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

Tokyo Olympics preparations continue despite coronavirus fearsTokyo Olympics preparations continue despite coronavirus fears

Spanish PM opens talks with Catalonian leaders on separatist movementSpanish PM opens talks with Catalonian leaders on separatist movement

Coronavirus: Facebook banning ads that 'guarantee a cure or prevention'Coronavirus: Facebook banning ads that 'guarantee a cure or prevention'

Egypt bids farewell to former president Hosni Mubarak with full-honours funeralEgypt bids farewell to former president Hosni Mubarak with full-honours funeral


Lifestyle

I don't remember a lot of shouting in my household growing up, and neither does my twin.Mum's the Word: How did my parents manage to create a calm household?

The TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards have been revealed. These are the destinations that came out tops.3 emerging destinations to add to your travel wish list – according to TripAdvisor data

The recent death of Caroline Flack has once again brought the issue of internet trolls and cancel culture back into public discourse.Learning Points: The reality is we all play a role in cancel culture

Rita de Brún speaks with Sean McKeown, Fota Wildlife Park director and longtime Cork resident.‘You’ve got to make the changes you want to see’, says Fota Wildlife director

More From The Irish Examiner