On July 8, 1999, the execution of Allen Lee Davis drew nationwide media attention after the 300-pound triple murderer bled profusely from the nose while being electrocuted.

A Look Back at Florida's Messiest Execution

As the switch was thrown, Davis, who was sentenced to death by electric chair for May 11, 1982, murder of Nancy Weiler and her two daughters, reared back against the restraints, giving witnesses a glimpse under the black hood designed to hide the faces of the condemned. Blood poured from his vivid-purple nose, ran down the wide leather strap that covered his mouth and soaked the killer’s shirt.

A Look Back at Florida's Messiest Execution

After the power to Old Sparky was switched off, Davis was still alive. Witnesses said his chest rose and fell about 10 times before he went still.

State prison officials and Governor Jeb Bush said the chair functioned properly. Governor Bush called what happened to Davis a ”nosebleed,” insignificant when viewed alongside his crime.

Three photos of the incident have been published on Florida’s High Court website in an attempt to argue that the practice of capital punishment via electrocution was outdated.

Officials argued that any future executions should be carried out through lethal injection since Davis’ execution was not the first to raise questions about the humaneness of electrocution. In 1990 and 1997, murderers Jesse Tafero and Pedro Medina caught fire in the chair as they were being put to death.

As of 2021, Davis was the last Florida inmate executed by an electric chair. Since 2000, all subsequent executions were by lethal injection. Inmates, however, may still choose electrocution.

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This photo gallery originally appeared in True Crime Magazine’s Behind the Tape Photobook, along with nearly a thousand more crime scene photos.


  • Well if it is heartless to say…. so what! I am sure his poor innocent victims went through worse then what he went through, no sympathy. A Mother and two Daughters died by his hands and I am sure they were sacred to death as he was holding them before he murdered them.

  • I don’t care how much he suffered when he was executed. The bastard murdered three people. I don’t think he had their “comfort” in mind.

  • I think all them bastards need to be tortured before killing them,imagine the suffering of their innocent victims,why we should feel sorry for these murderers when they don’t even blink an eyelid while killing

    • Because justice should not ever, ever be about revenge. True justice is about punishing those who did wrong. There is a very big difference between punishment, and torture. If we torture monsters, what does that make us?

  • Exactly! I feel the same way about the death penalty as you do. However, I think this bastard (Allen Lee Davis) deserved it! He is however the only exception. Every other criminal should be given a life sentence with a minimum of 25 years with good behaviour.

  • One of the guys mentioned here turned out to be innocent. So not did he not commit the crime, but he also died a painful death. This is a big reason for why I’m not enthusiastic about the death penalty (even if it is rare). But if we are going to have one, it should be quick and humane.

  • Electrocution at 1800-2400 Volts straight to the head is as instantanious as a micro second… THAT voltage at the correct amps is like a bullet to the brain..in fact it is faster than a bullet… the condemned feels NOTHING… any superficial damage caused as a result of continued application of current, skin burns, nose bleeds due to the intense muscle-reflex pressure, discoloration of skin is nothing more than ‘after-the-fact.’ The condemned is uncontious long before any of these side-effects occur.. people need to remember this or be educated of this FACT…. electrocution in the chair gives the aesthetic appearence of brutality and gore but that’s just part of the ‘show’ and a part that is not connected to death as the individual is already dead… it does however result in a sense of ‘just deserts’ for the victims families… I’m sure Mr Weiller, the husband and father of the three victims brutally slane at the hands of this demon felt much more satisfied after this gruesome spectacle.. I know i would if i were him….

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