Friday, August 3, 2012

Gerald Eugene Stano

Awaiting Death

On the morning of March 23, 1998, Gerald Eugene Stano sat quietly in his cell at Florida State Prison waiting to be taken to the electric chair.� �It was not the first time he had sat waiting for this date with destiny.� His execution had been pushed back several times over the past few years and on one occasion he was granted a stay within three hours of his scheduled appointment with death.�
Gerald Eugene Stano, mugshot
Gerald Eugene Stano, mugshot
As Stano pondered his fate, a large crowd gathered outside the prison.� �His was to be the first execution since the electric chair, nicknamed Old Sparky, had malfunctioned during the execution of Pedro Media, when a 12-inch flame leaped from the killers head.� During a later interview with the Socialist Worker, Medinas lawyer described the brutal death.� It was a burning alive, literally, he said.� It was the second similar malfunction by the chair within seven years.� Medina's execution set off a series of appeals, extensive mechanical testing, and a slim 4-3 vote by the Florida Supreme Court upholding the electric chair as the state's method of execution.�
Blind Fury
Blind Fury
Stanos scheduled execution was a result of his murder conviction in the December 1973 death of Cathy Lee Scharf, a 17-year-old hitchhiker from Port Orange, Florida.� �She was found stabbed to death in a remote area of Broward County, Florida.� Stano eventually confessed to killing some 41 women in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Florida.�
Of those beginning to arrive at the prison was Raymond Neal, the 41-year-old brother of one of Stanos victims.� �During a brief interview with freelance journalist Terry Ecker, Neal said he had waited many years to see Stano pay for his crimes.� Stano killed Neals sister Ramona in 1976.� Her decomposed body was discovered nearly four months later.� I hope he says hes sorry, said Neal, but I dont really care.� Its time.� I want to look at Stano, look at his face when they strap him in.� I want the bad dreams to stop.� As soon as hes put to death, the better well all rest.
Stano ordered his last meal: a Delmonico steak, bacon bits, baked potato with sour cream, some French bread with butter and a tossed salad topped with blue cheese dressing.� For dessert, he requested a half-gallon of mint chocolate chip ice cream and two liters of Dr. Pepper.� As he ate his final feast, it is hard to imagine what was going through his mind.� Was he concerned that the governor would not call this time?� Did the thought of his head going up in flames make him nervous?� Or, was he oblivious to it all and confident in the luck he had on previous near encounters with death?� Unfortunately, we will never know what was on Geralds mind. By trying to unravel the mystery of the man, perhaps we can get a better idea of how his mind worked.

Branded at Birth

According to Blind Fury�by Anna Flowers, Gerald, or Paul as he was originally named, was born on September 12, 1951, in Schenectady, New York.� His mother had already given birth to four other children, three of which she put up for adoption.� The fourth, a baby girl, suffered severe brain damage and was the only one his mother chose to keep.� Fortunately for Gerald, his mother again decided she did not want to raise another child and asked the Schenectady County Department of Social Services to put him up for adoption.
Blind Fury
Blind Fury
Eugene and Norma Stano were unable to conceive their own children and desperately wanted to adopt a baby boy.� �Norma was employed as a county social worker and Eugene worked as a manager for a large corporation.� When Norma first learned of baby Paul, her heart almost immediately went out to him.� He was extremely malnourished and neglected both physically and emotionally.� The agency was having a difficult time placing Paul with foster parents, so when Norma and Eugene stepped forward, the agency was relieved to have found him a home.� Nonetheless, the process was not easy.� In order to finalize the adoption, a team of physicians, psychologists and social workers had to examine Paul.� Their initial reports determined the 13-month-old boy to be unadoptable due to severe neglect.� He was functioning at an animalistic level and would continually remove his own diaper and play with his feces.� Regardless, the Stanos were not deterred and insisted on adopting him.� Six months later, baby Paul officially became Gerald Eugene Stano.������������
In dissecting Stano's past, one must consider the possibility that his problems may have started at birth. Whether by coincidence or happenstance, a large number of serial killers are adoptees.� �In addition to this, most adoptees who kill were adopted at birth.� The FBI claims that at least 16% of all known serial killers have already been identified as adoptees.�
Chosen Children
Chosen Children
In the book Chosen Children, by Lori Carangeloe, the author considers the theory of adoption a potential contribution to the serial killer's motivation a fascinating subject because it creates two questions:� �"The first one is that the biological parents may have left their child with defective genes," she writes.� "Finding out that one was adopted may also undermine the sense of identity in a fragile youth and make the child prone to fantasizing the identity of his 'true' parents, either good or bad."������
Freelance writer Shirley Lynn Scott also touched upon the subject in an article she wrote for Crime Library ( "What Makes Serial Killers Tick?"):� �"Was the mother a prostitute?� A nun?� Was the father a gangster?� A hero?� And why did they "reject" their child?"
During an interview with a New York Times�reporter, Dr. David Kirschner said, "I've personally been involved in 12 cases of adoptees who have killed, including a tiny but significant group who become serial killers.� And while many undergo therapy, unfortunately, there is barely ever a mention of the impact adoption has on their lives.� It's a subject no one ever wants to talk about, particularly adoptive families."
Whether or not his adoption actually affected Stano's later actions is speculative.

