Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Serial Shooter of Phoenix Cheats the Hangman

Convicted Serial Sniper Dale Hausner
Florence, AZ—Inside the infamous Eyman Unit of the Arizona State Prison are those men that each await there turn to be taken by uniformed prison guards and led to a small room.  In that room is a table with armrests and lots of leather straps.  The guards will place him on the table strapping him tightly to it.  The unlucky inmate is then connected to two inter-venous lines with a saline solution dripping into his body.
Soon the warden will read the death warrant and ask the guest of honor if he as any last words.  Soon the blinds are opened for two windows.  On one side are cops, prosecutors, and family members of murder victims.  On the other side are family members, defense lawyers of the soon to be departed.  Additionally there are members of the public at large and at least one pool journalist. 
The warden will nod and an unseen killer pushes deadly toxin into the IV lines.  Soon the condemned man’s breathing is laborious as he loses consciousness.  After a few minutes the blinds close.  The witnesses are led out to the bright Arizona son.  Few words are said as the survivors find their ways to their cars. 
The pool journalist is taken before ate cameras and a score of notepad holding reporters.   The reporter describes to his colleagues just what he experienced in the Death House. 
A hearse or sometimes a plain van is nearby waiting to transport the dead man to the Medical Examiner for an autopsy.  It seems like a waste of time to officially determine the cause of death considering what just took place under law and so many watchful eyes.
This was the fate of 40 Year-old Dale Hausner.  Hausner and his pal Samuel Dieteman developed a peculiar hobby.  The two hunted down fellow human being for sport and killed at least six of them in the two-dozen known shootings.  
Phoenix police had their own hunting party.  They worked night and day and heroic detectives caught their prey.  The bagged Hausner and Dieteman. 
A dear friend of mine, Camille Kimball in her book, A Sudden Shot, eloquently told the story of Hausner and Dieteman.   The book is a thriller and a terrific read.  I won’t even attempt to steal any of Kimball's thunder.  Buy Camille’s book.
As for cheating the hangman, Hausner attempted suicide early on with over the counter medications.  He was soon convicted and sentenced to die by lethal injection.  Dieterman faired better receiving life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Hausner did not like his fate nor the years of endless appeals. He wanted a quick way out fighting the legal system trying to end his appeals.  There is no really quick way to ring your curtain down in our litigious society even with a death sentence. 
Yesterday, Dale Hausner was found lifeless in his cell.  He was only 40 years old and there were no obvious signs of the cause of his death.  My guess is another effort to ingest something deadly however this time with success.  The Medical Examiner will tell us the cause of death at some point however toxicological tests often take weeks. 
The only thing certain is that the appeals are over and the Death House execution party will never take place.   Instead, a peaceful anti-climax spoiled the fun of a bloodthirsty society.  If our religious teachers are correct Hausner is facing the only real justice right now.  On the face of it many believe his real punishment may be just beginning.

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