Paul Wilson: Ruthless Killer Dennis McGuire Slowly Meets His Maker

Dennis Mcguire_1389889003724_5252049_ver1.0_640_480

Dennis McGuire

 On February 11, 1989, 22 year-old Joy Stewart met Dennis McGuire while he was working on her friend’s house….

Stewart mentioned that she would like to buy some weed, McGuire said he was just the guy to get it for her and the two left in his car.

The next day, her body was found by two hikers in the woods.

To set the stage, the following are excerpts are taken from court transcripts; “The front of her shirt was saturated with blood. One deputy sheriff at the scene noted that there appeared to be a “blood wipe mark” on her right arm. The autopsy revealed that Joy had been stabbed twice. The critical wound was a four-and-a-half-inch-deep cut in the throat, which completely severed the carotid artery and jugular vein.

“The doctor said Joy was alive when she received the wound. The autopsy also revealed abrasions around the neck, impressed with the cloth pattern of Joy’s shirt.”

The coroner’s office also took vaginal, oral, and anal swabs and found “an abundant amount of sperm on the anal swab, some sperm on the vaginal swab, and none on the oral swab.”

Stewart was eight months pregnant; McGuire was sentenced to death.

On his next to the last day on the planet, McGuire had two hot dogs for lunch and visited with family. His last supper consisted of roast beef, fried chicken, a bagel with cream cheese, fried potatoes with onions, potato salad, butter pecan ice cream and a Coke. He talked on the phone to his mother until 1 a.m. then wrote a letter. He refused breakfast and a shower the next morning and began his long walk to the death chamber. Guards described him as nothing but pleasant and cooperative.

With the needle inserted in his arm, before the lethal liquids began to flow, McGuire’s final words included, “To my children, I’m sorry. I love you. I’m going to heaven and I’ll see you there when you come.”

He then yelled “I love you” at around 10:29 a.m. as the drugs began to perform their purpose.

A local TV reporter said, “He gasped deeply. It was kind of a rattling, guttural sound. There was kind of a snorting through his nose. A couple of times, he definitely appeared to be choking”

Joy Stewart

Joy Stewart

The execution process took 24 minutes; McGuire appeared to be gasping for air for 10 to 13 minutes, as his children and daughter in law looked on in tears.

He was pronounced dead yesterday at 10:53 a.m. ET, but why do we care?

This is the third story of late where executions go badly. In this instance, no state had put a prisoner to death with this untested cocktail. I spoke to a close friend about it – an anesthesiologist who wished to remain unnamed.

And he told me: “From an anesthetic perspective, midazolam (versed) and hydromorphone (dilaudid) would certainly get you started toward the heavenly gates. But they would not necessarily stop the heart in a number of cases. Generally an infusion of potassium is used for that. Using a combination of versed and dilaudid would not be as efficient as using Pentothal, but enough of the two would produce deep sedation in most folks. Most people wouldn’t remember squat, but some could potentially be lucid and even talking right before the potassium is injected.”

So McGuire took much too long to check out.

Do you think his “pain” matters in a case like this?

And today, as Missouri is rumored to be thinking they might bring the firing squad back, the question remains, should we execute at all?

A Stewart family member said, “The last time I saw her, she was beaming with happiness and couldn’t wait to meet her baby. This has been a long time coming.”

When asked about the level of suffering McGuire may have suffered; “He is being treated far more humanely than he treated her. Ultimately, we must all face judgment – both here and in Heaven and it is his time to face the judgment.”

article-2532046-1A5D26B600000578-335_634x423My anesthesiologist friend went on to admonish me to read Matthew 5:38-42; “You have heard that it was said, Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth. But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well.”

He added; “Those are the words of the man who we claim is God incarnate.  God’s grace is unrelenting, and people accept it at different rates. If we kill someone by the death penalty, we in effect stand in the way of God’s grace on this side of heaven; it is not our place to obstruct God’s forgiveness.”

And_Justice_for_all_by_hollowcorpseAnd in a world of DNA evidence we find those who have been wrongfully sent to death row, executed for a crime they didn’t commit. How do we deal with that?

It’s one of those questions I find myself coming down on both sides of.

A pregnant 22 year-old girl was shown no mercy in a long, tortuous ordeal; what do we really owe McGuire?

In the words of a local Pastor, “Too often we want mercy for me, but justice for them.”

Is it our job or God’s to decide who lives and dies?
This entry was posted in Paul Wilson. Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Paul Wilson: Ruthless Killer Dennis McGuire Slowly Meets His Maker

  1. Hot Carl says:

    I used to be all for the death penalty but it doesn’t work, it’s expensive and innocent people have been put to death. If the system isn’t foolproof it shouldn’t be in use. Is there really anything worse than being put in a maximum security prison to rot for years? I’m good with that.

  2. Guy Who Says What Others Think says:

    Do it like the Russians….two behind the ear. Bang, bang. Done. Next.

  3. chuck says:

    This Doctor in Belguim, assists patients every three days into that good night with no problems.

    “The man’s arm is limp and extended outwards over the edge of the bed. A catheter has already been taped to his forearm, and its tubing lodged tightly into a vein. “Are you ready?” the doctors ask. With a “yes” they begin the five-minute process.