Sad Beginnings


Murder One
Murder One
As Gerald grew up he developed many problems.� �In Murder One, author Terry Ecker describes Stano as emotionally distant. He frequently wet the bed, a habit that continued until he was about 10.�
It is interesting to note that Stanos early childhood behaviors are common in most serial killers.� �According to Robert Ressler, an FBI profiler and author of several books, including Whoever Fights Monsters, potential killers became solidified in their loneliness from the age of 8 to 12.� Such isolation is considered the single most important aspect of their psychological makeup, he writes. Loneliness and isolation do not always mean that the potential killers are introverted and shy; some are, but others are gregarious with other men, and are good talkers. The outward orientation of the latter masks their inner isolation.� In addition, Ressler also notes that of all the serial killers he has ever studied, at least 60% of them had problems wetting the bed.

Robert K. Ressler
Robert K. Ressler
Flowers wrote that during his adolescence, Gerald had difficulty relating to the kids his own age and tended to hang out by himself.� �He quickly became a target for bullies, and teenage girls usually made him the butt of their jokes.� During the late 1960s, Gerald was arrested for sounding a false fire alarm and shortly thereafter again for throwing large rocks at cars from atop a highway overpass.� The Stanos were warned that a third offense would land him in a juvenile detention center.� In an attempt to set him straight, they enrolled him in a military school. Nonetheless, the problems did not stop and Gerald began stealing money from fellow students.�
Gerald Eugene Stano in junior high school
Gerald Eugene Stano in junior high school
In 1967 the Stanos moved to Norristown, Pennsylvania.� �Geralds parents hoped that the change in environment might help curb his odd behavior.� Nothing changed and his attitude became worse.� According to Ecker, Gerald began skipping school on a regular basis and continued to steal money from his family and classmates.� On one occasion he stole a large sum of money from his father's wallet and paid members of the school track team to run behind him so he would finish first.� After flunking out and repeating at least three grades, Gerald finally received his high school diploma at 21.
Gerald Eugene Stano in high school
Gerald Eugene Stano in high school
Soon after graduation, Gerald moved into a motel and enrolled himself in computer school.� Surprisingly, and to the delight of his parents, he graduated with flying colors and shortly thereafter began working at a local hospital.� But it did not take long for him to revert back to his old ways.� Just weeks after being hired, he was fired for stealing money from employees purses.� Gerald bounced from job to job for awhile and eventually moved back in with his parents.

Narcissism

During the early 1970s, Gerald moved to New Jersey�and met a young retarded girl and the two began dating.� A short while later the girl discovered she was pregnant.� Her father found out and came after Gerald with a gun.� He demanded that Gerald take care of it and pay for an abortion.� Gerald agreed and then began drinking heavily and experimenting with drugs.� His parents insisted he move to Ormond Beach, Florida, with them so they could care for his elderly grandmother.� Gerald reluctantly agreed.
Once in Florida, Gerald bounced around from one job to the next.� �He was usually fired for missing days, tardiness or theft.� In 1975, Gerald again tried to get his life back on track.� He stopped abusing alcohol and drugs and began dating a local hairstylist.� Gerald fell in love with the pretty 22-year-old woman and on June 21, 1975, they wed at a local church.� Things seemed to be going great for Gerald and he was even able to work at his father-in-law's service station on U.S. 1.�
While Gerald easily made a complete turn away from everything that was destroying his life, it was just as easy for him to revert back to his old ways.� �Within months of his wedding Gerald began drinking heavily and started to physically abuse his wife. Six months later, the marriage was over and his wife filed for divorce.� Gerald moved back in with his parents and the following month a Florida court granted his wife a divorce.���
Maligant Self Love
Maligant Self Love
According to Dr. Sam Vaknin, author of the book Malignant Self Love, serial killers are the, Quiddity and quintessence of malignant narcissism.� �Vaknin describes the narcissists personality as chaotic and claims his defense mechanisms are primitive.
The whole edifice is precariously balanced on pillars of denial, splitting, projection, rationalization, and projective identification, he writes.� Narcissistic injuries - life crises, such as abandonment, divorce, financial difficulties, incarceration, public opprobrium - can bring the whole thing tumbling down.� The narcissist cannot afford to be rejected, spurned, insulted, hurt, resisted, criticized, or disagreed with.� Likewise, the serial killer is trying desperately to avoid a painful relationship with his object of desire.� He is terrified of being abandoned or humiliated, exposed for what he is and then discarded.

