done just to say, look, I am better than you because I choose to forgive. That is not true forgiveness. You complain about how everyone talks about Ronnie, but if you are being a true Christian, you would let it go and ignore it.

      And really, would Ronnie’s lawyers have gone around to each and every inmate/guard that was around Ronnie during the 25 years he was there to get their opinions? I promise even GUARANTEE you that they did not. And I do know someone who did attend the hearing and you obviously did not hear everything that was said by everyone seated there or in the halls. And if he was so well-behaved the last 10 years, big deal. I am sorry. However, previous to that, he was NOT the model prisoner at all. After all, how many model prisoners escape and kill people? Yes, there has been another and he is also looking at the death penalty. But how many others? No one is perfect, I know that, however, for someone who was trying to fight a death sentence, he should have been behaving from day one, not proving that his sentence was appropriate.

  69. I believe in GOD and that is why i know Ronnie went to HELL and like i said before i hope his victims went down to confront him. HOW DARE YOU COMPARE THE MEN THAT CARRIED OUT A SENTENCE THEY ALSO BELIEVE IN THEY ARE HEROS. They said when Ronnie got the trust fund he was a changed man well his actions speak for themselves dont they. Mourn him yes you deserve that but why didnt you or his daughter step up to the plate and cremate him yourselves???? Instead you let the good taxpayers of this stat do it for you, The 1,300 hundred dollars he had on his books when he died went to who?? I will be working to ensure this doesnt happen to another family and if the death sentence is given its carried out and they have maybe 2 appeals, and another murderer doesnt make a fool out of the state of Utah.

  70. If I am right I believe that it is now about half and half, half LDS and half other religions. Please don’t tell me what the guards thought about Ronnie because I know for a fact that our prison system is corrupt. There are good guards but there are guards out there who are criminals thierselves. They blame it on the visitors that drugs get into the prison, believe me some of the guards are not cheap but they can be bought and yes they could even get drugs on death row. So now you want me to believe that every inmate any every guard would be a reliable source if his attorney’s had questioned them. What kind of a world did you come from. I never said I was better than anyone, I just said, I refuse to carry so much hatred and vengeance in my heart. I was at the hearing and I knew before the hearing ever happened that there was no chance for commutation and so did Ronnie. I believe Mark Shurtleff is the attorney to the board of pardons. Debbie

  71. The LDS church did not say they believed in the death penalty, they said they would go along with the laws of the land pretty much did not want to comment on it but many of my friends who are LDS were very saddened and stayed right by my side. PS: I do not believe Ronnie is burning in hell, everyone has a chance for redemption if you are truly sorry and since I knew Ronnie’s heart and soul, he is not in hell. Debbie

  72. Well you believe what you want and i will also. I am at peace it was finally carried out. The fact you are involved in the back to basics bull crap amazes me. We all know where the money came from now dont we. The fact he had that much on his books is also amazing. We are not done with this are we?

  73. I volunteered to pay for Ronnie to be cremated and I also volunteered to be there for him at the execution. He refused to put that burden on me, his son, or two daughters, or brother. He signed the papers in front of Warden Turley and Mr. Patterson so we could not do nothing about it, believe me I would have paid anything to have taken care of his remains. He was still alive and he told the state to pay for it. He felt like we were going to go through enough emotional pain so that was his choice, not ours. The money he had went directly into the program we are setting up for troubled youth who are abused by the system and by their families. Ronnie was raised by the state and then killed by the state. Ronnie’s dream will come true one day because obviously our penal system does not work and by the way, it is all a non-profit program so nobody will benefit from it. I do not want to fight with you at all, but killing is killing. The guards who killed him are just as guilty. They don’t have a pass. Everybody may think that they are heroes, but I don’t care what job I had, I could never pull the trigger on anyone in cold blood and blow his heart out. Remember that is why Ronnie was in prison, for killing???? and that is why you hate him so bad and will never forgive him?????? We can’t pick and choose. His death certificate reads state sanctioned homicide. I have it along with some of his ashes and I will still continue to pray for all of Ronnnie’s victims because I am only accountable for me and I am not going to let anyone make me full of anger and vengeance. Did you ever hear me say I hated those men who killed Ronnie, no, and you never will. Debbie.

  74. By the way Debbie the sex you shared with Ronnie in prison was not in the dark and it was all taped from what i am hearing. Look for it on youtube would be my guess. They watched it but you already knew that didnt you. Dont try to bullshit your way out of something we have followed for 25 years. FYI

  75. Were you in the room when it happened? No, you were not and I have heard so many different versions of what went on that night and 99% of them are all lies. I have the report. I was there and I know everything. You can assume what you want and if they sat and watched, that is called voyerism. I am not trying to defend myself or bullshit anybody, or even make an excuse. It happened and all my cards are on the table. I don’t know what you are insinuating about where the money came from but I guess you are the type that believes everything they hear. I don’t care what anybody told you about the incident. You do not know, you were not there and whatever you have heard is second hand information. I have heard at least 60 different versions. I admit to all my faults and yes I have sinned so why the sex incident bothers you so bad in beyond me. It was 22 years ago and had nothing to do with you at all. Debbie

  76. I do not know why anyone would be against a program to help troubled youth. If someone could have helped Ronnie, maybe no murders and maybe no executions.

