Oklahoma murderer, 35, is executed by lethal injection

Oklahoma murderer, 35, is executed by lethal injection after request to be put to death by firing squad was denied: Inmate who killed four in 2005 had last meal of 20 chicken nuggets and three large fries

  • Gilbert Ray Postelle, 35, was killed at Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, Oklahoma, on Thursday at 10.06am 
  • Postelle was convicted for his role in the quadruple slaying of James Alderson, Terry Smith, Donnie Swindle and Amy Wright, in 2005 
  • Last meal was 20 chicken nuggets, an assortment of dipping sauces, three large fries with ketchup, a crispy chicken sandwich, a chicken sandwich, a large cola and a caramel frappe 
  • Postelle’s execution was the fourth in Oklahoma since October – when a nearly seven-year moratorium on executions was lifted 

A quadruple murderer from Oklahoma has been executed by lethal injection after his request for a firing squad was denied. 

Gilbert Ray Postelle, 35, was killed at Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, Oklahoma, on Thursday at 10.06am for murdering four people at the request of his father when he was a teenager. 

Postelle was convicted and sentenced to die for his role in the quadruple slaying of James Alderson, Terry Smith, Donnie Swindle and Amy Wright, in 2005 believing they had injured his dad in a motorcycle accident 

Media witnesses said the execution appeared to have taken place without any complications.

They said Postelle, whose last meal was 20 chicken nuggets, an assortment of dipping sauces, three large fries with ketchup, a crispy chicken sandwich, a chicken sandwich, a large cola and a caramel frappe, shook his head no when asked if he had any last words.

Gilbert Ray Postelle was executed in Oklahoma for a 2005 quadruple murder

U.S. District Judge Stephen Friot denied Postelle’s request to be put to death by firing squad.  

He required all the plaintiffs in the lawsuit challenging Oklahoma’s lethal injection to select an alternative method of execution.

Oklahoma has never used firing squad as a method of executing prisoners since statehood, but current state law does allow for its use if other methods, like lethal injection, were determined to be unconstitutional or otherwise unavailable.

The Oklahoma Department of Corrections does not currently have execution protocols in place for any method other than lethal injection.

Postelle’s execution was the fourth in Oklahoma since October – when a nearly seven-year moratorium on executions was lifted – and the third in the United States this year.


Postelle was convicted and sentenced to die for his role in the quadruple slaying of James Alderson, Terry Smith, Donnie Swindle and Amy Wright in 2005

Postelle and his older brother David were convicted of murdering four people in Del City, Oklahoma, in 2005.

Around 60 rounds were fired from assault rifles during the attack on a mobile home where a man named Donnie Swindle was living.

Earl Postelle, the father of the boys, blamed Swindle – mistakenly as it turned out – for a motorcycle accident the previous year which left him severely injured.

Swindle, two other men and a woman who were at the mobile home at the time were killed.

In a hearing before the Oklahoma clemency board in December, Gilbert Postelle said he had been a methamphetamine addict since the age of 13.

‘My life at that time was filled with chaos and drugs,’ Postelle said. ‘It was a family addiction.’


Postelle was convicted of killing four people in 2005 he believed had injured his dad in a motorcycle accident

‘In no way does that excuse my actions,’ he added. ‘I do regret the pain and the loss that I have caused.’

Postelle said he was under the influence of his father, who was declared mentally incompetent because of brain injuries from the motorcycle accident and did not go on trial. He has since died.

‘My dad was everything to me, even with all of his flaws,’ Postelle told the clemency hearing.

Postelle’s brother David was sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole for his role in the slayings.

The other man involved, Randal Wade Byus, cooperated with the authorities and was sentenced to six years in prison.

A series of botched executions in Oklahoma led to a temporary moratorium on capital punishment in the state in 2015, but the moratorium was lifted in 2021.

The US Supreme Court struck down the death penalty in 1972 but reinstated it four years later.

The number of executions carried out annually in the United States has been declining in recent years.

Capital punishment has been abolished in 23 US states, while three others – California, Oregon and Pennsylvania – have observed a moratorium on its use.

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