The First of Many

On Sunday, February 17, 1980, Detective Sergeant Paul Crow was called to a desolate area behind the Daytona Beach Airport where two drunken college students had stumbled upon the decomposed remains of a young woman.� �It was Crows job to supervise the crime scene and ensure proper collection of evidence.� A veteran of Vietnam, Crow was hard working and dedicated.� He had attended the FBIs Homicide Investigation School and his studies in criminal psychology and profiling made him an invaluable asset to the Daytona Beach Police Department.
Detective Sergeant Paul Crow
Detective Sergeant Paul Crow
As Crow looked over the crime scene, he noted the condition and location of the body.� �It was covered with branches and obviously posed.� The victim was lying on her back, with her arms positioned at her side and her head turned upward.� The body was completely clothed, and there was no visual indication of sexual molestation.� Crow surmised that she had been dead for at least two weeks and, because of the advanced state of decomposition, it was not immediately clear what had caused her death.� Upon turning the young woman over, Crow discovered several puncture wounds to the back, suggesting that her killer had become enraged and repeatedly stabbed her.
Mary Carol Maher, victim
Mary Carol Maher, victim
The young woman was later identified as 20-year-old Mary Carol Maher, a local college student.� �An autopsy revealed she suffered multiple stab wounds to the back, chest and legs.�
Investigators had a brutal murder on their hands and few clues to follow.
On the morning of March 25, 1980, a local prostitute walked into the Daytona Beach�police station and asked to speak with an officer.� Detective Jim Gadberry escorted the young woman into his office and took her statement.� She said that she had been walking along Atlantic Avenue when a man in a red Gremlin with tinted windows pulled up.� The two quickly agreed on a price and she directed him to her motel room.� Once there, the man refused to pay upfront and the two began to argue.� The man produced a knife and sliced her right thigh open.� Afterwards, he berated her for prostituting herself and fled the scene.� The wound was deep and the young woman had to visit a local emergency room and get 27 stitches.� She was extremely angry about the attack and made it clear that she wanted the man arrested for assault.� She was adamant that she would recognize him if she saw him again and described him as being of average height, slightly overweight. He wore glasses and had a moustache.� She was also certain that she had just seen the mans car parked at a local apartment building.
After taking the womans statement, Gadberry drove to the apartment complex the woman mentioned in her statement.� �He was unable to spot the mans car, but less then a mile away he spotted a red 1977 Gremlin that appeared to match her description.� He wrote down the cars license plate number and returned to the department.� Anna Flowers (Blind Fury) and Terry Ecker (Murder One) both provide details, with some from the Associated Press.

High Hopes

Upon his arrival back at police headquarters, � �Gadberry ran the Gremlins license plate number through the computer and discovered that the vehicle was registered to Gerald Eugene Stano, a 28-year-old man from Ormond Beach.� As the detective looked over the suspects records, he noticed that the man had a long rap sheet, but had never been convicted of anything.� He was also a prime suspect in several other assaults on local prostitutes.� Gadberry printed out a copy of the suspects mug shot and took it to the victim.� Upon viewing the photo, she positively identified the suspect as the man who had assaulted her and signed an affidavit charging him with aggravated assault and battery.
According to Flowers and Ecker, Gadberry took his findings to Crow and the detective took an immediate interest in the case.� �He had been busy working on a psychological profile of Mary Carols killer and Stano appeared to fit: male, white, late 30s or early 40s, lives in the Daytona Beach area, drives an ordinary car; picks up hitchhikers and prostitutes, has a hot temper, hates women, � cannot deal with rejection, has killed before and will kill again.
On April 1, 1980, Gadberry and Crow brought Stano in for questioning.� �Before the interrogation began, Crow fed Gadberry certain questions to which he already knew the answers.� He wanted to see how Stano reacted when telling the truth and when lying.� Crow soon discovered that whenever Stano was telling the truth he would lean forward in his chair and when he was lying he would lean back.�
After an hour of relentless questioning, Stano finally confessed to the assault on the prostitute.� Then Crow took over.� Sitting directly across from Stano, he said:� Gerald, Im Detective Sergeant Paul Crow.� Ive got a problem that I think you might be able to help me with"..."Ive got a missing girl who disappeared"..."I just wondered if you had seen her.� Crow then produced a photo of Mary Carol Maher and placed it on the table.� Stano studied the photo for a few minutes.� Yeah, Ive seen her before, he said.� He then went on to describe seeing her at a local hotel the previous month.� When Crow asked him if he approached the girl, Stano leaned back and said he gave her a ride to Atlantic Avenue and had not seen her since then.

