A CBS story reports that in Ohio a man was executed today for killing a "motorist who gave him a ride and shooting two others during a three-week string of shootings that terrorized the Cincinnati area in 1983."
Excerpts from the story:
Michael Beuke, 48, died by lethal injection at 10:53 a.m. EDT at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville, about 90 minutes after the Ohio Supreme Court turned down his final appeal.
He spent an emotional 24 hours before his death crying, playing music on a portable keyboard and consulting with his spiritual advisers, to whom the prison released his body.
While on the gurney, Beuke looked directly at Craig’s widow, Susan, and at the son and daughter of Wahoff and apologized for all three shootings: "Mrs. Wahoff, I am sorry. Mrs. Craig, I am sorry. Mr. Graham, I am sorry."
Graham’s family sent no witnesses.
After the apology, he recited the Roman Catholic rosary and other prayers for 17 minutes before he died, choking back tears as he repeatedly said the Hail Mary with rosary beads in one hand. It was the longest final statement by a condemned Ohio inmate in memory. One of his spiritual advisers, Bishop R. Dann Conlon, sniffled and blew his nose throughout.
Beuke, dubbed by the media as the "homicidal hitchhiker," spent a quarter century on death row, where he said he had a spiritual conversion. He expressed remorse for his crimes and said in an unsuccessful request for clemency that he accepted responsibility and prayed "that God will ease the pain I have caused my victims."
Susan Craig said she was unsatisfied with his remorse.
"It’s like I tell my kids: ‘Sorry doesn’t cut it; you did it,’" Craig said after the execution. Her 27-year-old son Bob, named for a father he never knew, accompanied her to the prison but did not witness the execution. He called the day "surreal."
Dawn Wahoff, whose father was shot and paralyzed for life by Beuke, said she felt she could finally look to the future and felt "a sense of closure."
"I feel I can move on," she said. Her father died four years ago.