Killer police officer executed in US

A former police officer who murdered nine people during a 1986 crime spree has been executed after his lawyers’ last-minute appeals were rejected.

Manuel Pardo, 56, was pronounced dead at Florida State Prison about 16 minutes after the lethal injection process began. His lawyers tried to block the execution by arguing that he was mentally ill, but federal courts declined to intercede.

Reporters could not hear his final statement because of an apparent malfunction in the death chamber’s sound system. A white sheet had been pulled up to his chin and IV lines ran into his left arm.

He blinked several times, his eyes moved back and forth and he took several deep breaths. Over the next several minutes the colour drained from his face before he was pronounced dead.

Officials said most of Pardo’s victims were involved with drugs. Pardo contended that he was doing the world a favour by killing them over a three-month period in early 1986.

“I am a soldier, I accomplished my mission and I humbly ask you to give me the glory of ending my life and not send me to spend the rest of my days in state prison,” he told jurors at his 1988 trial.

Ann Howard, a spokeswoman for Florida’s Department of Corrections, said Pardo had visits from eight people yesterday. He also met the prison chaplain and a Roman Catholic bishop.

Pardo ate a last meal of rice, red beans, roasted pork, avocado, tomatoes and olive oil. For dessert, he ate pumpkin pie and drank egg nog and Cuban coffee. Under Department of Corrections rules, the meal’s ingredients have to cost 40 dollars or less, be available locally and made in the prison kitchen.

Pardo was dubbed the “Death Row Romeo” after he corresponded with dozens of women and persuaded many to send him money.

Pardo, a former boy scout and navy veteran, began his law enforcement career in the 1970s with the Florida Highway Patrol, graduating at the top of his class at the academy. But he was fired from that agency in 1979 for falsifying traffic tickets. He was soon hired by the police department in Sweetwater, a small city in Miami-Dade County.

In 1981, Pardo was one of four Sweetwater officers charged with brutality, but the cases were dismissed.

He was fired four years later after he flew to the Bahamas to testify at the trial of a Sweetwater colleague who was accused of drug smuggling. Pardo lied, telling the court they were international undercover agents.

Then over a 92-day period in early 1986, Pardo committed a series of robberies, killing six men and three women. He took photos of the victims and recounted some details in his diary, which was found along with newspaper clippings about the murders. Pardo was linked to the killings after using credit cards stolen from the victims.

More in this Section

Firefighters rescue a cow that plunged 20ft down a hill and landed on a roof-top patio

French parliament approves continued air strikes on IS in Syria

French parliament debates extending air strikes against 'Islamic State'

People with bird baths are being warned to add ramps to avoid mass drowning of starlings

You might also like

Today's Stories

124 people charged over Paris attacks

Bungled robbery in Roubaix sparks fear of another terrorist attack in France

Explosion in Tunisia kills 12 on bus carrying presidential guard

15-year-old Liberian boy dies from Ebola in fresh outbreak


Gay Byrne was a canny operator who allowed women be heard

Shopping for classic clothes with vintage queen extraordinaire Irene O’Brien

Johnny Depp is looking like the real gangster James ‘Whitey’ Bulger in Black Mass

GAEMTECH: Games Mania are bringing retro consoles and games back into the mainstream

More From The Irish Examiner