Macabre Revelations

Crow knew Stano was lying and decided to change the subject.� �Gerald, what are you upset about? he asked.� Stano leaned forward and looked directly into Crows eyes.� Todays the day you got me day, he said.� Todays the day my parents adopted me.� According to police reports, Stano began to talk about his childhood and his relationship with his parents.� After awhile Crow brought the subject back around to Mary Carol Miller.� Stano changed his earlier statement about dropping her off on Atlantic Avenue and said that he drove her around a while and eventually stopped at a local supermarket to purchase � beer.�
She just sat in the car while you got some beers?
Yeah.
Are you sure you didnt try to get in her pants, Gerald?
Yeah.
You wanted to get a little bit and she didnt?� �Is that right?
Yeah, goddamn it!
She didnt want to give it to you?
No, she didnt!
She could hit pretty hard couldnt she, Gerald?
Youre goddamn right she could!
So what did you do?� �Did you hit her?� You got pretty mad, didnt you?
Goddamn right I did.� �I got so goddamn mad, I stabbed her as hard as I could!
Tell me how you stabbed her.
Well, I carry this knife under the seat.� �So I pulled it out and I just hit her as hard as I could.
What did you do then, Gerald?
I stabbed her several times in the chest.�She opened the door and tried to get out, but I cut her on the leg and pulled her back in.� I shut the door, she fell forward and hit her head against the dashboard and started gurgling.� I stabbed her a couple more times in the back, because she was messing up my car.� She just went limp.� So I took her "
Dont tell me anymore, Crow interrupted.� Lets go in the car.� Youll direct, Ill drive.

Death Journey

When they arrived at the dump area Stano showed Crow and Gadberry where he left the body and described how he posed it.� �When they drove back to the police station, Stano signed a confession to Mary Carols murder.
As Crow was finishing up the paperwork, Detective Larry Lewis approached him and asked whether Stano had confessed to any other crimes.� �Crow said he had not and Lewis asked him if he would question Stano about a missing person case.� Flowers wrote that Toni Van Haddocks, a 26-year-old prostitute, had been reported missing on February 15, and Lewis suspected Stano might know something about it.� Crow agreed and took a photo of the girl into the interrogation room and placed it in front of Stano.� As soon as he looked at the photo Stano leaned back and said he had never met her.� Crow knew he was lying, but he did not yet have enough information about the case to question him and decided to wait.� In the meantime, Stano was charged with the first-degree murder of Mary Carol Maher and placed in the county jail.