    Time slows as the doctors make their first injection, like a roller coaster nearing a drop. It is benzodiazepine, a sedative that weighs heavily on the patient’s eyelids and in moments has put him to sleep. He appears motionless, though raspy breaths are still resounding from his lungs. Next comes a noxious dose of anaesthetic—Thiopenal, a coma-inducing barbiturate that hits the body hard. The man rattles the room with a single, gut-wrenching gasp for air, and instantly ceases all movement. At this point, his mind has passed into blackness, and the doctors administer their final blow: Norcuron, a muscle relaxant used to stop the heart.”

    Out on Johnson Drive at VCA Mission, you can, when necessary, take your dogs when they are old and too sick to go on, where the folks there, who are really wonderful, will in short order and with no pain, put your best buddy to sleep. I have been there and it is fast, and my little guy felt not a thing.

    Richard Kuklinski (aka “The Iceman”) used to put guys to sleep next to their dates in Discos with syringes of cyanide and no one would notice. Leave it to the Federal and State Government to turn every execution possible into the death of Rasputin. They should play Rosanne Barr singing the National Anthem during the process.


    The bible is a moving target on executions and the various and sundry authors of same, no doubt, as with us all, viewed the process with askance. Still, if you quote Matthew, I can quote Romans 13:4 (A Literary pun, those Romans were well versed indeed with capital punishment.) “For he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. “

  4. Kerouac says:

    No such thing as a ‘foolproof’ system… one we have McGuire’s case, he acknowledged his guilt, DNA evidence affirmed & he was found guilty by 12 other human beings. As such, the ‘system’ we utilize took his life – the best system available, ‘foolproof’ far as the fact he’ll never kill again. As to his suffering, if in fact he did, far as I’m concerned he earned said, poetic justice.

    Mistakes happen, as accidents: life itself considered an accident according some, death same due circumstances. People are born & die developmentally disabled, and/or poor, whatever… were it a different world, might right every wrong & prevent every wrong-doing; alas, have but this one.

    As a young man working as a Corrections Officer a state penitentiary many years ago, I saw pictures of past executed men affixed upon a wall. In one case (the ‘only’ for the record), a man executed back in the 1930’s was years later exonerated (much too late for him)… it happens – no ‘instant replay’ possible overturn a decision. His case, would have likely died in prison anyway as his exoneration came when he would’ve been 112 years of age.

    The alternative?

    My opine, compassion via ‘warehousing’ of the legally convicted in lieu their execution is tantamount to hoarders ‘hoarding’: isn’t practical. The co$t associated warehousing inmates in this country (guilty or not) already prohibitive; in a perfect world it might be possible, but then again if there was such a thing as a ‘perfect’ world, fairness for all and world peace, etc., well…

    Not executing in lieu a revelation proving innocence that might come/most cases does not ever, is not feasible. It’s a noble thought & indubitably compassionate, but just as nature’s natural selection, perhaps ‘fate’ is life’s way thinning the herd as it were, cruel as that might sound to some.

    Even with DNA, police/human beings are still the fulcrum, and mistakes have, do and will continue to be made. Of note, despite the fact technology has increased, there are more ‘serial killers’ today than ever before. Too, while an ‘Innocence Project’ saves a few (fortunate for them), OJ Simpson skates (or did) and so too a Klaas Faber & Isaac Turnbaugh, latter a mockery of the same ‘system’ saves a life the one hand, takes one away the other, fickle finger of fate as fate’s giant hand same.

    Problems, problems, everywhere problems. The late EM Cioran said it best about one man who was delivered from this world by death: “he has solved every problem”; and perhaps that is the way the cookie was meant to crumble, I dunno.

  5. CG says:

    Its true the death sentence has not stopped the killings, too many crazy people. Life without parole is a nightmare if you put them at a high level bad ass joint. However some crimes like this are so terrible hard not to give out the death sentence. Tough call.

  6. ♡○}○》~ says:

    So how about a little context, LIKE WHERE DID THIS EXECUTION TAKE PLACE?

  7. Orphan of the Road says:

    If you are poor, you will surely die. If you are rich enough, you will find a way out.

    That is the brunt of the issue.

    While the Constitution guarantees you a day in court, there is no guarantee you can afford it.

    There are some who need to be cleansed from the gene pool. But when the prosecution is out for convictions rather than justice, it is hard to support the death penalty.

    While Dennis McGuire surely deserved his fate, how does that stack up against a murderer like John DuPont? Because of his wealth he got to spend the rest of his life in a private mental institution in Delaware (an old Indian word for DuPont).

  8. Fishman says:

    Let’s not forget that Ted Bundy escaped from a Colorado prison before killing many more people in Florida. The death penalty does prevent that.

  9. Libertarian says:

    Now that DNA evidence is pretty solid, I have more faith in the death sentence.

    Anyone convicted on it in say, the past 10 years, I have no problem putting them down.

    However, when someone convicted over 10 years ago comes up for the big sleep, we need to do what we can to be sure of guilt or innocence. If a DNA sample is still available, then by all means make it mandaory that we run a test.

    Anytime I ponder the need for the death penalty, I am reminded of Nunley and Taylor, and give it no more thought.

  10. Libertarian says:

    Also, Orphan made a good point about grandstanding prosecutors, and their need for victory.

    Kenny Hulsoff anyone?

Comments are closed.