CARSON CITY, Nev., -- Carroll Cole, who romanced at least 10 women before he strangled them, joined the Roman Catholic Church and ate a last meal of jumbo shrimp Thursday on the eve of his execution by lethal injection.
Cole spent his final hours talking with his guards, watching television, playing Monopoly and chatting with both Catholic and Protestant chaplains.
Prison Warden Harol Whitley said Cole, who did not list a religion before, converted to Catholicism with the Rev. Father Dave Casaleggio performing the baptism.
Cole's final meal was jumbo shrimp, french fires, a tossed salad, French dressing and clam chowder.
'He has a good attitude and is not displaying any anger,' Whitley said.
Cole, 47, a drifter, said he was ready to die but a little afraid of the possible pain.
One hour before his scheduled 2 a.m. PST execution, Cole was to be injected with Nembutal, a sedative preventing any last-minute resistance. He was then to be strapped to a table where three different lethal drugs would be injected into his arms.
State Prison Director George Sumner said Cole should be dead almost immediately compared to the gas chamber, which Nevada has used in the past. Those put to death in the gas chamber lived several minutes before dying.
Several guards were assigned to a suicide watch over Cole in his 7-foot by 7-foot 'last night cell.'
Cole, in his final interview Wednesday, laughed a lot. But he trembled and admitted being frightened and worried.
'If I said I wasn't concerned, I'd be lying, because everybody wants to go the easiest, most comfortable way,' he said in an interview with Las Vegas station KLAS-TV.
'It has entered my mind that something might go wrong. There might be some kind of suffering. But that has not altered my decision,' he said. Cole has refused offers to appeal his case.
He agreed to allow his brain to be removed by neurosurgeons after his execution so it can be used for research. Psychologist Jan Bruener of Las Vegas said she wanted to see if there are cuts or disease in Cole's brain that might explain his criminal behavior.
Cole was sentenced to death for the 1979 strangling of Marie Cushman of Las Vegas. After meeting her in a bar, they went to a motel where they had sex. He then killed her. He has admitted killing 13 other people, most of them women.
In some cases, he said, he kept their bodies for days, having sex with them. In Oklahoma City, he said he cut up one body into pieces and dumped them in trash cans throughout the city. He was convicted of killing three women in Dallas and received a life prison term.
'I think my crimes deserve the death penalty ... why prolong a despicable person's life who acted as judge, jury and executioner to the people he murdered without regard to the victim? I know I'll kill again if I get out of prison. No woman is safe with me ... I'm a danger to society,' he said.
He has claimed in several interviews that the killings were 'for revenge against my mother' for abusing him as a child and forcing him not to tell his father about her sexual affairs with other men.
His death will be the first execution in the 13 western states since 1979 when Nevada sent Jesse Bishop to the gas chamber. Since then, Nevada has changed to the use of lethal injection.
The American Civil Liberties Union and the Quakers planned to hold a vigil outside the state prison where the execution will take place to protest the death penalty.
Cole will be the 50th person put to death since the Supreme Court allowed states to restore capital punishment. According to the Legal Defense Fund, there were 1,590 people on death row as of Oct. 1.