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Convicted Killer Executed by Injection

August 31, 1990

POTOSI, Mo. (AP) _ A man convicted of five murders was put to death by injection early today for killing an elderly woman 11 years ago.

George C. Gilmore, 44, was declared dead at 12:10 a.m. at the maximum- securit y Potosi Correctional Center.

″He had no last words,″ said prison spokesman Dale Riley.

A brother, a niece and a fiancee who were not identified wept and covered their faces with their hands as officials announced the fatal delivery of sodium pentothal, Pavlon and potassium chloride into a tube in Gilmore’s arm.

Strapped to a gurney and covered to his chin by a blanket, Gilmore strained at first to see his friends and mouthed what appeared to be ″I love you.″

Then he turned his head to the side and was still. Two minutes later he was declared dead.

Gilmore was executed for killing 83-year-old Mary Luella Watters in August 1979. He also had received the death sentence for three other murders and was given a life prison term for a fourth.

His partner in crime, Leonard Laws, was executed May 17.

Authorities say Gilmore and Laws killed five people in a St. Louis-area crime spree, targeting elderly or helpless people for robbery and murder.

Law enforcement officials expressed little sympathy for Gilmore.

Richard D. Moore, director of the state Department of Corrections, told official witnesses that the method of execution was humane and ″a far cry from the terror and horror George Gilmore put each of his victims through.″

″It’s pretty sad when it takes 11 years,″ said St. Louis County Prosecutor George ″Buzz″ Westfall.

A series of appeals Thursday failed to stop the execution, the 137th nationwide and the fifth in Missouri since the U.S. Supreme Court in 1976 let states resume use of the death penalty.

The U.S. Supreme Court refused by a 6-1 vote to block Gilmore’s death. Justice Thurgood Marshall, who opposes the death penalty in all circumstances, dissented. Justice Antonin Scalia did not take part in the case.

U.S. District Court Judge Edward L. Filippine and the U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals also dismissed Gilmore’s appeals Thursday.

Appeals filed for Gilmore by lawyers Kevin Collins and James Delworth alleged mitigating evidence had not been considered earlier. Gilmore, the son of two alcoholics, suffered fetal alcohol syndrome and organic brain damage, Delworth said.

Missouri Attorney General William Webster’s office rejected those arguments.

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