by Philip Holthoff
As soon as we arrived at the prison we were all unloaded into a vast waiting room much like a miniature movie theatre with chairs facing a large big screen TV. In fact the screen was much larger than any I have seen in commercial production and far bigger than anything sold in brand name stores. We were also informed that a hold on his execution was in place and the state was trying to lift that stay. Also with us were two representatives from the governor’s staff and either the Attorney General or a representative from her office. The only problem was there were no clocks in the building nor were any of us allowed to have watches or cell phones. Time came to a screeching halt. We knew that he had to be executed before midnight or else the execution would be postponed indefinitely due to the fact that the chemicals used in the execution expired at midnight. The atmosphere in the room was decidedly negative and depressing as we were convinced that the court would intervene and the whole process would start all over again.
Imagine our surprise when we were informed at around 10:30 PM that his stay has been lifted and we were on go for execution! They then loaded up the van and headed for the execution chamber. Those of us who were not immediate family were left behind in what they called the “Farm Room” where we were to view his execution live on the big screen. Our big screen came to life and showed us the death chamber but all we could see were white curtains obstructing our view and the seats in front of the large window beyond which Williams would be executed.
Eventually we saw the family file in one by one along with a few reporters and lawyers. After everyone was seated the curtains were opened and Williams was on a gurney strapped at the neck, ankles, arms, and chest. Williams arms were attached to planks which stretched out at an angle from the gurney ironically forming the shape of a death rune. IVs were attached to both arms. The only part one could see of Williams was his head and arms as the rest of his body was covered by a white sheet. He was a lot bigger than I remembered when he was first arrested and now had grown a solid white Leon Trotsky style goatee.
A white sheet of paper was held in front of his face as a white female Arkansas Department of Corrections employee asked if he had any last words. He had obviously prepared beforehand because he read off of the sheet of paper held in front of him.
I was really startled by his voice. It was loud and boomed and reverberated around the room like an old testament prophet. He apologized to the family of Dominique Hurd, Cecil Boren, and Michael Greenwood for his acts of senseless violence. He talked about his conversion to Christ and singled out the Greenwood family for their righteousness in bringing his daughter and granddaughter to see him.
He then said he was going to talk to his God in a language only he and his God understood and commenced speaking in tongues! The horror in the room escalated as it seemed to many it was almost evidence of demonic possession. There was nothing saintly about it! You could sense the anger and rage even if you couldn’t comprehend the language!
At some point during his verbal assault the chemicals began to take effect as his words slowed and became slurred. He then lapsed into English once more as he told us these words would be forever unknown and known only to him and his God. He then lapsed into unconsciousness with a gasp.
The next event is really what made the lunatic left go ballistic! Williams body reacted violently to the chemicals as he began to convulse. Had he not been strapped down I am sure he would have rolled off the gurney. I began to count his convulsions and I arrived at 22 but others said it was only 17.
However, let us remember a medical doctor was present and he checked Williams’ eyes periodically and listened to his heart and felt his forehead. When he finished convulsing he listened to his heart and then nodded to the female D of C employee.
She then read a statement stating in accordance to the decision of the Lincoln County Court and the State of Arkansas Williams was duly executed and the D of C has fulfilled its obligation to the court, the families, and the state. The curtain then closed.