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Witness to an Execution
Carol McKinley, KOA Radio (Denver, Colorado)

It was a cold room, but it fit the assignment.

People asked me why I wanted to do such a horrible thing. Why would you want to watch Gary Davis die?

I didn###t want to.

It was an odd responsibility.

I had to.

Gary Davis died because he dragged a ranch woman from her two children and killed her in the fields her family owned. Ginny May died because Gary Davis and his twisted wife wanted to use her in a sex game.

The only mistake Ginny made was to mow her lawn at the wrong time. It was a day Davis, a hired ranch hand, happened to be fixing the fence next door. She was just doing an everyday chore, but he saw something sexual and he had to have her.

Becky and Gary Davis killed a gentle woman as she begged for her life. Then they went home with their beer, cut up her rubber sandals, and flushed them down the toilet.

Ginny May never had a chance.

In the end, Gary Davis didn###t either.

Davis had to wait eleven years to die, in a cell that never went completely dark. His daughter died of brain cancer while he was locked up. His abusive dad died during that time, too.

He would never touch them. Davis gained weight on prison food. His last meal was cafeteria ice cream in a cup. He never got the cantaloupe he asked for. He didn###t get a cigarette in his last hours because the prison is a non-smoking facility. There were no last words.

I felt pity for Gary Davis as he pushed out his last breath. He probably hated what his life had become. I was one of five strangers who jotted down his last seconds.

Ginny May###s dad and brother sat in ranch clothes behind us with their arms folded. If Davis felt sorry for killing her, he didn###t have the courage to look them in their eyes and let them know. He recorded an apology with a television reporter instead.

As Davis### face turned blue and his eyes went in to a death stare at the door frame in front of him, Ginny###s dad clasped hands with the man who had put the killer away, "Put her there, Pal."

Gary Davis went to sleep and never woke up. It was his life for Ginny May###s. When it was over, we sat in the cold room with our cold purpose.

Gary Davis### execution broke the ice for Colorado. Four more men are waiting for their turn. One of them is an evil man who says he won###t go quietly like Davis did. Ronald White has told the guards he###ll take them down with him.

I won###t be there to see it.

I###ve seen enough.

Carol McKinley is a reporter for KOA Radio in Denver, Colorado. She has been reporting regularly on television news shows, as well, including Dateline, CNN Today, and CNBC.