The Deacon's Bench

From Ohio comes this story of a convicted killer’s final moments — which included praying the rosary with a bishop:

[Michael] Beuke spent an emotional 24 hours at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility where Ohio’s death house is located ahead of his execution. Prisons spokeswoman Julie Walburn said he cried frequently, played music on a portable keyboard and consulted with his spiritual advisers, to whom the prison released his body.

Beuke was convicted Oct. 5, 1983, of aggravated murder for Craig’s death. He also was found guilty of the attempted slayings of Gregory Wahoff of Cincinnati and Bruce Graham, then from West Harrison, Ind.

While on the gurney, Beuke looked directly at Susan Craig and at Wahoff’s children, Dawn and Paul, and apologized for all three shootings. After the apologies, he delivered the longest final statement on record in the state. His hypnotic, occasionally emotional, prayers included pleas to Jesus and the Virgin Mary to protect sinners “now and at the hour of our death.”

One of Beuke’s spiritual advisers, Bishop R. Dann Conlon, sniffled and blew his nose.
Beuke said he had a spiritual conversion while in prison. He said in an unsuccessful request for clemency that he accepted responsibility and prayed “that God will ease the pain I have caused my victims.”

Dawn Wahoff, whose father was shot and paralyzed for life, said she felt she could finally look to the future and felt “a sense of closure” after he was executed.

Read the whole story here.

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