Ex-Cop Executed for 9 Murders

'Death-Row Romeo' went on a 3-month crime spree in 1986

By Liam Carnahan,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 12, 2012 5:53 AM CST

(Newser) – Last-minute appeals weren't enough to save serial killer Manuel Pardo from lethal injection. The cop-turned-killer was executed last night at Florida State Prison for his three-month crime spree in early 1986 during which he robbed and murdered six men and three women, reports NBC News. The Navy vet's lawyers made an 11th-hour argument that he was mentally ill, but federal courts did not intervene. An apparent malfunction in the death chamber's sound system obscured his last words, but for families of his victims, his death is a relief.

"It's about time," said the brother of one of the women Pardo killed. "It's been so long, you just want to get it over with." Pardo earned the nickname "Death-Row Romeo" for the letters he exchanged with women while awaiting execution, even convincing some of them to send him money. He believed he was doing the right thing when he killed his victims, most of whom had ties to drugs. "I am a soldier," he said during his trial. "I accomplished my mission, and I humbly ask you to give me the glory of ending my life and not send me to spend the rest of my days in state prison." Pardo's last meal: red beans and rice, roasted pork, plantains with avocado and tomatoes, pumpkin pie, and Cuban Coffee.

In this 1988, file photo, Manuel Pardo, found guilty of nine counts of murder, listens as his sentence is read.   (AP Photo/The Miami Herald, Marice Cohn Band, File)
In this undated photograph shows Manuel Pardo Jr. Pardo, a former Florida police officerexecuted for the murder of nine people 26 years ago.   (AP Photo/Florida Dept. of Corrections, HO)
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