LIFESTYLE

No Seconds: The Final Meals Of Death Row Prisoners Including Ted Bundy And John Wayne Gacy

26/03/2014 10:59 GMT | Updated 27/03/2014 11:59 GMT

A quick look at deathpenaltyinfo.org reveals that to warrant Death Row status, you will have committed aggravated murder.

Capital punishment for such crimes is a dinner party conversation divider in the extreme, and one photographer who has struck a chord with the poignancy of his project No Seconds is Henry Hargreaves.

Hargreaves is from New Zealand, where the death penalty was abolished in 1989, and he had the idea of photographing the last meal requests of men and women executed on death row.

last meal

Talking to HuffPost UK Lifestyle about his inspiration for the piece, Hargreaves said: "I read about Texas getting rid of the final meal request. I was curious to know what the requests were so researched this. As I read through the list I was struck by how their culinary requests humanized these people and thought it would be really interesting to represent visually."

This insight into the American penal system is fascinating. Who knew that people could get executed by firing squad in a democratic country? But that's indeed what happened to Ronnie Lee Gardener (who had lobster tail, steak and apple pie).

There are also some famous names - Ted Bundy and John Wayne Gacy. Bundy, the murder and necrophiliac, declined his last meal request. The default option was steak, toast and eggs.

Gacy was more flamboyant (and fried). He chose 12 fried shrimp, a bucket of KFC chicken and 1 pound of strawberries.

Hargreaves put most of the dishes together himself, and asked a chef friend to help on "a couple of the more involved fried dishes."

Talking about what interested him about the choices, he said: "The quirky requests, the amount of food they intended to eat before being executed and how the culinary choices reflect their social backgrounds."

Take a look:

No Seconds: The Last Meals Of Death Row Prisoners