    • Yes, wonder why other troubled youth become law enforcement, great citizens if they too, were ‘troubled’, hmmmmmmmmm, EXCUSES

  77. Honestly i dont care about your sex act. I am not going to be on youtube doing it in prison, you are. That was so considerate of Ronnie to have the state take care of his cremation along with making sure he had 3 meals a day for 25 years and making sure he had all the medical attention he needed god knows he should have his pain pills we wouldnt want him to suffer in anyway. The rest of us that have never been in prison have to pay for the buriel and mourn for our loved ones we dont have option of having the state do it for us. Well as far as the excutation goes i hope for that split second he felt what his victims felt.

  78. There are alot of people out there that have had worse childhoods than Ronnie and didnt go out and murder anyone so stop using that as an excuse for what he did. HE KNEW RIGHT FROM WRONG.

  79. Barb, If you didn’t care about the sex act, why did you bring it up. It is not on you-tube, that was 22 years ago. Yes, I know a lot of people had worse childhoods, I was molested and beat by my father, my mother left 5 of us when I was 10. I have a brother that died of an overdose at 18 and a sister that died at age 40 in the jail. We all came from the same background but two of them couldn’t handle it and two of us did and one is barely functioning. My sister and I are survivors but that doesn’t mean that everybody that has a bad childhood handles things the same way. Everybody has a different make up and chemistry. I am happy of the things I went through. It made me a stronger person. I love more and I am much more compassionate than a person who was born with a silver spoon in their mouth. You don’t know the half of Ronnie’s life but none of that matters. The state blew his heart out, that should make you a very happy woman. I work three jobs so I am sure I helped pay for some of Ronnie’s expenses and if you divided it up between all the taxpayers in Utah, what did it cost a penny. My kids went to Catholic School and I had to pay for the public school system, sometimes that is just how life is. All taxpayers pay for everyone else that is incarcerated, you don’t mention them. I really do feel sorry for you because I remember you from the trials, you were bitter then and you are bitter now. Right now I am busy consoling Ronnie’s children and dealing with my on grief. As much as you hurt when your father died is as much as I hurt now. I loved him, will always love him and my God is a forgiving God so I guess we will all just have to wait and see. I lost my 3 month old grandson two months before Ronnie was executed so if me being in pain makes you happy, there you have it. I still won’t apologize for loving him, only for what he did. Debbie

  80. Don’t they have visitation for married inmates? With overnight or weekend visits? Congical I believe they call it? Or do death row inmates not have those privelidges? I am from California……., and I know that State prisons have them here…..as long as you are an approved visitor and you are married…..Not sure if violent offenders have these rights, or just non-violent…?
    I just wanted to say…., the people whose lives these prisoners ended don’t get to have sex…., nor do they get to visit with their families anymore…., and they were just doing their jobs to be able to provide their families with financial support! And that is what is the shame here!
    Please forgive me if I don’t cry a river of tears, as these men took the lives of innocent people! They had intent and pre-meditatated plans to wreak havok on others! For this, they should suffer here on earth, and then may god have mercy on their souls when they meet their demise!
    I do however pray for the female who has no more respect for herself nor her daughter not to want to provide her with a loving father she could be proud of, and who could be there to watch her grow up! Set your sights a little higher in life…, if not for yourself…,then at least for your daughter!! And it isnt wrong to pray for the souls of these people,,,,, because that is all they have left!! I pray that at least in death…., they are remorseful for what they have done to others and to themselves!! But to take another life….., do you really believe that the people are going to allow him to live one?? These choices they made….knowing darned well the consequences of their actions!!! Just saying!……
    Debbie,….he has chronic medical conditions?? I’m sure his medical is being provided to him by the state taxpayers…..which are the same people who work hard and probably don’t have medical insurance for their own families!!! So while you are searching for sympathy…….., maybe he can do the people a great justice and hurry up and die, so they no longer have to pay his doctors bill!!Or maybe since you are such a giving soul, you can go help the families of his victims with some of their living expenses……, since they are now lacking in financial support from the ones who were killed??? You disgust me!!

  81. P.S.- How does your daughter feel knowing that innocent people had to die so that she could be born??? Did you know that he was going to kill people so that you could have sex?
    What you might feel as a romatic sacrifice he made in the name of love…….., was actually just a selfish act of horniness mixed with CRAZY~!!! HELLOOOOO!!!

    • Kelly,

      Are you talking about Ronnie Lee Gardner and his “girlfriend” Debbie? If so, during the hostage situation, no one was killed. Ronnie killed his victims before that, while escaping custody.

  82. tiyana
    wake up-you talk like you know a-lot but, what little you really know-
    for instance: the ancient israelites had the death penalty, yes the very ones who had moses as a leader who came down from the mount, with the ten commandments, oh and guess who gave them their laws(specifically the death penalty). you dont know!! well let me tell you. GOD. THATS WHO.

  83. They all must have been possessed by demons didn’t Taylor say” there is no use in you praying I worship the devil!”

  84. Do you know if there has been a date set for the execution of any of these men, particularly Ron Lafferty?

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