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Famous Criminals’ Last Dances

They committed some of the most atrocious acts in history, but before being executed, these death row inmates surprised audiences one last time with their dance steps.

Ronnie Lee Gardner, June 18, 2010

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Sentenced to death by firing squad for murdering a lawyer in 1985, this hapless robber-turned-killer united a nearby crowd of death penalty advocates and protestors with a dazzling number from Prokofiev’s ballet Romeo And Juliet.

John Wayne Gacy, May 10, 1994

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Notorious serial killer John Wayne Gacy knew how to get the most out of his last dance; complete with costumes that required multiple trained performers to operate, Gacy’s extravagant ice ballet cost the Illinois state prison system $15,000.

Ted Bundy, January 24, 1989

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Making use of an old storage barn on site, Bundy performed a near-perfect rendition of Kevin Bacon’s warehouse dance scene from Footloose just hours before he died in the electric chair for raping and murdering numerous young women in the 1970s.

Timothy McVeigh, June 11, 2001

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Sentenced to death for the Oklahoma City bombing attack that killed 168 people and injured over 600, this homegrown terrorist requested a solo dance to Chubby Checker’s “The Twist,” which a gallery of onlookers called “wildly inappropriate.”

Thomas J. Grasso, March 20, 1995

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Sentenced to death for murdering two elderly people, Grasso told guards he wasn’t much of a dancer and requested instead to snap his fingers to Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean.”

Saddam Hussein, December 30, 2006

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Sentenced to death for the murder of 148 Iraqi Shiites in the town of Dujail, this infamous dictator got down with select members of the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band for a line dance to Billy Ray Cyrus’ ”Achy Breaky Heart.”

H.H. Holmes, May 7, 1896

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Often cited as the first serial killer, Holmes’ last dance proved his originality once again when he became the first person ever to do the “YMCA.”