The Last Supper: Larry Wayne White


On March 3, 1977, Larry Wayne White entered the home of Elizabeth St. John, a 72 year old woman who had recently moved from the Austin area into an apartment complex in Houston, following the death of her husband. At the time White was employed doing maintenance work by the apartment complex, and St. John was offering him a $20 bonus for some painting work he had done in her unit.

White had sex with the woman, stabbed her in the back with a screwdriver, and strangled her to death before stealing some miscellaneous items and fleeing to Myrtle Beach where he was eventually apprehended by police. It turns out that White had a history of preying on elderly women; he is believed to also have been guilty of the murder of an 82 year old woman in Orlando, Florida, and the rape of a 91 year old woman in Lancaster, Ohio.

Larry Wayne White was executed on May 22, 1997. He allegedly blamed his behaviour on drug addiction and trauma that he experienced serving as a marine in Vietnam. In his final statement White apologized to the victim’s family, spoke out against the immorality of the death penalty, and closed he speech by saying “I hope this is a lot better place where I am going“.

White’s requested final meal was liver and onions with tomatoes and cottage cheese.

In this composition White's liver and tomatoes are old and rotting. A number of items in this shot dangle precariously over the table ledge: the liver, the tomato plate, and the knife. The latter element suggests both the screwdriver that White used to murder St. John, and also is reminiscent of the sexual violence that marked his crimes.