Florida resident “Ninja Kἰller” Louis Gaskin, 56, was executed by lethal injection on Wednesday (12 April) for the 1989 slaying of a Palm Beach couple. Although it was difficult to make his final statements, he seemed to be considering his situation.
For the first-degree murdeɼ of Robert and Georgette Sturmfels in their Flagler County home, Gaskin was found guilty in 1990. On the same night, he was found guilty of an armed robbery, a burglary, and an attempted murdeɼ of another couple.
Gaskin followed and frightened his victims before that night of vἰolence in 1989, earning the nickname “Ninja Kἰller” because he dressed fully in black like a ninja when committing the kἰllings.
Noreen Rector, a survivor of the murdeɼer, spoke out against his death sentence and wished for the murdeɼer’s execution to hinder Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ prospective presidential run. Last month, DeSantis gave his approval to Gaskin’s execution.
According to the Florida Department of Corrections (DOC), Gaskin passed away in the Florida State Prison in Raiford. His execution followed the denial of multiple appeals by the Florida Supreme Court and the U.S. Supreme Court. According to the Daytona Beach News-Journal, Gaskin referenced his case in his last words, saying:
“Justice is not about the crἰme … It’s not about the criminal. It’s about the law.” Parts of his statement were difficult to understand, the News-Journal stated.
According to the DOC, his last meal, which was eaten at 9:45 a.m., included barbecue pig ribs, buffalo wings, pork and turkey neck, shrimp fried rice, french fries with honey barbecue sauce, and water. Before his passing, Gaskin received a visit from his sister, but he didn’t seek out spiritual guidance.
Florida’s “Ninja Kἰller” Louis Gaskin, who had been given the deἀth penalty for the 1989 slaying of a Palm Beach couple, was put to deἀth by lethal injection. In his concluding remarks, he seemed to consider his situation.
Asserting that a jury was not provided with proof of Gaskin’s mental condition before sentencing, Gaskin’s attorneys last month filed a motion for a stay of the execution and disputed his deἀth sentence. Several groups protested his deἀth sentence, including Floridians for Alternatives to the Deἀth Penalty (FADP).
Those who opposed his deἀth emphasized that Gaskin was found guilty by a white, split jury.
“Executing the mentally ill doesn’t make us safer,” FADP Director Maria DeLiberato told Newsweek. “It doesn’t help any sort of healing. It takes away any of the purported purposes of the death penalty and it’s really just shameful. He was sentenced by a non-unanimous jury. In no other state in the country, would his execution be legal.”
Gaskin was Florida’s second deἀth row convict to be put to deἀth this year. Murdeɼer Donald Dillbeck used his last words in February to blast DeSantis, saying:
“I really messed up. But I know Ron DeSantis has done a lot worse.”
Dillbeck’s last statement: “I know I hurt people when I was young. I really messed up. But I know Ron DeSantis has done a lot worse. He’s taken a lot from a lot of people. …”
— Dan Sullivan (@TimesDan) February 23, 2023
Documents filed in Flagler County Circuit Court showed that Gaskin gave detectives terrifying details of his crἰmes in a statement:
“It was like his wife got a little burst of energy from somewhere; proceeded to crawl out and sh0t her again,” Gaskin said while recounting Georgette Sturmfels’ deἀth. “She still proceeded. She got into the hallway out of sight, so I went around to the other doors that faced the hallway. She was sitting there holding her head looking at the blood. I sh0t her again. She fell over.”
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Rector claimed that since the night Gaskin shot her ex-husband, she has had to deal with the trauma that has persisted.
“I don’t believe the deἀth penalty serves any purpose,” she told the News-Journal. “What will really bother me is if this might, in some way, advance … DeSantis in his presidential quest. I find him and his views highly offensive and divisive.”
Note: Please be advised that this news article contains details of a vἰolent crime. Reader discretion is strongly advised.
There will be another execution in Florida next month, and the state currently has roughly 300 prisoners on death row. If you’re interested in information like this, you can follow us on Twitter and see what we post.