Despite a last-minute appeal for clemency, Michael Beuke, dubbed the “Mad Hitchhiker” in the press, was executed in Iowa at 10:53 a.m this morning. Early Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland denied Beuke’s request for clemency on Wednesday. Beuke was sentenced to death in 1983 for the slaying of Robert Craig, 27, who stopped to give Beuke a ride by the side of the row.
In the weeks following Craig’s death, Beuke attempted to kill two more drivers who stopped to pick him up. Beuke is Ohio’s 38th execution since the state resumed the death penalty in 1999.