It’s May 25, 1979. John Spenkelink is about to be executed at Raiford prison in Florida after capital punishment was re-instituted nationwide in 1976. Gary Gilmore was the first person killed while incarcerated in Utah in 1977, Spenkelink’s execution was the second such event two years later.
i was seven years old when this happened, and I remember it well for some reason. First was the odd last name kind of stuck with me. Second was that the young woman who gave her account of the execution that Stan Major mentions about 37 minutes into the clip was someone who worked at Channel 8 here in Tampa on WFLA, Kris Rebillot. Unusual last names usually stuck in this filing cabinet of mine throughout the years.
As I mentioned on social media yesterday, you don’t see this long form of news reporting on the radio anywhere these days outside of NPR or Amy Goodman, and it’s the very same Stan Major who’d I work with nearly 12 years later at the Sun Radio Network, describing the scenes. A good piece of audio.