A child sex killer with advanced dementia accused the US government of murdering him as he was put to death. Wesley Purkey, 68, said: ‘This sanitized murder really does not serve no purpose whatsoever,’ as he was given a lethal injection in Terre Haute, Indiana, on Thursday morning.

Purkey also offered an apology to the family of one of his two victims, 16 year-old Jennifer Long, who he raped, murdered and dismembered with a chainsaw in 1998.

He said: ‘I deeply regret the pain and suffering I caused to Jennifer’s family. I am deeply sorry. I deeply regret the pain I caused to my daughter, who I love so very much.’



He was strapped to a black, wipe-clean bed in a green and white tiled chamber before an executioner administered a deadly shot of poison that killed him moments later.


Purkey’s execution had been due to take place on Wednesday, but was blocked at the 11th hour on Tuesday after a federal judge was told how the killer’s dementia meant he no longer had the mental capacity to understand his crimes, or why he was being executed.

That ruling was itself overruled by the US Supreme Court on Thursday morning, paving the way for Purke’s execution hours later.

Purkey abducted, raped and dismembered 16 year-old Jennifer Long in Kansas City, Missouri in 1998.

After killing Long, he chopped up her body with a chainsaw, burned its parts, then drove 200 miles to dispose of the teenager’s remains in a septic pond in a bid to avoid detection.

The double-murderer’s lawyer Rebecca Woodman had continued to appeal against his execution up until shortly before it took place. Woodman described Purkey ‘a 68-year old, severely brain-damaged and mentally ill man who suffers from advanced Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.’

She added: ‘Though he has long accepted responsibility for his crime, he no longer has a rational understanding of why the government plans to execute him.’

Purkey also killed an 80 year-old woman, and was convicted of his crimes in 2003. The double-murderer suffered a significant cognitive decline in the intervening years, and was suffering from advanced Alzheimer’s disease and extreme paranoid delusions by the time of his death.

Purkey’s execution came despite a 1986 US Supreme Court ruling ordering that death row prisoners who no longer understood their crimes or the punishment they faced should not be put to death.

Lawyers for Purkey had sought to have his death sentence commuted to life behind bars. But Long’s mother was among those calling for him to face his original sentence, saying she’d been waiting for it since the day Purkey was convicted for her girl’s murder.

Purkey’s execution is the second to have taken place at the behest of the US Federal Government earlier this week. Race hate killer Daniel Lee Lewis was executed in Terre Haute on Tuesday, and went to his death insisting that he was innocent.



Many states which still have the death penalty had effectively banned it by ordering a halt to executions, amid concerns that the potentially agonizing lethal injections could constitute cruel and unusual punishment.

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