Toni Van Haddocks, victim
Toni Van Haddocks, victim
On April 15, 1980, a resident of Holly Hill, near Daytona Beach, discovered a human skull in his garden.� �Investigators scoured the area and eventually found more bones and some bits of clothing.� Apparently wild animals had discovered the corpse and scattered the remains.� An autopsy later identified the victim as Toni Van Haddocks.� Her cause of death was attributed to multiple stab wounds to the head.
Linda Hamilton, victim
Linda Hamilton, victim
����Once Crow learned of the victims identity, he brought Stano back to the interrogation room and began questioning him.� �According to Ecker, Stano initially denied killing the young woman, but as each hour passed by he began to break.� In the end, he confessed and signed a confession to the murder of Toni Van Haddocks.� Crow began to wonder how many more women Stano might have murdered and began to search through all of the unsolved cases dating back to 1975.�
Nancy Heard, victim
Nancy Heard, victim
There was 16-year-old Linda Hamilton, an out-of-town visitor, found dead on July 22, 1975, near an old Indian burial ground.� �The Massachusetts native was last seen walking down Atlantic Avenue.�
In January 1976, the body of 24-year-old Nancy Heard was found near Bulow Creek Road, just north of Ormond Beach.� �Her body was posed and covered with tree branches.� The young woman was last seen hitchhiking on Atlantic Avenue.
Ramona Neal
Ramona Neal
Ramona Neal, a beautiful 18-year-old woman from Georgia, was found in Tomoka�State Park in May 1976.� Her body had also been concealed with branches.
Many serial killers will roam hundreds of miles to find a victim, and Crow began to wonder just how many counties Stano might have traveled through in search of his prey.� �After going through all of the local files, he started to look into nearby counties.� In Bradford, some 100 miles west of Daytona, the body of a young woman was discovered in a swampy area.� She was last seen in Daytona Beach, near Atlantic Avenue.� The crime scene was similar to the others, including the now all to familiar branches used to conceal the body.� In the small town of Titusville, 50 miles south of Brevard County, another young woman was discovered.� She was last seen hitchhiking along Atlantic Avenue, in Daytona Beach.� She was found posed and covered in brush.
In looking through Stanos past, Crow learned that Stano had lived in various parts of Florida since the early 70s and briefly in New Jersey.� Crow contacted the police department in Stuart, Florida and learned that they had several unsolved murders of young women in that area during the mid-seventies.� Crow then contacted officials in New Jersey and learned of at least two similar murders that took place in the early 70s.� All of the victims were young women, posed, and covered with tree branches.� Detective Crow knew it was not going to be easy getting Stano to admit to another murder, let alone a dozen or so more.

Odyssey of Murder

Gerald Eugene Stano, 1981 mugshot
Gerald Eugene Stano, 1981 mugshot
Stano realized the walls were closing in and decided that he would have to arrange a plea bargain in order to save his own skin.� �Prosecutors had the confessions, but they did not want to risk a long court battle and agreed that if Stano pleaded guilty to the murders of Mary Carol Maher, Toni Van Haddocks and Nancy Heard, and that his confessions in the other cases would be read into the court record, he would receive three consecutive life sentences, each carrying a mandatory minimum of 25 years behind bars.� Stano agreed, and on September 2, 1981, Judge S. James Foxman accepted the plea bargain and imposed the three life sentences.
Judge S. James Foxman
Judge S. James Foxman
Mr. Stano, said Judge Foxman, the information before me, these three cases, lead me to believe that the death sentence may very well have been appropriate in any of those three cases. Perhaps all of them.� �I reluctantly agreed not to sentence you to death, to eliminate the possibility of the death penalty.
Gerald was taken to the county jail and later that week transported to the Florida State Prison.
He enjoyed bragging about his crimes and reveled in all the publicity he got while in the county jail.� �In state prison, however, no one seemed to care about him.� This agitated Gerald and he decided to contact Crow and finish clearing the books -- even if it meant he could wind up paying with his life.
Crow was elated when he got a letter from Gerald, which suggested he was willing to talk.��He contacted the prison and received permission to have Stano temporarily returned to the county jail.�
During interviews with Crow, Stano confessed to the murders of: 17-year-old Cathy Lee Scharf, of Port Orange, Florida, whose decomposed remains were discovered on January 19, 1974, in a ditch near Titusville, Florida; 24-year-old Susan Bickrest, of Daytona Beach, Florida, whose body was found floating in Spruce Spring Creek in December 1975; and 23-year-old Mary Muldoon, of Ormond Beach, Florida, whose body was discovered in a ditch in November 1977.
Gerald Eugene Stano in custody
Gerald Eugene Stano in custody
As Stano recalled each murder, Crow was awestruck at the sheer magnitude of the crimes.� �How could such a young man have committed so many murders in such a short period of time?� It was mind boggling to the detective and he would spend the remainder of his career trying to comprehend it.��
Janine Ligotino, Ann Arceneaux and Barbara Ann Baur, victims
Janine Ligotino, Ann Arceneaux and Barbara Ann Baur, victims
Stano went on to confess to the murders of 19-year-old Janine Ligotino and 17-year-old Ann Arceneaux, whose bodies were discovered in 1973 near Gainesville, Florida; 17-year-old Barbara Ann Baur, whose body was found in 1974 near Starke, Florida, and a yet unidentified woman, who was found in Altamonte Springs, Florida in 1974.
Bonnie Hughes, Christina Goodson, Emily Branch, Phoebe Winston, Joan Foster and Susan Basile, victims
Bonnie Hughes, Christina Goodson, Emily Branch, Phoebe Winston, Joan Foster and Susan Basile, victims
In addition there was: 34-year-old Bonnie Hughes; 18-year-old Diana Valleck; 21-year-old Emily Branch; 17-year-old Christina Goodson; 23-year-old Phoebe Winston; 18-year-old Joan Foster; and 12-year-old Susan Basile.
Sandra DuBose and Dorothy Williams, victims
Sandra DuBose and Dorothy Williams, victims
����As their meeting was about to end, Stano remembered two others: 35-year-old Sandra DuBose, whose body was discovered on a deserted road near Daytona Beach in 1978; and 17-year-old Dorothy Williams, whose body was discovered in a drainage ditch near Atlantic Avenue in 1979.�
Stano assured Crow that there were no other skeletons in the closet and that he had confessed to every murder he had ever committed.Anna Flowers (Blind Fury) and Terry Ecker (Murder One) both provide details.

