Two men were executed in Florida this year, a third is scheduled for next week

JoAnn Ryan

All appeals to stay the execution of convicted murderer Darryl Brian Barwick have proved unsuccessful thus far. He is scheduled to be executed on May 3rd at 6pm EST after Gov. Ron DeSantis signed his death warrant on April 3rd.
Darryl BarwickPhoto byFlorida Dept of Corrections

Barwick was convicted and sentenced to death in 1987 for the 1986 brutal killing of 24-year-old Rebecca Wendt. Her and her sister Michael Ann had just moved to the town of Springfield in Bay County from Ohio to start a new life.

After Michael Ann left for work one day, Rebecca went to enjoy the pool at their apartment complex, where Barwick, who was only 19 at the time, saw her sunbathing and followed her home.

Barwick went to his house to fetch gloves and a knife and returned to Rebecca's apartment. Upon returning from work several hours later, Michael Ann found Rebecca lifeless, having been stabbed 37 times by Barwick.

Barwick has been on death row for 36 years and is now 56 years old. The story was recently featured on the YouTube channel Death Row and Executions, where all the drama of getting him convicted was explained.

Barwick had only been out of prison for three months at the time of Rebecca's murder, having been convicted of a sexual battery he'd committed at 16 years old.

He only ended up serving three years of a 15-year sentence on that charge, allowing him to be out and free to kill Rebecca Wendt.
Louis GaskinPhoto byFlorida Dept of Corrections

On April 12th of this year, Louis Bernard Gaskin, aka "The Ninja Killer" was put to death by lethal injection for the 1989 killings of Robert and Georgette Sturmfels in Palm Coast and the attempted murders of Joseph and Mary Rector.

Later, Gaskin would confess to the crimes and admitted to killing yet another person, Charles Miller, in 1986. His motivations were partially motivated by robbery but also killing for the pleasure of killing.

He did admit much later to engaging in sexual acts with Georgette Sturmfels and had wanted to do the same with Mary Rector before her and her husband luckily had the chance to escape.

After the murders of the Sturmfels, he stole items from their house that he later gave to his girlfriend as Christmas "presents", which helped him get caught. He was given the title of "The Ninja Killer" because he dressed all in black ninja clothing during the murders so as not to be detected.

At the time of his conviction, Gaskin had been incarcerated in prison for 33 years.
Donald David DillbeckPhoto byFlorida Dept of Corrections

Earlier this year, on February 23rd, Donald David Dillbeck was executed after spending 32 years on death row for killing 44-year-old Robbie Faye Vann in the parking lot of a shopping mall in Tallahassee. This occurred after his successful escape from prison.

Dillbeck had already been serving a life sentence for killing Lee County deputy Lynn Hall but still had been allowed to participate in work detail at a local elementary school. This is where he was able to make his escape.

Afterward, several corrections officers at the prison were fired and tighter restrictions on prisoners were put into place.

Dillbeck's last words before being put to death by lethal injection included harsh words against Gov. Ron DeSantis, who he said had done far worse things than he'd ever done: "...Ron DeSantis and other people like him can suck our d*cks."

His execution marked the 100th execution to be carried out in Florida since the reinstatement of the death penalty in 1976.

The three executions were scheduled earlier this year after a long hiatus because of COVID. Prior to this, the last person put to death in the state of Florida was Gary Ray Bowles in 2019.

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I love to write about things that fascinate people. Politically speaking, I'm proudly independent.

Orlando, FL

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