Justice Moves Slowly

Susan Bickrest, victim
Susan Bickrest, victim
On June 8, 1983, Stano entered guilty pleas in the deaths of Susan Bickrest and Mary Muldoon.� �He waived his right to a hearing and Judge Foxman sentenced him to death.� Stano showed no emotion as the sentence was read and was quickly escorted back to Florida State Prison.
In September 1983, Stano was convicted of Cathy Lee Scharfs murder. The state introduced Stanos taped confession, in which he admitted to picking up Scharf while she was hitchhiking and then murdering her.� �The jury convicted Stano of first-degree murder and recommended death. The trial court found four aggravators: prior conviction of a violent felony; the murder was committed during a kidnapping; the murder was heinous, atrocious, or cruel; and the murder was cold, calculated, and premeditated.� The trial court sentenced Stano to death and two years later his conviction and sentence were affirmed on appeal.
Gerald Eugene Stano, 1984 mugshot
Gerald Eugene Stano, 1984 mugshot
During the next three years Stano went on to confess to more murders.� �It is unknown how many he actually committed, and some began to wonder if he was confessing to ones he had heard about through the grape vine.� Investigators continued to collect names, but no further charges were ever filed.
On May 22, 1986, the governor of Florida�signed Stanos first death warrant.� His execution was scheduled for July 2, 1986.� According to trial documents provided by the Florida State University College of Law, Stano filed his first motion for post-conviction relief on July 1, 1986, the day before his scheduled execution. The trial court granted a stay of execution until 10 a.m. July 2, 1986, to allow Stano the opportunity to appeal the ruling.� The following day Stano was granted a temporary stay of execution.
Stanos appeals were later denied and on June 4, 1987, the governor signed his second death warrant.� �Execution was set for August 26, 1987.� Stano filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus in the United States District Court of Florida on August 22, 1987.� The district court concluded that Stano's claims of ineffective assistance of counsel required an evidentiary hearing and granted him a temporary stay of execution.
Again Stano lost his appeal, and the governor signed Stanos third death warrant.� �His execution was then scheduled for April 29, 1997.� On March 18, 1997, Stano filed a notice of conflict in respect to his then counsel and his execution date was changed to May 30, 1997.
But, as luck would have it, the malfunction in the electric chair during the execution of Pedro Media caused the court to stay Stanos execution pending resolution of the electric chair issues.��
On October 20, 1997, the court declared that the problems with the electric chair had been addressed and that it was not cruel or unusual punishment.� �Stanos stay was dissolved and the governor reset his execution for March 23, 1998.
After a few more motions failed, Stano ran out of chances.

Reckoning

Gerald Eugene Stano before execution
Gerald Eugene Stano before execution
Gerald Stano said nothing to the guards as they escorted him down the path to the death chamber.� �As the guards strapped him in the chair, Raymond Neal waited anxiously behind the witness viewing window, approximately three feet away from the man who murdered his sister.
I said, 'Die you monster. Yes!' Neal later told reporters from the Associated Press. � �The power slammed into him and he jerked as much as he could and that was it.� I saw the life going out of his hands.� I felt like a ton of bricks had been lifted off my back.� Afterward, me and my brothers smoked cigars to celebrate.
I can't express the feeling, he said.� I felt so much better.� I'm so glad Florida has the guts to keep the electric chair.� At least there was a split second of pain.� With lethal injection, you just go to sleep.
In the end, Gerald Stano had confessed to the murders of 41 women.� While many of his confessions never made it to court and several of the victims have yet to be identified, most police officials consider the cases closed.

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